Archive for November, 2022


November 26, 2022

White, middle-aged, driving one-handed, putting chip or fry-sized wafer in his mouth from right. White, twenties, baseball cap, driving one hand, male, scratching left cheek with first two fingers of left hand. White guy reaching across body over left shoulder for seat belt — must have only just gotten on road. White sun-glassed Gal making turn out of parking lot, hands at 10 and 2. Middle Eastern middle-aged “mini-vanned” man: you couldn’t see where his hands were positioned, but by the way his chin was set against his throat, you felt they must be at seven and five. (Mini-vanned perhaps my worst coinage yet, worst instance of anthimerian so far conceived.) Blond woman, sunglasses, leaning forward and looking up as if to check something far behind her in the rear-view. Repair man in cap: fully turning head left, then fully right, then quickly again left, before gunning it to the right.

Cracked tired tread in snow

November 25, 2022

Beer cans upside down in my sink, an area of melted snow beside the walk: of underground cables and machinery, great knob of cables surrounding the machine.

A bit of ice that a tire had imprinted and split in two, which my foot step upon it again pushed together, restoring the imprint; then hearing the sort of sound only a person in his own head could hear from his body — my wrist rubbing against my moustache.

Another non-event

November 24, 2022

Have I felt something or have I not felt something. Looking to where I may have felt something I see a small black bug on the back of my right hand and I conclude that I have felt something and that this bug is what I’ve felt.

I see it move and feel it’s tiny motions along my hand, giving me visual confirmation of the real cause of my sensation. Then I blow at it, to send it off, but it remains unmoved by my blow. Therefore I blow again, which blows it off, another non-event.

Murmuration deja vue

November 23, 2022

Have been trying to think of that word for a few days now, that was a murmuration overhead.

(Deja vue of having had and written of this experience of failing to recall and recalling the word.)

November 22, 2022

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November 21, 2022

Customer liked walking before coming rainstorms. Customer needed measurements of the store: wanted to contrast it with megaron of Odysseus’ house. (Could you envision the last books of the Odyssey as occurring here? The slaughter of the suitors?)

Customer said his hair hadn’t been this long since 1984 and in fact his feathery bangs evoked the period.

Pardon, attendant said: did you just ask me not to glom it on or not to glob it on? —Glob it on. I’m from New York where they always glob it on. You’re on the subway and the butter is bleeding through the bag.

You know, attendant said, I’ve known a few customers over the years to try discrimination lawsuits and it absolutely never comes off, that I ever hear about. — Which is exactly what happened with my first law suit, said customer. Would you believe they appointed a lying black judge to dismiss my case?

Customer said he was glad attendant had forgotten the soup — he had already had enough to eat and would just have it the next time he came in.

Customer’s eyes were full of suffering as he placed his order. Then, not an hour later, seeing him handcuffed and put in a squad car.

The way certain people put money in the tips receptacle which indicates they’ve worked in hospitality themselves: a manner of concealing the usually overly large amount they put in, thrusting in the whole hand.

The curve of the customer’s heel corresponded with that of his elbow, and the line where his rear met the seat mirrored that where his shirt met his pants.

Customer rotated his still wrapped brownie on the counter as he spoke– one edge per half independent clause spoken, I approximated.

Customer said she was involved in the Chamber of Commerce in a neighboring region and was impressed by the quality of the community around here — dogs and families, people out for walks in the evening.

Customer: they do room inspections at my retirement facility to make sure your place is clean — oh boy — and I had mine today — woe boy — and they didn’t like what they found (heh heh heh) — to say the least

Customer planned on taking his MRI with him to the podiatrist. Otherwise, the podiatrist would just tell him he couldn’t tell him much without an MRI — then charge him fifty dollars.

Customer, who had made the remark that his hair had not been this long since 1984, when he repeated the remark, said it had not been this long since 1983.

Customer accidentally left shawl. Customer did not break, but may have sprained, ankle. Customer was a young man from Serbia driving his cousin to Rock Creek Park.

The audible hyphen of one’s forgotten name

November 20, 2022

The interesting curtailment of speech that you hear, an audible hyphen, when someone forgets your name mid sentence.

Thank you, —

One hears the comma, indicating something is to follow, perhaps a name. Then one hears the hyphen indicating a sudden change of plan; now nothing is to follow because your name has been forgotten.


This happened twice yesterday. In the first instance, the speaker was someone who knew my name very well but could be prone to fits of poor recall (“Thank you, –” she had said, trying belatedly to make the hyphen sound like a period.)

In the second instance, it was someone I’d known for a decade at least, but would rarely see more frequently than once or twice a month. “Thank you, –” she had said — and it was then that it struck me how very different “thank you,” punctuated that way, sounded from “thank you.” punctuated with a full stop.

November 20, 2022

Construction worker shimmying, his arms high on the handles, to get the last of the gravel out of the tip of his wheel barrow.

Cabbie problem: when he got there he told her the fare would be 12 dollars and she was like, ” I didn’t think would cost that much.” and sheesh, you would think that people when they got in a cab would have a working idea of how much their trip was going to cost them. But I don’t know, maybe they don’t…

A playing card face down on the road. I stop and stoop and flip it over to test my luck, and it is too weathered to tell.

Something stuck to it also.

One of those people whose palms, when their arms are in a relaxed hanging position, face directly back, rather than slightly inward like mine do — a delivery man.

November 19, 2022

Customer surprised attendant had listened to and retained what she’d told him in past weeks. Customer was tall black youth with pharaoh beard (green tea latte with almond milk) and companion (vanilla latte with honey). Customer in before picking up son from cello lesson: medium breve, everything bagel with cream cheese. Customer going to Defender’s game. Customer startled not to have known of Columbia disaster — how could he have missed it? Did you see that blue motorcycle just now? said customer. Must have tore through here at 70, 80 miles an hour, my god! Customer said drinking water gave him bad breath. Customer said that people didn’t engage with The Process enough: too often, when they had a grievance with a state or corporate entity, their instinct was to adopt “revolutionary” tactics and language rather than going through accepted channels.

Big Bang of Grammar

November 18, 2022

“Big Bang of Grammar.” at one point language a primordial soup in which verbs, nouns, prepositions were all indistignuishable..

They still have in them, each part of speech, a part of every part of speech — verbs in nouns, nouns in prepositions. Even definite and indefinite articles, once thought to be indestructible particles, have been shown in a language-super-collider to have a preposition-like spin. (Could Finnegans Wake be called a language super collider?)

Syntactical constructions are only so many strings, which weave and bounce around like String Theory describes. Syntactical strings floating in a “soup” beneath the solid top strata of words. But do they move more like quanta or more like continental plates?

(Of particular note, at a moment shortly after the universe began, the simile split from the conditional phrase.)

November 18, 2022

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