sad music

September 2, 2016

I went to listen to the song that is supposed to make me feel sad but it doesn’t make me sad anymore and so I’m sad anyway but it’s the wrong kind.


I’ve lost the tiny screw that holds my glasses together.
But I need my glasses to search for the tiny screw.
How am I supposed to repair my glasses without my glasses?

I’ve forgotten the password to my online account.
But I need my password to reset my password.
How am I supposed to reset my password without my password?

I wish I had a wishing well.
But I need a wishing well to wish for a wishing well.
How am I supposed to wish for a wishing well without a wishing well?

I want to cancel Comcast.
But I need Comcast to set up an RCN account.
How am I supposed to set up internet service without internet service?

I need to acquire identification.
But I need to present an ID to be issued an ID.
How am I supposed to acquire ID without ID?

another stolen poem

July 29, 2016

The girl next to me in the café is writing a poem and I can see some of it out of the corner of my eye:

I was thinking about going shopping
And I was thinking about making love with you
And so I went shopping
And I bought two summer dresses

I love how the poem is announced by the thought of shopping but immediately balanced by sexual desire, so the shopping becomes an erotic encounter and sex becomes a commodity.

What should I make of “two summer dresses”? A symbol of warmth, humidity, breeziness, exposed skin, bright colors? An index of the inability to choose between two things? Or simply a rhythmically pleasing pattern?

Gimme! Coffee – Ithaca, NY

The album promises slow renditions of piano works by Erik Satie, eccentric early-20th century French composer, pianist, writer, and self-proclaimed “phonometrician” (measurer of sounds). Expecting Satie, I expected delicate piano textures, proto-minimalist atmospheres, and unresolved harmonies, all performed “slowly.” The locus of my experience of the album is a swift series of feelings—anticipation, disappointment, and then amusement at the absurdity of my disappointment—felt in the time that passes between the first two chords, what some call their “inter-onset interval,” a gap that announces the occasion of a tempo, which in the case of “Satie Slowly” is neither as fast as is conventional nor as slow as “slowly” might be. It is the space in which I register (with certain delight) that “Satie Slowly” is both precisely what it promised and nothing like what I expected: it’s not slow enough. 5/5

journaling on Taipei

June 1, 2016

May 28, 2016

I have been reading Tao Lin’s Taipei so everything journaled today should be read through Taipei.

I feel so ambivalent. Maybe a symptom of Taipei.

I’m at the airport, just arrived in Calgary for an academic conference. I got a coffee and logged on to the internet. I am “looking at the internet,” as a character would in Taipei. Part of me feels like I could just stay here, at the airport, until Monday, when I fly back to Chicago.

I sat next to a very kind and interesting young woman on the plane, who lives in my neighborhood, and although we talked for much of the flight we did not exchange contact information, or even our names, and I got the sense that we were both merely practicing on each other.

Prose style is so contagious. I suspect that I am briefly transforming my own world into the environment of language from the book.

I suspect that this conference will be tremendously fun to document, in the style of Taipei. I usually enjoy conferences, as an opportunity to observe.

May 31, 2016

I feel fairly certain that my social failures at this academic conference can be entirely explained by my having read Taipei.


May 13, 2016

Sometimes it feels very nice to meet someone you really enjoy, and who seems to really enjoy you, so much so that you imagine them googling your name later, and so you google your own name and peruse your own pages and see your pages through this other person’s enjoyment of you.


April 30, 2016

Just finished this set of musical reflections on Heath Valentine’s “T.V. POEMS.” Listen on bandcamp.

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first T.V. POEM, Heath Valentine

gems and riches

April 25, 2016

A [curated] hoard of gems, so pretty.



Irrational Concern #211b

March 21, 2016

In my personal journals, I record many quotes. Sometimes I fail to cite the original speaker. Sometimes I don’t even bother to put the quote in quotation marks. What if, when I die, someone mines through my journals and thinks these quotes belong to me? Or worse… thinks I think they belong to me?