Matt Lee: Reading Ganymede, I often felt this sensation that the book had a will of its own, like I was handling an autonomous organism, as you mentioned. A few pages in, it immediately struck me as a sister to Gut Text, albeit more sinister than its older sibling. Your writing tends to fixate on the relationship between body and text—“This event hurts you. As if your biology had been sutured to the text.” Your depictions of flesh and bone being manipulated are terrifically vivid, oscillating between the clinical and surreal. There’s a tangible sense of physicality in reading your books. What draws you to exploring the corporeal? What makes a text come alive for you, whether your own work or someone else’s?
Mike Corrao: I view the corporeal as something uncomfortably familiar to us. Every bodily ailment and injury is something we can imagine manifesting in our own body. I think the horror or viscerality of the book comes from the way that, no matter how surreal, you can project these events occurring across your own anatomy. It gives the text power. The book knows that it can make you react / squirm / uncomfortable. It knows that it has influence over you. And I think that makes it feel more alive than any kindness would.
Your label of the autonomous organism is great. I think it very much hits what I’m getting at. The aliveness of a text in part comes from its ability to respond to you / interact with you. It’s difficult to make something narrative feel alive, because it has a set path. There’s the potential for a reader to predict upcoming events. But when the text is an entity the reader isn’t trying to figure out what will happen. They’re trying to read expressions and gestures. It’s more likened to analyzing someone’s posture than to recognizing tropes / trajectories.
I think that there’s a certain ludological element here as well. Drawing from the interactivity of video games. A large part of the process is trying to create a means for the user to interact with the text. At times, this happens in Ganymede with pages that require the reader to turn the book ninety degrees, or text in the gutter that tempts them to pull the book apart. In other projects I’ve tried including dice rolls and pages that asked to be cut or torn. I think rooting the book in our world does a lot in making it feel like a living thing.
Mike Corrao Site
Mike Corrao @ Twitter
Podcast: Rejoinder: Mike Corrao – Rituals Performed in the Absence of Ganymede
“If He Vomits Then I Will Too”: an Interview with Mike Corrao
Buy ‘Rituals Performed in the Absence on Ganymede’
Mike Corrao Rituals Performed in the Absence on Ganymede
‘To properly orientate oneself before entering Rituals Performed in the Absence on Ganymede, one must first think about the rituals suggested in the title as a physical act. Of course, all books require a collaboration between the text and the reader’s imagination, but the interaction here needs to be reframed as an act between two living organisms rather than one holding the other in its hand. Mike Corrao has created a text that bubbles from the page and wraps itself around the reader. Upon peeling it from their skin, the paragraphs will continue to grow and morph, easily outgrowing and crushing the microscope that it has been placed under. Corrao’s writing constantly mutates, mimics, and takes the form of other texts, websites and PDFs that it might have encountered, all the while revealing its true form – the concrete poem of a beast driving this chaos. All hail its dizzying and glorious reign of confusion!’ — Thomas Moore
GUT TEXT reading GUT TEXT by Mike Corrao
Morten Høi Jensen: You’ve studied musicology and worked as a music critic for many years. How has this influenced your poetry?
Ursula Andkjær Olsen: The music I know is the classical, European tradition which is fantastic and in some ways also kind of monstrous. If you think of a person singing a song as a kind of basic musical expression and then think of all the imaginative and “technological” power of the harmonic, rhythmical, and instrumental structures involved in a two-hour-long Bruckner Symphony played by more than a hundred people—you get the monstrosity. It takes a lot of abstraction and construction, a lot of math-like structural thinking, to go from this one person singing to the symphony. In that sense music is doubly rooted. It is related to both mathematical, even cosmic, systems and to the human voice—the most distant and the most intimate. I feel very connected to this double inheritance. Beyond that I think my whole way of thinking about literary form is something I’ve taken from music. I “compose” my books, work with sentences as if they were motifs, turn them and weigh them, repeat them, vary them, and often several voices emerge.
MHJ: I wonder if you could say something more about the structural choices—split lines, one-sentence poems, equations/equal signs, the role of italics, the all-capped words. You made up words too.
UAO: Since the book is an organ, a heart, it has a network-like structure in which every cell (every poem but also in the extreme: every word) is supposed to be connected with every other cell/poem/word. This is part of what I think of as the music-like structure of the book, but also what makes it a network. Musical form is maybe more than any other art form network-based because of its level of abstraction, of not referring to an outer world. The lines in italics are like the canal system of the book. The equations maybe also. The all-capped words might be seen as signals in the blood stream. I also think of the language and the structures in general as having a kind of clinical harshness to them. I wanted to make the feeling of the cuts—for instance the line breaks and the very short poems—all the more brutal. A biblical-clinical ambivalence.
Ursula Andkjær Olsen Outgoing Vessel
‘Danish poet Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s compelling work travels through dark chambers of desire, power, and creation, conjuring up a feminist space where culture and nature wage war with one another, where psychology and anatomy merge to create a uniquely modern mytho-poetics. Katrine Øgaard Jensen’s masterful translation has a strong rhythm all its own, and captures the book’s jarring quality in a remarkably smooth rendering. By the end of this insidious text, the reader is just as “namedrunk” as the book’s enigmatic lyrical subject, and discovers that their own “heartspace,” too, has been torn open, dissected, and beautifully recreated.’ — 2018 National Translation Award judges’ statement
‘Like a supercollider smashing together exotic subatomic particles just to see what happens, Olsen accelerates language to the very limits, detonating it to watch what knowledge comes forth from ecstasy.’ — The Believer
so many dead
their eyeballs are filling this vessel
the earth is a slow fire
re: counting the dead:
I have a strategy in place
I HAVE A STRATEGY IN PLACE
longing moves in all directions
like a spherical light scattered around me
I brush my hair in its circle
to be more concise:
human longing scatters like a
BIG BANG around this
around the human
out in the wet grass
it’s this BIG BANG that must be returned in its original condition,
an infinitely solid sphere;
must be moulded into a hard, smooth material
and placed in the hole below the heart
where it must remain
I have tied the knot with a
it’s taken 1,000 years inside me
I have wrung myself to create
the necessary loop
wrungness caused by external violence
wrungness caused by the exercise of violence
wrungness caused by flight
wrungness caused by care
It’s all there, in the loop created
when I lay my head in my lap
and close the gate
to have marble skin
not as an invitation
but as a bulwark
the strongest there is
the most comfortable
I’m thinking of training my body
until it becomes a rock
that is my objective
the most precise expression of it
it’s better to cut a new one,
to cut anew, and hew from it
a perfect orb
any shape I want
hew from it a
rectangle, cube, almond, moon
AND THEN move in
once it’s done
OUTGOING VESSEL OFFICIAL TRAILER
Ursula Andkjær Olsen: Poetry of Tentacles and Threads
Nathaniel Kennon Perkins: Do you expect your readers to “understand” your work? Does that matter?
Big Bruiser Dope Boy: I don’t know what there is to understand in my work. The words are there and the reader reads the words and they have that experience. If a reader feels they understand my work, or understands something from my work, then that is their understanding that they have. People are trained to be shallow consumers of simple, entertainment-oriented art. They want to understand. They want there to be a purpose, a point, a meaning, and become frustrated and feel as if their time is being wasted when they can’t find one, dissatisfied with a lack of distraction.
NKP: Tell me about the history and vision of Gay Death Trance.
BBDB: I wanted to start a website that looks good to me and publish writing on it that I like. Giacomo Pope, the guy who created Neutral Spaces, helped me design it and taught me how to do the basic HTML necessary to add work. There will be t-shirts soon, courtesy of Steve Anwyll.
NKP: What living poets, early in their careers, do you admire and recommend people read?
BBDB: I don’t admire or recommend people read living poets with careers.
Big Bruiser Dope Boy Something Gross
‘This genre-defying account (novel? narrative poem?) of the troubled love of a young man for an emotionally stunted older one in the bars and apartments of megalopolitan Denver is written with such a spooking purity of line and with such an audaciously stark, grave wisdom that it already feels like a classic of its kind. Big Bruiser Dope Boy’s undecorated, indecorous sentences cut right through you and into the soul you might not have even known you still had. Something Gross is his most triumphant book yet. You are sure to wish you had written it.’ –– Garielle Lutz
When my mother drove out to celebrate my finishing school, four years after she retired, she got lost forty-five minutes outside town
She could only describe her immediate surroundings, and not very well
“I’m by a . . . uh . . . um . . . a biiiig uh-place—there’s a uhhh—siiiign”
My upstairs roommate’s boyfriend, who grew up in the area, deduced that she was parked at a school he knew of
He was right, we found her
She was standing outside her car, looking exhausted and confused
Beautiful gray hair hovering and swirling in high plains gusts
“I’m gonna drive, mom”
“I can drive”
“Yeah I know, but you’ve been driving all day so I’ll drive”
Peaches and I took her to a show at a dinner theater
A show about Patsy Cline, one of her favorites
Sitting across from a mother, father, and a clearly gay tweenage boy
All wearing Disney attire
This family said they had been to the parks, both land and world, over a dozen times
whiteI’m crazy, crazy for feeling so lonely
Driving back, my mother straddled two lanes in the dark, and I pointed it out to her
It was night, she said, and old people had a hard time driving at night
Peaches and I were broken up and trying to show her a good time
She was loudly singing fragments of songs
A few days before Peaches broke up with me, I was FaceTiming with my mother
Telling her our plans to move to New Orleans together
She was so happy, she was crying
Telling her that he broke up with me was intensely painful
I wanted her to feel like I was going to be okay in life
And now I could not give her that, because I was not sure if I would be okay in life
My mother gave me my late grandfather’s watch as a graduation gift
We both cried when she gave it to me
I never ended up completing my degree, letting my I/Fs expire over the summer
I did not take my academic advisor’s condescending advice and “use the energy” of my breakup
I did not graduate, but I finished school
I was finished with it
I knew I was the best writer in the program at the time (which was not saying much) and probably one of the best writers to ever go through that academy of mainly boarding school brats
Founded by an alcoholic, drug-addicted, womanizing cult leader and his lost, beatnik/hippie devotees
And a pedophilic poet
Allen Ginsberg (look up the essay he wrote about becoming a NAMBLA member, or just look at a picture of his face)
A flea clinging to the silver nuthairs of Walt Whitman
Bob Dylan’s coattail jockey
He wrote one, maybe two good poems in his entire life
“Howl” is not even that good
“Kaddish”? I would rather get deepthroated by a daikon radish
Howl-about you go fuck yourself?
He Kad-dish it out, but he cannot take it
Oh, and while I am at it, suck my dick, Elf Boots
You know who you are
You pompous, vest-wearing douche
Your reading voice is repellant
You have published one book
I have published two, and I am your teenage son’s age younger than you
I am writing my third right now
They are all better than yours
I got your “outrider lineage” right here, pal (cups genitals)
I hope your school attains nirvana (goes bankrupt)
I am never making another loan payment
Broke for life, son
My human karma explodes hell into heaven, drags clawing and yelping the devils of delusion back into the reality of God’s heart where they were all along
Some people call me Big Bruiser Dope Boy, others call me Ben
You can call me dad
It is nice to meet you
You are late
I am playing
Nobody is good at writing
Big Bruiser Dope Boy At the Inkwell
Sam Pink / Big Bruiser Dope Boy / Samuel Robertson MOON PALACE BOOKS
‘Susana Thénon (Buenos Aires, 1935-1991) was an Argentine avant-garde poet, translator, and artistic photographer. The daughter of the psychiatrist Jorge Thénon, she was a member of Argentina’s Generación del ’60. Although she was a contemporary of Juana Bignozzi and Alejandra Pizarnik, Thenon was not part of any literary group. She affiliated within the marginal construction that works in her poetry, without adhering to any reigning movement.
‘Her relationship with other poets of her generation was minimal, with the exceptions of Maria Negroni, who later became one of the compilers in Thenon’s posthumous books (La Morada Impossible I and II) and the aforementioned Pizarnik with which she frequented, and along with that published in the literary journal Agua Viva (1960), which was perhaps one of the few signs of her openness to the poetic environment. A gap in her publications occurred between 1970 and 1982 when she was actively engaged in photography, although she continued to write during that period. Thenon also wrote some essays.’ — collaged
Susana Thénon Ova Completa
Ugly Duckling Presse
‘Susana Thénon (1935–1991) is a key poet of the ’60s generation in Argentina. In OVA COMPLETA, her final, most radical collection, Thénon’s poetics expands to incorporate all it touches—classical and popular culture, lyrics to songs and vulgarities, incoherence and musicality—embodying humor and terror while writing obliquely of femicide, Argentina’s last dictatorship, the Malvinas / Falklands war, the heritage of colonialism. Or, as Thénon writes, “me on earth; me with the others; me ignorant, rude, all mixed in Latin, Greek, shit, noodles, culture and barbarism…” OVA COMPLETA is a collection full of stylistic innovation, language play, dark humor, and socio-political insight, now available to English-language readers for the first time.’ — udp
god help us or god don’t help us
or god half help us
or he makes us believe that he’ll help us
and later sends word that he’s busy
or he helps us obliquely
with a pious “help yourself”
or cradles us in his arms singing softly that we’ll pay for it
if we don’t go to sleep immediately
or whispers to us that here we are today and oh tomorrow too
or tells us the story of the cheek
and the one about the neighbor and the one about the leper
and the one about the little lunatic and the one about the mute who talked
or he puts in his headphones
or shakes us violently roaring that we’ll pay for it
if we wake up immediately
or gives us the tree test
or takes us to the zoo to see
how we look at ourselves
or points out an old train on a ghost of a bridge
propped up by posters for disposable diapers
god help us or not or halfway
or more or less
who’ve read Dante in folio
you let yourself drift
through those little drawings
so-called illuminated miniatures
and you swallowed it all
but it’s a lie
that hellish bin of complications is pure rubbish
made on purpose to make you waste time
calculating in which circle
the bones of your soul
will end up
and you know something?
this famous inferno
has an admirable simplicity
it’s not for nothing, the master’s cunning
you get there and they tell you
go ahead and do as you like
Y Vos También
there’s saccharine here
the flock of albatross
or what do I know
I mean about albatross
I never saw a bird pishing that’s not saying much
the canadians pish even if you don’t see it
and the fish
the fish pish the sea
you’re a poet, no?
or Sappho hecho en Shitland
don’t you see she’s a woman?
come on woman
and if you don’t get the chance to talk to God
why ask him if I ever
I’ll tell you honestly
at some time or other I’ve stopped adoring you
but English is more practical
you make plans all over
in other words in the pudenda
and even if you pronounce it poorly
they’ll still understand you
or express yourself with gestures
if you’ve seen how you do it
how you learn to do it
how you don’t get used to
how you make do how you want
it how you
Ova Completa Book Launch and Reading with Rebekah Smith, Silvina López Medin, and Asiya Wadud
Biografías de la literatura: Susana Thénon
George Salis: You have a novella forthcoming from Coffee House Press titled Trafik. What can you tell us about it?
Rikki Ducornet: Trafik was written in warp drive and provides a wild ride through the galaxies with Mic, a robot with a passion for Al Pacino and Al’s plumbing, and Quiver, an astronaut in love with a virtual redhead she glimpses when running each morning in a virtuality called The Lights.
GS: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention an interesting factoid. This comes from Wikipedia and I was wondering if you can shine some light on its veracity or lack thereof because, as you can see, some citations are needed: “Ducornet is the subject of the Steely Dan song “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.” Steely Dan singer Donald Fagen had met her while both were attending Bard College. Ducornet says they met at a college party, and even though she was both pregnant and married at the time, he gave her his number. Ducornet was intrigued by Fagen and was tempted to call him, but she decided against it.” Additionally, the lyrics of the song seem quite problematic, particularly these lines: “You tell yourself you’re not my kind / But you don’t even know your mind”. Is this something that has bothered you, particularly because you can’t reply in defense?
RD: We met in the coffee shop. Why the heck would he have known I was pregnant? I had been going to listen to the music at the Red Barn; it was phenomenal. He gave me his number, I lost it, but! whenever I walk into a sushi restaurant or an airport and hear it, I think of it as a koan, and I think he was right. At the time I did not “know [my] mind”!
GS: Lastly, you’ve talked about a flattening of the arts, of culture, and more. Has it gotten flatter since or are you beginning to see some formations of dimensions? Is the future bleak and bleached or is there something that can be done to counteract the flattening, to give it color and depth?
RD: My apologies! I am answering your questions after too many months, and so much has happened. Answering in the time of COVID-19. The flattening is palpable in a country suffocating beneath the knee of a madman who is at war with everything alive. But we are also seeing an extraordinary awakening, the realization that we must reconsider everything, that we have lost our way, lost it long ago, and that there is very little time to come together as one people, to salvage what we can, to learn to embrace the other, to cherish the world’s children, the creatures, the creative thinkers, and save our one very small planet, a planet unlike any other. I fear we cannot animate a graveyard; that we have no choice but to find a new way of being—and find it right away!—inspired and inspirited by loving kindness and rooted in a fearless looking into ourselves. As Bachelard said, “Poetic revery, unlike somnolent revery, never falls asleep.”
Rikki Ducornet Trafik
‘Quiver, a mostly-human astronaut, takes refuge from the monotony of harvesting minerals on remote asteroids by running through a virtual reality called the Lights, chasing visions of an elusive red-haired beauty. Her high-strung robot partner, Mic, pilots their Wobble and entertains himself by surfing the records of the obliterated planet Earth stored on his Swift Wheel for Al Pacino trivia, recipes for reconstituted sushi, and high fashion trends. But when an accident destroys their cargo, Quiver and Mic go rogue, setting off on a madcap journey through outer space toward an idyllic destination: the planet Trafik.’ — Coffeehouse Press
‘Surrealism meets space opera in Trafik, Rikki Ducornet’s startlingly original look at a post-human and non-human pairing wandering through space while obsessed with the scattered fragments of a world they never knew. At once funny and absurd, Trafik peers at our own time through the lens of the future to reveal what we should regret losing and what would be better gone.’ — Brian Evenson
Gracefully folded into her hamok, Quiver says: “Mic. I am overcome with longing. I am longing for a sky that never stops moving. I am longing for cumulous clouds; I am longing for a buttermilk sky.
—– I am longing for a clamor of children. Lamplight in a cabin by a river on a fall evening. To pick oranges from a tree. I am longing to see a freshly laid egg. A river of fresh water enter a salty ocean. The animals of Africa. Above all: a tiger! But also bees! Pollinating flowers! A beetle making its way across a bank of moss.
—– I am longing for a small planet, a green planet, a blue planet. I could use some city congestion. I could use a cantaloupe, an artichoke, a microscope! If we had a microscope, we could, at the very least, watch things moving about!”
—– “I move about!” Mic says it defensively. “I may not ‘be alive’—but I am as alive as I was intended to be; I do my best, and—”
—– Admirably, Quiver unfolds, leisurely steps down from her hamok, languidly moves toward Mic and, seductively, in human fashion, and gently caressing what stands in for the top of his head, says: “Dearest Micosan. We have been through this a thousand times. You know how much I appreciate your bountiful—bountiful! Mic!—capacities. I am stir-crazy is all. I am needing to move about. I am not fed up with your company, but my own.”
—– “Ah,” says Mic, filling the sounds of Home Free with Habib Koité. “You need this.”
—– Together, they gaze up at the Plonk Sidereal Atlas. An abundant number of significant destinations litter the path forward. Far dexter a planet appears blinking. “What is it?” Quiver asks just as the Atlas pings, clears its soundbox, and speaks:
—– “You are swiftly approaching AM Locus, the jewel of a magnificent helical galaxy, the breathing shrapnel, lava and rock of First Beginnings.”
—– “Oh, for MAGA’s sake,” sighs Quiver.
—– “AM Locus,” the Atlas continues, “is the very planet where the first seeds of extraterrestrial multigenesis—conceived and elaborated by Rosalind Von Pfeffertitz, were made manifest!”
—– “Von Pfeffertitz!” Quiver mumbles. “I have heard of her!”
—– “Who has not heard of Von Pfeffertitz!” the Atlas continues. “Her unprecedented collection of genetic variants survived terrestrial collapse. It is here, on AM Locus, that the process of multigenesis was not only perfected, but accelerated by Von Pfeffertitz’s brain after her demise!
—– Quiver winces. “Am I the only one in the universe who finds this drivel aggravating?” she asks Mic. “And look—see the date there? This drivel was imbedded ages ago—so, who knows what’s ahead of us!” She gasps as the Atlas’ Space Eye is, in its entirety, overtaken by a virtual brain as wrinkled as the skin of what was once called a Shar-Pei—not that they could know it.
—– “This,” says Quiver decisively, “is not an option.” Mic, too, is not eager to get any closer. He, too, is stretched to his limits and out of sorts. His ferroelectric transducer barely glows, and he notices an alarming surge in the oxygen vacancy, a sudden decline in the Wobble’s dialectic permittivity.
—– “All systems are faltering!” Quiver shouts as, despite their best efforts, they are irresistibly drawn to AM Locus, its unwanted mysteries and dubious artifact—Von Pfeffertitz’s brain.
—– The Atlas’ high resolution spectroradiometer compounds their frustration, for now they see every knurl, pock, cyst, and gyre of that troubled terrain, and the grim towers of a campus built of extemporaneous and biologically modified (and they could not be uglier or more cheesy) printed potluck pavers, tiles, and bricks. So powerful is the planet’s magnetic attraction, Quiver’s face—cheeks, lips, and the lids of her eyes—swell so badly that for a quik or two she looks like a fish (Mic). As for Mic, he is harassed by corporeal statik, his basal zipper perilously hot. All this settles down, however, as they approach the designated landing strip. A shiver, a shudder, a thump—and they come to a stop. Once hydrated, oiled, and suited, they step out into a manageable frost.
—– AM Locus has a fabricated atmosphere, humid and breathable, unexpectedly dense in the organic compounds of living things once there in profusion, but now long gone. Of the landscape, all that remains are deep creases and ridges gyring in all directions, with barely a trace of biological activity. They note what appears to be wormholes, the dens of small mammals, the sorrowful collapse of any number of greenhouses, an artificial lake in need of water, an array of what might well have been the mounds of disorderly—if innovative—termites.
Mic and Quiver now come to a dusty path that takes them to the abandoned campus directly—a pretentious edifice built of the detestable potluck (Mic)—its grand front gates askew—and enter a lounge illumed by skylights and furnished with faded sofas, the upholstery overrun by the creatures of Von Pfeffertitz’s imagining—all hopelessly coneco (Mic)—bushy tailed and smiling. The walls surge with sporadically functioning surface Lights all manifesting clusters of enriched transcriptomic motifs: flossy, fleecy, and google-eyed enough to trigger a hyperglycemic crisis.
—– A large virtual head now appears suspended in their path, sputtering in fits and starts before managing to cohere. It is the head of Von Pfiffertitz: florid, rosy cheeked, and round as a beach ball. Welcome it says in any number of languages, known and unknown, imminent, inevitable, likely and unlikely. The welcome is apparently endless, and as they have examined the Lights and the furniture, they move on avoiding bloated descriptions of terrains and creatures that for a brief moment flitted and soared, swam and surged, google-eyed, bushy tailed, and smiling on AM Locus.
—– “Enjoy your stay!” the head calls after them. “Levitating,” says Quiver, “like a forking blimp.”
—– “Be sure to explore the greater org of Rosenblatt and WeiWeiSing—named after my two husbands, yes! The very husbands who invented and perfected pseudotemporal myeloids! And be sure not to miss the small chamber, its green door—to the dexter as you are leaving—for everything you are about to see began there.”
—– Like a silent and old-timey terrestrial firework display, the head appears to explode and then it is gone. It does not take much poking about before they locate the green door. At their approach, it opens.
CalArts Writing Now Reading Series: Rikki Ducornet
Painted Scrolls by Rikki Ducornet & Sculpture by Margie McDonald
p.s. Hey. ** Dominik, Howdy!! Yes, the hacker is still at it full speed without pausing. The only question is whether they/it will gradually figure out my password or whether it’s just being mindlessly assaultive. I would think that if they’re going to reschedule their tour they’ll announce that fairly soon since we seem to finally be in the easing out of the hardcore restrictions phase. Did you see your friend? I hope that was joyous. My weekend was a big fat almost nothing other than working on stuff and a bit of outside time, but that was okay. If I was a betting man, I would say the dungeon was indeed that slave’s destination. Ha ha. Love deposing every world leader and replacing them with teenaged furries, G. ** David Ehrenstein, Lucky you indeed! ** Misanthrope, Yes, he or she or they started out -aphasia, that’s right. I remember C, of course. I always hope the old timers will pop in to say hi, but they almost ever do. They’ve outgrown us. Oliver did pop in here, oh, years ago now, to say hi. I tried to engage him, but he vanished anyway. atomic too, right. I would kill, almost literally, to have an amusement park as my immediate surroundings. ** Damien Ark, Hi, D. Thanks, I’m happy it hit your obsession. Totally get the cave obsession. I could totally go there. I am obsessed with secret passages, which is sort of in the ballpark. xo. ** John Newton, Hi, John. No, I’d like to believe in chaos magic, but I don’t, although one of my novels, ‘Guide’ was built partly using chaos magic principles and has sigils hidden in it. I have a couple of friends who can talk forever about the exotic worlds that DMT allowed them to travel in. I think, for some people, once you’ve done the handmade/super low budget film thing and moved up, you don’t want to go back, I don’t know why. I’m friends with John Waters, and he couldn’t get anyone to finance his films at a certain point, and I among many others suggested he go back to his original cheap method, and he said, ‘no, been there, done that.’ I’m counting on international travel being possible by late spring at least. We’ll see. No, I actually hate the taste of liquorice. It’s weird, but I can’t stand it. I ate a lot of frites with mayonnaise though. And rijsttafel. Boy, I miss rijsttafel. I think I deal with my over-obsessions by writing about them. Milking them, in other words. You and yours? ** Jack Skelley, Jack of Skelleyville! Right, John, I think I knew that, duh, right. Oh, my god! Wait, maybe we talked about our mutual Napili history years and years ago? Faint memory. That’s nuts! We Mauian people considered the Napili Kai to be where the fancy people stayed. The Mauian was sort of like the peasant huts next to the castle. Wow. Didn’t see the Fargo series just because I haven’t really watched TV since I moved over here other than some French reality shows occasionally. I’ll try to get over my TV aversion long enough to check it out. God, even going to Vegas sounds so dreamy right now. There’s more puff where that came from, Smokey. *devil horns* ** Kyler, Hi, Kyler. Nice to see you. Ah, Regardie is in your realm, of course. My pleasure, and, I presume, 5strings’ pleasure as well. I hope you’re doing great through all and sundry. ** Steve Erickson, Yeah, the Grammys were never cool or wise or fair or anything, at least in my lifetime. I’m still waiting for France to lower the age limit re: the vaccine. It’s still 75, I think, although the rumor is it’ll be fairer soon. ** Mark Gluth, Hi, Mark, great to see you, maestro. Oh, sure, I’m very happy to. Everyone, the great writer and dude Mark Gluth asks you to please help with a very worthy cause if you can. Here’s the cause: ‘A pal of Erin’s (and I’s to a lesser extent) has started a Gofundme to raise money for a legal defense to fight his being deported to country he last lived in when he was 8. I wont bore you with the details here but he’s an awesome, kind person and in no way deserves any of this crap. Not that anyone does.’ Dalibor’s Defense Fund. Please help out if you can. ** Brian O’Connell, Hi, Brian. Do people call you Bri? Nice, nice, yum re; your Ghibli watch, even if it was only the one example. There are so many, many reasons to go to Japan, I’m telling you, man. It’s so great there. I think your weekend pretty much ruled. Still does. Mine was without relatable interesting occurrences, but oh well. The week ahead could scarcely be any younger, so … May yours and mine be the exciting kind obstacle courses. ** Okay. I read and loved 5 books recently that I hereby suggest you might love or at least like. Give them a chance, please? See you tomorrow.