Sunday, December 29, 2019


The Dark Arts

A curse
can be
a gift.


or hob-
will con-

you of
this.  &

I con-
cur, if
but a


ly.  It is,
of course,
the season

when the

in from
the sea




like a
up toilet.

I wish
to be
a laugh-

ing plumb-
er.  And,
like magic,


Saturday, December 28, 2019


Harsh Heart[s]

That was awfully
harsh, he reacted, 
sworn to secrecy.

Well, he responded,
at least I know what
I want for Christmas!

It was a response
veiled in fear.

Some secrets
are scary.  And
best left dressed

for anticipated
success.  Rimshot,
both heartily agreed


Thursday, December 26, 2019


    For a warm face
    To kiss in the winter.
                     —Jack Spicer

Deepest, darkest snow,
“Oh, woe!”

Sunday, December 22, 2019


Giving Santa’s Ho Ho Ho Back (Ha Ha Ha)

taking shopping out of the holidays

can add a lot of hos if you ask me.

then what about the others?  oh,

what others?  it is easy to forget.

note to self: need others is the most

obvious note in my solitary universe.

however, even in solitary universes,

the obvious stares at your face,

and you are too busy running (in

place, no real movement, in effect,

nothing but a christmas metaphor)

in place.  solitary...confinement?

i seem to know about this method

as it has come up in conversation

a lot lately.  odd how life can change

so overwhelmingly on a dime.  e.g.,

grew up poor, did the 5 cent lunches

at school (was’t that embarrassed,

it seemed most of my small town re-

ceived this small luxury), became 

aware of uniform trends in the age

of brands behind blatantly portrayed

on anything and everything, especially

what you wore (men on horses with polo

sticks, alligators, op (which some of you

remember is ocean pacific; others, even

those who remember, who cares, right?

not true.  i do.  always important to look

to the future as accurately as one can 

swimming back to a time, putting on

one’s young and enviable eyes

so as to look at the person — me — who

just performed this exercise just to 

gather some sort of comparison:

what is better?  what is worse?  what

surprising lucky avenues did I take?

and vice versa and et cetera?).  enough

about the holidays, which greet me from 

near beginning to end now with the grip

of solitude, if this is not right.  find some-

thing, look at it long enough, laugh.  prac-

tice for finding someone at whom to look

for an embarrassingly extended amount

of time, reach awkward stages as you

scrutinize the other, and laugh.  or what-

ever other action or inaction seems 

appropriate.  the goal is clear.  it is clearly

good to have goals.  one ho, two ho, three

hos.  hohoho.  hahaha.  jolly and red and

zaftig.  (i think this word is making a come-

back, but i could be wrong.)

Saturday, December 21, 2019


The bigger the Xmas list,

the bigger the X
mas.  Call Mom.
Check for Alan.
Do a lot of things
for a whole bunch
of names I get 
mixed up with,
get mixed into,
don’t want 
to give away.
Giving is caring.
Go to the rodeo.
Call Lyft to re
move false 
Forget about
the fraud you
met for a mov
ie that night.
Try not to be
lieve the per
son you nev
er met gave
you your 
soul back.
Take that
last item
off the list.
Believe in
fraud with
out becom
ing his (its)
victim’s lo
go.  Go Tig
ers.  Unlock
old phone.
Try not to 
get lost a
gain, to go
to sleep on
the sidewalk.
Talk to the
people who
knock on
your door.

Friday, December 20, 2019


don’t look down now

the map of his
necktie was of
the slowest,
most scenic,
almost circ-
uitious route
to hell with 
the arc of
the styx
rising like
a blue rain-
bow, slightly
above the 
angular tip
at the bottom
of the necktie
where the en-
trance to the
wailng and 
the gnashing,
just above the 
dagger pointing
generally down-
ward at all times.
except that he had
tied it too long to
make the joke work.
which, to me, made
hi immediatelly an
inticing a jerk!  so hell
was the blank space
between his thighs,
halfway down to his
knees from his pel-
vis, covering the
possibility of sex.
a prude in hell.  
which, come to
think of it, seems
the only brand
of human that 
would consider
this conceptual
boiling pot of
supposed eternal
misery uncomfort-
able in the least.  
i imagined that
the squeaky-
shoed man in 
the funeral at-
tire (as he arr-
ived at his first
day on the job;
so if course there
was the obvious
ogling that fol-
lowed him, nat-
urally, wherever 
he clumsily and
aimlessly shuff-
led — in fits
and starts — 
in that panicky
lost puppy dog
sort of way),
until some
showed him
to his desk in
an inappro-
pritately gentle-
manllike manner.
all I could think
for the next few
weeks, yet only
once or twice
even passing 
him in the hall-
ways of the glib
mundanity that 
was the firm in
which i&rdsquo;d
given a decade 
(or so) was the
fantasy of run-
ing into him
down THERE, in that
blank space
between the 
middle of his
thighs. at
a tantalizing
way of being
driven to cra-
zy wailing in
the depths
of torment
that would be.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019


Bring a Torch, Jeannette Isabella

There are certain days, certain
moments in time — during which,
even as you pierce your way into
one hoping to quickly break out
to the other side — that live heavy
and vivid upon your soul.  I’m not
here to suggest that the soul may
exist.  It’s just that I am, at present,
and without a doubt, stuck in one
of those moments that, even if I
do break through into the beaut-
iful sunshine-filled blue of the
livable, breathable, imperative
atmosphere, I know that, for
better or worse, if this horrib-
le bubble that threatens to
wrap me eternally within its
toxic nightmare of fog that
burns the guts of who-
ever it is that I am, of
whatever it is that is
me, of whatever exist-
ence even is, that I
will not wander my
last days a pess-
imist.  I know that,
even if I’m stuck here
until the stink of solitude
and self-pity sours my
flesh and desiccates
whatever lies beneath
until I am but an un-
godly mound of ash,
I won’t wither away
in this awful state
before something
dispells such a-
typical darkness.
I cannot explain
why I know this.
But I do.  And my
odds on what hap-
pens next, if this
is my time, of what
will snap me clean
out of darkness: why,
it will be my one truest
love — yes! of this I re-
fute all but certitude —
who’ll arrive in the
nick of time, pierce
the mantle of this
poisonous world as if
with sword in hand
through the devil.  And
as my knight arrives, he
will lay at my face a sin-
gular rose, fresh-cut, dew-
lapped, and more crim-
son than my eyes have
ever beheld.  And as it lies
just beneath my nose, giv-
ing my last inhalation such
honeyed intoxication, if I am
then gone, I will have done
so with one final blast that
sweetly envelops my senses
such that I cannot remember
any of the pitiful moments such
as the one I’ve just escaped
are moments of such relat-
ive brevity in this mostly bless-
ed life (and to be stuck in such a
dour moment is not to be living);
so that I may rid myself
of this insignificant blip
of sorrow the same way
I always do, by succumb-
ing to naught but the
joy of the instant,
the now, with my
knight crouched
beside me — an
instant of living,
as if to remind
me that there
is before me
a boundless
future of such
bliss as this,
playing in
loops, loops
which have
held me
captive since
as far back as
I can remember
... inside of this
pleasance, the
softest cocoon
filled with love,
or whatever it is
that has always
embraced me
with arms as if
conjured by
magic, my
body so
wrapped in
it’s as if my
soul is not
only in here,
but is about
to erupt.  As if
something deep
within this con-
tainer of muck
is so drawn to
the comfort of
an embrace,
that it will soon
explode, leaving
only an ecstasy
stuck on repeat,
as if for forever —
or mostly so.  At
least long enough
that I live what
must be my very
last moment
dazzled by
the hope for a
lifetime — or
more — of
the same.

Saturday, December 14, 2019


Mama Said Knock You Out

“Okay, have another,” she
insisted.  “We have got to
get on the same level!”  I do
believe that she was rolling her

eyes.  She never learned.  “That’s
absolutely correct,” said I.  “But just
to warn you” [or is it just to remind
you?], “I’m already two steps behind

you,“ I faux-winced, before adding,
“but of course three levels atop ya.”
I glared back in the least menacing way
I believed I could, or at least I felt

that it had been, like my seconds-
ago performance of a fake
wince a tremendously fantastic and
completely non-judgmental meta-

phorical comparison, this time
between our two separate toxicities,
the degrees to which one of us was
higher and/or lower than the other.

I mean, she is a lightweight and all, but yet
one who is a magical combination of titan-
ium and sponge.  Perhaps I’m the sponge...
made of titanium or something, is the

direction I allowed my mind to
drift. Let’s put it this way: I was ex-
tremely gifted at babysitting inebriants
my own age (and sometimes twice

my age; and on more than one
occasion, thrice!). It was one of
my many gifts, like popping out
my shoulder blades at church when

I was a child, so as to create the
utter confusion which would
quite audibly follow, coming from
pews behind me that (and here

neither age nor sex nor even the
degree of severity to one presented
oneself week-in and week-out would
have any bearing on this giggle-a-thon)

each thought they were witnessing the
swift birth of back-wards-pointing, ill-
sexed, terribly abnormal boobs (I supose,
but I wonder for a split-second whether if

I were to actually have boobs, no matter
which direction they pointed, come on,
would they be pronouncedly ill-sexed?). 
And this is when I pulled my version of

improper ettiquette monster no no of the
year.  My greatest fear had just happened.
I remember when it would happen to my
caculus professor in undergrad.  He

would pause a moment too long,
visibly come back into the earth’s
atmosphere, contort his face into
a sort of frozen chuckle (with-

out chuckling at all, in actuality),
and then say both dreamily and
confidently, "Whoa!........Two trains
just collided in my head.  I’m really

sorry but I have no idea what I was
just saying.”  The best part was that
this would almost always coincide
with the end of the class for the day.

No matter whether it was anywhere
close to lunchtime.  But on those
days when he didn’t allow the
tragedy that had just occurred in his head

to be a catalyst for class dismissal, he
would never fail call on me to answer
his next calculus question which did
not seem calculated at all, unless he

was seeking a bigger answer, like
my demise, because these would
always be nonsequitur and somet-
times even non-calculus queries,

riddles, I would even suggest would
be the better word that question or
query.  To this day I believe that it
was only because I laughed the

hardest and the longest at his
cheesy train-brain-drain joke.
These questions would, in turn,
leave me completely speechless,

and probably more to the point
if my future would be an indication,
would leave me completely devoid
of humor, which meant, further-

more, that these questions, these
riddles, are just enough to catalyze
within me what I still believe to
be the front-end symptoms

of what I would later, and
with much more familiarity,
be able to self-diagnose:
panic attack.  (And, yes, these

attacks, and their frequency, have
amped up with a ruthlessly drawn-
out crescendo over the years).  To
this day, I suffer from what my

therapist says (with a sly grin!) is
PTSD evert time I hear a locomotive,
whether I am stopping for one to pass
or I hear it's familiar chug and the hideous

music that toots non-stop from its...
chimney.  But that is a story for
another day.  Or it would have been,
I suppose, had but I held my course

(no matter how low the likelihood of
that happening may be).  This one is,
I recall, about how Tessie and I
relearn how much our incompati-

bility sags when we come up with
the brilliant idea to split a joint.
And apparently, she had just caught
the same nostalgic ball of wax that

I had, if not a few second before
(and, yes, a reminder to self: that no
matter how far gone she may seem,
she never fails to beat me to the

punch at anything...well...except pick-
ing up girls in bars ...which, truth be
told here, is not my idea of a winning
punch.) (Nor hers) (Not even close, in

either case.) So now she has collapsed
into her version of stitches, lying motion-
less and on my kitchen floor, which
was, in my case, a stone mosaic

depicting (by an arty friend of mine)
a rather bawdy interpretation of the
last supper (Get it? It’s such a splendid
idea.  That is, if you love hours of deranged

conversations, which, among my friends, tends
to occur regularly — hours and deranged —
Words which probably describe these pro-
longed word-heaps better than any other com-

binded pair. To a T.  So Tessie lay motion-
less and stiff and seemingly unconscious,
which, to recap, was her way of projecting
emotion of any kind. And she initiates

this in an overly-dramatic fashion:
beginning with an all-in feigned faint.
Which I have, for better, or worse, some-
how come to block, un-see or, better put,

completely erase (but of course, inadvert-
antly), to fail to witness under any circum-
stance as it actually happens, even if she’s
standing shoulder-to-shoulder beside me

or, even more odd, quite literally mano a
mano).  And when this collapse, her ‘faint’,
occurs, I am told she does it with such gusto,
with such awkward panache (which,

believe me, is not an oxymoronic pair of
words in her case...but there is no way any
explanation the duration of  time of which
is less than that of a regular workday would

would do it justice, so just nevermind).  She
performs this fete by dropping to the floor
as if fainting, and therefore she lands with
a slam, somehow into such contorted poses

as of those that fall to the street from some-
where near or at the tops of many-storied buildi-
ngs often appear after deciding their fate (or being,
pushed, which, little known fact, you can tell by the

look of their dead face if,  indeed, the clump on the
street or sidewalk or atop a car or split by a trash--
bin or wateever was murdered or rather killed by
their own doing).   Needless to say, somewhere

in the clump of Tessie which began as a col-
lapse my mind disputes, and who is now
a noiseless and movement-free, misshapen
pile on my kitchen floor, she is somewhere

in there (pejoratively and punnily) laugh-
ing her ass off.  In fact, now this scene
is starting to make much more sense.
Because the moment she arrived

this morning with her (mandatory)
peach cobbler, she turns around,
makes a slate-cleaning movement
with her right arm and hand behind

her back (which, I might add is one of
her many brilliant and mind-boggling
talents) and proclaims to no one
in particular (to be more trans-

parent, I was the only other
human being in attendance at
this time), “My butt is getting
flatter and flatter, doncha think?

I am totally becoming my hus-
band,” to which I had to do some
quick and intense recollection,
and it turns out she was correct,

they do both have flat asses.  This gar-
ners a rather less false look of menace
(I hope?).  Sure, I was performing.  It’s inevit-
able, isn’t it?  Everything we do is a per-

formance.  Really?  Well, maybe it was.  Per-
haps in actuality, I had become my own per-
formance.  And why not?  Because that’s    
what we do, I pondered, reiteratively, just to let

it sink in. “Of course I’m not angry, darling,“ I
put on my best calm, my most convincing
matter-of-fact, and continued to clean
the kitchen counters.  We had

just finished Comedy Brunch, our
own miniature version of Live
at the Appollo, in the breathable
comfort of my very own home

It is our monthly gig, and while we were
often less than hilarious, we are a close-
knit mix of the people I love; friends for life.
And like those who live life, we’re made

of the most randomly diverse group
of individuals imaginable (I can on-
ly use my imagine to gauge, but you
get the picture).  And, boy, when we

got together like this, it was always
such a hoot. Family does exist, if
even in the imaginaton.  And, hey!
Do not knock it until you’ve tried it.

Thursday, December 12, 2019



        What are you thinking now?

        I am thinking that a poem could go on forever.
                                                           —Jack Spicer

like life doesn’t?  
only it does.  he
positions him-
self at the cor-
ner of his bed,
the one corner
where the mat-
tress sinks into
the drastically
devastated box
springs.  a day
does not pass
without me
thinking at
least one time
about my apart-
ment’s pre-
vious tenants:
those former-
ly most fam-
liar with this
room (of its
history, its de-
tailed structure,
the tales that
lie within the
slightly en-
larged coffin-
like/ -shaped
space of this
one-room home,
where many a
a dull story —
and perhaps a hand-
ful or two of more
colorful stories —
persists).  history.
alongside my
story.  a safe
haven. a prison.
a hideout of in-
troverts and soc-
ially anxious ex-
traverts dying
for the comp-
any of a friend,
yet resigned to
the obvious: that
those folks are
long gone.  which
leads to endless
hours puzzling
over why.  want-
ing to believe that
suddenly, any mo-
ment now, they’ll
be back, maybe all
at once, as if arriving
at one of the many par-
ties you used to throw
just to prove that they
did exist, but then
that now is now
and that then was
then, and so you
get over it,
you get better,
you begin to
really get it;
getting better,
definitely not
getting bitter,
better (not a
eureka! moment
for certain), def-
initely not under-
standing, etc.
muddling con-
cepts like loyalty 
and commitment
zipping for light
years around in
your head.  what
comfort is famili-
arity or domesticity
when just as you
finally begin to
believe in their
existence, they
are ripped away
from you by the
pickpocket of
souls?  now, at
my brokest, now
that I’m most-
ly broken, a
fucked-up for-
mer king who
just wants to call
a few of his courtiers,
who wants a desper-
word with the
jester, wants to
see and know that
his family, the in-
habitants of his
castle (his prison?)
are smiling with re-
cognition and out-
reached hands for
that electrically in-
timate touch of the
handshake.  where
one’s hand meets
with the zinging grip
of another’s, in a
union that is’t
yours. and will never
be.  and the same goes
for the dream of being
tugged into a double
kiss, one upon each
blushing cheek; or
worse, the night-
of the firecrackers
kisse that seem
giddily eternal as
they fall with sloppy
clarity upon the lips
and burn with the
intimacy of a child
suckling.  where is
wisdom cash and
what can such
currency even
afford?  must it
be pressed and
cut, then bound
as neatly as those
shelved manuscripts
gathering dust on the
bloated bookshelf
of any office, each
page having been
delivered verbatim
by nobodies lying
flat upon couches
to a sleepy doc-
tors who act as
co-authors: collab-
orateurs with each
lying or sitting, slouch-
ing or erect body
with its head propped
upon on a pillow or
is at other time holds
it down with its hands
in some kind of int-
imate sorrow in
a stance that is
aimed either at
comfortable or
peopled furniture
in countless over-
ly warm rooms
that dim an en-
tire continent. there
is, rather, a large por-
tion — the majority, let
us surmise — of the
human population,
who were each molded
in such a way that is
ideal for such collab-
orative work, either
to sit behind an
often oversized
wooden desk or
table or built to
utilize the varied
alternative blocks
of furniture upon
which they are
each directed to
sit, or to ie.  to sit
and to lie.  com-
promise may very
well be earned,
during these hab-
itual efforts.
when they are,
the tome con-
structed is quite
often as much
revelation as
it is anomaly.  is
it that some are
born knowing...
who they are?  and
if so, where or how
does this intuition
mutate, then thrive,
when sideswiped
by the glorious age
of self.  this perpet-
uation is probably not
even apocalyptic. in
which case I am
missing something
crucial.  maybe we
all are.  how one
refuses to give
up seems to be-
come something
eternal.  but.  I
must believe and
advocate for those
who are happier and
make their optimistic
quest far more than
a small eternity of
delusion.  they
do, however,
tend to die
in tragedy.
in most cases,
almost always,
no matter what.
what single word
could save your world
now? could save mine?
my connections, the
ones which were every-
thing to me, were real.
and yet just as suddenly
(and in tandem) were
flimsy, unreal.  what
is this called?  why 
did they do that!?  why
did they disappear
en masse at such
a critical moment?
I have no time to
dissect delusion.
one day there is
a world living,
breathing, engag-
ing and zigzagging
around you (dur-
ing which, take
time for gratitude,
I would advise),
and the next....
all of us are de-
clared dead.
to me.  clear 
intention on the 
part of the already
dead?  what are 
those who remain
to do with this? The
rumor persists that
they’re all very much
alive, thank you.  and
they do not un-
derstand or care
what a few words
uttered or a horror
acted out as if the
world is just an opera
might do for anyone,
for me.  it’s not exactly
the butterfly effect when
the eradication of a
a half-life or so of
fully lived engage-
ment blows up, right
before one’s eyes.
am I just as guilty?  
is a cry for help 
the same thing as
the act of pulling 
slightly away?  To
fail to see a single one
of these friends (I see no
other word for it:  friends)
materialize, to watch as
each loved one disappears
synchronously at the front
edge of the most excruc-
iating period of one’s ex-
istence (a period, like ex-
istence, that can last a day,
a year, a decade, etc.), of
one’s life....  perhaps the
duration depends propor-
tionally upon the loss of
the cacophony, which, or
was, in all senses, the ob-
jective.  wasn’t it?  but
this...  this has been my life.
I had a beautiful family, one
that was mutually agreed-
upon, tacitly or not. and
ow it is gone. which of us 
fools, me or my prodigal 
family, still exists?  I reach
toward an answer to each
day, but remain shrouded
in the silence that is left
behind, while desperately
trying to remember that it
once existed, just as I once
did, so as to not completely
deny myself of that reality.
For better or worse, I oc-
casionally become mot-
ivated to repeat this cycle,
to do it all again, to del-
usionally and deliberately
construct a new family,
just like the one I collab-
oratively built years ago,
forging siblings and part-
ners, to make my own
tiny country, a domicile
all my own.  like the one
that lost the last war.
a war hatched for some
unspecified reason.  that
is now only an erasure on
a map which I keep study-
ing.  I moved through the
delusions with great con-
tentment and much hap-
piness; time had meaning,
then. so of course I will re-
ignite this quest. to what
end?  I do not know any-
thing except this: engage-
ment is not delusion?  I
hold each moment
the delusion was real.
they are inescapable,
unerasable, it turns out.
I will open different doors
as I move forward.  some-
thing is missing.  terribly.
rather than ask how to find
it, I look to you and ask:  how
might you go about forging
a reality out of a delusion?
and why do I still believe,
my friend?  my friend.  yes.
because logic does not
prevail in such matters.
I do believe that the
delusion is real.  I can
ask why, or for your take,
until, as they say, the cows
come home; until I am
blue in the face (both
inside and out). and so
I do.  who would know
better than you? 
so I persist.   I ex-
ist.  if but only so that
I might as well make
it my own, this
blessed delusion.


Wednesday, December 11, 2019


sez the punch
i’ve got a hunch
you’re out to lunch.

except i am a pacifist
living within a handful
of miles from the pacific.

zing! goes the punch
swiftly past my ear.
the electricity.

i miss my cat.
i am a misser of
cats.  a cat guy.

have i only
eaten candy
all day,

applying for
jobs as if the
holidays don’t

exist?  i have
become too
close to my-

self.  where
is another

a new en-

not fiancé.
there is a city
full of engagement.

where is this
city?  it’s in
the backyard of

my head.  name 
one thing i do that
drives you crazy.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


     Light is a carrion crow
     Cawing and swooping. Cawing and swooping.
                                                  —Jack Spicer

A simple twist of fate can
take you places unimaginable.

This is good.  You are better off.
You learn.  You lose all of your

friends.  You come back to life
alone.  Your family and your

family (which you might have
always thought was the imp-

ortant one) disappear.  You
walk around from one office

to another asking for direc-
tions, and you get some, and

you keep doing this, as if ex-
ploring the secrets of a city

you love, only to be at the
same place you were a

month ago asking the same
question you asked then, only

you’ve been so many places
you don’t even remember

that you were here before, ask-
ing the same question, and you

get a funny but familiar look from
the woman behind the desk, taking

all precautions to hide behind her
antiquated computer screen, only

to be told to go to some other place
and ask another question.  You realize

then, aha!  I’ve been here, you even
remember the question is the same one

you are about to ask to the familiar face
that you have only just glimpsed as he

is taking precautions, too.  A cinema,
your favorite sushi joints, a hope into

a Zipcar to head to Sonoma, for may-
be even a weekend, or only a day, some-

times along but usually with friends,,,
with your boyfriend with whom you are

happy,,,,   You start a business, let’s
imagine it is for profit.  It is still for a good

cause.  You rake it in, take a vacation some-
place you have never been before?  Sure,

Barcelona, Madrid, Vienna, Budapest,
Shanghai, Rio, Lima, Mexico City,,,,

But you're in a gondola in Venice, you&re
debating the Eiffel Tower, afraid of heights,

you&re writing poetry at the Places des Voges,
literally sitting on the ground writing while read-

ing your favorite poet to read, while in Paris,
because he spent a good portion of his own

life there.  You're on a cruise ship filled with
guys, about to dock in Puerta Vallarta, it is

not your first trip to Mexico this way.  You&re
watching the Amazon burn, it is hot as hell

but you are enjoying this new adventure,
which is about as far away as you’ve

ever been before from anywhere, and it
feel right.  You are on a leaky boat melting

into the boiling Amazon reading a book,
the pages of which are burning, but each

only after you finish reading it.  It is a book
by Robert Heinlein.  You get the feeling

you have read it before, but it is a good
feeling.  Unlike the feeling you had sitting

in the Places de Voge (nausea), Venice
on the Gondola (horrible stomach bug),

Rome (the flu).  You are walking the streets
of Paris at one a.m. looking for a pharmacy,

but nothing is open (the vertigo that came and
went in your early 20s — you just turned 40).

Sunday, December 08, 2019


Sorry for the Delay

Hi, has it been a problem?  I mean
of course not, but I was remember-
ing earlier how last year seems like
yesterday.   Or so very long ago.  I
just noticed that you cannot have
the word agony without ago.  And
it is right there at the beginning.  Had
I never noticed this before?  Is it a pro-
blem?  What has made me notice now?
I mean, is the obvious always so obvious?

Dumb question.  Of course not.  I, for
one (as if there are others; are there
others?), cannot get Freud out of my
subconscious.  Except, how could I know
that Freud was even in my subconscious
(duh because sub; I’ve always been
much more of a dom)?  “Well isn’t that a
conversation stopper!”  Who says that?  I
want to immediately write a book about con-
versation stoppers.  Well, actually just about

conversations.  To narrow it down further, how
to actually have one.  It seems to me that people
do not have them anymore.  I have this theory (Is
this already a thing?  Have I been beaten to the
punch, the pacificist, to his one significant theory?)
that this is because everyone exists in their own i-
maginary world.  Well most everyone?  I’d like to
say not me (of course), but not remembering your
past is sort of like living in a made-up world, am I
right?....  Anyway, when confronted with the gate-

way into the realm of reality, we freeze, choke
up, incapable of setting foot through it, either
by inevitably diverting from the entrance (this
can be done by sternly deciding not to even
dip a toe into the reality realm altogether,
or by tucking tail between legs and galumph-
ing away like the Cowardly Lion).  Or we could
just refuse to even wander anywhere near the
perimeter.   Or getting anywhere remotely
near the fabled gateway to reality — ever again.