July 28th, 2012 / 4:59 pm

Literature as Commentary on Grammer

I like to think there is no substitute for space but I kind of don’t know how true anything is. If you don’t have space, you don’t have a place to unpack your shit. I can’t remember what I’ve read unless I look up and see the spine on its shelf.

This sentence: a painting of Alfred Korzybski reading Hamlet in the shower, as he drops the soap. We either do or do not look away. I’m taking care of my neighbor’s chickens. They are famous. Mostly in the gay community. A couple want their butts shaken. After this is done now and then they strut away, content. And you can’t really help but gawk at these dinosaurs as they till millions of years into the soil with an awkward scratch, arching their skinny necks, ruffling dirty feathers. If the soil is watered, or tilled, they gaze into the brown as if it were the very very meaning of life.

or: a grassroots movement to change the name ‘monarch butterflies’ to ‘oligarchs’

The problem with art is, it leads you to likeminded people & then the whole thing loses meaning. So you either do or do not do that thing you did anymore. Or else you show off, of course. So much so, it becomes very like a skill. Or a disease: a dead skull: a map of the entire human face

biography : photography :: autobiography : n00dz

art : autobiography :: a tree : the sun

everything could be by way of analogy

everything is all like (o!) so terrible & all you have to do is read the garbage to know that it’s more than a little unbearable & also how little we know! that to be optimistic requires a very real amount of nihevetay which is also (coincidentally) completely realistic & generally preferred among(st) the general populous — but since when have They been right about basically anything (the answer is no, that has not ever happened)

everything is pretty analogous
these days, and falls in on itself

so surround yourself with nice things
and you will have nice fat waves to

ride two the sun on a twilit
jet propelled by your own farts

according to national geographic, i need to go to sleep, but also this other thing happened.

this one woman is the last remaining speaker of wintu, once spoken by those living around the lake shasta, a place i once went with an ex with the kind of eczema you cannot solve; it was tragic the way she carried it around like a scar, which i guess it was, and also

a google search for “when saying ‘media’
do the english say ‘meteor’ or what”

Laura Wetherington

“my vagina is a closed circuit television
but how can one question with a period.”

capitalization is a symbol of war
as is every sport where in one ball

and a plethora of testicles
try mutually to explode

the novel of the future will
probably be as corny today

as turds of the middle west
before the drought

punctuation is just a way of pointing,
some do, others not

others still extend an open palm
and also

life rarely throws fastballs
if it does it is a bad pitcher

i am a terrible pitcher
it’s not strange that
people wear masks

a curve ball is a kind of
fist, a lump of paint

a knuckle

a house

if paint drips & there is no
canvas to catch it does it not
make a splash

is canvas not a kind of
bucket, smashed in to
two dimensions

the one in which we live
& the other we write
where is our z-axis

can one remember
themselves out of an asshole
the questions I ask when

my kitten is concurring my room (my whole house)
this is what he looks like in a coffee can
a few months ago

I just (a few months ago) found out that Conrad Keely lived in my house and composed the titular …and you will know us by the trail of dead in the place behind mine, their practice space. They are old now and I just thought you should know that my neighbor has chickens more famous than me or probably you. My old roommate has a record coming out on their producer’s new label, and I used to root around with one of their sister-in-laws. When I moved to San Francisco she gifted me a set of juggling balls. So it’s a little weird being here and sometimes thinking about that. My kitten thinks music is not nearly as cool as birdshit. He studies them as if they contained some secret code arching back to a time before feelings, a land before time, a map of its migratory routes and musical scores to accompany their descent. I would like to make him a circus cat

if i saw a well known phrase phollowing a well known unknown i would assume the known phrase was more likely than knot

did you ever come home from a place you want to know to a place you don’t love to a thing you did lying dead in the bath tub with a lot of blood leaking out his mouth and later you have to bathe in the tub near the stain he fittingly left in the porcelain or whatever and your head went down below the water and tears ran from your eyes filling the tub just a little bit, about as much as he was for the earth was his awesome stance and glare at whatever he was the best

Island in the stream with kenny rogers and dolly parton my son is 10 years old and he loves listen to dolly partner and kenny rogers all day long both of them make good songs together I think they are the best we listen to them about 3 * a day in the morning in the afternoon and he listens to them before he goes to sleep dolly parton kenny rogers always and forever will be the best

skemp799 1 month ago

which puts me in mind of a letter I read of Hemingway’s re a psychotic rich boy

which puts me in mind of a thing I heard on the radio re It Was All a Dream

which puts me in mind of something I read on the internet re GOOD OLD NEON

which puts me in mind of something I thought about
before beginning those last three lines
a bit from the Joshua Cohen story in Harper’s
“the days when I was writing fiction as if literature were life”

which puts me in mind of what a student said to me today, one I’ll tell about later
when he asked me if this was a dream and I told him he might be having dayjah vou and
he said what is that, and when I told him he said but I don’t remember you

this post began when in late May and good with Mary i googled my own name and found something where re a police response to a child abuse call on reynard street in wherever

it doesn’t really matter apparently

according to national geographic
language has something to do with land

punctuation is an island
exclamation, an uppercut!

consider easter


consider land
& sand, really

consider language
in general

ahh is something you could consider to say, as if that were a thing you did just then, but you could also just not and it’s like, i don’t actually know and probably never will, because a will is a way of being and i don’t kn0

my friend just buried his cat in a park and placed an indigenous plant with flowers the color of his blazing ginger fur on the place where he lay in the ground in the park in the dead ring of mulch from redwoods they say never saw this kind of heat, clustered around a proud young oak with a buck’s way of leaning, did you get that, his name was william and what did i just say

a question that doesn’t need be asked

congestion has clogged my ears
so that sound rushes in at times

like i’ve been adrift on a raft
& just now saw the sea

at this point i’m basically just waiting
for my laundry to be done & i don’t care

nor do i thin k it matters
whether a k sound is a k, or a c

it is katty and who cares
because i don’t want to go to kansas city

in either state where
nothing sounds like it is

the wizard of oz was about
socialism in america

and a kit’n kaboodle is just
a kids’ toy these days

sometimes a kitten is called like a
cat or person is called, the same

of course it matters
it is a matter of respect

and what is wrong with that
some would say a lot

but some would say some of those
& others don’t know a lot, or may be O bay be
do you want me to spill it out for you?

how a bout a Faulkner do you like him ok good me too he’s so great
(this is the part we sigh together on how great Faulkner is)
((if you’re not sighing fuck off)) so
do you remember go down moses o
k good me too i am reading it now

how a bout in go down moses (at the be ginning) when
the I. is both any 1 and I, which are the same, and
two is both he and ‘we’ implicitly secondly and then cass
who is but a person of nine and three or also four are but
variations on a theme which is of course vague
pronoun reference and a mystery (vague being
wave) of identity, which is of course
who is moses and why

why the “wh” questions
whill is never one

do you remember also this essay
by benjamin kunkel
where in benji
makes the case that internet literature
(remember when that was what we
called it) was commentary and
not literature, which he said
did not mean it was ‘bad’
necessarily just that
it was, like, secondary
to NUMBER 1 of course
(I) or what

every “I” is an island
so here’s my little dot
on which I might land
like that pretty lady
Amelia Airheart

tho some don’t thin
k she is so pretty)

beached to burn
& bulb, swollen

& cracked as
an egg

it is called

a fruitless pursuit in a garden
which stopped producing
long before its tender
waned the soil well of water

like a cool summer
night with no wind
but a wind o
open to no life

could it be that I am bored
or that the sound
of dogs in heat
is not really hot

digging up perfectly good
cabbages to find a
dead hare that is
not even there

enough for tears
to fill a can well
to the brim with
the run off of

a broken a.c.

as a sea
a peers
evry day
out of the air

into the ground

it swells, blackening
bruising the rocks
which have no idea
where to go

where to wander
with my lust
I wonder

is water
and why
is it
a lot

for in stance literature is a dessert
in that dessert is something fat to
work for, not just something you get

because getting is beginning to get on my nerves
and you always win because
literature and dessert somehow
create & alleviate the darkness,
the illusion that light is a thing
not just something you get

Paragraphs as waves. Sentences as what you see on the surface. Beaches out of books. Something like two hundred and eighteen million miles of coastline in the world. Most of it probably sucks. I’ve never seen most of it, but I believe all of it has an ocean, the swell lifting mostly nothing like thoughts flowing of no consequence to no one and everyone.

today I taught a child
a six yr old slightly autistic

spectrum candidate for
in my opinion, “savant”

whom I taught about
algebra & gravity

whom I taught about
space & lines & folds

about the fourth &
fifth dimensions

& whose one blue eye
shone like a butane flame

& whose one brown eye
muddied up the what

he consistently asked
waiting impatiently

living in a moment
while watching it

the hardest thing to do
I someday hope to do

that’s not false modesty
mind you

but a way to say goodbye
with your eyes shut

in reverse
the way I thought of
this thing, because

art (god that word like a volkswagen rabbit in a black
widow’s womb) is not knowing about some thing
it’s about how you tell about knowing and not

which I am quite sure someone has said
far better than I, the way my mind
tonight farted “a pathetically large ego”
while gazing at a mirror at a self
that tells about it’self
& the song that sings it

and additionally the question
could it be that some were
born birds, trees or bees
probably some with talons
or else with weak knees

why not

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  1. dl.flsxzkmrkyrzk

      ……..! ??

  2. Richard Grayson

      Once I saw “Grammer” in the blog post title, I didn’t bother to do more than glance at it to see if it was about Kelsey Grammer.  It didn’t seem to be, so you lost all credibility with this old grouch who’s been teaching college English sine 1975. 

      I’m sure someone will point out if I missed something, and if so, I’ll put on my bifocals and give it a second squint.

  3. Trey

      feel like someone could say the same thing about your comment not being about the function of an angle that gives the ratio of the length of the side opposite to an angle to the length of the hypotenuse, but we all probably have the good grace not to do that

  4. joe bussiere


  5. JosephYoung

      perhaps he’s been teaching english for a very long time, simply without 1975. in that year, he taught latin. 

  6. Caleb Powell


      Even though you spelled “since” as “sine,” the “grammer” problem bugged me, too. Skimmed, went straight to the comments, but I’m not compelled to read.

      Trey & Joseph,

      Well done & funny.

  7. ChrisGaton

      Maybe someday we’ll learn how to utilize the internet for writing in a way that isn’t the worst thing in the world.

  8. reynard
  9. davidmmmorton

      I need a chin implant.

  10. Trey

      I gave it my all

  11. JosephYoung

      thanks, cp. and btw, considering the content of the post and that reynard has been here and hasn’t changed nothin, i’m gonna go w intentoinal. 

  12. reynard

      Dr. Grayson,

      Let me explain some of the thinking that went into the time it took me to spell grammar ‘grammer’ about two months ago.

      1) Seeing as you are a Latin scholar, I don’t need to explain that the root of ‘grammar’ is the Greek ‘grammatikē,’ a derivation of ‘gramma,’ which, in Greek, is, of course, not only a letter of the alphabet or a thing written (potentially a word) but a ‘gramme’ or ‘gram,’ obviously a small weight but also very like a ‘bit’ in computing, 0 & 1, a merger of ‘binary’ and ‘digit’ coined for its association with ‘bit,’ as in a piece broken off a larger whole, very like a rock or a single rule of grammar, as it relates to a system which can be viewed simply as something carved by a higher intelligence, but was more truthfully formed by a hundred million (and an especially compounded hundred thousand) years of evolution.* And, in Latin, ‘gramme’ is ‘grass,’ which is also an interesting symbol to me, something you must cut in order to maintain or else it grows to anarchy, and the reason we (in the so-called developed world) enjoy manicured lawns probably dates back to our hominid selves, comforted by the security of savanna, an idea proposed by ecologist John Falk, called ‘Savanna Syndrome,’ perhaps a bit of that all-important social glue we call ‘patriotism,’ keeping people from totally freaking out most of the time. 

      (*see Steven Pinker’s The Language Instinct)

      2) Hammer. Old Norse for hammer is ‘hamarr,’ a rock. I am pretty into rocks as symbols, as bits of something that withstand (for a while) the relentless course of time, but are of course marked and carved by the elements, the instruments of time. A thing I learned from Joyce.

      3) Names. I find the authoritative designation of an almost arbitrary synthesis of breathe control, lip movement & tongue slapping to be as intriguing an enterprise as the growth of plants in a garden. As is the relation between sounds & their physical manifestations, words. Our universal addiction to naming people the way we name objects. The intermingling of sounds. And the age-old practice of those oppressed (or at least those representing those oppressed) by a ruling social class to subvert grammatical conventions (a la Sun Ra, R. Crumb, E.E. Cummings, the autistic student mentioned in the piece).

  13. Richard Grayson

      I apologize to the author for my ignorance.  I now understand that “grammer” is, according to Urban Dictionary, a legitimate word previously unknown to me.  Sorry about being so huffy.

      Here are the entries for “Grammer” in Urban Dictionary with definition and examples of use in a sentence:



      That’s how idiots spell “grammar.”like omg your grammer is so bad!



      A common typo for grammar. Most commonly found in sentences that correct someone else’s grammar.Your and idiot because you have bad grammer.



      A common typo for grammar. Most commonly found in sentences that correct someone else’s grammar.Your and idiot because you have bad grammer.



      Something that scene kids and emos put under interests on their Myspace or Livejournal, the irony being that they can’t even spell grammar correctly.Yesterday
      I went on to this scene girl’s myspace and she said she could not stand
      people with bad ‘grammer’. I sighed and hit my head against the wall.
      Apparently it is now ‘cool’ to like grammar (grammer).



      The cool way to spell grammar. If you like
      wearing your hat backwards with a XXXXL hoody draped over your lanky
      125lbs. frame while smoking dope like a stonecold gangstah (by extention
      supporting REAL gangsters who are laughing their asses off at you),
      this is how you spell itYo dawg, you needs ta lurn you sum grammers, SON, fo’ I plug you wit’ mah fo’ fo’.6.



      An oxymorongrammer fgsfds

  14. Richard Grayson

       I have apologized below (or perhaps above) for my ignorance.  Sorry.

  15. Richard Grayson

      Mea culpa. It was a typo, and I have corrected it.  Sorry. I also apologized to Reynard for my ignorance of the legitimate use of “grammer.”   I see you have probably been teaching a long time too, before the invention of upper-case letters. 

  16. deadgod

      Interesting controversy.  I thought grammer was ‘one who grams’, “to gram” meaning ‘to delge; to bulgrificate; to scob a melvrard’.

  17. deadgod

      Interesting controversy.  I thought grammer was ‘one who grams’, “to gram” meaning ‘to delge; to bulgrificate; to scob a melvrard’.

  18. deadgod

      By the way, have you – Reynard, or you – heard of this flower of Joyce’s exit from copyright?:  http://www.abebooks.co.uk/Ulysses-James-Joyce-Remastered-Robert-Gogan/8082850558/bd .

      Here’s an example of “applying additional punctuation where necessary and separating the internal monologue from the narrative”, quoted from an illuminative notice in The TLS (July 13 2012), of the last many words of the novel:

      And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again, yes, and then he asked me would I, yes, to say, “yes”.  “My fountain flower.”  And first I put my arms around him, yes, and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts, all perfume, yes, and his heart was going like mad and, yes, I said “yes I will”.  Yes.

      Yes, not I think a, yes, joke.  Yes.  Yes, a significant, yes, improvement.  Yes, my yes precious:  yes.

  19. deadgod

      That would be tachyonic time; Greek and Latin capital letters predate their lower-case simulacra by centuries.

  20. reynard

      Sorry J.D. Grayson,

      I sincerely apologize for my ignorance but I don’t get the Rule Against Perpetuities. I have scanned the Wikipedia page four or maybe five times (actually, once), but somehow it escapes me. For some reason I cannot seem to intuitively grasp its essence – its core motive, its rasion d’être – which I find frustrating, and the words simply drift away like so much cocaine, so much burnt rainforest choking in the breeze. Smog & mirrors, you know. What is this feeling I? What was I saying? Hmm, I don’t really know. Anyway, good day, sir. Or whatever you people say.

  21. mimi
  22. baomin6


  23. linqiong175