1.) Lists fascinate.

5.) A new review of Umberto Eco’s The Infinity of Lists.

Inside is a Chinese encyclopedia created by Borges. Inside the encyclopedia:

There the world’s animals are divided into “(a) those that belong to the emperor; (b) embalmed ones; (c) those that are trained; (d) suckling pigs; (e) mermaids; (f) fabulous ones; (g) stray dogs; (h) those that are included in this classification; (i) those that tremble as if they were mad; (j) innumerable ones; (k) those drawn with a very fine camel’s-hair brush; (l) etcetera; (m) those that have just broken the flower vase; (n) those that at a distance resemble flies.”

3.) Somewhere sinks a cruise ship named Fun with Puns.

10.) Lists shimmer in their making. Like the distance run, or Yeat’s dancer (also the dance) the list is its own doing/undoing. The runner and the run the same, a cloud, a tributary, an experience and an artifact. The making doesn’t wait for a list to appear; the list is the making and the thing. The list is the listing is the list.


Random / 4 Comments
January 16th, 2010 / 12:20 pm

“An Australian study found that every hour per day spent sitting in front of a TV or monitor raises your risk of early death from heart disease by 18%, even if you exercise and aren’t overweight.”    What??? (via Jezebel)


riding giants

So last night while I was under hypnosis, my hypnotherapist, who is also a friend from school, was trying to return me to the memory of being in a mental & physical place where I could write with intense focus and without distractions.  And something fairly strange happened.

Craft Notes & Random / 82 Comments
January 12th, 2010 / 11:37 am

When was the last time you read a book you didn’t really want to read? How did that go?

Understand, David.  I don’t give a shit who writes and who doesn’t.

-Robert Penn Warren to David Milch, context here. (thnx, M. Bell)

I Like Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz A Lot: Part 4


I like Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz so much that every day this week, I’ll be posting excerpts from a really long interview between Cristin and I about writing, New York and her forthcoming book Everything is Everything which will be released in January 2010 by Write Bloody Press. In today’s excerpt, Cristin talks about the train to Queens, the circular nature of writing about writing, and performance as process.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3| Part 5 (will work after Friday)


I Like __ A Lot / 3 Comments
December 3rd, 2009 / 3:00 pm

You’re Not the Boss of Me


I teach Composition and Scientific & Technical Communication at a technological university which is a very interesting and fun challenge because the majority of the students at my university are not predisposed, at least in temperament, to the liberal arts.

As I grade student work, I often find myself offering students feedback by way of writing rules or myths I’ve long incorporated into my repertoire to guide them in revision, etc. Last night, as I labored over a fairly problematic stack of technical reports, I had to stop myself because I was feeling very uncomfortable about simply regurgitating the same old writing rules without really thinking through their merit.

A couple weeks ago, I had students read an article about Expressive Technical Writing as a means of introducing them to different avenues of scholarship in technical communication that go beyond the material traditionally taught in technical writing courses. After reading the article, the students wrote a brief reflection (without any specific guidelines from me) on what they thought about the idea of incorporating expressive writing into engineering communication. Sometimes when you ask students to write reflections they’ll turn in meandering Dear Diary type writing that is lacking a clear sense of purpose beyond, “I am writing this because I have no choice.”


Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes / 28 Comments
November 2nd, 2009 / 3:59 pm

What U Readin’ 4?


Ok, not to start the same argument all over again, but certain comments got me really wondering: if you think a book that meets or surpasses what Ulysses did for its time is not being created during our time, why the fuck are you writing? Better yet, why the fuck are you reading? To make the daisy chain just a little bit longer? Sure, maybe you think Ulysses as a book is actually boring (read: work) (haha), and the next book object that would do what it did now would likely look nothing like it (which is, I think, another misconstruing of my point: of course it wouldn’t! otherwise it wouldn’t be new…), but for my money if you are so dead in the water over the prospect of innovation (read: ingenuity, fun), and honestly believe that people out there (outside yourself) aren’t writing in such ways, I have no idea what business you have near printed matter, much less discussing it in a public forum. There are enough people to stir the swill. But really, though: why?

Addendum to this question (prodded by Q’s from Christian): Are you an amibitious reader? Why/why not? How?

Behind the Scenes / 109 Comments
September 6th, 2009 / 11:20 am