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CANIS MAJOR (The Hare of the Dog)

It’s a March story, not to worry — where or when. Already, the sun boasts like a diadem — overlord from outer space, and he below, abandoned in biblical exposure — incinerating the eyes. Rounded on him, coming south, it passes from the north with an aversion to west, preserved for a later day. The Earth lies golden in the meantime, miles upon miles; long as the dark stays apart, opportunity not recede, nor the blood return from his brain, recycled toward his heart.

Such startles to aware, faint but still attentive the tentativeness of affection, its interrogative possibility wondering how does can will she …

Percipient lattice remote on her own, a pull of the tide irresistible as wool the cold hides carries him shoreward. She busied herself, sleeps, does not think but thinks, trying not to, not trying — the reverse inevitable if only she would know. He will wait for her, do for her, treat her to whatever she should permit. Yet he must persistently remind — both himself and she at her leisure — she receives little that he brings and that that comprise the plenitude of which he bears.

So, between words, few words exchanged, between casually uttered lines thus disguising their true degree of anxiety, he tends — to her, and she, though slowly realized, away from herself, gradually, to a distance no longer deprived of anonymous love.

 
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Why I Postpone Sometimes Opening My Mail

I do find it so hard to attain focus momentary as needed, which seems to require all the strength of concentration portable—rather as I suppose the ark (of the covenant) or the flag (when—or if—disposed to be captured), the work(singular) of literature intended to be saved—prevented from burning—to which Ray Bradbury first, then Francis Truffaut, followed by countless others, determined worthwhile risk expenditure of effort required each one knew and continues to know will die with them.

Consider it a gift to run afoul of time, even fail—for futility, minus one fricative, proves useful, in the end, to all those whose expectation forbids plausibility of disappointment.

Duchamp and the Dark-Knight

Marcel Duchamp (28 July 1887 – 2 October 1968) was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Duchamp produced relatively few artworks, while moving quickly through the avant-garde circles of his time.
The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.
Duchamp went on to abandon art and devoted the rest of his life to chess.

Dark-Knight Remove

How, then, as spectators, are we to decipher and, finally, if possible, interpret his “abandonment” of chess? Found object? And, as such, once found—to be true? Or false? (All artists are liars: I know because I am one.) The art of chess, like the art of art, it seems to me, extends by both logarithm and exponent, that is, directly and indirectly, in proportion to some anticipated response. Should such, as such, be given, what to make of “Étant donnés”? Peer through its peephole (mindful to peep, not of pee): am I bringing the aforesaid “external” world into contact with the “work,” or the interior one further interior; so: enlarged with the use of a plumb (remember the urinal and the Maine!) by concave, inverse means? Duchamp ceased to exclude from the precincts of art those inaccessible to the eye as they were on a chessboard. If partners in chess know whom they play, who does the artist? If the answer I anticipate ends in a draw with Duchamp’s, the “origin of the world,” he intimates—extrapolated by contemplation—makes voyeurs of us all.

Good-bye National Poetry Month!

Before that Aprille, shoures soote in tow, blows National Poetry Month entirely to the winds: capped not like a Happy Birthday! candle, by a circle of concerted zephyrs, but carried further, whither gusts ignorant either way, east or west, their prevalence tends—within sight of lilacs and dancing of the daffodils—only to be abducted by unruly metaphor . . . , I invite you to visit exitstrata.com, where in observance of this now fully mensis-long annual celebration devoted (as I am, eternally) to everything poetic—reality, most of all—I am honored to have had conferred privilege of singling out one of my many confréres and consoeurs for introduction to a wider audience and venture to suggest why.

Loathe Thy Neighbor

To One Witnessing a Neighbor Cutting Down Trees (Because He Did Not Like the Way They Looked)

I looked out my apartment window once, tremulous myself at the sound of a saw—and then I saw . . . my neighbor (no longer; I’ve moved since then, and before I did his blaspheming soul had been driven like sawdust to the cincture of particle board partitioning hell’s newest precincts (those yet under construction—like certain websites)—across the courtyard, slitting the wisteria’s throat: that which I had come to suspect, as one spring succeeded another, and its cascade of amethyst renewed my faith in some beauty beyond what I imagined (or dreamed). I addressed him, he replied, in not so many words, “it blots out the sun!” (He had a point—but, also, unfortunately, a saw.) I protested, vainly offering my praise as its excuse, but no clemency could be found. He cursed. He threatened me! (So passionate was I, I invited his reprisal, in the vine’s defense—now “God,” myself, to his sullen Abraham—and at 4’11”, my average age having been 13 all my life, a virtual oblation.) The vine came down, a whip to the ground, crack in my heart. But in the liturgy of loss, this begins anamnesis—I remember it.

Remember them.

A Roughage Proposal

Little known as the original, “Modest,” proposal remains, slower, still, to take hold, a sequel, long suppressed—some say it has been “retained” for further inquiry, pending release—“A Roughage Proposal,” commends the Brobdingnaggian cabbage, raw or sautéed in panacea, as means to rid the streets at that time of unsightly middens, which have since to general relief been channeled in most instances underground, though many remain visible on pay-per-view television, and potholes, which persist, unfortunately, to this day. Were the “material” it treats adverted, perhaps, on Facebook, sufficient in kind to a manner of “book proposal,” commanding adipose “like” for consideration as ornament to the online as the offline arena and marketplace, all at last might gain opportunity to share in the wisdom to be found on the mountaintop from which extent of every living thing becomes clear.

Inpatient of Job -1

I am an experienced writer, copyeditor, proofreader, and translator. I have worked in trade and academic publishing, advertising—general, financial, and pharmaceutical—Continuing Medical Education, and law firms. I also taught English as a second language to refugees for eleven years.

Much of what I describe had to be threaded between responsibilities as primary caretaker for my two children. Now, twenty-two and eighteen, their safe and creditable independence has for several years made return to full-time employment again possible for me.

I have ever aspired through my professional commitments to combine an aesthetic, creative dedication. Returned to publishing, with palette of eye and hue freshened, renewed, frame of reference embellished, refinished, and enlarged, skill set elaborated, tiered—I place an abiding, keen linguistic acumen (refined by graduate study, versed on the open, winding road of experience) at parallel disposition with acute graphical intuition and catholic, indefatigable curiosity: thereby, sowing broad vantage, reap maximal harvest. I want to write, edit, proofread, research, fact check—academic, medical, scientific—the range of specialized content.

Despite an assignation late, in actuarial terms, approaching mid-life, my romance with mathematics and science did occur, as is customary, in curricular context, although—somewhat surprisingly, after all—as teacher rather than student. I soon drew on the experience (formally teaching both subjects, however briefly) to enhance the variety (and season the interest, I trusted) pertaining to material presented, concurrently, as well as afterwards, the adult ESL students I taught. Methodologically, this strategy proved increasingly productive in distracting these burdened, often traumatized individuals from our real (potentially quite lethally tedious) quarry: living language. Prior editorial work—Population and Development Review, excepted—had proceeded by prescription (and, often, proscription) of trade and academic publishing. My own alignment, long notionally orthogonal to the humanities, coinciding and, therefore, coexistent, even symbiotic in perpetuation of an outmoded, crumbling, moribund paradigmatic divide, began then, gradually, in a mid-nineties classroom, to admit light translated from a different origin refraction through another medium. I could name flowers, birds, identify trees, distinguish certain constellations, X and Y chromosomes; solstice, equinox; mushroom, dandelion. Ignoring almost all actually going on inside them, scarcely aware how apposite analogy might prove, I could have rejoiced, had I known, in my new-found intuitive hold on both ends—infinitesimal and exponential—of the continuum hypothesis. Condensed, my knowledge of the physical world scarcely exceeded in scale that proverbially attributed to a grain of sand; in fact, barely visible in the palm of my empty hand.

When, on sabbatical, I pursued graduate study in linguistics, work attained full circle. Research and related theoretical writing merged with philosophy expounded through the narrator of a novel I had earlier left off—in direct proportion to my engagement as father. Services I now offer sustain the circle; to which passion for the sciences, undiminished, refines a certain grace and, possibly, contributes defining fluency and balance.

Inpatient of Job

With pre-emptive arm-length sweep, dismissive, alike, of cynical talisman and pejorative indisposition—desktop, to floor—I declare myself poet, at the outset. Worse (better, perchance), further gnarl the arguable outrage: dare invoke Greek root of such individual—typically, “doer,” “maker,” “creator”—ποιητης  (poietés). I have, in all respects—grown, in particular—and, to fullest extent perceived, feeling prompting reflection, endeavored both to enjoin volition so conceived and hatch plotted action. I am smart, funny, resourceful—and hungry. Who breaks eggs with me receives the baker’s dozen.

I am also a copyeditor with seasoned perspective, broad experience, diligence, initiative, curiosity (,) and talent. I have written obituaries, the fame of those deceased thrust on me at any early age (twenty-three), their notional experience long antedating my own: a solemn induction of pronounced sensitive challenge in circumstances peculiarly difficult, at least successfully, to overcome and on a deadline more intractable than any I had met at a university. “Live” subjects, too, animate and otherwise, ceded condign alignment, also without canard. Evolving as a teacher of language qua language, I pursued a curriculum as near as I could possibly devise to pure “thinking.” Principally, through Socratic connivance, in contextualizing the radius of thought, its index of motive and communicative expression; enlivened by pictures (realia), directed memory, imagined future, diverse topical aspect of inquiry (spiced intuition, sparked interest), generous provision of coincident grammatical apparatus—syntactical combinatorics, lexicon, physiological patterning of distinct sounds (“The Mouth Orchestra”)—complementary to articulating all: in essence, I aimed to deploy the fisherman’s adage, entrusting them with the fish vs. to fish paradigm.

I seek a position that more than rewards my work—redoubles my interest, makes me smarter, more capable, one I can be proud of. Optimum responsibility (and success ultimately achieved) in my last inexplicitly entailed familiarity with the exigencies of content management as redefined by substitution of sheer electron and social network for hot lead and glue. Ironically, I consumed an actual ream—minimum—of paper serving the convenience at my discretion plus an exponential thoroughness. But I did it in my spare time.

The Toothpick in the Cookie Jar

Just-in-the-Nick-of-Time Department

In reply to whoever (purporting to be Charles Darwin, I believe) observed on Albert Einstein’s–yes, that Albert Einstein’s!) Facebook page: “He was one smart cookie! Do you have a toothpick?”

The Toothpick in the Cookie Jar

Mention of cookies—whether smart, “creme”-filled or chocolate chip—within the same context as this honored man—champion of peace, noetic universality, and paradigmatic broadening of perspective—and his intelligence, or anybody else’s, confuses relative advantage obtained from a smart phone and data daily streamed from the Hubble telescope. To probe the context further with a toothpick only proves parody to an evident pastiche of singularity on a very small scale: perhaps functionally practical because pointed, however easily deflected, flexible—even flaccidly attentive to those spongy bits of gristle lodged in the gaps—though pointedly, too, ineffective, when both the gristle and the gap become so impenetrably condensed nothing gets in or can escape. Beset at last by alpha-and-omega tooth decay, the throbbing thing explodes.

Brains are terrible things to prick.

What I Do Not, This Summer

What I Do Not, This Summer

Summer does instill a wish I could live forever, persuasive at the same time why such is simply neither advisable nor possible—either, that is: eternal life or the season. Let the psychologically circumspect, take note: I do not suggest by this, one: the opposite, therefore, is true; two, any willful design in nature, however fallaciously pathetic, intends to frustrate my desire. It has, in ways equally resourceful and resourceless, done so, spectacularly, already. If immortality depends from ripeness adduced to a pick of jobs, it and summer compound luxury with an expenditure of frivolity I cannot afford—or much longer endure. Should the parable of cooler weather usher in chastened renewal of job opportunity—well, I am finally prepared to embrace secular religion. Hot weather induces plentiful justification for prayer, leaving all but a few unanswered.