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[DECEMBER 2015.]

It (the virus and everything else) is summed up quickest in saying that every time you go on vacation, the Archaïscher Torso pops out of the right margin like Clippy and says, “It looks like you’re on vacation. Do you want to change your life?”

Sick on Curtailment

“Fight’s over but I’ll fight on”—the inhibition, at 37, against simply writing down the song in one’s head is part of the problem, the lack of fluency.

In fact I don’t want to know the WiFi password. More harm than good.

The world outside, that one never got inside: it had much surface but very little volume. No one stayed long.

“You need something that makes money while you sleep.” You also need something that doesn’t steal your sleep.

I am getting old very efficiently.

Sours and sweets of exile. The schoolyard wish for retribution, never entirely softened, and the corollary wish to turn into a cactus. I can root between these rocks for centuries. No one will touch my watery heart.

Green Waste

I was glad to read a brief defense of rubbish by the lately passed Peter Dickinson, whose own books I never read though J. remembers them. We’re now reading Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown to R. the second time through. If she has her mother’s proclivities there will (I hear) be a couple dozen more go-rounds.

Someone put a glowing white cross on the top of Albany Hill. It must be seasonal but I am freaked out by its appearance in the rain.

The bicycle is timed to the minute. The shower. Get your pants on, kid, and no, we don’t know where your other fleece is. Out of milk. Then situate yourself in the workplace, remain in that known condition until it’s time, again, to time a bicycle to the minute, and no, no one bought any milk in the meantime. This is what we call the loom of duty; you wove it yourself.

Sometimes the days are too weighty for R. to stay awake through dinner. This evening I got to bolt back out of doors at six, spent a couple hours writing at a coffeehouse, a couple more writing with a good Belgian-style something at Schmidt’s Pub; when was the last time I spent four consecutive hours on anything? It was fruitful, yes, the way it often used to be. Came home feeling briefly very happy in the rain, a little like the hellebore that I planted out front on a slight slope not wholly shaded in summer afternoons. It would throw up shoots, the shoots turned yellow and brown and fell off, I gave it up for dead months ago. Today I noticed that the last weeks of clouds and rain had not only revived it but, apparently, generated it a whole new body from nothing. The vegetable soul, φύσις, conserves its virtue. It’s been damned hard to sprout this year.

More works, more days

KALX was playing a Hibernophile song called “Six Whiskies in Me”: not a great song but a great refrain, the internal near-rhyme and then in me, the satisfaction of a thing done.

I dreamt that my department at work had gotten involved with an engineering professor who had an incomprehensible piece of hardware called the ES-98765DX or some such; it was huge, no one understood what it did, my job was to write a driver for it.

We had a pet bilby living in the house. It was happy whenever R. was around. Alone with me it was distrustful and slunk off along the wall.


I did the pencil, R. the marker and watercolor. I’m pleased with how it came out, but she has impossible standards, and I hope they never change.

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