Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Addresses are given to us to conceal our whereabouts

— Saki (H.M. Munro)
First you take a right after the vegetable seller's kiosk.
   The blue one.
Then you'll pass the school painted green
   by the way before the T-junction
Turn right, you'll find him
   just after the big mango tree on the left
If you get to the gold house with the black gate,
   you'll know you've gone too far

You can't miss him, his prose style is inimitable
There's no artifice, he's the genuine article
Elliptical, yet full of quips and surreal turns
When you read him, you feel as if you're with a friend

Deceptively deployed and unadorned,
   the language is unassuming
Yet, on a sentence by sentence basis,
   his writing is simply sparkling
But even with the arcane plots,
   his characters come out fully fleshed
Still, don't ignore those few hints in the dialog,
   he might be pulling your leg

M.C. Escher stairs

Addresses, a playlist

soundtrack for this note. The titles tell a tale of unanswered questions, lose yourself in the music (spotify version)
See also: Finding your way in a country without street addresses and newfangled addresses


A lovely documentary on the conundrum of addresses in Costa Rica.

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Writing log: January 31, 2022

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Ode to the Word Nuisant

Harmful, for though it made for the perfect rhyme
Its impact was marred by that red, squiggly underline
I checked, not only in that web browser,
But also in countless other word processors
The word is nary to be found in most dictionaries!
I'll admit a strong case of disbelief
For even in the authoritative one from Oxford,
I came to find it marked obsolete

Hurtful that such a perfectly good word
Would fall into this state of disrepair
So that future editors of my prose
Would be confronted by supposed linguistic error
An intimation of lack of care or poor grammar
Inattention and pretension in equal measure

Nuisant, as a word, it doesn't get much press
Forever prone to replacement by auto-suggest
Yet its plain meaning isn't hard to decipher
An apt weapon in the hands of a writer
And so it behooves me to take a stand
In favor of the adjectival nuisance
And pen a minor ode in its defense
This is plainly a nuisant development

"Harmful, hurtful; of the nature of a nuisance"

Oakland Container Port 124

Word, a playlist

A soundtrack for this note. (spotify version) File under: , , , , , , ,

Writing log: January 29, 2022

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Close Contact

A state of grace, a rarefied connection
Revealed belatedly the identity of your companion
Retrospectively located through track and trace
A fellow traveler similarly internally displaced

A fleeting encounter, side looks and glances
The human marketplace of second chances
Leading to a stolen moment of solidarity
A stare, recognition, and then complicity

Your lot in life, still, you were startled by the realization
Strange bedfellows you were, normally masked in alienation
Sporting badges of ambivalence, angst and dismay
And now to find a comfort suite in social interplay

A conversation that seemed as if it would never end
The joys of discovering you've made a new friend
Such are the pleasures of proximity, the virtue of presence
And the ease with which you share a comfortable silence

Floral Arrangement by Wiz - 1998

Closer, a playlist

A soundtrack for this note. (spotify version)

This note is part of a series: In a covidious time.

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Writing log: January 29, 2022

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Quality of Numbness

Please ensure that you're in the right tasting environment
Pleasant conditions are preferable for maximum enjoyment
Open yourself up to the experience of bearing witness
Dress casually to appreciate the quality of numbness

Sight evaluation is the first order of business
You'll learn how to describe the ingredients of catharsis
Start with a top view,
   examine the density saturation of the substance
Stare closely for a few seconds
   to imbue the essence of the absence

Then, visual inspection from a side angle,
   observe the color of shock
The oblique viewpoint will gather up all signs of discomfort
Over time, you'll recognize the shades
   that are said to be characteristic
The burden of the shadows can overwhelm,
   the way they move is mystic

Sip slowly, don't swallow unease as your liquid companion
Taste for yourself the astringency of alienation
Mature vintages will often leave you numb in contemplation
A result, it is said, of the intense period of fermentation

Savor the aromas of regret, the heavy burden of loss
Let the waves of disbelief wash over you, do not resist
Caution, take heed of spontaneous outbursts of cynicism
A rout of the soul often dampens one's initial enthusiasm

Scents are next on the agenda,
   but be mindful of your surroundings
With unbounded grief, you're apt to wallow in nostalgia
   and its misgivings
Try not to miss the cues,
   musty glasses are a sure sign of resignation
There is no simple formula,
   doubt can be balanced by complete immersion

Swirling around the tongue,
   you'll discover the flavor that lingers
It's much like a social disease
   this sense of communal numbness
After a taste of deficiency,
   you may find satisfaction ever elusive
Off kilter, the quality of numbness ensures a satisfying finish


Numb, a playlist

A soundtrack for this note (spotify version)
See previously: Rhythm of Loss and The Laws of Grief

This note is part of a series: In a covidious time.

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Writing log: January 22, 2022