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Think it through

Think it through

Think it through
I need my baby girl
How do we help the country?
I just want my girl; everything else I just mean to want
But if my country fails, my happy home can never safely be
Especially such a big fat country as this one
How do we help the country?
I mean to care about things besides tackling some girl
Surely I do
It’s just this desperate hull with the timbers under too much pressure; I think we’re a wooden sailing vessel trapped in the ice in late fall as the sea is freezing and the ice growing; I think that’s the problem here.

Think it through
Take essence of the narrative that has you sick to your stomach
Marry it to a clear account of why a well-functioning liberal democratic republic is a spiritual good
Package it in matchless Beauty
Maybe then?
Who can forget that people have died face down in the mud to save democracy?
Who can forget that one’s fellows can’t even be bothered to think clearly and honestly for the sake of this same innate good?
What are we missing?
How is this not obvious?
This threat posed by Trump minus those who pushed against his worst instincts in the last administration plus those who have gone along with his anti-democratic words and deeds plus those who would rig the constitution to remove even more checks on his power. How is that not an obvious “No, thanks — thanks for offering, but you can go home now” for the citizens of this democratic republic?
And is it not obvious that with Biden you get more than a working chance at improving democracy?
And is it not obvious that to some degree citizens get the politicians they deserve?, that instead of sitting around pouting about how things are not quite as we wish they would be, we should be grateful for what we’ve been given and give back that little bit we’ve been asked to give: to share meaning well enough to serve as a meaningful check on madness, corruption, and evil in government?
We’ve got anti-missile defense systems that can capture who knows how many imminent bazillion-mph nuke-laden threats. But we can’t stop the obviously anti-democratic, bad-faith candidacy of Donald Trump.
What the fuck!?
I wanna die

Think it through
Wake up pawing and clawing for some dripping babe who isn’t there
And/Or tossing in frustration at some abusive man getting handed the keys to the most powerful nation in the world, a nation he would like to steal for his own pawing and clawing self — the democracy is in the way, but now he knows how to get rid of that little nuisance: “No more people who believe in democracy and rule of law more than they believe in sucking MY dick off and swallowing MY cum down their pretty little bitch throats. Simple as that.”

Think it through
When you feel an evil that is vague like ghost ships
because the political prisons and bankrupted dissidents and violently crushed protests and murdered protesters hasn’t come here yet still seems impossible may well be not coming who can say anything except that
this man is not worth the risk he is subjecting us to and
those who follow him are making a great mistake even if they come out on top a little while
in the end there is no winning in a land where you have to choose between telling the truth and protecting your family

Think it through
When you feel the waters rising
but the nation seems to slumber
When you feel yourself so jagged
and you hear the monsters rumble
A man a team a media of bullying and lying
And this nation torn tired ragged
What would you have me do God?
I’m so tired angry scared frustrated
sick with worry for like eight years now — off and on but mostly on —
and then also
that old dagger
through the belly
how I stagger
moanin’ tell me
tell me
I’m a man
pretty eyes
tender thighs
Let me sink in there where I can breathe something besides alone

Oh but I forgot — I need to save the country not grovel like this, grovel in desperate fealty to my own lonely flinch and gurgle urge
Ah but I forget — I … can’t … think …

Think it through

Authors: Mmmm
Editors: Huhhh
Production: B Willard & A Whistletown
Copryight/spiritual exhaustion: AM Watson

Proof #2

Proof #2

A further proof — in addition to the one offered in why you be blaming us — that blaming us is totes boges.

People need to stop tryin‘ to pin everything on Bartleby Willard and Amble Whistletown!

We already proved straight up no chaser once and for ever-all that each and every thing that ever was is and shall be is 100% God’s fault — either as the ultimate/external cause of all things; or, to the degree creatures are wise (centering their feeling/thinking/acting around the Pure Love shining through everything, including each conscious moment, and thus flowing off the Pure Love into life with minimal distortion) — as the proximate/interior cause (f/t/a never flows perfectly off the Godlight shining through each consciousness moment, so even when we are very wise, our actions are to some degree the fault of God-qua-ultimate-cause and never 100% the fault of God-qua-proximate-cause).

But now this time right heres and nows we prove that even setting metaphysics to one side, it’s none of it our fault, and y’all really need to step the fuck off!!

Oh but wait! We shouldn’t set the Great God — all that scrumptious Godlight — off to one side! That’s sacrilegious. Or, wait, not sure if being sacrilegious is a problem; but this here’s more fundamentally sacri-spirit, and that’s gotta be a problem! For sure. I’d think, I’d surmise I’d best-guess.

We’re not setting the divine mystery to one side — as if that were even possible! We’re simply demonstrating — live, for your edification, and in your face sucka! — that even were one to attempt the folly of supposing God away, one would still find no plausible argument to support the claim that Bartleby Willard — author of eternally relevant kicks and oh-so reverent giggles — and/or his editor Amble Whistletown are to blame.

Oh, Okay, then I guess, well, let’s hit ’em with the proof! Let’s knock their socks off and remind ’em who bought their fancy tennis shoes in the first blankety-blank-blank-bu-bu-blink place!

Exacts! And to wit:
The thoughts and feelings that enter a person’s conscious space — do we choose them or do they enter unbidden?

Well, gosh, I don’t rightly know. Thoughts and feelings are in there, and they all slide and jostle and squish and bleed around into each other. And in all that commotion-ating, sometimes I seem to feel myself as a will directing and selecting them. But am I existing and steering when I sense myself directing and selecting? And if so, what exactly am I steering? And how much?

Picture this — and all you haters back home, suck on this:
Your thoughts and feelings flow in and out of each other, inspiring new thoughts and feelings, and together influencing the development of the thinking/feeling within your conscious space. And at some point a feeling of “I’m going with this! Here we go!” wins out. And that’s the decision. But who chose the “I’m going with this!” feeling? That part of your conscious moment where you seem to sit and feel, and that seems to steer you conscious thought, and make decisions and take actions: does it choose feelings? Does it choose the feeling of “I’m going with this!” Does it make a choice and then the “I’m going with this!” feeling rushes in? But how would it make the choice? Wouldn’t it be via a feeling of something like “Yes, this, I’m going with this”? And so again: Did that part of you where you seem to exist as a conscious being choose that feeling of “Yes … “?

But is this not the same argument as why you be blaming us!? For if there is no Godlight shining through each conscious moment, then surely we are all just the bump and jostle of antecedent causes — be they physical, emotional, or intellectual. But add in a first-cause — an uncaused spiritual atom! — that sets everything in motion but also shines through and love-lifts everything, including each conscious moment: Well, then, in such a case, that self-caused and/or causeless spark would freely choose, and — to the degree the rest of one’s conscious space were well-organized around that Godlight — one would freely choose, rather than be just another jostle in an infinite series of jostles. But here again, we see that only God could ever choose anything, and that we would only choose to the degree we are God.

But wait! What if God made individual souls that were also first-causes, not of everything, but just of whatever vessel they inhabited?

Maybe, but those individual souls — being God’s direct creations — would be pure and good. So again, if you blame me for my dastardly deeds, then you blame not me, not my soul; but merely the mistake that my ideas and feelings have become, drifting as they have so far from my own soul. In short, you blame the happenstance, and how everything all together created a scenario in which my soul was decoupled from my mind/body. Anyway, I don’t think a created soul could be a first cause, since it was created by a greater soul. Although such questions range beyond human logic, and are thus speculative at best.

Suffice it to say, people need to stop blaming us for everything. They haven’t considered the depth of the human conscious moment — how difficult it is for one to figure out what aspect of one’s conscious moment is in any given moment steering the whole, and how impossible it is for others to assess that.

Yeah, but what is freedom? What steers?
Chance, fate, necessity, God, and in there somewhere also a spark of Godlight that is our own?
Surely not, surely all is one Godlight and we are one tapestry flowing over the Godlight, seeing It better in moments when the whole-flowing-together is wiser and worse in moments when it’s foolish-er.
Maybe. Who can know? You can’t measure this. You can’t riddle this. You can only live and die with this mystery.

Can you blame souls for not maintaining control of the conscious spaces they are in?
If so, maybe you could blame us for losing the rudder, for disengaging with the Light within and thus giving the reins of our conscious space over to the mindless bump and jostle of feeling and idea untethered from a cool clear presence in the Love that chooses everyone.

In any case, you can’t possibly know enough to blame or praise yourself, let alone Bartleby Willard and/or Amble Whistletown. So QED! So take it or leave it! So we’re outta here boyzzz

Author: Bartleby Willard
Editor: Amble Whistletown
Copyright: Andy Watson

where’s my girl

where’s my girl

where’s my little girl
in this labyrinth
where’s my pretty thing
and how can we unfurl
unspool come undone
together as we must
you and me we trust
the glow fire wild sun
that guides us into
and soaking all through
each other’s open space
what might I should I do
to find you make our place
in this strange shared dream
where souls through illusion
peer and would somehow lean
tight and clean in a Realer fusion
Come here little girl
Come tell me my world

Author: Unknown; and if known, suppressed
Editor: Disclaimed; and if claimed, denied
Creative Team Standing Back by the Windows Wringing Their Hands : Bartley & Amble
Copyright: Andy Watson

Essay Sought

Essay Sought

unable to write
the perfect essay
for today,
the essay
that would not only keep power
from Donald Trump and his would-be collaborators,
but would more fundamentally
move the mass of our collective feeling/thinking/acting
towards a
joyful, grateful, honest, thoughtful
reinvigoration of our shared democratic republic
and the universal values and spiritual Love underlying
the proposition
that all humans are created equal —–
unable to come up with the great essay we in great
panic and longing and fear and trembling
seek,
we began to consider Tenacious D’s tribute to the best song ever written.
Could something like that work here?
Perhaps if we could write down what essay we think would help here and now — what insights and informations it would have to contain, and what impact it would have to have on individual readers and on the wider shared discourse:
Maybe, we thought, maybe
an essay about the essay that would actually help us all right here and right now:
Maybe that essay about the helpful essay
could be of some help.
ughgh! hmmph!
enough preambling,
the water is cool
the creek floor is silty soft
sink down worn creek sneakers worn because of bits of sharp steel and jagged glass here and there
sliding smooth sneaker soles over smooth water-worn algae-fringed stones
merrily chasing terrified crawdads with outstretched hand and styrofoam cup
now knowing what I know
I wish the little segmented beasties the safety of the warm mudbank.
I don’t want them trapped in the reckless hands of my foolish youth

The essay we seek will sink
all the evil
It’ll show the spirit
of democracy —
a spiritual good
that allows us all
to protect what’s
most sacred to each
by agreeing to agree
where we already agree:
aware, clear, honest,
accurate, competent,
loving-kind,
joyfully-together
we build and maintain
systems that
reward good stewardship
with temporary
shared and constrained
power
and refuse power to those
who cheat, lie, break, steal,
who would plunder
our shared government
to king themselves
and checkmate the rest of us suckers.
strange self-appointed
political gods
who trade our freedom to speak without fear
for new rules that say
might is right and We’re the might!,
that
true and false are weapons
and nothing more
so you better shut up and
get with the program

The essay we seek will show
the nation and world
what Trump has done,
what his would-be collaborators
have schemed,
and
what we risk
by handing this man with those schemes
and cronies
the keys —
what risk we run with Trump;
and how outsized it is
in comparison to the risk we run
by running from Trump,
by turning aside
his id and the attitudes and ideas
that would strengthen
the weapons that would
from the inside out
dismantle
the rules, norms, institutions, and laws
that keep the people
at the helm
of their own ship of state

The essay we seek will make
this moment clear to all
will make Bill Barr remember
will make Mike Johnson recall
will make the guy with his arm on the bench back see
that democracy is good for us all
and Trump and MAGA have harmed and
will likely endanger and exhaust
and could possibly undo
our shared democracy,
which is a spiritual good
because it allows we the people
to serve as a final check against
madness, corruption, and evil in government.
By preventing tyranny,
democracy allows leaders and citizens alike to be decent, happy, and successful all at once! —
rather than constantly forcing the corrupt land’s choice:
“You’re fealty or your success and safety, and that of your family’s!”

The essay we seek will remind
us all that the way to make
things better is not by
destroying the systems that allow
us to jointly steer our shared fate.
The way towards
better
is found by a gentle refusal
to harm what is good or denigrate what helps
us all
think and feel
together.

Within a system of
equality under the law
that
lends limited power
from the governed to their leaders
for limited times,
we citizens of this
democratic republic
can share
enough Reality
— We are all in this together; bound in and through and for the Love without which nothing is OK, and with which everything is OK; and should seek, think, feel, and act accordingly (only to the degree I follow this inward path, are any of my feelings, thoughts or actions meaningful to me; and within this path is the insight that you and I are fundamentally the same) —
&
enough reality
— let us feel/think/act aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, loving-kind, joyfully-together (only to the degree we follow these universal values are our feeling, thoughts, or actions are meaningful to any of us) —
to
meaningfully share
both conversation and government.

We cannot share the Law
by telling each other how to find our ways to the Law.
That just encourages us all to lie about the most sacred things to ourselves and to others.
We share the Law
by sharing the rules, norms, and laws
that admit that no human is the Law,
and that all humans
have a duty
and a right
to seek the Law
in ways meaningful to them,
to follow the Light
where It leads them,
to speak Love as it moves them.
This is not radical permissiveness.
It is anchored in a system that allows individuals their freedom,
but not the freedom to hurt others or the shared rules, norms, and laws that keep us all safe by keeping tyranny at bay and by selecting for honesty, clarity, competency, and good faith.

The essay we seek
oh God
where is the essay
that would right this moment?
clarify these confusions,
remove this poisoned pill
from out our collective belly?
Where????

Would-be Author of this would-be work: Bartleby Willard
His Editor: Amble Whistletown
The copyright holder: Andrew M. Watson
Their hopes: broken, flailing, tortured upon the stretching rack and the twisting wheel — oh ye old fashioned methods for proving what is True and what is Good and what is HOLY!
What a convincing proof!
Not a valid one, just a convincing one.

About
Trump
and those who would encourage his dishonest destructive politicking:
Let’s not do anything about these desperate violent overreaches
except gently remove power and sway
from visions disconnected from the
Beauty
of a nation dedicated to the proposition
that all humans
are created equal
and
in this equality
deserve to share the rights and responsibilities
of a free people
freely speaking their thoughts, electing their representative, dreaming their world up together

That’s the beauty of democracy!
Peaceful gentle transitions of power — no one above the law; no one allowed to force his will upon the wider world, but all subject to the same norms, rules, and laws:
We hold these truths to be self-evident that all humans are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, including but not limited to, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
That’s the Beauty
we’re seeking
alone and together
in this
funny joke
about humans
finally
building and maintaining
a system of government
based on the Truth of fundamental universal equality — the kind that could only exist if Pure Love really was God of all.

*Review

*(for we’re all always a collection of forces tumbling towards more or less wisdom — with more wisdom equalling better syncing one’s feeling/thinking/acting up with the Pure Love shining through everything, including each conscious moment)

Thank you God

Thank you God

Thank you God
that I didn’t grow up in a war tide
Thank you God
that I didn’t watch everyone die
Thank you God
that I didn’t grow up in Russia’s world
Thank you God
that I didn’t learn to fear true words

I don’t know, God
what Trump and king-us-wonks
will here sow and grow
but I’m grateful for your songs
of freedom
for a land where we did show
our hearts our ideas our dreams

What do you want, God?
now the strange promises assemble
now the dark premises congregate
how will our wisdom ever be able?
how might Goodness push at Fate?

What can we now, God?
So tired and divided
So sure and sternly decided
So ready for victory
and unready for the story
felt and held with muck and blood
so long so easy, clear of the mud
clear of everything that stings
the body and thereby wrings
the soul out of a man
out of a me
out of a would-be
out of a could-be
out of a please-be
out of where I’d stand
to be a soul
in the whirl and tussle
of the tales we told
when we were allowed
for a brief shining space
to not be broken or cowed
it’s been a nice gentle place
it’s been a nice gentle time
we’d keep it if we could
but if we must lose the sunshine
we’ll still be glad as we should
still glad for all the fun we had
way back when democracy was obvious
way back when future held all of us
way back when God was inside
not forced down from outside
way back when we were young
a nice song, glad it was sung
a nice time, hope it’s not all done

Where are you, America?
Where are you anymore?

Arm Thing – Listen Again

Arm Thing – Listen Again

Put your arm thing around my shoulder
by Sludge Monster

What Good am I so Terrified
We enter the album
We enter the fear
We enter the fun controlled armchair spinetingle panic
We feel the swirling guitar drum pirouette
A few up-down swing chords are the suspense of looking back into the pitch black terror
Our narrator is ashamed of his fear; he told the crowd he killed the beast.
He lied.
The album begins with fear and trembling and bad faith
All in good fun
The forgivable failings of the silver screen
Anyway, who is up for a real monster?
They test us before we’re ready
If we were ready, they wouldn’t be monsters
[Contrast Kierkegaard’s fear and trembling in good faith — a leap of faith into God with the wariness befitting a finite creature seeking connection with the infinite; and fear and trembling in bad faith — a leap of faith into some (oh so finite) narrative about how you’re an OK dude]

Bad Trip
The fear continues
The music of being chased in a movie
The little bursts of sharp notes; the worried singing forward to the instruments (white foam on forward-falling waves); the blazing chords and again little bursts, the charging whispery percussions —
and for this we hear, I don’t like what I see … your son’s a freak … I had no choice
We feel like we’re running from a werewolf, but the narrator is ruing a past evil
“I ate his bones for the memories; I thought he’d be more care free”
The bad is trip is not the fear of the monster, nor the regret of being a monster eating another perhaps monster; no, the regret is that the bones of “your son” gave me a bad trip — by eating them I got his bad memories
What kind of a story is this?
It’s too lonely
when it unravels itself
like so many slopped-out intestines
onto this sawdusty packing house

A Dark Web
“They had a job for us; it meant a lot; I said yes; we’re on our way up”
The spare guitars and drums lead us down the dark winding staircase
Oh but no, I guess we’re outside, because we’re going to catch our death and should go back inside
Why do I in moments feel like that’s Casey on the drums and I’ve wandered back into At latl in the boxing ring?
A soft song, a soft python wrapping its gently expanding pressure all around your cute little self, so snug in the whole-embrace
Sometimes you are murdered by “a dark and terrible web” that “gained its consciousness” and “now steals identities and makes the real ones dead” — but is that so bad? Such a bad way to disappear, to be stolen and erased even as your swallowed and co-opted and misappropriated for dastardly deeds?
Maybe it is bad!
But I’m so tired, so tired by the easy going hopelessness of it all
A mouse struggles in the snake’s embrace until there’s only the peace of falling fast asleep in the forgetting land
“I am am I will I will …”
But then you just aren’t, cause you’ve caught your death and now its stealing gently gliding
The abuser and his victim

What about
An abuser who wins a nation by finding a gap in the defenses of those who’d rather not worship their own abuser
?
Off topic

To return

New Year New You
We’ve been proven cowards, and we’ve regretted sampling the dreams of our victims, and we’ve watched as a dark forced murders us as it appropriates our identities to use to further its evil rampage.
It’s only fair that we should get a little intermission music; and some peanuts.
We are overdue!
We need to be affirmed like this!
And this is reassuring, this is schmalzily reassuring music! Here’s a place where we can be hugged by the noise and accept these encouraging words!
Here we get our due!

Gross Job
Ah, but it couldn’t last
drum sticks bang together getting ready for the tumble
Choo Choo train rumble-forward-down-the-track drum and guitar
Almost like surf music, but the waves fall forward too fast — too fast to escape!
“they got one job / they come at night while you’re lazy / they crawl up in your head”
Oh, yes, those terrible monsters, those terrible little pincher-bugs, that terrible Khan, of course, the music must shove us into the hopeless confused whirl that ends in
gross
but not for us
cause now
we’ve forgotten
forgotten the very horror that rules our hearts, minds, bodies — forgotten what it was we lost when we became a desperate cockroach scurrying to simple pings of stimuli
a cockroach isn’t gross to a cockroach

Put your arm thing around my shoulder
birth of sludge monster?
I guess not; I guess just a resurrection gone wrong
like the hero of The Fly being zapped gone and then back but now not the same?
Or like a science-based resurrection — a recreation of the molecular order that had been our old friend?
Doesn’t matter the exact details
The song is so loving so poignant that it leaves the genres behind and becomes
a sad slow-melting spell
about loss
and the well-meaning attempts
to recover
life
and love
but
now
we can’t
fix it all
and sometimes
we’re left with a broken body
but still
our old friend
“welcome back my old friend / it is so good to see you again / put your arm thing around my shoulder / it takes a while to regain composure / you’ve got me for support / you’ve got me for transport / turn your head up to the sun / being alive is so much fun / feel the wind on your back / ”
And the music and electro-distorted voice so soft like gently falling rain or like a mother tugging her child into bed,
so sad
such a sad song
Does he want to be back like this?
“just different here and there / try not to stare”
Did Lazarus want to be raised from the dead?
Is it wrong to call the dead out of the land of shadows and silence?
“still a little groggy / been a while since he’s had a body”
What is the important part of your life?
If you come back as a sludge monster with sad eyes rising over a gentle green mountain stream, is it better to not come back at all?
And if Dean’s back all mangled-forms and sleepy-eyed sorrows, what are his friends to say?
But the right thing to say is always
welcome back my old friend / it is so good to see you again / put your arm thing around my shoulder
A sad song, a difficult song, for the riddle it poses forces us to admit we’re not strong enough to carry this life, and yet if we don’t say “put your arm thing around my shoulder” to everyone always, we’re just being absurdly mean and boring, so boring

Reverse Polarity Touch Mainframe
The gentle trickling stream music and the careful, persistent vocalizations, some kind of eulogy
for human fallibility?
for those moments when it seems like you must act but aren’t sure how to?
And did you have to act after all?
A slow waltz around a veteran recount his battle
“water on the circuit / any way you work it?”
“are you sure, so sure / this is right?”
Really stretching out the “sure” into a so Sho-ore
A little one-man play about the time the space commander shorted the mainframe?
Or maybe the moment when you have to connect wire A or B to terminal C or D, and the one connection saves everyone and the other destroys everyone?

Comments Section
The music continues the sad, dripping, sliding, lamenting style of the previous two songs
And the narrator speaks of not knowing the facts “so worked up / so darn sure / close to giving up / close to shutting the door”
Another lament about certainty misplaced?
Another lament about being creatures with limited insight but who honestly feel like they should make decisions, make choices?
What is a “Comments Section”?
Like a movie comment thread?
People getting worked up in the echo chambers of fan threads?
Details aside, a song about the slow sorrow of some basic human failing showing itself, some basic sore spot worn raw and obvious once again?

Dude, Look
Steady drum
Ethereal chords misting-up and falling down around the drum
A soft, haunted, worried narration
“they’ve got magic and technology”
The dude’s an idiot because he doesn’t see that “they put on a dark ritual / it is misguided and it is spiritual”
“I don’t even care if we die / I just need to know that you rec-og-nize / there’s an ugly-eyed creature chasing you and me / this is anything but a hyperbole”
Feels political evil, feels like stating the obvious about a the authoritarian play running through the US American right
But sad more than angry; that confused exasperation of those of us who think Trump II is a crazy risk to subject our shared system to: such great risk, and for what???
Feels like political evil; could be here and now, could be on Mars with the crazed Martians preparing to feed our heroes to a giant monster in a pit for a ritual killing to make things right with a God they’re fundamentally misunderstanding

Concerns about raising the dead
A soliloquy, acted with a gentle persistent pathos, framed with spare guitars that build around gurgling base
You feel the Frankenstein’s monster tromping in the dark stone-walled and -floored castle keep
“You should try me again sometime / I’m not so far gone — no not yet”
“I can change my mind …. I must just come around”
“Folks get prickly / they don’t really like this change”
The footfalls are the mad scientists?
Guitars gushing up around the steady drum beat
what is this ending bit with the repeated guitar “waah” over the steady drums?
And then the narrator’s voice takes off with the sound, with no language
Is this really a man who can change his mind?, really a man who’s not so far gone yet?
We have our doubts
What is all the point of his great ambition?
What is the point of mad scientists and fervid politicians and everybody so sure of their calling that they allow themselves to reason away what is deeper and wiser than reason — the common faith of a gentle Love that’s infinitely greater than all our great ideas?

Angry Ghost
Catchy, makes you sway
trippy
Easy grooving
But the story of this angry ghost is a little worrisome
“and the souls of insects” has something to do with ghosts?
The ghost doesn’t seem angry; seems like one of those sad ghosts that comes back to try to connect and help their loved ones
“try not to think of their powers / can’t make sense of what they have won / try not to make sense of the towers / there is nothing that can be done”
what is weaving in and out of this narrative?
A song about letting go?
What is the mirror that can’t be cleaned?
What is dirt like you’ve never seen dirt before?
What is the stain, the sin, the sad hurt that keeps the dead tethered to this world?
The dead should move on to the infinite Love that explodes all mundanities to smithereens
Go on, sad ghost, go on, go on home — we’ll be alright here for as long as we must remain cardboard cutouts slowly turning to mulch in these rising waters

Anger Goes Away
Spacey drifting synths, like landing on Mars in a black-and-white rickety cardboard and spray paint landing craft
The narrator says “with my unpracticed powers, I will restore you”
I guess he’s going to use a carbon shifter, a guitar, lightning, and power cells
“I engage the power cells / watch the surge go down your spine / and the anger goes away”
It seems like Frankenstein jolting his monster into life, but instead of “it’s alive!” we get “and the anger goes away”
Music is laser arches and lightning bugs
I guess all is well that ends well

Live Blog – Sludge Monster

Live Blog – Sludge Monster

Live blogging the new Sludge Monster album
Put your arm thing around my shoulder
[Originally posted May 5, from about 1:30PM-2:30PM]

What Good Am I so Terrified
round round
up down
seeking
what?
“what good am I so terrified”
the narrator runs scared over the racing suspense music
we dodge and turn
through the moving pictures
the dark night

Bad Trip
“I don’t like what I see”
music still racing, worried, The Strokes a little like
We are worried we are swirling
we are not sure what is going on
the music becomes mechanical bubbles and spaces out with flutes
we are reaching with the narrator after
“visions intensified”
What does he see?
What’s the thing with the demon voice?
And what was he compelled to?
And are these flutes fluttering in at the edges and into the center for a moment here and there?
A bad trip?
Drug?
Vacation turned monster movie?
Hope turned heartache?
He said he had no choice.
But that’s what people always say after its too late to choose better
Still, here we don’t know
Maybe there were real monsters, demanding real action, and even with the dust cleared, the mistakes made, and the bodies lying this way and that, we’d have to say that, to be fair, we couldn’t have handled the situation any better: a truly unusual, remarkable, difficult situation — what with the fast-approaching monsters and the quick-narrowing options and the low visibility and moral ambiguities and one tough call following another so you’ve no time to well-consider any of them

A Dark Web
Dreamy guitars, spaced drum beats
A speeding up down the channel, caught in the current
That’s no channel! It’s an irrigation ditch — you shouldn’t play there
What’s he saying?
“I am I am”
“I will I will”
“I can I can”
Groovy, but “you’re gonna catch your death” / “nowhere to hide”
fun teenage monster movie sexy fun goes gory fun
What has “gained its consciousness this dark and terrible web, and now it steals identities and makes the real ones dead; it took my best friend, a kind and trusting soul, who could read the future’s promises, and was taken by a troll … dang ”
What happened here? The web is a spider monster’s lair?
The web is itself the monster?
A monster that gobbles your body from the inside-out and inhabits your saggy flesh?
And this friend with a trust greater than his prescience, and so now just another victim in the catalog of the not-quite-main-characters
Where are we now? We are “dang”; but it’s too late to change where we’ve landed; the movie’s ended

New Year New You
Show-tuney
Bobble your head, dare to dream of a “New year, new you”
All the possibilities!
But who wants to chase geese?
Who has that on their wish-list?
Only dogs, mostly just dogs
Is a dog grinning and swaying side to side in this alt-rumba?

Gross Job
“they got one job; it’s crazy / they come at night; while you’re lazy / they crawl … up … in … your … head”
Oh not those monsters!
The ear ones! The brain stealers and melters! Gross!
And so like getting older alone in the woods or on the park bench in your boxed apartment in your sardine can

Put Your Arm Thing Around Me
Spacey, dreamy, long chords, distorted voice alien planet landing gentle and careful touchdown with wide landing feet
Some kind of love “my old friend”
What has happened? He was anti-mattered and reassembled?
“a little different here and there” / “try not to stare” “Put your arm-thing on your shoulder / it takes a while to regain composure / you’ve got me as support”
Ethereal, longing, loving, these broken pieces put back together
Oh, the beginning, was “he’s a lot like his old molecules / just different here and there” Is it like The Fly when you come back together in a way that doesn’t go well?
No, it’s just him; but “anti-matter to matter is weird”
And the music is sparse, the voice electronic and spaced, gentle, putting on a brave face, “welcome back, my old friend, it’s so good to have you back”
Oh! Why?
Why the crumpling-up of our forms, the cruelty of change, of hurt, of broken
and yet
what a friend we have in Jesus and everyone else who just says, “it is so good to see you again”, and leaves it at that — at the only thing any good

Reverse Polarity Touch Mainframe
Are we waltzing, are we twirling around the dance floor?
A few piano key-notes to walk down the wide winding stairs in our showgirl outfits with real ostrich feathers
“water in the circuit / any way you work it / how is joy so close to terror? / are you sure, so sure this is right?”
The danger of human certainty, of rash human actions, of rushed human contact
I am wondering where we are in the slow waltz down through the hall, trapped in the info world I guess in the tunnel of ideas connected to off/on impulses

Comments Section
Movie intermission
Easy going Notes zig zag up and down slow and spaced wide the cha cha beats travel up and down but we’re just waiting to hear from you
A voice finally walks in, with a motion in between speech and song “sitting back / making sense of the struggle / don’t know the facts / a little late to the ? / so what the / so darn sure / close to giving up / close to shutting the door”
And back to banging and sawing now with the guitar suggesting upward and downward What did we learn? Must we comment?
But we want to participate in the culture!
We want to push back on the stimuli! We want purchase on this shared dreamscape! We want to be heard
We want to sound like somebody
no, we just want, to not be so alone, so much like fodder for losing, maybe better to shut the door, maybe better to make like a snail and slime back inside

Dude, Look
“Du du dude, you are an idiot / du du du why don’t you see that?”
“They’ve got toxic sludge and radioactivity / there’s an ?ugly-A? creature chasing you and me”
“du du dude, you drive me wild / du du du you are a child”
What is going on here?
The music is stalking the listener
What is the “dark ritual” they’re putting on?
“I don’t care if we die / I just want you to recognize / there’s an ?evil-eyed? creature chasing you and me”
Well, for those of us who wake up at four am worried about the United States sleepwalking into a Trump-centered, but willing-wonks-organized dictatorship; this song feels like our last many years, like, “COME ON! WILL YOU OPEN YOUR EYES!”,
but I mean, it’s also a common lament of monster movie watchers — the fools not realizing that the monster is stalking them, that the creatures are coming for them, so obvious to us with our popcorn and soda with our arm around our girl or just on the empty ragged sofa where nothing ever happens

Well, America, some people fight in the mud for democracy and freedom and not having to be afraid of government reprisals if you speak out against your government; all you’re being asked to do is pay attention, be honest, avoid obvious errors, push away from thugocracy and related incompetencies (you’re good at what you prioritize: thugocracies prioritize holding power, and shoving everybody who disagrees down into the dirt deeper and deeper past the point of pain deep into dying alone and broken) and chose the imperfect-but-workable over grand schemes of infinite perfections and grand pouts of “it’s all the same / nobody loves ME good enough anyway”; that’s all you’re being asked to do — please do it

Concerns About Raising the Dead
A high lamenting voice falling down onto the steady rocks of base and drum
“You should try me again sometime / I might just come around / I’m not so far gone, no not yet / I might just come around / I can change my mind”
This is the rat-maze-looping thought of a mad scientist This is the dark jagged walls hanging at odd angles to frame his desperate seeking after that great victory science for infinity’s sake
Who raises the dead? only “the almighty”?
Or can a human with a clear hand restart a life lost? Is death but an interruption that doesn’t ever end? And might we crunch courageously to a reopening of the eyes and mind?

Angry Ghost
“I’ve seen hurt like this before / can’t get this mirror clean / there is an angry ghost making your ears bleed many times”
How is this ghost “in the shower”, “on the pillow”, “traveling on his commute” “between breathing and the floating air and the souls of insects” ?
“I am one of those sensitive dance kids helping a mom and dad remembering what they had”
“I’m ready to be buried deep in the garden”
The words drop like slow molasses
The music goes round and round like a witch’s cauldron is stirred “confused by it / abused by it”
What is going on? How can a banshee move so gently and softly like this song flows, as it circles in eddies, and then breaks free to go easily carefully forward “hurt feet / sunburned head / look of despair / look of despite / and the ways they lie / the ways they lie / my knees feel weak / my heart feels funny / when you give love / when you …”
He “can’t get this mirror clean”
He’s not “seen dirt like this before”
The ghost and his musical home feel more sad than angry
But sorrow has a way of lashing out, especially if one’s audience can only see you as ugly, as drifting, as tatters, as cruel rags

Anger Goes Away
Merry go round? Quiet siren? Sad siren?
“Dusting off my carbon shifter, I pick up my guitar / and I’m connecting the lightning; I feel the charge shock my lips / I engage the power cells / watch the surge go down your spine / and the anger goes away / and the anger goes away”
Does it, though?
If it drifts away and dissipates like this wide-spreading music, does that mean that the anger is gone? Or has it just grown tired and quiet, temporarily forgetful of itself but not gone away?
What healing magic can we expect from the electrical reanimation of a stitched together mess of corpses?
I don’t know, but we don’t disbelieve the narrator, we don’t dispute his claim that the anger goes away, that the mad scientist and his mad creature have resurrected one another into the gentle joyful fold of sentient sympathy of aware eye-in-eye insight into the Love within each one
We think, OK, sure, sounds good, the anger, okay, sure, it can go away, the monster and his creator don’t have to be sharp edges dangerous jags crooked lines, they could be happy, calm, gentle, abiding in the Love that makes life Real

Live Bloggers: Bartleby Willard & Amble Whistletown
Copyright: Andy Watson

Like any other

Like any other

I saw you gazing all-after that woman, young, her fertile curves and bright eyes radiating the eternal beauty of youth-in-time.

When?

And you said in your heart, “Come here, and be my little girl!”

I don’t think so! I don’t think hearts are even capable of speaking

Deep in your heart of hearts you declared, “Get over here, I am going to cuddle your brains right out!”

I don’t remember that.

And isn’t that outward ogling and inward leaning — or should I say, outward desperate grasping and inward desperate collapsing?! — the true bedrock of all your grand metaphysics, your spiritual politics, your selfless salvationating of the nation!?!

What? This is ad hominem! It’s a logical fallacy.

No, it’s tugging down of the curtain to reveal the same old monkeys at the same old levers.

No! Well, our Something Deeperism does account for both the mundane and spiritual elements within human beings. We human-things require meaningful insight into a Reality that is ultimately bound in and through and for spiritual Love: To the degree we lack such an insight, nothing makes sense and life tastes like soap. But human meaning is in large part made up of feelings and ideas. Therefore, we can only be meaningful to ourselves to the degree we can discover and relate our feelings and ideas to a spiritual Love shining through each conscious moment. Therefore, we can no more escape our mundane gears and levers than we can escape our need to found that whole wretched contraption upon spiritual insight and joy.

You just want the same thing as everyone else: a happy little safe little cozy little home with your little girl in your selfish little me-and-mine world!

No! God forbid! Well, we’ve often observed that people are iffy. We mostly just want to sneak off into our own private happinesses with family and friends. We want spending money from meaningful work, but also free time and down time and me time and chill time — all wrapped up in pretty homes, cool threads, nice families, fun trips, good food. We’ll have idealistic phases, but most of us decide pretty soon that we don’t really have too much timespace for anything except our own little gardens. And even our most ardent idealisms are generally moderated by our love of comfort, and/or perverted by the persistent human daydream that our longing for Absolute thriving and security — which can only be meaningfully answered by an Absolute, that is to say: a spiritual, Love — can be meaningfully answered by some kind of material and/or mental Absolute Victory — some grand story about romance and/or cozy home and/or happy family and/or glowing skin and/or big career and/or political power and/or … . But those human follies are all the more reason to choose Something Deeperism: Something Deeperism works with people as they really are: it sees our strengths and weaknesses, and works with our strengths to overcome our weaknesses.

What strengths? What weaknesses? You’re just jonesing for a pretty face to tell you that you’re better than you deep down know yourself to be.

First of all: I don’t jones! I don’t even know what that means. I can’t keep up with the jonesing.
Second of all: Our strength is conscious spaces wide and watchful enough to meaningfully relate the mundane — the hoots and hollers of animal passions and beetle-brained worries — to the spiritual Reality — the Pure Love that creates, sustains, love-lifts, and shines through this interrelated explosion of happenstances called “reality”. And our weakness is our longing to answer our vague longing for always-safer, always-more-thriving, always-more-certainty, et cetera with material/mental goods. The vague longing can of course only be meaningfully answered with spiritual growth, because we can only have perfection insofar as we are one with perfection — which is not a material or a mental thing, but is only the Love beyond all ideas and feelings, beyond all our daydreams about, “If I can just get, or do, or say, or know, or blah blah blah xyz”.

“Come here, baby, I need you like a enraged hand needs a smothering glove; and I am only too willing to admit it.”

Look. I mean. You have to understand!
People are iffy, but
It remains true that
(1) We all are meaningful to ourselves only to the degree that we
(a) follow the universal values (aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate loving-kind, joyfully-sharing),
(b) address the fundamental questions (what is really going on?, what really matters?, what is love?, how do I fit into what is going on so as to best accomplish what really matters?, how to best use my love?),
and
(c) follow the standard spiritual practices (meditate, pray, study, contemplate, fellowship, serve; but most of all practice loving kindness — the gentle resolve to know ourselves and everyone else as we really are: feelings and ideas arranged around Pure Love) —
And that
(2) all of that is only meaningful to us insofar as it is grounded in and helps us to better and better organize our feeling, thinking and acting around the Love that chooses everyone — the spiritual Love that is enough for all, with infinite Love left over. The Love bursting out the seams of every moment.

I’m going to take a time-out here to go back to the locker room and rally my team for a less boring second half.

As I was about to conclude slash slam-dunk:
Because we are iffy — neither so wise as to be confident of our own goodness, nor so foolish as to have no idea what “goodness” might look like — we ought to adopt individual philosophies that help us to grow our relationship to spiritual Love;
and we ought to adopt group philosophies that
(1) allow us each to grow our own relationship to spiritual Love in a way that is meaningful to us,
and that also
(2) allow us to work meaningfully together by together remembering
BOTH that
(a) all humans share the universal values, fundamental questions, standard spiritual practices, and the spiritual Love without which nothing is OK and with which everything is OK
AND that
(b) all humans share the fundamental error of confusing mundane notions with spiritual insights — confusing our stories about ourselves with the Absolute Perfection that we, whether we admit it in words or not, all cannot help but seek.

What? How’s that supposed to work?

How’s what supposed to work?

Any of it. Especially the last bit. What group philosophy is going to allow us to all find the Truth in a way meaningful to us; and also allow us to work meaningfully together by creating a framework that acknowledges and works with the essential, spiritual sameness of all human beings, as well as our shared weakness for labeling — in some manner and degree aloud and in some manner and degree in confused urges — our own feelings and ideas as “THE GREAT AND ETERNAL ANSWER/TRUTH/GLORIOUS-VICTORY!!” ??

Something Deeperism is the best philosophy because it is a verbalization of the philosophy that all humans already follow deep inside.

How now?

We all know none of our worldviews are meaningful to any of us except to the degree that they help us to live in and through the Love that chooses everyone. And we all know that the universal values, fundamental questions, and standard spiritual practices can help us keep at the essential human task of better and better organizing our feeling, thinking, and acting around the Pure Love shining through each human moment. Well, it is more accurate to say: We know we need such a Love and for It to explicate the universal values, fundamental questions, and spiritual practices; and so we know we should seek to find and better and better relate to a spiritual Love shining through each conscious moment, and that that seeking should be bounded by fidelity to those values, questions, and practices; and we also know that since we’re seeking to relate our finite ideas and feelings to an Absolute Love, the process will be an imperfect, ongoing one — requiring constant self-analysis, -critique, and -adjustment.

Let’s grant for the sake of ending this conversation in the near future, that we all know that we need to abide by the universal values, meaningfully address the fundamental questions, and make some meaningful use of the standard spiritual practices — most fundamentally the practice of loving the Light with all we are and seeing that same Light shining through all others. And that we need to do all this in the service of better and better discovering, relating to, and following a Pure Love shining through each conscious moment.

OK, great. I’ll grant that. I was actually arguing for it. Just perhaps, I mean: let’s remember the caveat that we’ll never perfectly relate feelings and ideas to what is prior to feelings and ideas; so what we’re seeking is an ongoing, self-critiquing and -correcting organization around and poetic (meaningful but not literal, definitive, or certain) interpretation of Pure Love — not some daydream about literally capturing the Truth once and for all in our scrawny little hearts and minds (conscious space is perhaps infinite, but human hearts and minds are decidedly finite).

Right. So, granting — for the sake of time and energy — that Something Deeperism is a good philosophy for individuals to adopt, we move on to the difficulty of a shared / public Something Deeperism. How do we create a system for meaningfully sharing feelings, ideas, responsibilities, and powers not just within a human conscious moment, but between human conscious moments? You’ve said the system should acknowledge our shared nature as creatures that imperfectly relate the spiritual to the mundane, and it should exploit our core strength — i.e., we have conscious spaces capable of meaningfully relating mundane ideas and feelings to spiritual Love — and mitigate the damage done by our core weakness — i.e., we can never perfectly relate our ideas and feelings to spiritual Love, and we all to some degree always confuse mere ideas and feelings with The Great Answer to Life, which is not any specific idea-feeling combo, but is instead the gentle, ongoing, imperfect, self-critiquing and -correcting work of trying again and again to better and better live in and through and for the Love that chooses everyone.

Yes, I’ve said something along those lines. Deep down, we all know we need to relate our ideas and feelings to the Truth for them to be meaningful to us, and that we all to some degree confuse our own notions for the Truth; and that we therefore need to adopt philosophies and create systems and put ourselves in situations that help us get better at relating ideas and feelings to the Truth rather than pretending they are the Truth — both as individuals within our own conscious moments and as groups between the conscious moments of all of us.

Indeed. And we’ll grant Something Deeperism is the best individual philosophy because we’ll grant that it merely describes what we all know deep inside in our psyches and our hearts and our bones and perhaps even in our souls. But what kind of a philosophy, system, and situation can do that for groups of people, for nations states even?

Liberal representative democracy, founded on the insight that we humans are all in this together, and all have inborn, indelible rights including, but not limited to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It’s a good system of government because
(A) it allows everyone to seek the Truth in ways meaningful to them, and to think about and discuss both the spiritual Truth and mundane truths without fear of reprisal — what good is a “Truth” or “truths” you voice only to stay out of trouble? — ;
and because
(B) by
(1) limiting individual powers
and
(2) — via regular fair elections and free speech — allowing the citizens to serve as a final check on madness, ill-will, incompetence, and corruption in government WHILE these citizens also all together help steer their shared government & shared conversation;
liberal representative democracies involve all citizens
(it is important to involve everyone: how can we share responsibility if we don’t share power?; and how can we meaningfully relate to each other or to our shared government if we don’t share both?)
in a system designed to safeguard
(A) the universal values
(Those values without which no one’s worldview is meaningful to anyone, and without which no one can believe in their own ideas and feelings, nor their group’s collective actions. These values are therefore the natural common denominator for groups of individuals to agree to together prioritize. Of course, we cannot perfectly together safeguard aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate, loving-kind, joyfully-sharing because we often lie to ourselves and others about such things. However, since we are dealing with human values rather than spiritual revelations or inward religious sentiment, we can at least to some degree jointly monitor how well we are implementing these values in our shared conversation and government.)
and
(B) a form of government where free people to seek the Truth and truths in ways meaningful to them; and use their insights to together nudge their nation away from the worse and towards the better.

In this way, a well-functioning liberal democratic republic selects for helpful behavior (for honest, clear, competent thought and action in the service of win-wins — in the service of what’s best for all / and against corruption, madness, ill-will, and incompetence) and thereby fosters an environment where people can have their cake and eat it too — where one can be both decent and successful.

Contrast this with a thugocracy, where might makes right, and “truth” is whatever you have to say to stay out of political prison; where the only “competency” sought is getting and staying in power; and where you either have to acquiesce to a system of unchecked crime that seeks not win-wins but winners-crushing-losers, or you have to risk the material wealth, health, and safety of yourself and your loved ones.

A liberal democratic republic is a spiritual good.

Authors: BW and AW
Editor: AW
Copyright: AM Watson

Why the same essay over and over?
Never get it quite right.
How to get it right enough?

Individual Something Deeperism suggests we individual conscious spaces can and should better and better organize our feeling/thinking/acting around Pure Love, and in this way interpret what is prior to f/t/a better and better into f/t/a — but that of course this process cannot be literal or definitive, but must rather be a poetic, ongoing task.

Group Something Deeeperism would do the same, but widen the scope to coordinate individuals better and better around Pure Love, that they might better and better together follow Pure Love. But groups are different than individuals. And so different procedures and safeguards are needed for individuals and groups and for groups of different sizes. We nominate liberal representative democracy for governments because we think they can

Selling Books

Selling Books

You know how some authors publish books and then other people buy the books and read them and are struck by their merits and enthuse about and gloat over them privately and also speak of them to their friends and acquaintances in glowing terms along the lines of, “You should check this book out! It’ll shift your perspectives, widen your horizons, enliven your soulfire! You should give this book a try. I am proud of myself for having discovered it and for being ripe for the Beauty of its multitudes, and I am excited for you to read it and then infer from my recommendation that I am intellectually savvy and spiritually aware!”
?

We were thinking we would like to do that, to publish those kinds of books. But what kind of books are those? And is it possible we’ve already published one or two of them, but nobody knows because everybody’s just gotten so in the habit of never reading our books that no one knows about our great literary accomplishment(s)?

Hard to say. We’ve written a lot of books, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve written any good books.

Let’s go over our books and see if there’s any that simply need a little publicity to take their place upon some high, exalted rung of world literature. Or maybe we have a book or two that’s close to being timeless art and just needs a little tweaking.

Our first two books, First Loves: Love at a Reasonable Price Volume One and First Essays are generally understood to be failures. The former a few people started but no one finished reading; the latter no one started to read.

So then we combined the more readable stories (of the manufacture, marketing, and sale of Pure Love) and essays from those volumes, along with advertisements for Pure Love, some poems, and a few other readable writings from our websites. The resultant book was titled, A Readable Reader, and though almost no one has heard and believed this proclamation, to this day (four years and three days after the current version’s publication date) we believe this book to be readable, and perhaps even worth reading. However, the writings within this book are from like twelve to five years old; they count as a reader-friendly collection of our early works; and as such, it seems kind of sad to lead with this book — as if we’d not managed anything any good in recent years. Furthermore, how often do collections of stories, essays, and Pure Love advertisements capture the hearts and minds of sizable portions of the reading public?

Our fourth book Superhero Novella was published (most recent version) in February of 2020, making it actually our third book, yet it is clearly our fourth book because it was written in the summer of 2019 — years after the bulk of the material in A Readable Reader. Superhero Novella was a stunning almost-success. Its few readers — including its author and editor — agreed that it had great moments, and some memorable characters, but that the protagonists were rather too similar to each other and to the narrator, and that in some spots the story drags a bit. There was also at least one criticism of the hero as being too flawed to gain the sympathy that make readers want to travel with a hero through his or her tale. But we feel like there were lots of protagonists worth hanging out with and rooting for, and that even this at-least-once-maligned hero turns out to be alright in the end. Anyway, for this book to sell like hotcakes, we’d need to redo some of the characters. Picture a shower floor that has not been pitched correctly. You have to take up the tiles, and do some combination of chipping out the cement and adding in new cement to get the pitch correct, and then try again with the tiling. Now imagine a shower maker who has never learned how to work with cement in any convincing way. And so, unsure of how to create full-and-well-alive characters and thus wary of any attempts at dismantling and recreating characters and the fictions built atop them, we’ve set this book to one side for some time. Anyway, whoever heard of a best-selling novella? I mean, sure, could happen, has perhaps happened here and there. But for unknown authors, leading with a novella in this time and place seems like a good way to remain unknown.

Our fifth book — and here we’re confident of the ordering of the books — was Fixing Frankenstein, a fluffy bit of fan fiction. Or is it? Maybe there’s some value in rewriting this classic work of fiction with a narrator with a drive exactly opposite to that of the eighteen-year-old Mary Shelley. Where young Mary demanded tragedy, middling-aged Bartleby demands happy endings; and Fixing Frankenstein is a study in the tension between these two literary impulses. Furthermore, the rewriting of King Lear to a quick and happy close is poetically fun and not without intellectual merit. And finally, who else is going to send the protagonists of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to prevent Goethe’s Werther from killing himself in any tongue, let alone in the original language of Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers? However, we’ve never read this book all the way through, and there’s a lot of hyperlinking from the original storyline to our interventions and back to the original story line. We’re not even sure the book technically works; nor have we given it a thorough aesthetic once-over. So we should read it all through sometime; and the fact that we don’t ever get to that read-through suggests to us that the book will bore everyone. Still, maybe it’s good; we just don’t know. And so we set it to one side and move on down the list.

The first part of Diary of An Adamant Lover (book #6) was written like 2015; and then we picked up again at some point; and then in the summer of 2023, we created a second half that is most charitably described as “experimental” and least charitably described as “more of the same old philosophical obsessions and political bellyaching”. So, well, hard to say. The first part moves along nicely, we think. And then, well, we thought we could wake the nation up to the dangers of Donald Trump while simultaneously providing us all with a philosophy that would reinvigorate democracy by helping us to share the essential reality by remembering that deep within we already share both Reality and the universal values that connect that Reality to our various realities. And so the book, well, the book — also, we wanted to speak of the Hurt. In short, the book is an interesting snapshot of our shattered little souls and so some kind of art — but does it have mass-appeal? We don’t know. We’re tired. We’re lonely. We set the book to one side.

The seventh book Bartleby Willard and Amble Whistletown have released into the wide world is Manchild of Elfland, part 1: Rumors of Love. Now this book has a plot and also, we believe, distinct characters. It’s a fantasy novel, but with Bartleby’s incessant metaphysicking, but much not so very incessant. So it’s Bartleby Willard, but it’s also maybe a popular novel. Right? Maybe. Let’s read this one through, make a few final edits, and then see if we can’t drum up something of an audience. Yeah, Okay, sure.

Author: B Willard
Editor: A Whistletown
Copyright: AM Watson

Too shy

Too shy

It turns out
You hadn’t known
Certain things you can do just fine
Certain situations you can come out smelling fresh
But then
just too shy
reveal the gap
wandering with the hole in your belly where light should be
held up by strings like a skewered man, eyes wide with shock while he stands and turns to speak one more time
right there
how long can you live right there
before the skewered man’s lips part as if to speak, but only a gurgle comes out
and he collapses —
having discovered himself much too shy for life