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What do you think?

What do you think?

What do you littleminx think?
What would you babydoll call?
Where do you heartsong long?

Am I in the wrong?
Do these lunges best shatter-scatter?
Is this hope no lovesome matter?

Where do we go from here?
Tell me I’m your man
how you want me ever near
and we’ll take us our stand
in panic broad and clear

Pull me to your place
linger let me taste
Lead me down your way
where our love may play
where heart to heart we stay
if that’s how
you want it with me

I call your name
i search your smile
I fall with the rain
spread thick for miles
soaking splashing
covering you
if that’s what
you want with me

copyright: AMW

MGMT – Kids

MGMT – Kids

1) Why misattribute the Nietszche quote to Mark Twain? Because Nietszsche took things too far and would’ve been philosophically and aesthetically more successful if he’d made it clear to himself and his readership that he was just kidding / brainstorming / goofing around with ideas? That is to say, if he’d kept his touch consistently light, like, for example, in this video? Is this the claim?
2) Joanna Newsom ( is the mom
Does it change the meaning of the video once you realize the mom has a child’s voice and whimsy?
3) This is what is it like to be a child?
4) the band’s dog has metal-colored spikes made out of tin foil. 
5) Post-irony = kidding, but contemplatively?
6) The band claims that no child was harmed in the making of this video and posted a making-of video showing the kid being entertained by puppets. Does it matter to the art’s ultimate worht? Would spiritual damage to the child-actor imbed itself into the art and, even if not consciously detectable, diminish the video’s share of eternal Beauty?

Questions by B. Willard
Shrugs by A. Whistletown
Copyright, insofar as it’s worth a mention, AMW

Plastic Bag Ban – Policy Suggestions

Plastic Bag Ban – Policy Suggestions

As a result of New York State’s recent plastic bag ban, I was forced to purchase a giant, thick-walled, multi-use plastic bag. I had not thought I’d go shopping, but then I was out and wanted to pick up a couple things and thought I would. I hadn’t realized stores were no longer able to sell you plastic bags, but I would’ve still gone if I’d known that. I would’ve figured I’d buy a paper bag. Anyway, at the checkout, after they’d rung up my groceries, I was told that they’d run out of paper bags and all they had were these big shiny box-like, solid-walled plastic totes. My options were to abandon my groceries or buy them and the big bag. I chose the latter. I walked home overwhelmed by the irony. This took place in Crown Heights. A couple days later I noticed a sign in a fashionable little grocery/deli in Cobble Hill, apologizing for having run out of paper bags in February. Some months prior, I’d brought two instead of three bags to the Target in the Atlantic Terminal Mall (is that Downtown Brooklyn?) and so had to buy the only available bag made of a strange papery kind of plastic, gray and white with the red “Target” song and dance in the center. The handles fell off after two or three uses.

It is counterproductive to force people to purchase any reusable totes every time they don’t bring enough bags to their shopping trip. Even canvas totes have to be reused like 131 times to reduce the climate impact of plastic bags. But forcing people to buy huge reusable plastic bags in an effort to reduce the use of plastic bags seems just straight-up insane.

In retrospect, this is how I would’ve done the NYS bag ban:
Year 1:
A. All stores required to post signs prominently on entrance doors and at checkout. The signs explain the current phase of the law and (smaller, at the bottom) what will come next. (This will always be the case)
B. All stores must offer paper, plastic, and reusable canvas totes (no synthetic material) for sale at the checkout. Paper is a nickel. Plastic is a dime. Reusable tote prices are up to the store. The paper and plastic charges will be paid by the store to the state.
C. At the end of the year, stores will not be permitted to offer totes made of plastic or any other synthetic material.
Year 2:
A. Paper still a nickel. Plastic now a quarter. Canvas but no other kind of tote are also available for sale at the checkout counter.
Year 3:
A. Only paper and canvas totes are available. Paper costs a dime? Or leave it at a nickel?

With this policy we’re trying to both eliminate the use of plastics for shopping and to reduce the chance of a paper bag shortage (that’s the point of the year when paper bags are so much cheaper than plastic — to give the markets a sense for how many paper bags will be needed once we completely eliminate plastic bags).


Author: Think Tank SAWB
Editors: Bartleby & Amble
Copyright: AM Watson

Pure Love as a Soap

Pure Love as a Soap

Pure Love is all there really is, so you can’t avoid It. But our conscious focus mostly slides past It. And we live like beasts of the field and lionesses on the prowl.

By consciously pouring Pure Love into our soap, we hope to create an energy surrounding the soap that invites other consciousnesses to experience the Pure Love. Obviously, you can’t really pour Pure Love in or out of anything. Pure Love is always surging through everything always and forever Amen. But in our fictional factories, we can do any fool thing, just so long as we remember that it’s all storytime on a dusty old shag rug in the spacious children’s room of a two-level library with the parking garage underneath and dry dusty piney mountain air all around pervading and lifting up the whole. And we thought

oh we thought it might

we thought it might

somehow work

But what do we know?!?!?

Author: Bartleby
Editor: Amble
Copyright: Andy

Pure Love as a Soap

Pure Love as a Soap

It was some time ago now when it first occurred to us to sell Pure Love. We spent a long time experimenting with different production, storage, and distribution methods. We refined our advertiser’s pitter patter and embellished our salesman-is-consman-ship. We became hardened businessmen, driven by the power and profit motives. We strayed from our calling, and in shame disorientation and self-cynicism slipped into drink, paired judiciously with raw cheese and mixed, unsalted nuts.

Actually, we’d always been in drink, and we always felt like we were at least trying to fight the good fight when it came to balancing the worthiness of Pure Love, art, and fun; and the iffiness of money, success and their exigencies.

Anyway, at some point enough is enough. And hard-driving businessmen and wind-blown poets alike have to take that ultimate risk: what will happen if I step away from my habit? Will I lose all my creative energy? Will I drown beneath the passions that I gave up trying to deal with long ago? Or do I have much real creative energy left anyway? And haven’t I been trying to deal with these passions ever since I found them, searing through the world, and slicing my heart apart?

Anyway, at some point enough is enough. Pure Love is God is Light is Godlight is Reality. The rest is True only to the degree it flows directly off Pure Love. We can’t sell the only thing that is. How could we take money, which is pretend, in exchange for the True Good, which alone is Real? How could we take currency, which is ultimately meaningless, in exchange for Kind Joy, which alone matters? How could we?

So please, take all the Pure Love you can pillage. Turn our stores over. Knock down our factories. Raze our fields. Loot our warped-stone castles on their winding mountain pedestals. Take all the Love while we fade like chimney smoke in the light blue springday sky. You can take all the Love and there will still be more, because Love is all there is, and taking never was anyhow. It won’t hurt us. We were just pretend anyway. We just pretended to exist. It was all part of the gimmick. You can take all the Love. It won’t deplete our infinite stores. You can yank It from us. It won’t change either our possession of It or our inability to access It adequately. It doesn’t matter anymore.

When I was a child I walked along the wide creek and watched it green-glass flow. Minnows darted hesitatingly under smooth flat shale stones. A strange thick orange liquid oozed down step after shattered paperthin step of shale. That was from a little pipe that I guessed came from GE, since it was on the side of the bank facing the brick GE locomotive factory (although GE was a dirt parking lot and a busy road away). Long trees with thick light-brown ravine-and-plateau bark fell across the creek and I scampered along for twenty or thirty feet five or ten feet above the sliding ripples. Crayfish scooted backwards into mudbanks. Tadpoles would sometimes suddenly populate a little stone-trapped eddy. But most wonderous of all, water striders — thin brown bug bodies with swept-backed layered “wings” (they never unfolded; I guess they weren’t wings) and four long side-legs and two forward-reaching prayingmantis-esque front-legs — would run across the water like Jesus in his prime.

oh, the soap part, yeah, well

Author: Bartleby
Editor: Amble
Copyright: Andy

PLS Wrapper Idea

PLS Wrapper Idea

Welcome & Thank You!


Welcome to Bartleby Willard’s Pure Love Soap!

Thank you for stopping by.

We work day and night to bring you only the highest quality soap and the Purest Love.

But we always have a few minutes for our ancient friends — like you, dear Consumer! Since time immortal, the Light has shone through everything, binding us all together into a deep, abiding, and frankly inextricable family of sentience — of watchers in the dark, watchers through for in and by the Light. So yeah, we’re ancient eternal friends. Can’t be helped!

Contents & Usage Instructions!

What we have here is a fragrant, smooth, refreshing mix of lye, fat, Goodness and Truth; hand/heart/mind/soul-crafted in our infinite expanse of daydreaming mines, fields, forests, factories, and sunshine-through-the-pines high-valley strolls.

To use, simply dampen with clean water, lather onto hands, underarms, or other areas that have succumbed to dirt and/or odor. Rinse. And voila!

To use, simply pull back your shoulders, chest out, turn yourself inside out along the center line running from your crown to your tail, letting the Light flood in and out, overrunning everything. Breathe slow in and out, letting the Light explode through you and everything and everyone. And voila!

The soap fades, the Love abides.

The soap is physical. The Love is metaphysical. The soap is all well and good. The Love is the Light of True Goodness that chooses everyone forever and always. The soap’s fine. The Love is Pure Love — the eternal spiritual Good that all earthly loves partake of to the degree they truly love. The soap is another one of these mundane illusions. The Love is the one thing that is actually Real — the Reality that creates, sustains, lovelifts, heals/restores/savaltionates, and cherishes all creation/illusion.

The soap we sell you, the Love we give you.

Our Story!

The fictional but self-actualized and -instantiated Bartleby Willard — that lonely shaking whimpering would-be love song and/or dog under the bed during a thunderlightning storm, that stumbling pigeon tripping over its own broken wing while foolish little kids toss pebbles at its face where blood drips already out one terrified eye, that stormgray heartbreak settling over the cornfields the sunny asphalt highway the concrete trucker stop with an old-fashioned silver-trailer diner in the center where a thin middle-aged woman in a stiff polyester pink skirt-uniform smiles her long horsey yellow smoked-over-teeth grin and pours you the gentlest kindest most believably mediocre cup of coffee you’ve ever had — wandered one day some days ago (like 30,000 from one count; 100,000,000 from another; an infinite infinite from another) into the Wandering Albatross Press Building and declared himself a live-in writer.

No one minded enough to send him a cease and desist memo. In fact, he fit right in and was at home.

And so he set to work at a little wooden table next to a dusty shaft of light in a brick nook in the brick and mortar Wandering Albatross Press Building. Immediately he declared his project: Fabricate Pure Love in fictional factories — where the laws of Daydream hold sway and Pure Love is as buildable as anything else –, and then push, prod, pull, and cajole the Pure Love into the real world and sell It at a generous but still profitable price.

Yes, Bartleby Willard came to play ball — he came to finally fulfill capitalism’s long overdue promise of creating things worth possessing, even if it means giving that actually-worthwhile product away and laughing off everything but the patter of rain on the window pane, the splash of light-spraying salt-bleeding sea against a seawall of square chunked pink gray and white granite, the forward-stumbling thumpity-thump of little bare feet on the sunwarmed garden trail.

I don’t know but the fictions shifted around him and now Bartleby works in the Skullvalley After Whistletown Building for Skullvalley After Whistletown Booksellers. But nothing much has changed. The same essential daydreams swirl round. He still has two eternal bosses, a couple close associates, and an undefined number of other colleagues.

More on this at A Readable Reader.

For now, know that Bartleby has diversified his jokes and now has his long transparent fingers in bubbling soap cauldron’s in cavernous dragon lairs and wide wind-blown fairy fields throughout innumerable worlds, and even a couple on some moons.

Guarantee / Disclaimer !

We at B. Willard’s Pure Love Soap do hereby heartily and thoroughly guarantee that you get something out of this product and its surrounding song and dance, Or You’re Money Back! [Just email us at and we’ll figure something out.]

We at B. Willard’s Pure Love Soap do hereby lawyerly point out that Pure Love is all there really is, was, or will be, and so our soap is — insofar as it is at all — 100% Pure Love.

What do you think?

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

PLS Wrapper Idea

PLS Wrapper Idea

Pure Love soap:
Everyone’s complete victory follows axiomatically from the Essence/Nature of our product.

Pure Love soap:
Use the soap, keep the Love.
[In fact, you can no more escape the Love than a triangle can escape Cartesian space.
We might say:
Pure Love soap:
The essence of our product is your eternal Fate.
Pure Love soap:
The soap’s for sale; the Love’s unavoidable.
Pure Love soap:
Everyone’s complete victory follows axiomatically from the Essence/Nature of our product.]

Although this victory whites out all our individual egos, so to the extent it would be bragging rights, it undermines the meaningfulness of bragging rights.

Pure Love soap:
but that’s not the kind of victory we were talking about!

Pure Love soap:
one small consumer product; many insurmountable paradoxes.

Author: yeah
editor: well
copyright: AMW

PLS wrapper idea

PLS wrapper idea

Hello and Thank you!
from our family to yours
Thank you for purchasing
and in, we’re sure, some way loving
Bartleby Willard’s Pure Love Soap.

Hello and Thank you!
from our seamstress to your breeches
Thank you for giving us a try.
We’re just soap in the way that life is just life and love is just love.
We’re just soap like you’re just a person.

In the history of Bartleby Willard’s
Center for Pure Love Soap Study & Fabrication
we’ve had our ups and downs
In prehistoric times, our soap was often mistaken for food
In ancient history, our soap was often mistaken for sacrilege
In the First Century AD, our soap was often mistaken for useless
When the Barbarians swept through Rome, our soap was largely overlooked
When Medieval sages from London to Shanghai to Mesa Verde held forth, our soap was mentioned only rarely and often slightingly.
When the iron horse straddled continents and racing chimneys of billowing steam brought virtuos maidens to their iffy cowboys, our soap was sold beside power tonics and other sham wonders.
When Europe burned and Nagasaki evaporated, when the Cold War crept and Vietnam broke, as the US was proven right and then proved itself wrong and then proved itself at least for a moment dumb lucky, our soap bided its time.

But now!
Now information is practically unavoidable.
Now insight is a lazy searchengine meander away.
And so now
our time is here.

Bartleby Willard’s Pure Love Soap!
A product worth contemplating.
A joke worth the singing.

Our soap will clean what you bodily reek
but what it more deeply and sincerely seeks
is to do nothing at all.

That’s right!
You heard it hear first!
Our soap does nothing.
Our soap bows curtsies stands to one side.
Our soap laughs giggles hops out of the way.
Our soap does nothing.
And in this nothing
in this kind negligence
there you find yourself
there you find your way
there you find your joy
there we find our love.

Bartleby Willard’s Pure Love Soap!
Who even cares?
Why even dare?
A product worth forgetting.
A song you don’t quite recall.
An idea circling round and round
winding in and in, burrowing down and down.

Bartleby Willard’s Pure Love Soap!
Because just the whisper of a love that doesn’t ask for anything in return
just the hint of a love that isn’t here to get off or feel strong or loved or anything
just a gentle riddle about a love that only loves
is enough.

Bartleby Willard’s Pure Love Soap!
Because only The God Knows.
Because only the Light shows
the way home.

Bartleby Willard’s Pure Love Soap!
Buy it or don’t.
Like it or not.
No matter.
The Giggle advances.
The Light leaps in long-legged bounds.
The Joy wins.

Bartleby Willard’s Pure Love Soap.
Because we really mean it and in a world full of memes, that’s enough.
Because only Love is Real and everyone knows so.
Because game over.

Authors: B Willard & A Whistletown
Copyright: AMW
Editors: We skipped that step

PLS wrapper idea

PLS wrapper idea

Bartleby Willard’s Pure Love Soap!
The soap fades away; the Love abides.

Our soap is forged in giant, clacking factory of brick, steel, cement, tar, hope, fear, shame, pride, tenderness, violent flinches, gentle lullabies and broken dreams.

Through our patented process, the raw materials — tidy, fragrant, and pleasantly plump pre-soap pulp; and all the thoughts, senses and passions of all the creatures in all the worlds — are carefully refined and interwoven into chunks of soap that shine forth with refreshing physical properties and a Love that only gives, that never takes, that only ever and forever accepts, cares for, lovelifts, heals/restores/remakes and cherishes everyone.

Is our product true?
Are our adverts true?
Is our Love True?
We ask ourselves — in our sweaty cavernous Love Brewing Stations, with cauldron after cauldron of bubbling lye, fat, sorrow, joy, happy to sad aches, sharp to vague longings, wishes freshly whelped to well-worn — !
We ask ourselves — while tilling our love fields and baling our strands of tangled love — what we’re really about, if we mean what say, if we’ve got what we promise.

Bartleby Willard’s Pure Love Soap!
The soap fades away; the Love abides.

If we are fools, madmen, souls out of step, rhythms that miss,
we apologize to our consumers.
We’d wanted to give you something actually worth consuming!
But maybe it just can’t be done.
Maybe a consumer can’t be any more joyfully overflowing than anyone else.
Maybe it’s all been a kind of sham, this whole venture.

If, in that case, you could perhaps,
Just let it go by,
and forgive us, the flow of history, the stories that hang on math like leathered meat on a molding bone, the bodies in the basements, skeletons in the attics, experts that weren’t really, wisdoms that didn’t quite, kindnesses that pretended more than they helped.

we didn’t mean no harm.

or at least
we didn’t mean to mean to harm

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

PLS wrapper idea

PLS wrapper idea

Step right up, ladies, gents, theys, thises and thats!
Take your shoes off!
Loosen your belts!
Set your pronouns, creeds, faces, personalities, ideas, feelings, and all other earthernware identities to one side!
Leave your certainties by the billowing cotton-canvas gates!
Relax and enter the tent!

Step right up!
Pure Love Soap!
Can we?
Dare we?
With what metaphysician’s wand?
Lored in which alchemical fluff?

And yet,
a moment of silence, I beseech you,
my chattering, gandering, bumping, jockeying crowd!
though we know not how
claim no special rights
vaunt no holy heights
we do, indeed
that BW’s Pure Love Soap
is both 100% soap
& 100% Pure Love!

Soap you’re familiar with.
Pure Love — the True Goodness that creates, sustains, compassionates/love-lifts, and shines through everything and everyone and everywhere forever and ever Amen — you’re even more familiar with.

The ravings of mind/hearts doused in the o’er-concentrated juice of poppy seeds?
Mere advertising flim-flammery?
Promises with neither the will nor means to keep themselves?

Friends — eternal, deep, soul-bound and ultimately unavoidable friends! –, we understand your hesitation!
We too are mortals!
We too cluck and prattle!
We too doubt like Thomas and tsk like old bitty Aunt Betsy!
Friends — shared viewers, as we sentient beings all are, of that most fundamental vista: the Light that alone Knows that and in what sense it is True to say we are all in this together! –, you don’t have to take our word for it!

Just try it.
Not the soap.
The soap we’ll happily sell you, and you’ll burn through quick enough, shedding a little grime, perhaps overindulging in cleanliness and so robbing your body of that oily coat it spent eons evolving.
Don’t talk to us about soap!
Soap you’ll get your fill of and we can only recommend moderating your consumption of the lumpy stuff: yes, certain areas get smelly and need soap a couple maybe few times a week; and perhaps in some specific cases, germs are more dangerous than invigorating and you should wash your hands; but for the most part it’s best to bathe in fresh air and the Light of pure understanding.

Don’t talk to us about soap!
We’ll sell you all the soap you can handle!

But what we give you
but friends,
no one can handle
what is freely given
and gratefully accepted
or merely accidentally received, since try as we might we can no more avoid the One Love than our bodies can avoid timespace.

Try it for yourself!
Pull your shoulders back
Open up your chest and gut
Let the Light fill you to overflowing
Let your heart/mind admit that you love everyone, even yourself; and that everyone loves everyone, even you.
Let what’s True be true.
because like whatever life’s short and human knowledge goes like this:
We Know that Love is Real and We are all in this together.
The rest we kind of maybe sometimes in some sense a little sort of know.

BW’s Patented, specially formulated and cleanly formatted
Pure Love Soap
is part of everything.
And so by
the standard highplains logic and chipper legalese
is ultimately Pure Love.
So that’s cool
and we’ve met our obligations
but, friends,
the soap! sure! if you want! it’s kind of fun,
and there’s something to the joke that animates it.
But, friends,
the joke’s always there, with or without your obsession with the hygiene norms of your current conundrum.

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