Book of the World Courant CLXIV





When you have scientific rationalism, insanity takes the most wonderfully capricious of forms


If I had a ball, I’d bounce it in the morning…


Now is the time to grid our loins!


Babies are a dime a dozen, but how rare and unique the bathwater!


A sign on the highway: HEAVY MERGE FROM LEFT


At the core of the strategic shift envisioned by the Pentagon is a concept that officials call centaur warfighting. Named after the half-man and half-horse in Greek mythology, the strategy emphasizes human control and autonomous weapons as ways to augment and magnify the creativity and problem solving skills of soldiers, pilots and sailors, not replace them.

The weapons, in the Pentagon’s vision, would be less like the Terminator and more like the comic-book superhero Iron Man, Mr. Work said in an interview.

“There’s so much fear out there about killer robots and Skynet,” the murderous artificial intelligence network of the “Terminator” movies, Mr. [Robert O.] Work [deputy defense secretary] said. “That’s not the way we envision it at all.”

When it comes to decisions over life and death, “there will always be a man in the loop,” he said.

…Unlike the technologies and material needed for nuclear weapons or guided missiles, artificial intelligence as powerful as what the Pentagon seeks to harness is already deeply woven into everyday life. Military technology is often years behind what can be picked up at Best Buy.

“Let’s be honest, American defense contractors can be really cutting edge on some things and really behind the curve on others,” said Maj. Brian Healy, 38, an F-35 pilot. The F-35, America’s newest and most technologically advanced fighter jet, is equipped with a voice command system that is good for changing channels on the radio, and not much else.

“It would be great to get Apple or Google on board with some of the software development,” he added. [Matthew Rosenberg and John Markoff, “Pentagon developing robots that kill on their own,” New York Times Service in The Daily Gazette, 10/26/16, A5:1]


Let’s be honest…

Those falcons do not heed

Those centaurs do not hold

their liquor well

as any casual student of the Centauromachy knows


I sing of parms and the chicken

the eggplant

            the veal…


And when the local Eyetalian restaurant draws down metal door, and hangs up the Going Out of Business sign: Farewell to Parms


Some of us don’t want to separate out

Some of us just want to be in the mix


A silver gray flatbed truck passes the café: Classic Towing & Recovery.


Washington Square Park, a.m., gray and hail and the fountain still on. Leaves that would blow from here to there except they’re plastered down by rain. Part of the pavement. And you feel all around you the presence of a thousand ghost realities – realities that in their moment seemed so urgent, so definitive, so authentic, so exclusive of all others; realities so sure of themselves that for and instant you felt sure of them; realities so apparently load-bearing – like Tiepolo clouds – they offered a place to stand.


“Unclaimed Bodies Endured A Grim Detour Before Burial.” [Headline, NYT, 10/28/16, A1:1]

Who knew dead bodies could “endure”?


“In the Islamic State’s Wake.”

Who knew they were Catholic?


I was a strange enchanted boy for the FBI


A great deal of what we call “work” is a payoff scheme in which people receive a fixed amount of money in exchange for agreeing not to do anything socially productive or personally satisfying with their time and energy.


Marilyn, Marilyn, Marilyn

Life is Buddha’s meme


She knew that once she put on the explosive belt, there would be no turning back. She knew it would rip her limb from limb, reducing her to a bloody pulp. [Peter Baker and Rami Nazzal, “A Would-Be Suicide Bomber Becomes a Fighter for Peace,” The New York Times, 10/20/16, A1: 6]

Is there a point beyond which arresting prose should be subject to arrest? Perhaps detention, at least preventative. But preventative of what? Certainly interrogation – one would not rule out “harshly.” Should prose stand trial? If so, what would constitute due process? Habeas corpus? Justice? How might Shifa al-Qudsi, the subject of the Times article, have described what she “knew” as distinct from the telling of Messrs. Baker and Nazzal?

She knew it would leave her only daughter an orphan.

But she also knew this: It would kill Israelis. With luck, a lot of them… [ibid.]


If you can indict a ham sandwich, can you not also convict one?


What Shifa Knew

            Pace, Maisie


Boys, I can’t say for sure. But I yam smelling a Pulitzer heading your way…


Fighting for peace.

Fucking for chastity.

Wrote Nicanor Parra, oncet


Perhaps one could enforce a policy whereby specious prose would have to wear orange, i.e., the type would be colored like the boiler suits of the detainees in Guantanamo…

Thereby giving birth to Orange Journalism

And the writers – black-hearted wordsmiths of empurpled prose who tear meaning limb from limb, reducing language to a blood-orangey pulp – what of them?


Extry, extry – ham sandwich acquitted by a jury of its peers!


And the Port Authority, convicted at last, by a jury of its piers


And the Nobel prize for physics goes to: The New York Times – for its pioneering work in discovering and describing a parallel universe, so much like our own, yet so, so…


Inkstand with A Madman Distilling His Brains. Italian, probably Urbino, ca. 1600. Tin-glazed earthenware. Metropolitan Museum of Art. The back of the chair is inscribed: “I distill my brain and am totally happy.”
Inkstand with A Madman Distilling His Brains. Italian, probably Urbino, ca. 1600. Tin-glazed earthenware. Metropolitan Museum of Art. The back of the chair is inscribed: “I distill my brain and am totally happy.”


This morning, post standing, you are not so much tree as a limestone rock, rooted in the streambed, your many holes channels for the cooing wind to blow through.

Such is the nature of your scholarship.


Condition universelle du jour: SOY: Stressed Out Young


Klassiks ‘supdated:

Kall me fishmeal


Goodbye moon

Goodbye starz

Goodbye texts and

Topless barz

Goodbye status

Goodbye planz

Goodbye woomenz

Goodbye manz

Goodbye doggies

Goodbye kats

Goodbye baseball

Goodbye batz…


I don’t know why you say goodbye I say hello


Goodbye goosies

Goodbye ganders

Goodbye molls

Goodbye flanders

Goodbye mallow

Goodbye mars

Goodbye texts and

Topless barz

Goodbye kites

Goodbye dredges

Goodbye waltzes

Goodbye edges

Goodbye Columbus

Goodbye cloudz

Goodbye loneliness of


Goodbye Bingley

Goodbye Darcy

Goodbye Flatbush and


Goodbye swallows

Goodbye gulps

Goodbye bloody

Goodbye pulps

Goodbye memes and

Goodbye mimes

Goodbye Time and

Goodbye Times

Goodbye barks and


Goodbye limbs and

Goodbye limes

Shalom Israel-Palestine

Goodbye temples

Goodbye mosques

Goodbye pax and goodbye


Goodbye olives

Goodbye branches

Goodbye mortgages and


Goodbye wenches

Goodbye wrenches

Goodbye starshellz

Goodbye trenches

Goodbye gambitz and


Goodbye neighbors goodbye


Goodbye this and goodbye


Hello Kitty,

Hello Kat

Hello ‘copterz

Hello robberz

Hello you and hello


Hello rowboat

Hello oarz

Hello rivers

Hello deep

Moon so bright

Sun fast asleep


Hey, hey, LBJ

How many likes did you get today?


A sign behind the windshield of a hearse parked in front of the funeral home on Bleecker Street:




Stupid because scared

Scared because angry

Angry because…


Extry! Extry! Dog-headed boy killed in freak accident…


At which point it comes down to who can be most fearful, who can be most angry, who can be most stupid…



Damn right – better get him in the ground quick

Before he starts getting ideas…

Before he starts thinking: Who says I gotta…?




Deny the common

Assert the uniform

Reap aberration


Must be getting early

Clocks are running late

Paint by number morning sky

Looks so phony

Dawn is breaking everywhere

Light a candle curse the glare

Draw the curtains I don’t care

’cause it’s alright…

            I see you’ve got your fist out

Say your piece and git out

Yes I get the gist of it

But it’s alright

Sorry that you feel that way

The only thing there is to say

Every silver lining’s got a

Touch of grey

            I will get by

            I will get by

            I will get by

            I will survive

            It’s a lesson to me

The ables and the bakers and the Cs

The ABCs we all must face

To try to keep a little grace…

[J. Garcia et al, “Touch of Gray”]