Book of the World Courant XXXVI

Paris Plage 8-9-05.bwc




Fifteen jugglers

Fifteen jugglers

Five believers

Five believers

All dressed like men

Tell your mama not to worry because, yes

They’re just my friends…

            Sang Zimmerman oncet.


Hop! Mon mauvais!


Quelle est la geste de M. Dieudonné?


The cooked quenelle – whose name derives from the German knödel (noodle or dumpling), and which, to certain eyes, is shaped like a suppository – consists of a mixture of creamed fish, or meat, sometimes combined with breadcrumbs, bound together with egg and usually poached. Formerly, quenelles were served as a side dish in haute cuisine. Today, they often stand alone. Quelle geste!


La quenelle can also be, and often is, a gesture.

In this case one made viral, if one can use the word, by Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a jester.


M’bala M’bala, mon amour.

Which, in the language of the Banda People of Central Africa means: elephant elephant.


A black (African) soldier is giving the French salute – on the cover of the popular journal Paris Match – q.v. Roland Barthes, “Myth Today.”


Jest (n.): early 13c., geste, “narrative of exploits,” from Old French geste “action, exploit,” from Latin gesta “deeds,” neuter plural of gestus, past participle of gerere “to carry, behave, act, perform.” Sense descended through “idle tale” (late 15c.) to “mocking speech, raillery” (1540s) to “joke” (1550s).


Jest (v.): 1520s, “to speak in a trifling manner;” 1550s, “to joke,” from Middle English gesten “recite a tale” (late 14c.).


Jest, sure.

Papa Legba.





Hey now (hey now)

Hey now (hey now)

Iko iko un day

Jockomo feeno ah na nay

Jocomo feeno nay


My marraine see your parrain

Sitting by the bayou

My marraine to your parrain

Gonna fix your signifyo.


Chaque amor fi na né: All our love made it happen.


I go I go (one day)


(Jocomo) free one day.


Iko iko…


轉 轉 Gun gun.

            Turn turn.


Movement begins when stillness reaches its height.


Connect every aspect of the practice.


Cameroon, Cameroon.


What goes around, Cameroon.


Once, saying Sacre bleu! could get you thrown in La Bastille.

Myth yes, but what of blasphemy today?


La quenelle.

But is it art?


And what happened then grandpa?

Well, Apollo got his cows back, but all they’d say was Oom, oom…


“I knew a chap who once lived in the country, near Bridgend,” said Tom, “and they had a munition works there in the War and it spoiled all the birds. The chap I know says you can always tell a cuckoo from Bridgend, it goes: ‘Cuckbloodyoo! Cuckbloodyoo!’”

“Cuckbloodyoo!” echoed the arch we were standing under.

Writ Dylan Thomas, kan ya makan in “Just Like Little Dogs.”


Gonna fix your signifyo.


Gabriel François Doyen, French 1726-1806. “Allegory of Fishery: Neptune and Amphitrite,” 1768. Pen, pencil and ink study for a mural in the dining room of the Petite Trianon at Versailles commissioned by Marie Antoinette, but rejected as being too old fashioned. Even ancien.
Gabriel François Doyen, French 1726-1806. “Allegory of Fishery: Neptune and Amphitrite,” 1768. Pen, pencil and ink study for a mural in the dining room of the Petite Trianon at Versailles commissioned by Marie Antoinette, but rejected as being too old fashioned. Even ancien.


Paris, so they say, is worth a Match.

            Even, perhaps, in the case of Zizou’s geste, a Cup, un(e) coup(e), or bowl, de boule, which runneth over.


We do, to some extent, become that which is projected onto us. We assume the presumption.

But like all things involving and I and a thou, or even an it, the process is conditional, contingent, and incomplete.


I and Though.


I and, and as, Dao.


Reading the work of many of my contemporaries – even the most gifted – it strikes me that, and this is difficult to say, the craft and art of writing has largely become an exercise in the corruption and depletion language so it cannot be used as a load-bearing medium for any sort of power, much less beauty or truth. Or, as a basis for the construction of real identity and social meaning.

And the very idea that words might take on significance, however mercurial, that they might assume a life of their own, that they might carry us to the brink of knowledges for which we are unprepared, and of which we are terrified, all this reduces us to the role of spectators at the simulacrum of our own logorrhea. We certainly aren’t writers any more, however many keys we press.

The long and short of it is this: when, consciously or unconsciously, you forbid yourself – or someone else – to speak about one thing, you block a thousand channels. Try to condition how we speak of something, something we fear, loathe or have contempt for, and the result is that a billion flowers wither – in full spring. Pollination fails. Bees fly around buzzing WTF? All that is relational – and what is not relational? – becomes peculiar. No jive, no hive. The great extinctions begin.


Please stand clear of the closing doors.

Please stand clear of the closing doors.

Please stand clear…

Stanislavski reincarnated as subway conductor.


I was a tattooed Thracian psychopomp for the FBI.

No shit, me too!


Due diligence on a cold case: the murder of Orpheus, reportedly by one or several women, possibly Thracian. Motive(s) unknown, though victim had numerous enemies. Commonlaw wife, the dryad Eurydice, has ironclad alibi. All mortal witnesses deceased. Several process servers sent to Olympos bearing subpoenas simply vanished. And the testimony, if any, of victim’s oracular head – flung into a river and coming, after a spell at sea, to rest, literally, on a Lesbian beach – was it recorded? Perhaps. But, like a play of Aeschylus, purportedly explaining things, the evidence has gone missing.

Ah truly, if lyres could but speak the truth…


Dryad’s saddle, aka Polyporus squamosus, pheasant’s back. Thanks to
Dryad’s saddle, aka Polyporus squamosus, pheasant’s back. Thanks to


Hooked on Persephonix.


Gotham. Sure. Big Apple. Why not? Hymietown? Well, I guess. Dirty Town, as the truckers once called it. Yeah, tru dat. Sandy’s Beach? Indeed.

But there is one secret name to which NYC cannot help but answer: Schizopolis.

Or, more Northern Europeanly: Schizberg.

            Wherein is played Schizopoly.

            Mind the gap.


Missing persons’ report: Persephone, no last name, female, approximately twenty years of age. Last seen in company with a bearded man, possibly a god. Chariot they were riding disappeared as if sucked into the ground.


Needless to say

Her mother’s worried



Wall painting. 4th century B.C. Vergina, Greek Macedonia
Wall painting. 4th century B.C. Vergina, Greek Macedonia


Midnight in Schizopolis, a satyr play gone drastically wrong.

Schizberg Serenade, a Purim play, collapsing in on itself, crumbling, like – well, like a stale yet rancid hamantasch.


New York books you have yet to write: Tales of the Autocthonoi.


La Liberté, last seen on a barricade circa 1848, wearing a Phrygian cap.


Dignity? Never heard of the dame.


With Zeus on vacation, Dionysus has to work overtime.


Objects in a distant mirror are closer than they appear.


Transcendence of the selfie.


Bras d’honneur, mon amour.

Pop-up Persephone.


World War whatever.


It is strange, at least at first, to live in a world where one’s assumptions are nearly always borne out. It makes any sort of reasoning, particularly deductive, seem like an utter waste of energy, and thus one falls out of practice.

It is as if much of reality itself came predigested and therefore required no alimentary system to process it. Instinct and intuition too, become dispensable…


There is nothing worse than knowing you are unequal to your situation.


Oh! On Coronation Day, on Coronation Day,

We’ll have a spree, a jubilee, and shout, hip, hip, hooray.

For we’ll all be merry, drinking whiskey, wine and sherry,

We’ll be merry on Coronation Day.

The only bit you remember of a traditional English street song. Which is no surprise, because as far as you can recall, you haven’t thought of these words or heard them either in the external soundwaves or in your own head for, say, fifty-five years. Now your maternal grandfather Meyer, who had a dead-on ear and loved to sing, used to sing this. And now that you come to think of it, Meyer sang what certainly must have been English popular tunes quite frequently, interspersing them with Yiddish ones. And you recall too that he spoke English with an English accent – you were quite amused by his long “a”s when he would say, for instance, baahth. Yet you know nothing of his history with or in England, apart from one trip he made there by ocean liner, perhaps the S.S. United States when you were quite young – not too long after Elizabeth II’s coronation – and this because you accompanied with your aunt and mother when they saw him off. All that coheres into an image of that moment is marveling at the cavernous grand salon and the gigantic globe in the center of it which drew you like a magnet. And you found yourself reaching out and touching an oddly-shaped country labeled French Indochina which sounded very strange and you were about to ask your mother what that was when you heard someone shout “all ashore that’s going ashore,” and you had to say goodbye, and go off down the gangplank and wave at your grandfather, yes you could actually pick him out amidst the crowd lining the railing, as the ship pulled away.


Memory is a strange vehicle. Or perhaps, we are the vehicle which carries the increasingly burdensome and mercurial passenger called memory. I looked over Jordan. Oh, yes, but the event, the moment, engraved in me, which is me more surely than my given name is me: escapes my memory. Memory is mercurial and selective, but passion welds life and death together, riding outside and making no judgment. You are, yourself, the judgment.

Baldwin, Just Above My Head.


Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between narcissists and autistic people. But when the latter get down and produce art, if it isn’t insanely controlled, it’s a horrendous mashup.


Full Worm Moon:

For daffodils and crocuses, already,

            there is no turning back.

Triumph of the vermiform.

In what season will you read this?


Subway Mosaic Acrobats 3-14-14.bwc


And if perhaps a hundred years

From now an airship with Greek wine

High-laden through the red dawn steers –

Who would not be the ferryman?

Wrote Gottfried Keller once, back in der Tag.


Who is Craig, and why is he listing?


Rhetors take note: that which is disappeared is always named. Indian Point.

FaceBook. Bellevue. Los Alamos. Miramar.


Fifty years since “Dancing in the Street.”

Fifty years since: It’s an invitation, across the nation, a chance for folks to meet.

But not just the nation, or Chicago, New York, Philadelphia PA, Baltimore and DC now, can’t forget the Motor City… but callin’ out – ev’rywhere around the world: across the ocean blue: me and you…

Then think upon FaceBook and feel the world shudder and your own self tremble at how far we’ve come staring at surface, steering toward death across the winedark or is it snot-green sea, yes you and me, abandoning those wallflower streets. And how harder and harder it is to face the books, or account for his story or hers.

Pick up the kithara. It’s still got a string or three. One for you, one for me, one for Elija.

Rotate the “m” in “me” and you get we: which is itself a kind of dance.


Can a mask be said to be a face?


Zukerberg’s amazing pig.

Goodnight Charlotte.

Goodnight web.

Goodnight spiders everywhere.

Goodnight silk.

Goodnight worms.

Goodnight Grecians.

Goodnight urns.

Goodnight Shelley.

Goodnight Keats.

Hello Piggy,

Piggy feats.


Hey, Herakles – ya ain’t done yet! G’wan an’ kaptcha that Eerymanthian Bo-wa!


Microcosmic orbit: Wonder Wheel. Endless cycling of the ren and du channels: A Coney Island of the Body.


In Hamlet, the resolution “into a dew” is the wished-for end point of flesh that is “all too solid.” The Prince’s idea is a linear, acyclic one, though even Polonius, Ophelia, Laertes, Horatio – and certainly Rosencrantz and Guildenstern – would have observed that the dew eventually, and even in the shadow of a mossy castle wall, evaporates as the sun heats the earth. Yin reaches its extreme, yang begins its rise.

Ah, all that energy, all that twice-real and mocked-up killing: plays within plays within plays. Just to get where you’re already going to get where you’ve already been.

Round enough to go round. Square enough not to.


En amont, mon amour: contre le courant.


When pride was a sin.


To the ancient Chinese, pride would not have been a sin, rather what we call “pride” would be seen as a self-inflicted wound: such as constant covetousness, long conversations and the telling of pointless stories, also, wasting time abed, archery contests, drunkenness and its vomitings, lying down after a heavy meal, getting breathless from running, shouts of joy and weeping, abstention from sexual intercourse, as well as overextension of will or desires, or scheming to achieve something ingenious. In short, they would be seen as yet another form of excess, imbalance, incontinence.

From Alchemy, Medicine and Religion in the China of A.D. 320: The Nei Pien of Ko Hung, translated and edited by James R. Ware, New York: Dover Publications, 1966, quoted by Bisio in Decoding the Dao, pp. 214-215.


Let’s run the numbers.

Let’s run the numbness.

Let’s run the numbnuts.

Let’s run the numinous.


Turn on the tap and let the numbers run all day, 24/7. Surely there’s a flood, but you have a mop called statistics so you work at turning a thing into an idea about things. You don’t really change its nature, but you believe you have.

Spring comes inside your body. But consulting the calendar, you see that it is not yet the Equinox. So you kill yourself.

Reason triumphs again.


I wish, thought the monk, of the thief who has just stolen his clothes, that I could have given him this beautiful full moon.


Some call him Rhetor ‘ric. Some call him Aunty Dote. But only he knows his secret name.


…And then there’s the Scotsman who made so much money gaslighting Paris that he bought up Chenonceau, but his wife had a beard…

Tell me more, Aunty Klein!


One will need to learn to survive being mischaracterized.


De profundis confusionis, by Oscar Mayer Wildeboar.


Do not listen too intently. Do not look too long. Advises Ko Hung from the Jìn Dynasty.