{Initial rules and first 3 poems.}

May 14, 2014

I started with the following rules:

  • Must be written at my kitchen table.
  • Must begin with the specific things that lie before me.
  • Must regard nothing as unworthy of consideration.
  • Must take shape as a single prose paragraph.
  • Must write 100 pieces altogether (although I have now written 101 because of the full moon which appeared on day 50).

This quickly led to more rules:

  • Must begin with no sense of what will be written.
  • Must be 150 to 175 words long (11 lines on my blog).
  • Must be completed in a single sitting. No false starts are permitted.
  • Must not stray from the table unless the table prompts me to.
  • Must write an average of at least two per day.

[There were a few, additional, privately determined rules. I will make no effort to describe them here. Very briefly, they indicated the ultimate failure of all my perverse efforts at communication and silence.]
153 words


March 26, 2014
A bunch of keys lying correctly – split apart but composed – on the table. All the keys are visible. And the key ring at the centre with the other key rings coming off it, like the rings of planets, like Olympic rings, like nothing at all. Black plastic in the void above and below, but well formed – broad arcs, each returning the symmetry of a single shape. There are five keys altogether. The three smallest keys splayed at the origin, while the large keys that plunge out from the black plastic lozenges point down and to the right. At the end of an articulated link connected to the central ring is the silhouette of a miniature house. This is so the keys never become lost. The whole collection is on several sheets of loosely associated paper. There is a phone number scrawled on one of the visible sheets – 4239 2550. I am listening to music from Gaziantep. It is raining again. The rest of the house is in darkness.
168 words


March 27, 2014
A group of miners emerge from a deep cave, lamps twinkling within the inky glass. My sunglasses look upwards from the table to the chandelier, where the miner’s lights actually shine. I should have noticed the lack of swaying, the stillness of the smoothly contoured and unblemished glass. What is perhaps more apparent – more engrossing – is the static struggle between the sunglasses and a small and emaciated tube of toothpaste. The head of the tube clamped in the folded arms of the glasses, like the gasping maw of some fishy prey jutting from the jaws of a quick and wary crocodile. Sad to still detect beauty in the curve of the empty tube. These two objects locked in irrelevant association. I find myself thinking of the rich morass of life on earth, the inevitable destruction of all living things and the endless decay of the inanimate. There is no music tonight. I drift away from bright lights, sound and all direction.
162 words

Opposite Chair

March 28, 2014
Tonight I am scouring for details but cannot see them. Rain has fallen all week. There are low clouds above the table – plastic bags, white and grey. The opposite chair is empty, but pushed slightly back from the table. Just enough room for a thin, ghostly companion. Yellow light. Empty wooden fruit bowl. What could the ghost possibly have to say to me? I am listening to gypsy music. What was it that you said? Forgive me for interrupting you. I am talking to myself. Speaking softly. The tumult of the clouds – open organs, but containing nothing, floating lightly on the detritus of many weeks. Better let all of this stuff coalesce than to imagine a purely determined expanse – a table subsisting simply as surface. Were this desert to actually exist then the ghost and I would have little to say to one another. Another night with nothing said. I am sleeping in her arms. I am sleeping in the arms of forgotten lovers.
166 words