358 Blasting microscripts in an unstylized and/or illegible intent to communicate

Dear Internet,                                                                              April 8, 2014

Reading Robert Walser's Microscripts. We viewed some of the actual pages before at The Drawing Center, now we are actually reading them ... as translated into English from some archaic German script, meticulously written so tiny they are barely legible ...

Walser Microscript

Even the translated microscripts are at times random, meaningless, like a deranged machine gone haywire (he did spend a good deal of his time in mental institutions), but that's what makes them fascinating ... beneath the scribblings is a certain obsessive intent to communicate ... as if he couldn't help himself ... ever at once simultaneously & self-consciously detached & tethered to language.

«The words I'd like to utter here have a will of their own, they are stronger and more powerful than I am, and it seems to me as if they choose to sleep, or as if it pleases them not be what they are, as if they find their idiosyncrasies too little diverting, and it does me good to awaken them; my request: Get up!" elicits no response at all, and naturally I myself find it both ingenuous and exceptionally lovely the way I am refusing to recognize my words, as it were, indeed not even allowing them to recognize themselves, and as I stepped like this onto the pale, mountainous plain, I felt no desire to acknowledge myself as the one I was; instead I found it more sophisticated to persuade myself I was some Mr. So-and-so, just pulling from his pocket the realization that he is completely unrecognizable.»

Gnawing on spiced nopal jerky while we're writing this now.

In the 1st piece, Walser talks about the novelty of hearing voices on the radio for the 1st time—how strange it seemed that the speaker was unaware of the listener's existence. And the listeners—«... while they are occupied with listening, the art of companionship is, as it were, neglected a little. This is a quite proper, obvious consequence.» Can only imagine how he would've responded to engaging w/ you for the first time, Internet.

Walser radio script

April 9> It occurred to us that artists that demand attention rarely create works that demand attention.

Almonds are really good this year ... maybe the drought in California has something to do w/ it. The way they pronounce almond (where they grow them) rhymes w/ salmon. Been snacking on these too.

More intresting then the fact Jesus had a wife & female disciples is the piece of papyrus it was printed on. And that 'they' assumed it was forgery cuz of the sloppy writing & bad grammar.

Jesus had a wife

Our last post started w/ an alleged forgery that led to a free ski trip.

The authenticity of the above papyrus scrap was verified at a lab at Columbia, a stone's throw from here. At least to the extent that it came from those times—who can say whether what the person sloppily scribbled is credible. My old cohorts at U of Arizona—who also carbon-dated the shroud—dated the fragment to before Jesus's birth ... then admitted their results were unreliable.

Funny how someone 1000s of years ago—perhaps w/out even thinking—doodled or scratched something on a cave wall or piece of bark & we spend so much time & effort analyzing it, ha ha.

Speaking of the Turin shroud—which we talked about a few posts ago—we swapped out the cover image of The Luminol Reels to no longer use the shroud, but a luminescent virgin ... the original of which (inverted) hangs above our nightstand.

Luminol Reels

Those expecting a novenna or prayer book are in for a treat! We just sent the book to the printer.

April 10> They were set to demolish the building next door to us (in fact, Columbia is building a new Manhattanville campus right out our kitchen window). Tom Hanks was the demolition coordinator but he was terrible at it ... he was giving vague & mumbling instructions thru a megaphone & for every action required he would give these long-winded & tangential explanations as to his reasoning, when there was only 10 minutes until blast time & there was still people lingering in the building.

It also occurred to us to open up a bar called Bar Baydoze. It seemed such a brilliant idea that it woke us up from our dream.

David Ohle sent me a new novel last week which we accepted for publication, it's called The Blast. Here's the cover we just made for it:

David Ohle: The Blast

In editing The Blast, we questioned the believability of his using a «gene gun» to transplant a beard on the protagonist (who gets fucked up by bullies at school for not having a beard), to which Ohle responded by saying he once helped out a bio-art research project (Mutate or Die) which used a gene gun to shoot DNA extracted from William Burroughs shit into some sort of living sperm/shit/blood concoction. So there you go ... gene gun's exsist.

When we 1st heard about this project (we blogged about it back in Clusterflock days) we wondered how they procured said turd from Burroughs (assuming he collected it himself) ... ends up another mutual friend of Burroughs & Ohle was a plumber ... he was fixing his clogged toilet & not only did he have the foresight to collect a specimen from Burroughs, but evidently he also collected a sample from Allen Ginsberg.

W.S. Burroughs shit

Speaking of Ginsberg & Burroughs, the other night we saw Kill Your Darlings (again, not something we pushed play on or put in our queue). Where Lucien Carr killed David Kamerrer is also a stone's throw from here, on 115th & Riverside. And Ginsberg & Kerouac also lived nearby. Not that we're a fan of the Beats ... besides Burroughs, whose role in the film is minor.

And speaking of Burroughs & Ohle, we started to read the biography of Burrough's son—Billy Jr.—that Burroughs tasked Ohle w/ putting together ... Cursed from Birth is an apt title, pretty much sums it up so far, though we are only 50 or so pages into it ...

April 12> Brandon Hobson interviewed Elizabeth Mikesch for the The Believer Logger. It's always nice to see Calamari kin hit it off. Forgot to post this before, but here's a video sister Mikesch made for brother Hobson.

Back to inputting Microscripts ... 1 thing refreshing about reading Walser is his lack of stylization. As Walter Benjamin says, «Walser is so little concerned w/ the way in which he writes that everything other than what he has to say recedes into the background. We could claim that what he has to say is exhausted in the process.» It's as if he is only writing for himself (& maybe he genuinely was), not trying to do or be anything. This is the beauty of journal writing & something we are trying to embrace in editing/writing our brother's 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' (which will also include many barely legible hand-written notes).

Walser microscript

Article in the NY Times this morning about the guy (Robert Aaron) who sold Philip Seymour Hoffman his lethal dose ... ends up he's a semi-famous musician that the NY Times portrays/glorifies in a rather forgiving & likeable light. Don't know how we feel about this ... sure, it's great that Hoffman had access to a reliable & safe celebrity drug-dealer like this rather than having to cop questionable shit on the street, but something of the article reeks of a bigger publicity scheme, to restore the guy's name ... as if Aaron is trying to spin it to get more clients (musical, or for drugs). He acts all innocent (as he advocates the merits of heroin), that he is as harmless as «a monkey trying to sell bananas» ... but c'mon ... 300 baggies of heroin for personal use?


Finally broke 70 degrees yesterday. Walked like 10 miles up & around Sugar Hill, to the still unfinished High Bridge. If we were to buy our own place in NYC it would probly be up in that hood.

The Sugar Hill Gang are from Englewood, NJ. And Sugar Hill is named for it's sweet poshness during the Harlem renaissance ... not for a white powdery or crystallized substance.


103 years ago when Lord Ernest Rutherford somewhat accidentally discovered the atomic nucleus, he said «… it was like firing a 15 inch shell at a sheet of tissue paper and having it bounce back.» Burroughs was born 3 years later.

Just when they started to hone in on the source of the signal, the battery on the black box appears to have died.


Robert Walser spent most of his later years going for long walks. It was on 1 of these walks that he had a heart attack & collapsed in the snow ... in a now infamous horizontal pose. For some reason we get this image confused in our mind w/ Big Foot after he got shot up at Wounded Knee.

Big Foot (left) & Robert Walser (right)

Posted new work by Rosaire Appel up on Sleepingfish.

Rosaire Appel

April 13>  J just jetted off to Rome. We didn't get to go this trip ... tickets too expensive, on account of spring break. So here we are, watching the hazy sun set over the Hudson.

«When a year stops, another instantly commences, as if one were turning the page. The story keeps on going, and the beauty of a context is revealed.»—Robert Walser.

  > 359 > Hop out of my way Mr. frog, and allow me to swim in the lake


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