half an hour
against the context of a library, series of performances in the past, who will you read with, the names you recover cannot read, as they have already performed. a name arrives in an email, nobody you can remember.
last week the hard disk refused to respond to the laptop bios. there are backups, you descend into the spiral of recovery, pausing to consider. as a system manager you learned to make platforms of analysis and recovery, separate and distinct. each time this fails, some way, unanticipated improvisation requirements. a cold reach for the last chance. you could fail.
a tea party where each brings something and performs it, the flash of the Chinese literati in a context of examinations and duty. steady hand on the brush from years of application. relaxed but firm enough that no one can pull it from your grasp. not a set piece, revised and tuned, but application of the systematic derangement of choice.
a sheaf of papers shuffling order. lines excised on the fly. a wind disperses pages. little rips of paper marking pages pulled out in a sequence. shuffling cards like Nabokov.
the wit to proceed.
bringing in a technology that slices, cut and paste, revision control possible. used and denied at once. shit happens. it fails, nothing as you assumed. the reflexes of your language. the accidents of voice.
you wanted to use the mimeograph as an artifact of production, saving the components, gathering supplies, but your skills fade into a panic without a manual. you are left with the poem of process, like affronts to the cleanliness of the grant application clan. cock prints in the university toilets taken from the mimeo master, let nothing go to waste. affront and center. the cover a Kraft grocery bag with a clean cotton ball attached. you don't convince and don't get the money.
the audience doesn't know what to expect, without the norms. quiet certainty. not the Satyricon Sunday Cabaret staged before a rank of drunks who will heckle and take it from you. your voice like the brush of a calligrapher in training.
then the sneezes of spring. hangovers of excess. disappointment of expectation. harsh tonsils rough in the throat.
hook and slice two notebooks at the same time. which one will out?
a month and a week to tell. your wife wants a vacation in the capital. you add on embellishments. unable to take the equipment in a rehearsel of the problem. your house guest wants to have a conversation. put a dvd in the player. there is not enough time, never will be.
practice this again.