Tag Archives: Verses Nature

After Man’s made everything he can, Man makes…

chasing the dollar

Off, the pajamas:

I’m just full of ideas, me. I could be a billionaire if I were money-loving enough, instead of being an early pensioner with an invalidity permit and 500 euros a month from the State for my pains. Phoenix, Arizona. Not  a single decent antique shop. They were buying their antiques from New York, or wherever… Imagine, 350,000 inhabitants, as it was at the time, and not a single antique shop… I had stock back home worth over 2 million francs at a time when $1 was 5 francs.

But there was my wife. She didn’t want to go in the end.

Another day:

Ile de la Réunion – I fell in love with the place. Found a splendid piece of land with a view of paradise covered with these magnificent old trees whose flowers remind you of those plants we sell here mainly at Christmas time. The property fell in terraces and the idea was to build a house on each terrace and let them out as holiday homes. Or maybe to the military stationed there; they’d be reliable clients. He wanted 775,000FFR, which was a wad of money even in them days. Down payment? No way, but my word, which was good enough. I had the land all measured out and back home secured a credit of two million, then organized a whole troupe of people to get this project born.

The appointment was for Monday at 10am. 10am came and went, ten thirty… Where the hell is he? I asked the notary. Be patient, monsieur, he soothed. This is Monday and you are in Réunion, not in France. Here, things get done at a different pace. Listen, I said, already feeling uneasy. I have worked my balls off for the last months, and I have just flown 9,000km to be here. Where the hell is he? Later, much later, the proprietor turned up. Ah, monsieur, bonjour! So, we are ready for the sale? Well, monsieur… erm, monsieur, we will have to round up the price a little bit… Round up the price a little bit, he’d said… Monsieur, monsieur, my property is worth at least 1,000,000FFR, monsieur…

Another dollar:

I was the first to have a tent up during those winter flea markets where you’d stamp your feet and freeze your balls off waiting for clients to stroll by. They’d stop at my stall so as to be out of the rain. And whilst they were there, and the rain out there, they’d browse around a bit. And find things to buy. Of course. Within no time, all the other vendors had tents up, so that the whole place looked like a friggin Bedouin camp.

esch flea market b:w
Similar story, some dealers got together and hired a hall. The place was freezing, so I made some walls for my little corner, all things found at the scrap yard. I put in some windows, some old carpets on the floor, not the valuable ones, but something inviting and making it soft underfoot. And I put in a little stove. Who got the best sales? What did the other vendors do before you could even say atchoo?


Low-hanging fruit

Screen shot 2014-11-18 at 10.11.59 AM
copyright L.W. Eden 2013

J.M. Coetzee, in Waiting for the Barbarians, paints a pretty grim picture of the sexual life of the older man. I have been known to succumb to such low-hanging fruit and, frankly, I’m glad Coetzee says what I don’t have to. It sounds less vicious coming from a man:

Sometimes my sex seemed to me another being entirely, a stupid animal living parasitically upon me, swelling and dwindling according to autonomous appetites, anchored to my flesh with claws I could not detach. Why do I have to carry you about from woman to woman, I asked: simply because you were born without legs?

the older the man the more grotesque people find his couplings, like the spasms of a dying animal

his erection has nothing to do with desire, it being nothing but a stiffening, like rheumatism

Tatar, the protagonist of my novel-in-progress (you’ve met him several times here already, Mr compulsive-repulsive (cf Chef d’Oeuvre or Perfume); after how many thousand women was it that he stopped counting?) would have us show more respect for his ‘old man’s member’. I wonder if his proclamations will mellow?

For the records: I don’t do old members anymore.

Further on the topic of other low-hanging fruit:

Nymphomaniac (Lars von Trier): what was I expecting? I dunno. An intellectual-sexual challenge more than a tease. Close-ups of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s wet fleshy bit not only put me off but haunted me all the way home. Had visions of it creeping up on me and licking my earlobe whilst I was minding my own business. I return to a central preoccupation in my novel-in-progress, Verses Nature:

how can you thematize sex (-related issues) in a way that is original?

I don’t think Tatar is that original. He’s frank, no doubt about that:

Men shouldn’t assist at childbirth if you ask me. She’ll be screaming, farting, crapping, saying vile things to and about you and you, idiot, are ‘sposed to just stand there saying Yes darling as you squeeze her hand or mop her friggin brow? Then there’s the pushing and gushing and out it plops as from a sewer. Puts a man off for life. You’ll never really want to be in there again, But we’re not allowed to say that about wifey, are we?

He’s full of tips:

get Him not to wash for a while so he stinks of man, then you give him a royal blow job, he’ll spray like a whale, I swear.

If I were twenty years younger, I’d open a brothel for senior citizens of both sexes, say seventy and upwards. They’ve got the finish line in sight, cash in their pockets, assorted ailments to forget, if only for that moment… and ungrateful brats as offspring. It’d be a runner. Especially with the women. With my neighbour for starters. The way she looks at me. Teeth tarnished. Slack wet slit where her mouth should be. Gives me the creeps. She’d pay. Bet she would.

He’ll say things you may find irresistible tho you may be unwilling to like such statements openly (I’ve been tracking you on this blog. Don’t be so chicken. Click that button!). The originality in Verses Nature must stem from a combination of content and structure; from how his voices (there will be many) dialogue with the multiple voices and structures of the other characters in the novel. Big project. Every time I think about it, it makes me gulp. This project’s been on my shelf for two decades. To imagination I am now able to add experience. I’m ready for it.

love won’t wait (what with a war on your heels)

There are three of us altogether. My father’s first wife died of tuberculosis and left him with a son. My mother’s first husband died and left her with a son. Mother’s first husband designed airplanes and died whilst testing one. Because he wasn’t in service that particular Sunday, she never received a widower’s pension. A beauty she was, from an Alsatian village I won’t name as it’s none of your business. She also happened to be a hairdresser. Father? From Strasbourg. A hairdresser too and looking for a new wife from the trade so they could set up a business together. Someone who knew them both arranged the meeting. Father drove up from Strasbourg to take a look at her.

They got married and made me. (from Verses Nature, forthcoming)


Berlin photo 5 edit

Strolling through a flea market recently, I was surprised to see various stands selling old photos. Brushed hands with a fellow rummager. Sorry. Smiles. Interesting, aren’t they? Fates in a bucket, like peas…


Berlin fleamarket box of photos

What do you plan on doing with them? Really? Me too.

For the records: that’s where it all starts (or stops?)

When I was 18, it was time to do my military service. I had nothing against the army, so in I went. At the interview, I told them, Honestly, I said, I do want to come to the army, but, please, find something for me to do which doesn’t involve being bossed around, it does my head in. I can’t take it. I’ll be a cook, whatever. Just make sure I can be on my own with no-one lording it over me, otherwise I could end up killing him.
The dickhead who interviewed me, sergeant, captain, whatever, just laughed.
‘Who do you think you are?’ he bellowed. ‘You won’t be the first prick we’ll have brought to bow, and you certainly won’t be the last!’
You see, that’s where it starts: power, power, power, I sighed. I don’t think he quite knew what to make of my response. He was all red in the face. Me? I stayed nice and calm. And very, very polite.
‘You and your army, you think you’re capable of everything, but…’
Let him wait, let him already start to get himself all worked up all over again,
‘but… you’ll never be able to drive out what’s up here, by me,’ and I tapped my head. ‘So, ok,’
I let my fingertips touch to form a steeple. I looked him straight in the eye.
‘I’ll come to your army. I’ll follow your orders. The first who does me wrong, I’ll swallow it. The second, I’ll swallow it. I’ll be brought to bow, as you so nicely put it. But one day, one fine day, you will put a firearm into my hand. We’re in the army, after all… And once I have this firearm, I’m going to go out and kill every single one of you who has ever wronged me, and that, sergeant, will be your fault. Now, I’ve told you, haven’t I, so now I want that in writing, the fact that I told you that, for when the day comes.’
You could see the colour drain out of him like you were drinking him with a straw. He ordered me to the psychiatric department, where I was kept for five days. Did all manner of tests, they did. Then they came to the conclusion that I was a deeply honest person, but extremely dangerous, as I supported no authority over me whatsoever. That’s what’s written in my military record.

I was ordered home.

(from Verses Nature)


A ruthless man,
am I?

Do you like opera? I do.

One of my favourite operas is Puccini’s La Bohème. Have you seen it? I’ve seen it on three separate occasions.

The first time I saw it, when it got to the part where the heroine is killed, I was so taken into the plot that I just keeled over and fainted. Bam!

The second time I went to see it, I thought I was better prepared. I thought I’d brace myself when it got to that part. But when it did finally get to that part of the plot, don’t ask me why, I just felt myself sliding off my chair; slowly, slowly, till I crumpled to the floor. Out again!

The next time I went to see La Bohème, I thought I would be immune. I knew what was coming, and I knew when, so I considered myself to be in complete control.

My auntie’s fanny, was I. They carried me out on a stretcher.

There will, alas, be no fourth or future encounter between myself and Mr  Puccini, for I am everything but the ruthless man I am said to be…

(from The Red Room)

The next big thing

Each Wednesday, invited authors answer a set of questions about their writing-in-progress, then go on to invite further authors to continue the discussion the following week. Thank you, Mike Horwood (of http://mikehorwood.blogspot.fr/) for tagging me. I in turn, propose a number of exciting authors for you to discover at the end of this post.


1. What is the working title of your next book?

Verses Nature. There’s a deliberate word-play in there; verses/versus, as I will explain later in answer to Question 3.

2. Where did the idea for the book come from?

I’ve had this really ‘big’ novel in me for a long time. The thought – fear – of not being able to rise to the occasion made sure it remained just a dream for more years than I care to remember. I’d say for well over a decade, actually. It was supposed to be some kind of all-encompassing cosmic/philosophical/theological/erotic opus, but I hadn’t a clue where to start. And with hindsight I think I was far too young.

I suppose the idea, to put it succinctly, came from the close observation of my social environment; the tensions I witnessed everywhere in human dealings with one another, the extent to which assumptions may cripple understanding. So I guess I could say I took a good look at myself, at my world, and thought: what does any of this mean?

As a plurilingual person, writer and researcher, I have long had a bone to pick with language, with the way it enslaves us. Two words to be handled with extreme care: ‘science’, ‘is’…Thinking about all of this, sucking words clean and finding them tasteless, meaningless, has led me to question the whole business of naming and defining (up pops the verses/versus word-play again).

3. What genre does your book fall under?

My answer to this question is a continuation of the question above. I don’t want Verses Nature to be immediately identifiable as belonging to any specific genre, since these, too, are part of the naming process I take issue with.

If you think about any word for long enough, try to track it back to some starting point – and fail – the word loses its meaning. In its own right, what is a word but mere noise? We have to look backward and forward, to culturally situate it, for it to yield any sense whatsoever. And this sense may always be contested. I’ve often heard: that’s not a novel/poem/add-any-other-name-to this-list. And I then think: why not? And so we come back to our assumptions about what is (not) permissible, do-able, and I don’t like that. If you stay within such endorsed frames, you’ll never break them down. What I try to do is to put such terms to the test.

One thing Verses Nature is not: chick lit.

4. Which actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie version?

Funny you should ask that question. Various people have flashed across my mind. I need a white male, late-middle-aged, overweight, overbearing, greasy-yet-seductive. Jack Nicholson? Robert de Niro? I need a smart, beautiful black woman, late forties. Halle Berry? Maybe a singer who can also act? Lauren Hill, perhaps? I don’t even know if she can act, but I like her aura. I need an equally smart German (looking) female, same age. No idea who’d play that role for now. One of my favourite actresses: Glenn Close, Meryl Streep?  Kate Winslet, perhaps? Maybe it would be better to have an entire cast of newcomers. Could be their big break. And mine!

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Now-now-you-just-heard-what-I-said-about-labeling-I-guess-the-title-says-it-all-VERSES-NATURE-(new/ly-ordered-being)-it’s-unlike-anything-(could-say-intellectual-erotic-maelstrom?)-so-just-keep-a-track-of-it-here-and-on-my-site-(I’ll-be-tweeting-bits-too)-and-buy-it-when-it’s-out. (There’s only one full stop so that makes one sentence…)

6. Will your book be published or represented by an agent?

It will definitely be published.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft?

A draft assumes there is, was, a cutting-off point. There is no first draft of Verses Nature. I keep a logbook of every idea I have that is related to the work. The first draft, if you will, was the inspirational moment the idea for the book was born. I had a pre-linguistic flash/insight, which then had to be tamed (should I have said ‘elaborated’?) via language. This flash contained everything and it was perfect, to my eyes. The tricky task is now to make it reality. The minute you start, it’s no longer the same. Language, as art and like art, sequential to the original, insightful moment, is always too late…

8. Which other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Which genre??? My book is promiscuous as far as genre is concerned, and in such promiscuity lies a deeper message; an appeal for tolerance as we acknowledge multiplicity. I like to combine the intellectual, the social and the erotic and to do so via a mixed-genre approach. I don’t want to be ‘bookish’, and I don’t want to write a ‘dirty book’. I honestly don’t know whom I would compare myself to (we all believe we’re writing something original, right?). There are authors I admire, and who have no doubt influenced me; people who dare to do it differently. It is not important for you to know who these people are. The reader will establish her/his own intertextual references and probably compare me to authors I may never have read. It’s your book, at the end of the day. Not mine.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Excuse me, isn’t this Question 2 in a new frock?

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Verses Nature is all about questioning assumptions, about questioning our relation to reality. I have a male protagonist mouthing off all the time: ‘Some people think I’m stuck up. Think I think I’m something special. Well, I am. I’ll leave the rest of you to be ordinary’. He was supposed to be despicable, but guess what? He grows on you. I was shocked to discover how much I enjoyed developing him. I kept thinking: you can’t do that; the women in this world could lapidate you for that! Then I thought; what was that about not bowing to cultural expectations? I’m not letting the ‘side down’. To have a side is to have a boundary, a wall. I’m climbing that wall. Then I’m going to take a hammer to it. So I’ve got this man that any self-respecting woman would claim not to (want to) have anything to do with, but are you so sure you’ll be able to, or even have to, resist?

So, enough about me. Now I’d like to draw to your attention a number of authors definitely worth following.


Jessica Patient:
Short story writer, novelist and reviewer, Jessica’s self-written biography is so delightful, there’s no need for me to try to pen something better (see link below):

In 2008 she won the WorldSkills Gold Award for her short story, Jasper’s Betrayal. Extracts were exhibited at the IMAX in London.

I love her website:


Anthony Howarth:
Writer, poet, reader, speaker, photographer, Oscar and Golden Globe nominated filmmaker… the list goes on. Anthony has published several books. His writing can be refreshingly honest, hard, angry, indignant, as it can be erotic, tender, and emotional. For your delight and reflection, Peace:


Absolute peace

Is lunch on your own

Tinned tuna

Stolen canteen bread

Alone in your cell

Sitting on your bed

The day before your release

Sentence is complete

The end of strife

Everything is done

With tomorrow will come

The complexities of life

This is the moment

To savour and retain

Tonight is another lifetime


I may never be

So peaceful again

(Copyright © Anthony Howarth 1997, 2012)

for more:  anthonyhowarth.com


Federica Bianco:
Of Italian nationality and temperament.

Wishing that the sea were nearer than its own distant memory, that its freshness were closer to her feet so that one eager step would suffice to overcome muteness, knowing that indecisions are loaded but time is not, thus driven to ‘distrust flawlessly’, Federica has published an amazing volume of poetry, A Night in Gale, available at amazon (why, pray, shouldn’t the Next Big Thing be a poet??). Here’s an appetizer:

whose warmth of solace
those arms of shelter…

when longed memories of skin
are caught under the spell of slumber
awoken by waterfalls of sorrow
emotions trigger the silly shiver
in the heart of night, when slowly
fallen deep down loathed sadness
the crawling, choking sounds of silence
remind one of that love, rusted and stoned

For more: http://federicabianco.weebly.com/


That makes four, not five, I know, but as you also know; it’s the quality that counts.  Take the time to revisit these sites.  I’ll say goodbye and good read!

Verses Nature: Fieldnotes, August – November 2012

Verses Nature is my current novel, which will also be submitted for the Ph.D. in Creative Writing. In a nutshell:

Jean-Joseph, Tatar to his friends, a self-made man in his late fifties and self-proclaimed connoisseur of the opposite sex. Politics, religion, philosophy, culture. And women. Loads to say about life in general and his memorable life in particular. Your loss if you don’t read his life story. Your loss entirely. He’d say.


August 2012:

After a year of working on my male protagonist, I find myself in a rut.

repair. destroy. I see a new female character entering the plot, and the whole chemistry changes.

I don’t write in the narrative linear, but sketch scenes, variations, from which I select those that will become the novel. My supervisor (rightly) wishes to see how I am progressing. All I may proffer is a tatter of tales and implore her to trust me.


November 2012:

Verses Nature is set in Alsace. And despite my having lived in the region for well over a decade, my interest in local history is genuinely sparked for the very first time as I now begin to think about how I wish to depict the history, the psyche of the place. I’m curious to see how it will be embellished by my personal experience; I have not lived in their Alsace, but in mine…

After a first visit to the local médiathèque, my cloth bag filled with titles in French, German and/or Alsatian, on local legends, war-time Alsace, proverbs, care practices carefully documented by Christian ethnographers (history being everything but neutral…), initial reflections about the politics of language give way to concerns with voice:

How do I bring history into my novel? Whose voices will be heard? How will Voice and Genre interact?

First attempts: http://wp.me/p4NZ58-V

Verses Nature: fieldnotes, January – March 2014

January 2014:

The preceding months have been spent trying to get a clearer picture of the scope of my novel/thesis, Verses Nature, which repeatedly threatens to erupt into a number of works. Maybe what I have on my hands is a trilogy? A section I have been working on for months has nothing to do with Mazelle and Tatar, but with a family and how in it generations of women strive to secure their autonomy from patriarchal structures. This allows me to explore issues both dear and familiar to me (i.e. relating to my own experiences). The smaller scope of this subplot permits me to test new writing styles in answer to my key research question on our reader/writer tolerance levels vis-à-vis multigenre fiction (in my thesis I will refer to phenotypical promiscuity). It also provides an excellent framework for sharing some of my theoretical preoccupations on language and structure, but in a literary form. You could be forgiven for thinking I’ve been sidetracked. I prefer to say I obey where the writing is taking me. Also trying my best to describe my development in a language that’s not too technical: it’s a novel we’re talking about, first and foremost.

March 2014:

Discussing this protagonist and his hold on me, a fellow writer makes a proposition which immediately strikes me as true: maybe, after having ingested him (his type/discourse) for so long, writing about him is a way of spitting him out…

The female characters not only tell different stories, but tell them differently, i.e. using different literary styles. The final result is more like a collage of collective memories in dialogue with and contesting each other. Truth, as a concept, slips away and we are left with life as (His/Her)story:

on marking the contemporary moment 2Gradually, we break free from the authoritative text, into a zone beyond syntax; a zone where time and space as variables in the infinity of meaning gain transparency:


binary semantic poster 3

Good old days (1) (if you were lucky enough not to be there)


I’m from Alsace in North East France, as you know (meaning: as I’ve told you, even if some of you’ve never heard of the place before). We’ve been pushed around a lot:

A typical citizen in their late 80s at the end of WW2 was born French, became German in 1870, French between the two wars, German again in 1940 and French once more at the end of his life. By the end of WW2 most people didn’t speak French, but were suddenly forced to. Propaganda machine on full blast: c’est chic de parler français. Chic. And Mandatory. The same teachers who had taught in German during the occupation now obliged all the pupils to speak French.  No wonder we’ve got a complex. Many just refuse to talk about it. In Alsatian, we’d say: redde m’r nimm devon. There’s a term for this kind of large-scale cover-up, I read the word somewhere: obscurantism.

I suppose we all develop our own strategies for dealing with a tricky situation, don’t we?

At the end of the war, some used the Nazi flag to make their local costumes. Very nice cotton. Excellent quality…

redde m’r nimm devon…

The good old days? The clogs of our childhood were the poor man’s shoes: village roads were made of dirt and often littered with the manure of the cattle on their way down to the fields. Clogs were robust. Clogs were cheap. The wealthier wore leather shoes. And of course there were still those who had no shoes at all…

Ach, redde m’r nimm devon.

French mums, they’d go to work (still do!) and think there’s something wrong with you if you didn’t. German mums, then and now, tend to stay at home and think you’re a bad mum if you don’t. It’s their Nazi past. Or should I say: nasty? Keeping women in their place, under control and their pockets empty.

Ach, redde m’r nimm devon!


I’ve slept with a man (course I have)

Yeah I’ve slept with a man. Course I have. In my younger days. Was okay, but I prefer women. I’ve had threesomes and group sex. I’ve shared a girl with a mate, or my wife with a girlfriend. There were seven of us at it once. If two men are going to share a woman they’ll have to like each other not only cos of the trust but also cos there’s bound to be some form of physical contact between the two. Doesn’t mean you’re gay, though. And a woman, I reckon she’ll have to have some latent lesbian tendencies if she’ll sleep with another woman. Sometimes they say they do, and that they will, but they’re just lying. Women lie. Men lie. That’s life.

One of my wives wanted to try a threesome with another woman but I couldn’t find anyone who’d fit the bill so in the end I took her on holiday to North Africa and we paid a beautiful whore to go with the two of us. First she took us to a bar. Fair enough, we thought. But then she dragged us to another one and another one. And another one… it got to 3 in the morning and I was plastered, and my wife tired, which was probably what the crafty bitch was after anyway, so we paid her and told her to go home. She had the cheek to get greedy: what do you think this is, she shouted at the money we’d given her. I could’ve had a whole load of other clients during this time instead of wasting my time in bars with you two! Well, if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s when a person gets ungrateful. Now you listen to me, you greedy conniving bitch, you’re the one who dragged us off into all these bars so take your money and fuck off! That’s the way you have to speak to these people. Think all Europeans are sitting ducks? Think again. Well, she got the message and backed off. So I didn’t manage to arrange this thing for my wife, who is now my ex-ex-wife, but that’s another story. She might’ve had her experiences in that direction in the meantime. Or maybe she too was just lying all along.

(from Verses Nature, forthcoming)

I am as I am: (and who the hell are you?)

I am as I am
I’m made that way
If I desire to laugh
Then I’ll laugh till I sway
I love those who love me
Though it’s no fault of mine
If it’s not the same person
I love every time
I am as I am
I’m made that way
What more do you want
What more must I say?

I love women. I love you. And envy you. And desire you. And take you. I love the taste of you. The feel of you. The sound of you. The thought of you. After 3000 women, I stopped counting…
I am Tatar
Tatar is my name

I haven’t got the looks of André Breton. I’m not a cultural luminary and no way can I do flashy maths like Benoît Mandelbrot. So what? I’m still the one you’re listening to.

There are three of us altogether. My father’s first wife dies of tuberculosis and left him with a son. My mother’s first husband died and left her with a son. My mother’s first husband designed aeroplanes. Died whilst testing one. Because he wasn’t in service that particular Sunday, my mother never received a widower’s pension. She was a real beauty, a hairdresser, from an Alsatian village I won’t name as it’s none of your business. My father was a hairdresser from Strasbourg, looking for a new wife who was also a hairdresser so they could set up a business together. Someone who knew them both arranged the meeting. He drove up to take a look at her. They got married and made me.

Some people think I’m stuck up. Think I think I’m something special. Know what? I am. I’ll leave the rest of you to be ordinary.

I’m here to give pleasure
Not a thing may I change
My heels are too high
My stature too arched
My breasts way too tough
Round my eyes are too parched
But then anyhow
What´s it to you, all of these?
I am as I am
I please whom I please
What is it to you
What has happened to me
Yes, I did love someone
Yes, this someone loved me
As young kids love each other
How to love one another
And that with such glee…

Hang on. Breasts, I hear you say? Who’s this about, then? Her? Them? Me? Wrong on all counts? You decide. Back we come again to that age-old human dilemma: freedom. To continue. To walk away. What’s yours gonna be?

Ok. So you’re that type. Let’s say, at least you think you are. It’d interest me to know if you’re still so sure by the time we’re through.

Me? Had my first cunnilingus when I was three. The daughter of the shopkeeper who owned the Sadna, a chain store like co-op. She’d come to my place after nursery school cos my mum had gone to work and she knew I’d be alone. We’d get undressed and go to bed and have oral sex. Do a real 69. I’d lick her pussy and she’d suck my dick. That’s the honest truth.

Why all of these questions
I`m here but to please you
Not a thing may I change
Nor do I feel the need to.

Freedom. Think you’re free to turn away? You’ll be back. You’ll be back and you can choose, but only from among the choices I permit. There’s a whole lot more I could tell you. Will tell you. I can fill your lifetime with my stories.

You’ll be back.



(partially inspired by Je Suis Comme Je Suis, by Jacques Prévert, translated into English by Joan Barbara Simon, copyright © 2005. Extract from Verses Nature, forthcoming)