Vignettes of the Hermit



He changed his clothes, wearing a color he usually would not.  And of course the day was different.  “Sameness” (from one moment to the next) is a difficult seed to piece.  Yet, he’s identifiable.

Last year, his hair was cut.  By a trusted friend, no doubt, yet it hadn’t been severed for nearly two decades.  His behavior altered, his manner of speaking and greeting.  Him.  But (to those who knew him) he was still recognizable.  Somehow.  Even if not so much to himself.

Humans are strange.  There’s the sound of rain.  Emotions.  Appearances.  Sunlight.  And many other things besides.  There is language, for instance.  And touch.  Scents.  Each tiny change – alteration/adaptation – is micro- and macro-scopic.  Is.  Effective and affective.  Not easily discounted.




She did not want to interact with him.  That, at least that (much) was clear.

She sat down, she closed her eyes.

She wished to stop the opportunity.  As if to say – “I am now sleeping.  You (any other) cannot reach me.”  Any (other) – even (you) – blanked out, refused, forgotten.”  “I am asleep.  Do Not Disturb (me).  I am Off Limits to you (any) you.”

He understands.  Reads sign signals.  Goes silent.  Writes on paper.

His dialogue – a wounded scraggly trail of hurt – writing.

No one (wants to) listen(s) to him: so he wails, expresses, tells, shares his story with flattened and dehydrated tree-pulp.  He draws confessions (conventional words), his family-language, blah blah blah – onto surfaces of desiccated dying.

So he might feel (an eensy-weensy tiny-whiny) a little bit that he matters.  That (i.e his feelings, experiences, being) is not ONLY shut out by closing (closed) eyes, but may (in fact) –

No, never mind.

[someone might care?]

No, never mind.

Eyes closed, shutters drawn: No.


Believing language makes things possible.

He (in order to survive) needs belief (otherwise – ?) that someone (one?) hears (cares?) attends (asks?)

Shaping letters onto dead matter.



“Contemporary authors who construct a thick barrier between themselves and their readers such that authorial vulnerability is revealed negatively, i.e., via the construction of the barrier.”

Lavender-Smith - FON

“The scientist and philosopher are like identical twins in a world without mirrors.”

Evan Lavender-Smith

We Are What We Write?

So, I followed Flickr Comments “amusing” journey into being “typealyzed” by algorithms,

and here were my results (thank you, Flickr for the prompt)

INTP Manoftheword

pretty much guilty as processed!

and yet….

Straightforward: Words from the Book of the Living

Curtis White, in response to the question “What do you think is the hardest thing about being a creative in this culture?” (North America, 2012):

Curtis White
from, Architectures of Possibility by Lance Olsen

and to “What’s the best advice you might offer a beginning writer?” (I just ‘slipped’ and typed “writher”!), he replied:

“So my best advice is to read Nietzsche until you understand him and go from there”

thank you Curtis White 🙂

“It’s always a question of beginnings”

Another year.  The title of this post comes from Helene Cixous’ introduction to Clarice Lispector’s The Stream of Life, both books being part of the tight reliable necessities of each of my own repeated beginnings.  No matter how I try otherwise, when the first of a calendrical year comes around with its socio-cultural aura-like atmospheric influence of the idea of new beginnings…I find myself tracking to the shelves for these few cellular texts like the body seeks to breathe.  This has been my inalterable habit for so many years now, that I can not avoid recommending them (with the highest deepest forms of  loving attachment), to all of you.

“evoking the incommunicable realms of the spirit,

where dream becomes thought,

where trace becomes existence…

I write you because I do not understand myself…

it is always a question of beginnings.”

“And for many years I have been writing,

borne by writing,

this book that book;

and now, suddenly, I sense it:

among all these books is the book I haven’t written;

haven’t ceased not to write.”

and additionally, today:

“What I mean is, if you have ink in your blood it’s hard to get it out of your hands…

Our reputation for excellence is unexcelled, in every part of the world.

And will be maintained until the destruction of our art in some other art which is just as good but which,

I am happy to say, has not yet been invented.”

“Samuel Beckett: Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better…

to conceive of writing as a possibility space where everything can and should be considered, attempted, and troubled.”

May your 2013 be filled with incredible texts and integral growth and development!

Man-O’-Word’s Summer Reading List


from top-to-bottom as they appear at this moment on the table

Fyodor Dostoevsky – Dostoevsky’s Occasional Writings

Joe Bolton – The Last Nostalgia

Susan Howe – The Midnight

Laurie Sheck – Captivity

Ann Smock – What is There to Say?

Jerome Klinkowitz – The Self-Apparent Word Continue reading “Man-O’-Word’s Summer Reading List”

Writers Resources

Chekhov in his letters to his brother wrote: ‘Start writing from the second page.'”

“He was more blunt in conversations: ‘Tear out the first half of your story; you’ll only have to change a few things in the beginning of the second half and the story will be perfectly clear.'”

“The unity of a composition is not based on whether it has a beginning, a middle and an end, but whether it creates a unique interrelation between its parts.”

“The concept of unity (the whole) is historically changing.”

Aristotle wrote in Poetics (Chapter 8):

Unity of plot does not, as some people think, consist in the unity of the hero.  For infinitely various are the incidents in one man’s life which cannot be reduced to unity; and so, too, there are many actions of one man out of which we cannot make one action.'”

[all quotations from Bowstring by Viktor Shklovsky]