Monday, April 30, 2007

Strap-on Moms Fuck Guys

Fresh from an ultrarevitalizing visit to Charleston, where I saw everone I loved & now love them twice as much, I returned to scenic Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to a stuffed mailbox. Within waited the following, which includes a few random books along with lovely packages from London (Atlas Press) & Berkeley (SPD), who somehow erased one of my orders so I got back at them by placing an even-bigger-one, only to realize now, going through the books, that I left out some things I had my eyes upon, like the new Nada Gordon & the Potes & Poets (going wild over them right now) Hannah Weiner boke, Nijole's House. This will be hastily rectified, for sure.


The Calm Ocean Gerhard Roth, Ariadne, 1993 [insides marked up, booo]
Drafts 15-XXX, The Fold Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Potes & Poets #39, 1997
Twenties Jackson Mac Low, Roof, 1991
Iowa Review (Volume 9, No 3, Summer 1978) [contains WCWilliams' megadirty "Rome"]

& [...............................]

Yo-Yo's With Money Ted Berrigan & Harris Schiff, United Artists, 1979 [500 copies]


from Atlas Press:

Blago Bung Blago Bung Bosso Fataka! Hugo Ball, Richard Huelsenbeck, Walter Serner, Atlas Press, 1995
the autobiography of albert einstein Gerhard Roth, Atlas Press, 1992
The Pataphysical Flook Kevin Jackson, LIP, 2007 [signed]
Circular Walks Around Rowley Hall Andrew Lanyon, LIP, 2007 [signed]
Pataphysics, a Religion in the Making & 'Pataphysics as Apostasy Asger Jorn & Anonymous, LIP, 2007

with Part-Time Pataphysician's postcard included from the DOTARD, a hilarious gift from my friends at Atlas. Thank you.

from SPD:

O Clock Mary Rising Higgins, Potes & Poets #49, 2000
Executive Summary Bruce Andrews, Potes & Poets #18, 1991
The Art of Practice: 45 Contemporary Poets Ed Dennis Barone & Peter Ganick, Potes & Poets #32, 1994
Think of One P. Inman, Potes & Poets #3, 1986
A Reading (11-17) Beverly Dahlen, Potes & Poets #19, 1989
Doubt Jim Leftwich, Potes & Poets #51, 2000
Locale Jessica Grim, Potes & Poets #35, 1995
Feminine Hijinx Dodie Bellamy, Hanuman #41, 1990
Sonnets of a Penny-a-Liner Mark Wallace & Lawley Paisley-Jones, Buck Downs Books, 1996
A-Reading Spicer & eighteen sonnets Beverly Dahlen, Chax, 2004
The Black Warrior & Other Poems Denize Lauture, subpress, 2006
A Thousand Devils K. Silem Mohammad, Combo Books, 2004
Draft, Unnumbered: Precis Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Nomados, 2003
The Evacuated Forest Papers Jeff Conant, Buck Downs Books, 1998
A Reading 18-20 Beverly Dahlen, Instance Press, 2006
Cunt-Ups Dodie Bellamy, Tender Buttons Books, 2001
Pink Steam Dodie Bellamy, Suspect Thoughts Press, 2004
Academonia Dodie Bellamy, krupskaya, 2006
Itenerant Men Deborah Meadows, krupskaya, 2004
Scratch Space Andrew Levy, Cuneiform Press, 2004
Draft X: Letters Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Singing Horse Press, 1991
Abacus #115 (Jessica Grim), Potes & Poets, 1998
Curve Andrew Levy, O Books, 1994
Aerial #5 Ed Rod Smith, 1989
Dure Craig Dworkin, Cuneiform Press, 2004
Strand Craig Dworkin, Roof, 2005
Kluge: A Meditation and other works Brian Kim Stefans, Roof, 2007

I've got some reading to do.
See you all later!
See me here at the new Model Homes site, in a list of names that makes me blush.

Happy New Year!

Friday, April 20, 2007

on the way to PSA

The Tupelo Press people invited me to the Poetry Society's award ceremony last night. Even though I was a minute or two behind schedule, I stopped by Alabaster Book Shop (122 Fourth Ave) which I find infinitely more pleasant than The Strand, which is just around the corner. There are only four or five shelves given to poetry at Alabaster--while there are are probably 30 or more at The Strand--but I never seem to find many interesting things at The Strand. They have a lot of things you've heard about, but seem to lack anything you haven't. Last time at Alabaster, for instance, I found Night of Loveless Nights by Robert Desnos, translated by Lewis Warsh, published as The Ant's Forefoot 10 in 1973. I'm not sure what Coach House had to do with this series, but the backmatter says to inquire there about previous Ant's Forefoot books. Its limitation is 300 copies. I also found a copy of Big Sky 4, featuring Bernadette Mayer, David Meltzer, Ron Padgett, Marty McClain, Jim Brodey, Terry Allen, Robert Creeley, Anselm Hollo, David Antin, Joe Brainard, Aram Saroyan--along with a Clark Coolidge/Philip Guston collaboration predating the o-blek book by almost two decades.

This time at Alabaster I found:

Foriegnn Bodie Nada Gordon, Detour, 2001 [with an Are Not Our Lowing Heifers Sleeker Than Night-Swollen Mushrooms? postcard laid in]

Broken Off by the Music John Yau, Burning Deck, 1981 [with New Titles Winter 81-82 pamphlet laid in--also, the spine is printed upside-down]

, Kimberly Lyons, Granary Books, 2000 [just realized this is signed, "for Chris, with affection"]

, Nada Gordon & Gary Sullivan, Granary Books, 2001 [also just realized this is signed by both Nada & Gary, festively, with pictures & shit, "for Greg"]

I just snatched the two Granary's without even inspecting them, & they're both signed. Not bad for a five minute quick-dive when I was already late. Reminds me of similar exploits in London. The PSA event was a little on the drab side, with John Hollander delivering a speech about two Robert Frost poems, & some readings by some pseudoboring poets such as Matthew Zapruder, whose name belongs as far away from William Carlos Williams as possible (he once said something mean to Carol Ann), & two young women, one of whom spoke about bugs. I thought about insulting MZ to his face at the reception, or perhaps kicking him in the shin & running, but there was free champagne, & a little courtyard between buildings (or in the building--this was at The New School) where you could sit enjoying the night sky. Across the way a group of young, attractive poets were having a reading, replete with music, laughter, cleavage, & enthusiasm. I watched them for a while, inhaled some smoke, & rejoined the elderly reception until the champagne ran out. Thank you to Tupelo Press.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Unnameable Books, again

On Friday the 13th I visited Unnameable Books for the 2nd time. In February I had seen Nick Piombino read there from his new Factory School book, fait accompli. During the reading I couldn't help but browse a little bit & I happened to find a copy of Kenneth Goldsmith's 73 Poems for a good price--$25 (which I later got signed). This time there wasn't any special events, only me & the books.

$136 & change later, I emerged with :

used poetry:

Visible Shivers Tom Raworth, O Books, 1987
Wanders Robin Blaser, Meredith Quartermain, Nomados, 2002
The Big Lie Mark Wallace, Avec Books, 2000
Song of the West George Trakl, North Point Press, 1988
The Case Laura Moriarty, O Books, 1998
Moving Right Along Kenward Elsmlie, Z Press, 1979 [1276 copies]
Anatman, Pumpkin Seed, Algorithm Loss Pequeno Glazier, Salt, 2003

used prose:

The Cubs and other stories Mario Vargas Llosa, Noonday, 1989
How to Write Gertrude Stein, Dover, 1975

new books:

From Now Johanna Drucker, Cuneiform Press, 2005 [162/200, signed]
To the Cognoscenti Tom Mandel, Atelos, 2007 [600 copies]
SCOUT Norma Cole, Krupskaya, 2005 [CD]
The Private Listener Pamela Lu, Corollary Press, 2006 [150 copies]
Health Pack Brad Flis, the chuckwagon, 2006
The Window Ordered to be Made Brian Kim Stefans, A Rest Press, 2005 [300 copies]


The poetry section was a little richer than the last time I had been there, there were several books I had ordered but not yet received amongst the shelves, which I wanted to buy anyway but managed not to. These included Mark Wallace's Sonnets... and Brett Evans After School Session, both from Buck Downs Books, & Curtis Faville's Stanzas..., which I'm getting direct from him in HC. Eating lunch afterwards, I realized Anatman, Pumpkin Seed, Algorithm was signed by Loss, which I don't think the store realized either, since it was only $6. The book itself seems very interesting. The Trakl title, which was $15, has a sticker on the back stating ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT $9.95 NOW $2.98, making the volume seem extra-over-priced. The Johanna Drucker was $15 but will be worth a shitload more in 5 years. The work itself, which utilizes different fontsizes, seems interesting too. The Brian Kim Stefans book is probably more beautiful than the Druker, it's cover featuring a window cutout revealing bright orange endpapers with the title stamped on them. Lu's The Private Listener is particularly beautiful also, with decorative white stitching & a good small size. The Stein book is sized well as well & is hilarious. Had to buy the BFlis again, although he gave me a copy, which I had put in a safe place during my movings up & down the coast & have since not been able to find. For a mere $2, it's the best deal of the year, as I read it with enthusiasm for about the fourth time. The only reason I bought the Tom Mandel is because it's in the Atelos series [#27]; otherwise I would pass on Mandel because he called Ted Berrigan "Elmer Fudd" at 80 Langton St in 1981. The Norma Cole CD doesn't work.

Friday, April 6, 2007

New from Atlas Press

Ever since @las first announced Andrew Lanyon's Circular Walks Around Rowley Hall last September & said that a signed, limited edition was soon forthcoming from the LIP, I've been patiently, then anxiously, waiting for it. And it's here! With individual original collage plates tipped in! For a mere £33! Finally I'll be able to enjoy what seem to be interesting stylings from Mr Lanyon, described thus by @las:

"The human protagonists are three members of a family devoted to outlandish experimentation, mostly upon themselves or each other. Vera, the levitating psychoanalyst, explores the effects of geology on thought and language; Walter, a retired vivisectionist, preys on artists in the hope of forcibly curing them of their vile creative habits; meanwhile Mervyn, his father, is busy eradicating his son’s efforts by secretly creating strange cinematic extravaganzas and sculptures disguised as scientific apparatus. Or at least that’s what happens on one level…

In fact this is an indefinable book in which both text and image are given equal weight. A state of play (in both senses of the word) exists between them, words provoke images and images text, and a literal visualisation of a joyous creativity is brought into being. It’s a tour-de-force that is at once Gothic narrative, philosophical enquiry, comic novel, a eulogy of the tragic history of St. Ives and the Cornish landscape and an eloquent demonstration of the processes underlying its own creation."

So, six months later, give or take how long it takes the book to get here, at last these pleasures will be mine.

@las has been in full tease mode lately: late last year they provided a useful chronological list of all their publications which, aside from reminding me about the early Anthology titles I sorely lack, also mocked me via its last inclusion:
106. Kevin JACKSON The Pataphysical Flook (LIP: Departmental Papers of DDT 4)
a. Signed by Kevin Jackson, George Melly, Wally Fawkes; b. unsigned.
which had me checking the LIP page with increased frequency over the weeks & months to see when it was going to be made available. Alas, finally, it too has arrived! The price on this one is a little easier to bear, £15, but the true bonus is that the fifth volume from the DDT has also been announced: Asger Jorn's Pataphysics, A Religion In The Making, at a price so cheap (£4.44) it's practically free.

But this is definitely not the end of the good news today from @tlas:

Forthcoming from Atlas Press. We have an extensive programme of new books that is about to begin. The next few publications will be (and probably in this order):

The Deliquescences of Adoré Floupette. The famous pastiche of Decadent poetry by Henri Beauclair and Gabriel Vicaire originally published in 1885.
This first English translation is by Stanley Chapman.

Urmuz Complete Works. The last issue of the Printed Head apart from the free issue for subscribers. We will try and finish off this series and send out slipcases soon to all returning subscribers...

Alice Becker-Ho and Guy Debord A Game of War. The book of Guy Debord's war game. This edition will be the first which actually includes the board and counters and will allow readers to play out the game.

Konrad Bayer the sixth sense. Bayer's last book, with illustrations by Günter Brus commissioned for this edition (there will be a limited edition signed by him).

Alfred Jarry Three Early Novels (Collected Works II). Contains Days and Nights, Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician, Absolute Love.

(Alastair Brotchie has been writing a full-length biography of Jarry to be published by MIT Press next year, and a few Jarry-related off-shoots from this project will appear through Atlas Press in the near future, notably a selection of his letters, and his contributions to L'Ymagier and Perhindérion.)

Michel Leiris The Mirror of Tauromachy, illustrated by André Masson.

Marcel Duchamp, Henri-Pierre Roché, Beatrice Wood Three New York Dadas and The Blindman. New York Dada in 1916-17, contains Roché's roman à clef of the group, Victor (Marcel Duchamp), extracts from Wood's memoirs and a complete facsimile reprint of the magazine they edited together, The Blindman.

Carlo Emilio Gadda The Philosophers' Madonna. His first novel.

In the Anti-Classic series, there will be improved reprints of Aurora by Leiris and Liberty or Love! by Desnos, as well as the first issue of Oulipo Papers (selected translations from the Bibliothèque Oulipienne).

So finally Jarry's Collected Works II is on the way, years after it's cover surfaced online. As always, announcements from @las tend to be quite expensive, yet immensely pleasurable, & this one appears to follow in that vein unwaveringly. The DDT series is probably my favorite from the LIP publications (perhaps due to the signed Baudrillard volume) so it's great to see two new additions there. I'll be getting each of the three new works from the LIP & also replacing Roth's the autobiography of albert einstein which I somehow lost right before I finished reading it. Talk about a good Friday!

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Over the last couple days I have started compiling a few choice bibliographies. The first focuses on a single press, Buck Downs Books, while two others focus on individual works by individual authors--long poems that span several books: Duplessis' Drafts & bp Nichol's Martyrology. Along with these two (but not limited to the single long poem) comes a checklist of books by Rob Fitterman. All are works in progress & if anyone has anything to add, please notify me.

Buck Downs is a DC area poet & publisher affiliated with Rod Smith, Aerial/Edge, & all those other good DC things. I wasn't able to find anything resembling a bibliography online, & it seems like some (if not most) Buck Downs Books might fly a little under the radar, making this very much a work in progress. & while true that the list I've got so far isn't very long, it speaks for itself in terms of who (& also when) it has published.


Robert Fitterman, Ameresque: The Snap Wyatt Poems


Rod Smith, The Boy Poems


Mark Wallace, Sonnets of a Penny-a-Liner


Jeff Conant, The Evacuated Forest Papers


Greg Fuchs Came Like It Went


Brett Evans After School Session

Moving along, Rachel Blau Duplessis' ongoing Drafts can be obtained, in full, via the acquisition of only 2 books, though it's soon to be 3, with another volume due out from Salt this year. As usual with these types of long works, this is hardly the entire bibliophile's version of the story. To date, Drafts has appeared in at least 6 books:

Drafts [3-14] from Potes & Poets in 1991

Draft X: Letters
from Singing Horse (Philadelphia) in 1991

Draft 15 XXX The Fold from Potes & Poets in 1997

Renga, Draft 32 from BeautifulSwimmer (Philadelphia) in 1998

Drafts 1-38, Toll from Wesleyan in 2001

Draft, unnumbered: Précis from Nomados (Vancouver) in 2004

Drafts 39-57, Pledge, with Draft, unnumbered: Précis from Salt (Cambridge) in 2004

Torques, Drafts 58-76 from Salt (Cambridge) in 2007 [forthcoming]

I am also working on a list of periodicals in which Drafts have appeared. So far, my list is very short, but I'll be adding to it soon:

Jacket (online):
Issue 29 contains "Draft 73: Vertigo"
Issue 28 contains "Draft 66: Scroll"
Issue 14 contains "Draft 42: Epistle, Studios"

from "Draft 32: Renga" is in Conjunctions 30
"Draft 38: Georgics" is in Conjunctions 35
"Draft 55: Quiptych" is in Conjunctions 40
"Draft LXX: Lexicon" is in Conjunctions 44

bp Nichol's Martyrology is happily kept in print by Coach House to this day, now in a total of six volumes; the 1st editions of books 1 & 2 are separate, while subsequent printings are bound together. The 2nd printings of books 1 & 2 are also revised, making them more interesting than just reprints, if still non-essential. These are the dates of the first editions of the volumes put out by Coach House:

The Martyrology Books 1 and 2 (1972)

The Martyrology Books 3 and 4 (1976)

The Martyrology Book 5 (1982)

The Martyrology Book 6 Books (1987)

Gifts: The Martyrology Book[s] 7& (1990)

Ad Sanctos: The Martyrology Book 9 (1993)

As is usually the case with works such as these, there are a few other publications out there that will interest the collector. So far I've come across:

Continental Trance: The Martyrology Book 3
Oolichan Books 1982 46 pgs

Book V Chain 8. Draft: March 10/11/1979
Coach House Press
Manuscript edition #3

You Too, Nicky from the Martyrology Bo(o)k 7 (VII)
[privately issued] 1989
signed by the publishers

I am hoping there are more instances such as these because they make collecting The Martyrology that much more fun & interesting.

Finally, I've compiled what I think is a mostly complete checklist of Rob Fitterman's books. At the moment, his Metropolis series can be obtained in 3 separate volumes, the first put out by Sun & Moon, the second by Coach House, & the third by Edge. Those familiar with these volumes may be surprised to see how many smaller selections from Metropolis have been published over the years in various editions. I know I really want to get my hands on one of those Potes & Poets copies. If anyone knows what year that came out, please fill me in.


[101 signed copies, hardcover]


among the cynics.
Singing Horse


Ameresque: The Snap Wyatt Poems.
Buck Downs Books

Metropolis 1-3.

[unknown date]

Metropolis 4-12.
Potes & Poets
[limited edition of 30 copies]


Metropolis 16-20.
Edge Books


Metropolis 1-15.
Sun & Moon




Metropolis XXX: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edge Books


War the musical with Dirk Rowntree

In other news, I'm still kicking my own ass for missing Nada Gordon's book party. Nick Piombino mentions it on his blog & makes it sound like just the sort of thing I should be attending. Unfortunately I couldn't make the 3 p.m. start time as my sleep schedule is totally fucked, but I'm trying to get it back.

Alli Warren of SPD reads soon @ St Marx, & CA Conrad is reading soon @ the BPC, both of which I plan on attending, if I can manage to get out of bed before dusk.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

'Is it about a bicycle?'

Today marks the 41st anniversary of Flann O'Brien's death, April Fools' Day 1966.

He was born in 1911. Best known for
At Swim-Two-Birds, said to be one of the last novels Joyce read before he died, my favorite work of his is unquestionably The Third Policeman. Not only is it one of the funniest works of Irish fiction, a strong case could be made for it as the funniest book I've ever read, surpassing not only those of Beckett & Joyce, but everyone, worldwide, forever. (In truth, it probably falls short of Finnegans Wake and Don Quixote, but I'll allow myself the hyperbole, today especially.)

I first read the book at what proved to be a very formative time for my reading & collecting habits. It was in stock, inexplicably, at a Tower Records/Bookstore in Richmond, VA, during the 2nd half of my sophomore year. I had spent my first year of college in Charleston, the previous semester abroad in France, & decided to come home. At that point in time I didn't know I'd be soon returning to Charleston, with the rest of my life waiting to happen there. I had just started to read literary fiction on my own the previous semester, beginning with books like The Crying of Lot 49, Journey to the End of the Night, White Noise, The New York Trilogy, & Catch 22, basically with no other guide besides the lists on The same Tower Records store also stocked Ishmael Reed's Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down, & it was between those books that I first noted the role of the publisher, which in this case was Dalkey Archive. Always attracted to lists, I pored over the titles on the back few pages of Yellow Back & Policeman, eventually landing at Dalkey's website, which in turn led to one of the first important moments of library expansion: their deal of 100 books for $500, a bargain I ended up taking advantage of twice within about 6 months.

In those days, my library was at least two-thirds Dalkey Archive, New Directions & Grove Press titles, if not more. Dalkey released an anthology, Innovations, edited by Robert L McLaughlin, that was particularly formative. In its pages I read Coover, Gaddis, Barth, & Stein, among others, for the first time; I
specifically remember Cris Mazza's "Is it Sexual Harrassment Yet?" & the creative & problematic way the story was presented. But even more importantly, at the end of the Innovations volume there was included a list of 101 "Highly Eccentric Books for Further Reading". Though the book constricted itself only to American writers, the list did not. I practically memorized it, & started to acquire as many titles as possible. This lead me to writers such as Thomas Bernhard, Julio Cortazar, Danilo Kis, John Hawkes, Jose Donoso, Georges Perec, & Juan Rulfo.

Back to Flann O'Brien. In addition to the titles Dalkey put out, which include The Poor Mouth, The Hard Life, The Dalkey Archive (I'm not sure if this is where the press took its name, but I've always assumed so), & several volumes of his journalism, I've also acquired Stories and Plays and A Flann O'Brien Reader, both put out by Viking in the 70s. The latter includes a sampling of all of his novels with introductions to each, & most importantly some of the less popular, more occasional writings, along with a bibliography; it is such a good volume that it literally falls apart as you read it, whether from cheap glue or prior mistreatment, I can't say. The most interesting works in Stories and Plays are "Slattery's Sago Saga, or From under the Ground to the Top of the Trees" which is billed as an unfinished novel, & the play "Faustus Kelly", written by another of Flann's pseudonyms, Myles na Gopaleen (Flann O'Brien was itself a pseudonym of Brian O'Nolan). The only overlap between the two Viking editions is the well-known "A Bash in the Tunnel"--making both worth owning for fans of his major works.

The Third Policeman
also marked the first indication of the importance of the publisher's role for me, as the book went unpublished in Flann's lifetime. It is true that At Swim-Two-Birds never sold well, its publication coinciding with the onset of WWII. From William Gass's introduction to At Swim: "According to its author, Adolf Hitler hated At Swim-Two-Birds so vehemently he started World War II in order to interfere with its sales. 'In a grim irony that is not without charm,' O'Nolan wrote, 'the book survived the war while Hitler did not.'" All comedy aside, it is inexplicable that The Third Policeman went unpublished at the time.
From the intro of the book by Denis Donoghue: Flann "was disconsolate. He could not face the humiliation of telling Dublin that his second novel had been rejected in two continents, so he took a desperate step. He pretended that the sole typescript of the novel had been lost and that he could not write it again. Donagh MacDonagh was the only friend to whom he confided the truth. The book was not published till 1967, a year after O'Brien's death." One cannot help but wonder what further novels of brilliance O'Brien may have been able to produce had he not suffered the ego blow that was having Policeman rejected.

Gass, at the end of his introduction to
At Swim (in which he calls Policeman "beautiful to a degree unrecognizable") finishes thus: "Through an irony perhaps too broad to be believed, death claimed Brian O'Nolan on the first Fools' Day of April, 1966, a day when Flann O'Brien was absent, participating in the celebration and drinking deep." In another irony that is perhaps difficult to believe, though nonetheless highly pleasant, in October of '05 the book was featured in the popular TV show Lost, & in the intervening year & a half it has sold many more thousands of copies than it ever did from 1967 up until that point, becoming Dalkey's best-selling title to date. Flann would undoubtedly be pleased that so many people are finally reading his book, even for the silly reason of gaining insight into a TV show. I personally am pleased to think that thousands of new readers are searching for answers in passages such as this:

'Well, now,' he said again. He had his little lamp beside
him on the table and he played his fingers on it.
'That is a fine day,' I said. ' What are you doing with
a lamp in the white morning?'
'I can give you a question as good as that,' he responded.
'Can you notify me of the meaning of a bulbul?'
'A bulbul?'
'What would you say a bulbul is?'
This conundrum did not interest me but I pretended to
rack my brains and screwed my face in perplexity until I
felt it half the size it should be.
'Not one of those ladies who take money?' I said.
'Not the brass knobs on a German steam organ?'
'Not the knobs.'
'Nothing to do with the independence of America or
'A mechanical engine for winding clocks?'
'A tumour, or the lather in a cow's mouth, or those elastic
articles that ladies wear?'
'Not them by a long chalk.'
'Not an eastern musical instrument played by Arabs?'
He clapped his hands.
'Not that but very near it,' he smiled, 'something next
door to it. You are a cordial intelligible man. A bulbul is a
Persian nightingale. What do you think of that now?'
'It is seldom I am far out,' I said dryly.
He looked at me in admiration and the two of us sat in
silence for a while as if each was very pleased with himself
and with the other and had good reason to be.
'You are a B.A. with little doubt?' he questioned.
I gave no direct answer but tried to look big and learned
and far from simple in my little chair.
'I think you are a sempiternal man,' he said slowly.
He sat for a while giving the floor a strict examination and
then put his dark jaw over to me and began questioning me
about my arrival in the parish.
'I do not want to be insidious,' he said, 'but would you
inform me about your arrivial in the parish? Surely you had
a three-speed gear for the hills?'
'I had no three-speed gear,' I responded rather sharply,
' and no two-speed gear and it is also true that I had no
bicycle and little or no pump and if I had a lamp itself it
would not be necessary if I had no bicycle and there would
be no bracket to hang it on.'
'That may be,' said MacCruiskeen, 'but likely you were
laughed at on the tricycle?'
'I had neither bicycle nor tricycle and I am not a dentist,'
I said with severe categorical thoroughness, 'and i do not
believe in the penny-farthing or the scooter, the velocipede
or the tandem-tourer.'
MacCruiskeen got white and shaky and gripped my arm
and looked at me intensely.
'In my natural puff,' he said at last, in a strained voice, 'I
have never encounteered a more fantastic epilogue or a
queerer story. Surely you are a queer far-fetched man. To
my dying night I will not forget this today morning. Do not
tell me that you are taking a hand at me?'
'No,' I said.
'Well Great Crikes!'
He got up and brushed his hair with a flat hand back
along his skull and looked out of the window for a long in-
terval, his eyes popping and dancing and his face like an
empty bag with no blood in it.
Then he walked around to put back the circulation and
took a little spear from a place he had on the shelf.
'Put your hand out,' he said.
I put it out idly enough and he held the spear at it. He
kept putting it near me and nearer and when he had the
bright point of it about half a foot away, I felt a brick and
gave a short cry. There was a little bead of my red blood
in the middle of my palm.
'Thank you ver much,' I said. I felt too surprised to be
annoyed with him.
'That will make you think,' he remarked in triumph,
'unless I am an old Dutchman by profession and nation-