No longer did I keep track of days or dates, months or seasons, maintained no spreadsheets or accounting tables, those oversize green grid papers of boxes for numbers, vertical and horizontal reticulums storing data – what was given, what was taken, what was traded, what was sold, what was lost, what was gained. I had no vision, no mission statement, no objectives, no goals, no action plans, no target dates, no metrics. Business, commerce, like most other human enterprises, relies on language, and I had not yet lost words. The idea of praying, in particular, without words, had not yet come to me. Thus I continued my daily inventories, posting to my pocket notebook what I’d seen, heard, smelled, tasted, felt – the fat and flour of living one day at a time, no calendar, no appointment book, no contact list, no cold calls, no hot calls, no calls at all. No leads to follow up on. No inbox. No outbox. I remained aware of my unique position of privilege and how I’d obtained it, specifically the $300 million I’d pilfered from Walter, but just for a few hours, just long enough to cipher off some capital affording me a position from which I could both care and not care, though I had yet to learn to sit still. To report is to back carry, to carry on one’s back what one has accomplished, or failed to – at, with, from, below. A report puts a superior or subordinate or peer or groups thereof on notice of one’s presence, reminds some power of one’s presence, still waiting, awaiting, one’s availability, often irritably so, a codified reminder of jurisdiction and rule, of grip and clout. Reports are the daily bread of officialdom and bureaucracy. When all else fails, when no presentation presents to save one from one’s present predicament, one can always read or write a report.

“Report” is episode 37 of Inventories
a Novel in Progress in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads.
(Click link for continuous, one page view of all episodes.)

Note: With episode 30, the title of the novel was changed
from the original working title of “Ball Lightning” to Inventories.

Micro Poems with Eye Exam

Eye Exam

Picnic Technique

Moistly dripping sap
pilly this juicy gusto
pudding wasp crust
paper crisp in cut grass.

Sara Monaurally

The staked sapling at the gibbet
     silent squirming wail.

Fit For a New Hat

  1. When you measured my head
  2. blue eyes saw yonder
  3. sea anemones in tide pools
  4. I wanted to hug you but with
  5. the magnifying tape around my head
  6. ironically did you order
  7. the hat anyway?

Flashing Lights and Floaters

So tiny she climbed up through my nose and into my eyes and swam around
in the vitreous liquid, kicking off my retina.

Such a big name for so tiny a doctor.

“The lights are like paramoeciums falling like electric rain drops
white paisley sparkles on a flat black poster board
down always down never up in the far corner
of the right eye,” she said.

“Yes, I see them,” I said. “There goes one now,
like strobes.”

“It is still somewhat ambiguous,” she said.
She had an accent to my ear.
“Let me drop in some dye
and have a swim around.”

High up on the top floor a magnificat view of the streaming
river and tiny cars floaters across the gargantruss
ginormous gargling cement girdles of the fat city.
Straight down where they build the barges
always the two blue cranes shifting
an orange crane I’d never seen there before.

When she photographed my eyes
I saw faces like on the veil of Veronica
but morphing shapes
and a Trinity:
The father seemed bored, the little kid,
annoyed to be kept waiting,
flitted about like a ghost,
and the mother sat quietly slumped
over in a chair, resting, as if
keeping me company while
the dye spread out my eyes
into two flat brown oceans.