Monthly Archives: October 2011

An Ambitious Prose Poem re: Literary Lists

How to write a list of 7 things:

If the world has taught us any seven things:
1) People love lists.
2) I’m lousy at lists.
3) Writing a list is tantamount to saying, “I have had several complete thoughts on a single topic”. And who can bear listening to someone like that?
… and I can’t go on. Since Danielewski effectively destroyed the list for any lesser list-maker, I’ve given up on them. Who could compete? Really. No one. Let’s move forward from Joyce and catalog just a few:

Borges had his lists that raised ontological questions.
Brautigan had his lists that didn’t.
Amis is a skilled player, spouting lists as if he were reciting poetry, but he’s an homage-payer; lists aren’t really his game. His lists are like garden fountains: they’re mostly decorative.
David Foster Wallace had a penchant for it (as we are all well aware) but his lists were dry, parched things, mostly scientific.
Eco doesn’t really make lists; his calendar is simply quite full, thank you.


A rare poem

A Conversation among Christian Bachelors

I need a miracle.
I obviously can’t help myself.
Isn’t that what everyone says when they’ve hit the pit?
They pray for conviction, they pray for direction,
too lethargic to move.
Isn’t that what the soon to be convert says, already getting
ready to give himself up?
I need a miracle?
The rain falls on a dusty field.
I need a miracle?
The invading navy is swept away.
I need a miracle?
The agent who knows that writing can be an art.
Because I’m living in a rooming-house, already,
suffered enough
to get here,
I need a miracle.