look, this place might not be for you. i don't know if it's even for me. everything here is so square, so orderly. i know that moving from round huts to square was a big achievement for humanity, and believe me, i like square buildings, but i don't mean it that way. i don't mean that tired old 50s hipster slang either. it's square like balance sheets and strident voices raised at protests for causes fashionable in cosmopolitan centers. square like a fair deal buffet meal. square like opportunity and a liquor store on every corner. square like a box in which you can put round, toroid, pyramid, even something rare like a nautilus.

but it's not the square that makes it what it is, because everything's square if you look at it that way. even tree frogs use language. i can write you a haiku about how if mankind just abandoned language and all thinking we'd have peace on earth, but no one believes that, unless they're so square they also think drinking up the ocean would dry the earth. you might be jim morrison, you might be wittgenstein, you might be derrida, but do you know of the truth of the sun? the earth turns as does the light, it envelops us and we forget its continuity, but it exists outside of all things square. block-cut streets, sold; buildings, selling; people, functioning. it's as if we forgot what ulysses meant, maybe meaning our heroism is left on the train, lost behind the abandoned church, rotting in a field of empty barrels. well! not much to do but get on.

this is a nice town, as things go these days. main stream is where you can find the shops and artisans, but if you go down a side street or two you can find details connecting, and really, some of the biggest action is in the parking lots and empty lots and back alleys where people go to have a quiet conversation, a smoke, a kiss. a talk with friends. buildings cast shadows even at night. i can hear the clocks and the buzzing of the street lamps and the air conditioners kick on occasionally. strange days - a feast of friends, alive she cried, det som engang var...?

Dear Mom,

College is great. I'm learning a lot and meeting a lot of new people. There's so much to do and see! We're in this quaint little place that looks like it fell out of the sky one day when the world forgot to be the world. Even the trash trucks are quiet and painted odd colors. It's not as efficient as the city, and very few things are standardized, but it'll do for college. Although I really like it, I can't wait to move on and get a good job and a house, because the dormitory food is terrible! I hope you're all well. Tell Dad and my brothers that I miss them too. I'll be home for Christmas and we can go shopping. Oh well, got to get back to studying. I'll phone this weekend.

Suzy Feathers

a typical saturday morning: rise, drink water, drink coffee, take a bong hit. have a cigarette on the porch and talk to whomever wanders by. most people are still asleep, alcohol just now draining from kidneys. get bored around ten and walk the mile to the record store, then go up to the bank and check money, then cross the street and walk down the sunny side past the sidewalk cafes to the bookstore or hardware, maybe kill another cigarette on the corner where everyone posts notes and forsales, then dip between the machine shop and florist and visit that little coffeeshop that hides behind its own fences. when you're done, slide past the other bank to see if the concrete gardens have attracted more skaters, then pass the pharmacy and go to the convenience store, pick up a pint with a fake ID and then walk back to school. past the ornate houses in rows, past the bizarre small businesses hidden in large bulky row buildings, past the boutiques and art supply store. go right on by the psychology building, the english building, the main gate. keep walking until you find meaning. if you don't find it, you will have arrived, and that may be meaning enough? i can't put in language what i mean, until you already know what meaning is, because then language is the icing on the cake. which will be square.