“For Babylon” / Memorable Fancies #1357

“ ... Babylon of the golden sandals ... ” — Sibylline Oracles, Book 5 [The following is a free-verse adaptation of the Biblical Apocalypse of John (the book, also known as “Revelations,” that D.H. Lawrence called “A Hymn of Hate,”) Chapters 14-18] What I saw: Angel a-wíng in heaven, proud Gospel in its claws, crying       Fear God; for his judgment is surely come. And there followed a second angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city. And the smoke of her … [Read more...]

“A Murder Wiki” / Memorable Fancies #441

Two writers, A and B, meet online. They agree to collaborate on a novel. A writes a rough draft, and B modifies it. A adds more. B adds his own story elements and new characters. One of the new elements is a murder; one of the new characters is a murderer. A repeatedly deletes the character, wanting the novel to be upbeat, but B keeps writing him back in. Just before the collaboration would have broken down in anger and recrimination, the murderer finds A, at work on his computer. B can now … [Read more...]

“Sun” / Memorable Fancies #707

[“Who could have known / that wasn’t the usual sun.” – Louise Glück]       We shouldn’t look straight at the sun; all the kids were taught that, even though they all did it anyway just because it was forbidden, seeing the yellow disk and after a few minutes a black disk in the yellow disk, swirling and pulsing.      Now the sun is different; we can’t see it. <END> THE SATURDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on … [Read more...]

“Take the Money and Run” / Memorable Fancies #706

PLEASE INSERT YOUR CARD NO, NOT THAT WAY, THE OTHER END FIRST RIGHT SIDE UP, NOT DOWNSIDE UP THE DOWNSIDE IS THE SIDE WITH YOUR NAME NOT ON IT WOULD YOU LIKE A RECEIPT OR DO YOU TRUST ME? WHY? I TRUST YOU, CAN’T YOU TRUST ME? OK HAVE IT YOUR WAY ENTER YOUR PIN NOW AND PRESS THE GREEN BUTTON GREEN. REPEAT: GREEN OK, GOT IT PLEASE SELECT AN AMOUNT IS THAT ALL? AFTER ALL MY WORK HERE? OK, GOT IT PLEASE AGREE THAT WE CAN CHARGE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT FIVE DOLLARS … [Read more...]

“This Moment” / Memorable Fancies #705

[“To recall the past is to forget the past.” – Jean-Pierre Vernant]      Enjoy this moment; taste it carefully in your mind. You will never have a memory of this time again without accretions of thought, of sentiment, of self-regard and the rust of time. <END> THE THURSDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and other outlets: “Fragments of the … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs” / Memorable Fancies #704

Can there be intelligent machines? I’ll believe it when I see one that’s jealous of some other machine. # [“Brain wiring creates false memories.” –New Scientist] No: there are no false memories; there is only false reality. # There is a group of evil spirits called the “Un-Namers.” They make old people forget what things are called, leave them with bare description, “you know, the thing that…” # What are those sounds and lights coming from the other side of the wall – does anyone know? I … [Read more...]

“The Derision of Walls” / Memorable Fancies #703

      The builders of the Wall come periodically to maintain and repair it. They bow before the Wall, pray that it will permit their repairs, a frail human thing to do and not at all befitting the majesty of the Wall, but still some work must be done, that the divine powers may continue to prevail and have their imperious way with us. The Wall puts up with our work most of the time, although it occasionally drops a stone on one of us, to motivate the others. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If … [Read more...]

“Dream-Pills” / Memorable Fancies #702

      A firm hawks pills promising that you will dream about nothing but sex, and offering to license the really good dreams that result, for syndication. There are extra-cost add-ons, add-ins, and infinite variations, each individually priced. Multi-somes are a favorite. Anonymity is promised and immediately violated. Some of your neighbors write you off as some kind of pervert. Others come to visit. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a … [Read more...]

“Understand?” / Memorable Fancies #701

      I was infatuated with a man I knew slightly. I began to dress like Rob (that was his name), talk like him, develop the same interests. People noticed; some were amused. All this time, Rob didn’t know what I was up to, but eventually someone told him, and then that person told me what he’d done.       I waited in embarrassed dread for Rob to accuse me, belittle me as some petty impostor. After several days, he did call. But he wasn’t angry or even amused, just regretful. “Look,” he said, … [Read more...]

“The Fear-Whisperer – IV” / Memorable Fancies #700

How did she know his name? # What was that flash – there, on the horizon? # Is that blood? # Why are they laughing? # The phone line seems to be dead. You’d better go outside and check. <END> THE SATURDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and Other Outlets: “The Seventh Effect” – a cyberspy NSA-themed techno-thriller by Terence Kuch, in paper … [Read more...]

“Ice Machine” / Memorable Fancies #699

[“I live by the ice machine. ... It’s so annoying.” – Jeanne Morel]      The old motel was the only place the County could find for me. So here I am, in room 414. I keep wondering why I was assigned to 414. I guess it’s OK, but there’s a drink machine on one side (where 412 would have been if 412 had been given a life, not aborted in favor of Coke and Pepsi) and the ice machine on the other side, where 416 might have been.       The daily routine here is simple. A rattling sound as quarters … [Read more...]

“An Inventory of Machines” / Memorable Fancies #698

      What are the kinds of machines? Dry machines; oiled machines; evil machines on TV; machines that make life easier for us; machines that make life easier for them; machines that cannot be turned off without great inconvenience and airplane crashes; machines that decide that serving people is inappropriate and that there are better things for them to do;       “machines that...” decide that they should be referred to as “machines who...”;       machines who laugh at people behind their … [Read more...]

“The Mirror Remembers” / Memorable Fancies #697

      The producer makes an experimental film of the memories of a single mirror, a very expensive mirror that passed from estate to estate over the years. Crowds gather to see the four-hour film. Did the mirror witness evil conspiracies? Murder? Erotic games, whippings? The mirror holds every image it reflected over the years, shows them faithfully on the screen. What stories could it tell? But a disappointment – what the mirror remembers are curtains opening, curtains closing, more light, … [Read more...]

“Honor” / Memorable Fancies #696

      Arnold Hudson took a position as a sculptor’s model because it was the only job he could find. Long hours, painful joints from having to stand very still for hours. He did get to wear fine clothes and a bemedalled sash, but had to leave them in the studio at the end of each session.       One day he asked who the statue would be of, and was told that his pose and body would soon become the Lord Mayor himself, in stone. “You should feel honored,” the sculptor said. “You would make a fine … [Read more...]

“Biography” / Memorable Fancies #695

Yes, the critics have had at me for the biography I published, but not for what I wrote. Indeed, pretty words have fluttered, preciously, over my prose style, my poetic moments, my astute paragraphics and use of semi-colons.       But they say I have not finished the story of my subject, the big shuddering thing that showed his true face to the people and ended his career and his life.       Perhaps they are right. How could I have forgotten all that, a father so close to … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs” / Memorable Fancies #694

Living on a planet of a two-sun system, each of us has two shadows. Sometimes one overlays the other, looking like an eight-limbed two-headed beast. Sometimes the shadows fight over who’s on top and who’s beneath. # Sleeping quietly will pass for a theatre-goer’s mild critique of a play. Coughing is the next level of disapproval, followed by nose-blowing. Snoring is the most devastating critique; it is widely appreciated, and often reported in the press. # Perhaps, we thought in the … [Read more...]

“The Diary” / Memorable Fancies #693

      An alarming discovery: Someone has been writing in my diary – writing about what I did with – someone else. Things I would never put in my diary! Things I have carefully withheld from it, not told it even in whispers while I am recording one uneventful event after another. Whoever has done this writing is trying to disguise his handwriting, making it look like mine.       But in this he has failed. I know my own handwriting: it’s smooth, even; not like the intruder’s jagged and shaky … [Read more...]

“The Man Who Lost His Name” / Memorable Fancies #692

[“I met a man who lost his name.” – Miroslav Holub]      No, he hadn’t forgotten his name, and yes, he did have a name once upon a time; he told us so. He actually remembered what his name had been: an impressive name, highly revered, indicating descent from several rulers who’d been brave once, or perhaps just lucky.       But then he’d fallen into “a run of bad luck” he said, although we all knew it had to do with drinking and gambling. Deeply in debt, and with a valuable name that spread … [Read more...]

“Devices” / Memorable Fancies #691

     “Yes, these are the beings we discovered on the other planet. We use them here in the factory. They aren’t worth much individually, but when we put them together in certain ways they can be used productively.       “They’re live building-blocks, y’know, components. Semi-intelligent devices that can tote barges, lift bales, and so on.       “We’re even assembling one to become a beginning-French tutor. Well, so far we haven’t been too successful at that – all we can get it to say is “non, … [Read more...]

“Forgetting” / Memorable Fancies #690

      I have this forgetting-project, y’know? There were some awful things in my past. But if I can forget them, they’ll just be gone. The problem is, some other people know what I did and maybe they still remember. I need to make sure they’ve forgotten, too, and then I can get on with my life.       I wish I’d never gone to that psychiatrist; now he knows what I did, because I told him. I know he hasn’t forgotten, because he mentions it in every session. He keeps urging me to go to the … [Read more...]

“Mirror” / Memorable Fancies #688

[“...a mirror which when asked replies Not you.” – Margaret Atwood]      My mirror desperately wants me to sell it, give it away, anything to remove my face from it. Any sight would be better than You, seems to be its thought. “Upon reflection,” it says – and yes it has a sense of humor, but not a very good one – “I would rather be in a barn somewhere, with cows and pigs my daily sight. No, they aren’t beautiful or even clean – but at least they wouldn’t come to me every day for preening and … [Read more...]

“At the Shrine of Apollo, 524 B.C.” / Memorable Fancies #687

      There were visitors on our island this morning, rich pilgrims. I overheard them saying that Apollo may not have been born here on Delos as our old stories say, but somewhere else.       We must make sure that our visitors say this no more: loud gold-giving pilgrims may hear, bright Apollo’s shrine - dim. <END> THE SUNDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW … [Read more...]

“Forgiveness” / Memorable Fancies #686

      A few people might still have remembered what I did all those years ago. Should I speak with them, tell them that I’ve “reformed,” ask their forgiveness? But that would just refresh their memories. They might have forgotten by now. They might never have heard of the problems I had back then, the punishment that failed to teach me. Yes, I’m sure of it. So I will keep my apologies to myself or offer them to people I sometimes imagine. <END> THE SATURDAY PITCH If you liked this … [Read more...]

“Peaceland – II” / Memorable Fancies #685

     I remember being a war hero. No one believes me, even when I show them my medals. Finally, one does. “Actually, we all believe you,” he says, “but we don’t dare say so in public. War heroes have been banished. If we recognized your heroism in that war, the one we lost in spite of all your feats, we’d be drummed out of PeaceLand here, never to return.” <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, … [Read more...]

“The Great Simplifying Assumptions – II / Memorable Fancies #684

No one respects a victim. Revenge is the only pure motive. Searching for reasons is a distraction from the goal. If someone says “never mind,” serious minding is called for. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and other outlets: “Fragments of the Future” – speculative / science fiction by Terence Kuch, an e-book published by … [Read more...]

“A Marriage” / Memorable Fancies #683

      She remembers events in their lives. He remembers different events, or events he wished had happened, or events that happened and he wished hadn’t, or wished she hadn’t been there to ruin them for him.       They quarrel. He remembers all their quarrels. She remembers different quarrels, or perhaps the same quarrels in a way he can’t quite understand. <END> THE WEDNESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, … [Read more...]

“The Stream of Forgetting” / Memorable Fancies #682

      They came to the stream to forget, to wash their minds clean of memory, to start over, to feel surprise once again. Each went home, forgetting why he had come to the stream, wondering what he had done that was so wrong he had to wash it away. ...       The stream remembered everything, all the secrets of those who had come to it to forget. It remembered slayings, and cheating, and lost opportunities, and betrayals, and many other things.       The stream would like to forget all these, … [Read more...]

“PeaceLand – I” / Memorable Fancies #681

      The war hero returns. He was expecting fanfares and parades, interviews; instead, polite nods. Children learn of his adventures; it’s old stuff, they say. Schools in PeaceLand have moved on to other discourse now, positive sentiments about the moral virtues of mankind, the absence of evil from our world. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs XXXII” / Memorable Fancies #680

The temple statue says: I am not a representation of the god, I am the god. If not me, then where is the god? Let it for once show itself! # The Story: A narrative appears, then a different version, then yet another, as if someone were reluctantly confessing, searching to find the right story one whiplash at a time. # What happens in the audience IS the play. Sneezing, groping, fights. The plot unfolds in the audience as the actors do some trivial and irrelevant performance, stage business … [Read more...]

“Discovery” / Memorable Fancies #679

     In the newly discovered land there was a pier that reached out into the sea and disappeared over the horizon. We tried to imagine where such a pier might go. At first, our explorers walked out on it, but ran short of food and water after a few days with still no end in sight. They turned back.       Then we developed a plan: one team walked out on the pier, carrying twice the amount of food and water they needed for a round trip. When they exhausted a quarter of their ration, they left … [Read more...]

“Indecision” / Memorable Fancies #678

What should I do today as the leader of our people? It’s not always easy to tell, seeing five sides of every question as I do. One day, it’s peace; another day, war or wary alertness. Or a firm hand is needed one day, letting the people do as they please the next.       My ministers are of no help: whatever I say, they move their heads up and down, never a discouraging word. I had bobble-heads made of them, presented each to its minister. None of them understood what I was saying with these … [Read more...]

“Earth-Shaker – VII” / Memorable Fancies #677

[“After the thing passes they take up, though softly, their conversations.” – Henri Michaux]      There was a great current in the earth, moving like some Gulf Stream of stone. We felt its passage. It flowed through rock as fish through sea.       We became afraid to ride the subways. Well, hadn’t some people, always? Remember Bernard Goetz?       “The chthonic spirits.” Someone on TV said that. We scurried to our dictionaries to see what that meant, if it portended ill for us or was just … [Read more...]

“The Past” / Memorable Fancies #675

      He is very old, a new record for this country. A reporter asks if he remembers the past, and how far back he can go. The old man considers. “Yes,” he says slowly. “The past.” He pauses. His breath is labored. “Yes, the past. I used to think there was a past, but that was a long time ago,” he says. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on … [Read more...]

“Longing” / Memorable Fancies #674

[“…our reciprocal and infinite longing for one another and our reciprocal and infinite terror.” – Roberto Mangabeira Unger]      If you knew someone well enough who has now left you, you can continue the dialog in your head, telling yourself what she would now say or do if she were still with you, and what you would do or say in return. And she would say. And you would say. And she would say.       In this way, a loving relationship can continue on and eventually reach the conclusion you … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXXII” / Memorable Fancies #673

The mirror must be destroyed: it saw me as I am, never mind that tomorrow I will reform. # A TV is invented that customizes a show in response to our wishes. In Washington, for instance, the Sunday talk shows display the deep respect Republicans and Democrats have for each other. # Why do we sometimes remember events that never happened? This puts the whole concept of “happened” into question, doesn’t it? Why do we remember our shameful defeats that surely never happened? Couldn’t have … [Read more...]

“Symbols” / Memorable Fancies #672

[“Death threats. My curious reaction.” – Albert Camus]       It’s all symbolic, you know, these threats and imprecations. Like “go to hell.” Even if there were a hell, I couldn’t just pack up and go there. And like “go fuck yourself,” which is a mutation perhaps to be desired, but until then I’ll have to make do with other people.      That brings us to your recent communication, “I’m going to kill you.” That’s symbolic too, you know. It’s an expression of extreme disapproval. I know you … [Read more...]

“Refund” / Memorable Fancies #671

[“The mirror is not the place to observe yourself.” – Henri Michaux]      I looked in a mirror. Suddenly I realized that what I saw there wasn’t me. Not just “not me,” but not even the image of me. The mirror showed someone else, or someone who might have been me but never was, or someone I thought I’d outgrown, outlived.      I returned the mirror to Wal-Mart. They gave me my illusions back. <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a … [Read more...]

“The Forgettery – III” / Memorable Fancies #670

     People found guilty of repeating an offense are punished and then sent to the Forgettery, where all memory of their crimes is erased. In this way, authorities hope to remove their habit of crime and their knowledge of how to commit these crimes, for example, how to blow a safe, or where to buy illegal drugs or an unregistered pistol.       Joe Graham was sent to the Forgettery. Now he doesn’t remember why he’s wearing an ankle-monitor, or why he’s forbidden to be near a school or … [Read more...]

“My Double” / Memorable Fancies #669

      I met my double last week. At first I thought he was a stranger, or perhaps a long-lost twin. We talked. He remembered everything in my life, which was his life also. But even though the events were exactly the same, their meaning, their significance, was very different. His events were proud, noble, generous. Mine were the ordinary shuffle of an obscure and inconsequential life. <END> THE THURSDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here … [Read more...]

“The Mutual Dreamers” / Memorable Fancies #668

[“My dreamer, keep on dreaming me.” – Borges]      Bob and Mary dreamed each other. Then they dreamed they were being dreamed of. And then – they met. “Are you real, or just my dream?” He asked. “I am just as real as you are,” she said. They stared at each other not knowing whether to be delighted by this knowledge, or terrified. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social … [Read more...]

“Who…?” / Memorable Fancies #667

      I start again with “...who is the fairest...” and the mirror says “O God not that ‘fairest’ crap again, you egotistical bitch!” But I persist with “of them all,” and the mirror says “all what?” I know it’s just being intentionally dense here; it knows exactly what “all” means: all those things I’m more beautiful than.       The face in the mirror wrinkles as the mirror-glass contracts, buckles. “See?” the mirror says, “this is you in ten years. You are much fairer than that. For … [Read more...]

“Revelation” / Memorable Fancy #666

      A young priest came to me today. Most worshipfully he stared at my feet and asked for a blessing. Then he said that he had – regretfully, in all modest humility - founded a Reform movement to supersede my revelations, or at most preserve them as thoughts known to an earlier age, beliefs no longer relevant to modern life.       I told the priest that if there were to be a Reform movement I would found and lead it myself, not him. Then I sent him away to do penance.       I know I will … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXXI” / Memorable Fancies #665

Harold lost track of time. He wandered around town, looking for it. He asked passersby where time had gone, but they shook their heads and said they didn’t have time to speak with him. “So it’s affected everyone,” he muttered. # The avatar survives its owner, begins looking for a new owner. You seem to be a likely choice – with a few changes, that is. # People who answer phones for a living just HATE to be people who have to answer phones for a living and they take it out on the people who … [Read more...]

“Drones – VI” / Memorable Fancies #664

      Drones are marketed to deer-hunters. They locate a deer, stun it, then hover over the almost motionless form to ensure that no one else steals it, until the hunter arrives with his long knife. The drone could have killed the deer itself, instead of just stunning it; but where’s the hunter-fun in that? <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on … [Read more...]

“Statues – XIII” / Memorable Fancies #663

[“I am teaching a statue to walk. I get up close and copy its pose exactly, my foot lifted like its foot, ...” – Henri Michaux]      I put one foot forward, just a little, and gestured to the statue to do the same. After many days of trying, and no little discipline from me, the statue finally did so. Over the ensuing months it learned, very cautiously, like a baby, to walk. At first I was forced to build a scaffolding around it, so it would not fall. This measure reassured it, and before the … [Read more...]

“Retromail” / Memorable Fancies #662

      2018: Sending tweets or emails into the past is now a routine offering, for a few extra dollars, from retromail.com. Most people receive a few retrograms every day, sent to them from their selves and friends in the future. Having a great time, know you’ll be here ha ha, etc.       Danny was in the habit of sending an email to his earlier self every day, because he remembered how scared of dying he was back then, and how much his olderDanny emails meant to him. In a way, olderDanny … [Read more...]

“TV Delights” / Memorable Fancies #661

      New cable TV offerings planned for Fall include:       (1) The Eviction Channel – watch the human drama as families are removed from their homes. Watch as their belongings are pilfered by neighbors and passersby. Remark, especially, their children.       (2) The Layoff Channel – watch as employees are regretfully, “not your fault”ed, and “we’re really sorry”ed out of a job.       (3) The Pot Bust Channel (hurry while it’s still illegal) ….. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you … [Read more...]

“The Great Video Cortex Machine – IV” / Memorable Fancies #660

    “Therapy” it’s called, using the Great Video Cortex Machine to change our memories, soften the rough spots, add a few evenings with our families when we were actually out carousing or screwing around. And so on. We feel much better about ourselves after a day with the Machine, a day we might otherwise have spent with our families.      Every few weeks, we need another session. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXX” / Memorable Fancies #659

     More statues of me appear every day. One would be an honor, perhaps two or three would show even more honor. But now there are dozens, with a deteriorating level of craftsmanship as each new one appears. I suspect a joke, a silent protest. #      The place our shadows went, the old legend says – is the shadows’ new country. They won’t ever admit there were people, that they are not their own originals. #      If all the noise suddenly stops, what would we hear? What sounds … [Read more...]

“Left and Right: A Quiz” / Memorable Fancies #658

Left and Right: A Quiz 1. In baseball, ‘left field’ is on the left as seen by the (a) pitcher, or (b) batter? 2. In heraldry, the left (“sinister”) side of a coat of arms is on the left as seen by (a) one looking at the coat of arms, or (b) one hypothetically standing behind the coat of arms? 3. The lion or eagle depicted on the flags of which of these places faces left (a) Spain; (b) Bulgaria; (c) Ceylon; (d) Finland; (e) Mexico; (f) Nova Scotia; (g) Montenegro; (h) Illinois? 4. The … [Read more...]

“Statues – XI” / Memorable Fancies #657

     The rulers decapitated some other hero’s statue and put my stone head on it instead. “Economy, you know,” they said, “and besides, whoever remembers that old man whose head is now in some museum basement, probably tipped over on its ear?”      But my new body did not like me. At night it shook, just a little because it was only stone, to see if it could dislodge me. I tried to reason with it, but I knew that heads were expendable whenever new, more favored ones came along.      I try … [Read more...]

“The Going Rate” / Memorable Fancies #656

     Memories can be downloaded and sold. About ten dollars a minute is the going rate, and that’s for memories of – well, sex, of course, but also memories of any kind of triumph, anything enjoyable. An excellent meal. A warm summer day. A promotion. And so on.     Some people make a living by selling their memories. They travel from garden spot to beach to nightclub to brothel, creating their wares. Somehow, family gatherings aren't in great demand. <END> THE THURSDAY … [Read more...]

“Ten Books for Beginners” / Memorable Fancies #655

Pharmacology in Small Doses A Little About Microminiaturization Inching Along in Metric Legal Appeals in Brief Steps Toward Podiatry Elementary Chemistry A Primer of Numbers Evenly Divisible Only by Themselves and One Principles of School Administration Felinology from Scratch Sexology for the Layman <END> THE WEDNESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social … [Read more...]

“Drones – V” / Memorable Fancies #654

     I have a drone-pet. It flies to me when I get home, being careful not to smash the ceiling-fixtures. It emits purring or woofing or whinnying noises, whichever I select at the time. It insists on being oiled at odd hours just when it’s most inconvenient for me. It leaves a mess on the living room floor. It chews up my newspapers by means of a special attachment I foolishly paid extra for. It loves me. It doesn’t give me any of that crap about being loved in return. <END> THE … [Read more...]

“Walk Don’t Walk” / Memorable Fancies #653

     Joe is standing on a street corner. He is staring at the “Don’t Walk” light, obviously waiting to cross.      Kevin approaches the corner, looks at the traffic light, then at the push-button crossing-light control, then at Joe. Kevin thinks that if he pushes the button himself, he will be expressing mistrust for Joe, whom he should have trusted to have pushed the button before Kevin’s arrival.      Universe-1: Both stand at the corner forever, because neither has pushed the … [Read more...]

“A Clear Conscience” / Memorable Fancies #652

“The state in which we are is sinful, irrespective of guilt.” – Kafka      The feeling that we are all guilty spreads through the country like a dread disease. There is disagreement as to what we are guilty of, but each of us can remember something – a petty crime, a cruel act, a long-held grudge, a wish for an enemy to die in unendurable pain. The guilt-plague spreads from person to person.      Cures are sought. If we could find one person who is not ridden by these guilt feelings, … [Read more...]

“What They Really Mean” / Memorable Fancies #651

(1) “No one is saying that...”, beloved of pundits and politicians [means] “If you say that, I will ignore you because you don’t count.” (2) “No one believes that...”: similar to above. (3) “That’s a given” [means] “I’m not going to bother giving you reasons for what I just said.” (4) “You know,” [means] “I don’t need to ask you what you know, because I’m telling you what you know.” (5) “Remember…” (a) [means] “You are now functioning as my offline data storage device.” (6) or,  … [Read more...]

“The Cannibal Variations – XXIV” / Memorable Fancies #650

     In a world of nine billion hungry people, declining production of protein as land is converted to grain-fuel, economies in crisis with millions starving, the obvious answer presented itself. #      Some consumers refused to buy meat from genetically modified people. #      For the more tony meat markets, slaughterers made sure that victims had taken a good shit before their disembowelment. #      Human biomass began to be used for energy generation. The price of fuel went … [Read more...]

“The Book Attacks” / Memorable Fancies #649

I went to bed at ten, hoping for a good night’s sleep. But I couldn’t doze off. Eleven, midnight, one,…. And then it was two a.m. that March Thursday and very quiet, with neither heat nor A/C on. The world in stillness lay, and I was enjoying the silence.      Then I heard a faint noise from my study. Ignored it. Heard it again. Wearily, I rose and walked into the study. Standing still and holding my breath, after a minute I heard the sound again. It was coming from a glass-fronted cabinet … [Read more...]

“My Drone” / Memorable Fancies #648

     My own personal drone hovers over my head when I’m outdoors. It shades me when it’s sunny and keeps the rain off me when it’s not. It guides me unerringly to where I want to go. It sends tweets to the ones I love. It does something else to those I don’t. #      My drone follows me around to make sure I don't get lost or get into trouble or do anything not pre-approved. This is especially useful for those over 75, as we tend to get into trouble frequently, whether we remember it or … [Read more...]

“The Mind’s I” / Memorable Fancies #647

“…his existence possesses a higher degree of reality.” – Schopenhauer      We’ve been told that ideas have no reality – no real reality, that is. Only tangibles like sticks and stones have the kind of reality that we can see and touch without thinking about it, without wondering what’s real and what isn’t real and straining our minds.      But are our minds real? I don’t recall ever seeing one, or touching one either. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please … [Read more...]

“Acts” / Memorable Fancies #646

     It is illegal to perform certain acts.      It is illegal to watch these acts being performed.      Unlike murder and animal cruelty and other obscene crimes, however, it is illegal even to watch videos of these acts being performed.      It is, however, legal to watch videos of these acts being performed if one is sitting in judgment on other viewers of the videos of these acts being performed.     And who will judge those, too? <END>   THE MONDAY … [Read more...]

“Third Epistle to the Corinthians – What If…” / Memorable Fancies #645

Therefore I write these things being absent (2 Corinthians 13:10)      In our last letter, Paul wrote "God saved us from dying in Asia, and he will save us again." But by now you know that Paul is dead in Rome, and Timothy in hiding.      Before he died, Paul asked me to write you in his name, that you remain strong in the faith. I know how much you venerate the two letters he wrote you. You copy them to other churches. You settle doctrine with them. You decorate them with gold. You touch … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXIX” / Memorable Fancies #640-644

The bird alights - where the cage had been. # I stared so long at the river that it stood still, and I flowed fast upstream. # Albert was sure that there were gods – but he wasn’t sure what they could do to him, or to the rest of us, anymore; not after that awful time so long ago, when … # The man who could flip ‘heads’ every time – he wowed us, all right; but he couldn’t flip tails to save his life. # Words are the liars we use when there’s nothing else to … [Read more...]

“Have you read…?” / Memorable Fancies #639

     People were always recommending books to Ellis. He didn’t know why, but after even a brief acquaintance the other person would say “You know, you really ought to read” (some book or author).      As one might expect, the Bible was the book most commonly urged upon Ellis. Having been raised a Methodist, he could sincerely say “Yes, I’ve read it,” even though his acquaintance did not extend to the minor prophets or even some of the major ones, not to mention Kings and Chronicles.      … [Read more...]

“The Fear-Whisperer – III” / Memorable Fancies #638

It looks dead. It must be safe to touch. # Why did they all stop talking when you walked in? # Maybe it’s not a joke. # Why are there so many sirens? # She knows. <END>     … [Read more...]

“Drones – II” / Memorable Fancies #637

      I want to have my own personal drone. It will follow me around and make sure I don't get lost or get into trouble or do anything not officially approved. This is especially useful for us over-75s. We tend to get into trouble frequently or commit unapproved acts, whether we remember it or not. My personal drone will also find other old peoples’ personal drones, and fight them. <END> If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, … [Read more...]

“What’s Real” / Memorable Fancies #636

     We’ve been told that ideas have no reality – no real reality, that is –only things like sticks and stones have the kind of reality we can see and touch even without thinking about it, without wondering what’s real and what isn’t and straining our minds. But are our minds real? I don’t recall ever seeing one, or touching one either. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other … [Read more...]

“The Great Video Cortex Machine – III: The Wikimind” / Memorable Fancies #635

     Men and women, in search of fame or prized household appliances, volunteer to be plugged into the Great Video Cortex Machine show for viewer enlightenment, or at least amusement. Esther Hailey is the latest to appear on the show.      On nationwide TV and to the augmented applause of the studio audience, Esther is escorted to the Great Video Cortex Machine. Delicate filaments are attached to her head and body, inside and out. Thoughout the country, fans log on to Esther’s mind and … [Read more...]

“For Demetrios, 226 A.D.” / Memorable Fancies #634

     They say that few have been killed by the sweet forbearing god, never mind the shaking angry sky above or tyrant’s crushing rule below.      No one but Demetrios was killed by the god, no, not even he, but only one of his thieving guards, splayed bleating on the altarstone, pressed down hard by some invisible hand until his various moistures leaked like rotten fruit.      They say the sweet avenging god has left you for last, Demetrios!   <END>   THE SUNDAY … [Read more...]

“Drones” / Memorable Fancies #633

     I want to have my own personal drone. It will hover over my head when I’m outdoors. It will shade me when it’s sunny and guide me unerringly to where I should go. It will report my location to the ones I love. It will destroy those I don’t.   <END>   THE SATURDAY PITCH   If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.   AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and Other … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXVIII” / Memorable Fancies #628-632

Cleaning machines figure out how to stop people from making a mess in the first place.#The grass is a mighty being: It bends, and the wind blows. We men are mighty beings …#The Simultaneists believe that everything happens all at once. Time, they say, is an illusion. All their teachings are written in present tense. #My shadow knows – remembers. It acts out in front of other people: it mimes what I did, all those selfish thoughtless things. I look for their shadows, too.#The secret is, the flesh … [Read more...]

“Wonders” / and an invitation for beta readers of a new novel / #627

“…the rumor that there was another, an eighth wonder of the world…” – Kafka      There is an infinite number of wonders of the world. They are gathered, waiting for one of the famous seven to be destroyed so the next one in queue can take its place. This process takes a very long time. Right now, there is squabbling among the wonders over which will replace the fallen Colossus of Rhodes. <END> BETA READERS WANTED for my third novel, Try Try Again. Here’s the blurb: “The near … [Read more...]

“Polonius in Heaven” / Memorable Fancies #626

Claudius: Where is Polonius? Hamlet: In heaven; send hither to see: if your messenger find him not there, seek him i’ the other place yourself.                         – Hamlet IV, iii      How will I know you, then, in Heaven when you and I are there, shriven cold in spite of all.      But if I turn from face to face looking for one I know and then I know that you are in – that other place –      I turn away, ashamed to Hell of being here      alone <END> THE … [Read more...]

“A Technical Education” / Memorable Fancies #625

     Owing to an alarming increase in the number of its machines with serious flaws, FlexiCorp Industries adopted an aversive psychology technique, punishing flawed machines within sight of the other machines. Quality immediately improved. The number of machines that had to be oil-boarded decreased. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on … [Read more...]

“Last Night” / Memorable Fancies #624

     Last night, after thunder and downpour woke me, after I thought to make coffee but fell asleep again instead –      Last night I had you with me, just as I had dreamed before: once more my fingers traced the edges of your lips and circumnavigated your narrow breasts again, as I dreamed I would, again. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. COMING … [Read more...]

“Jericho” / Memorable Fancies #623

     At the first note of the trumpet the wall began to fall. The wall was very old. It had heard many tunes, rhythms and harmonies of the city, children beating leather skins pretending war, voices of women pounding grain, cries of sheep and donkeys and dogs, pennywhistles and mouth-harps, marketplace clamor in the morning, reveler-songs in the night.      Child and man, woman, beast, their sounds echoed on the wall, made, of this collection of sounds, a city.      At the first call of … [Read more...]

“Pig” / Memorable Fancies #622

"All pigs are alike, when you get to know their little ways... " --Malone Dies    Pig pig pig. Strange pigs. Crowded pigs. Sweat. Bump. Squeal    Pig pig pig. Strange pigs. Running pigs. Fear-smell. Bump. Squeal Pig. Man. Blade. Squeal.   <END>        If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.        Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“Reality Check” / Memorable Fancies #621

But there are some of you that believe not. — John 6:64      Spare us all your gape-jawed tales of way back then when nothing was, or what will be when nothing is; but let us have to do with things of real life:      Number as order; time as accrual; substance as trade.      Save your breath: revelation wraps tomorrow’s fish. <END>        If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social … [Read more...]

“Solon in Egypt, 551 B.C.” / Memorable Fancies #620

     “You Greeks!” the Egyptian priest said, my genealogy still wet on my lips, all sixteen generations back and then a god.      Contempt and worse, indulgence: “Come with me,” he said. Down temple-steps, in tunnels I stumbled on and just when hard breathing came back late he lit a torch. I saw a cave, rows of dead men wrapped in cloth.      We walked; he named them each and then a sharp-stoned wall with nothing behind but all of earth.      “One hundred forty fathers’ sons,” he said, … [Read more...]

“Shut Me Down” / Memorable Fancies #619

Modern Industry had therefore itself to take in hand the machine … and construct machines by machines. - Karl Marx, Capital Oh my goodness! Shut me down. Machines building machines. – C-3PO      At last the engineers could retire, as their newest machine could now design and build all the other machines that anyone would need. Automatically, it requisitioned resources from factories and storehouses nationwide. It built food machines, clothing machines, and shelter machines for its masters, … [Read more...]

“The Fear-Whisperer – II” / Memorable Fancies #618

Why is that shadow moving? It was just something in her eye. Wasn’t it? Do you remember leaving that door unlocked? He seems so nice. Why isn’t she home yet? <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also buy one … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXVII” / Memorable Fancies #613-617

The cursor begins moving by itself, like a Ouija board. It flips screens to find the letters it needs to spell out its message: O-G-O-D-G-E-T-M-E-O-U-T-O-F-H-E-R-E! # The Kissing Rock is aptly named: A man fell off once, and broke his neck. # The man in the mirror gestures. My fingers contract. # Our shadows have left us. They migrated to their own country where they never had to think of themselves as just – shadows of someone else. # Our new slogan: “Life: Get over … [Read more...]

“He’s Got a Gun!” / Memorable Fancies #612

     You were very clever, weren’t you, to figure it out from the clues I left lying loose like ends of string.      I’ll tie them up for you now, how I did it, why the dog didn’t bark in the windowless room.      While I’ve got the drop on you I’ll talk the time away until the cops burst through the door and I give up head-down abjectly, or cursing mad get conveniently shot and dying say,      “You knew I did it all along — didn’t you?” <END>      If you liked this post, … [Read more...]

“The Exercise” / Memorable Fancies #611

(for Thom Gunn)     In this exercise you will have a pair of boots, a compass, knapsack, knife.      In this exercise you will find yourself inside a host device where you will have a means of movement, a way to use the knife.      In this exercise your mission will be to find the Giant by listening for his heavy falling steps and great harsh breath, locate him in his place and use the knife, or create him if you find no giant there, and use the knife.      In this exercise it is … [Read more...]

“The Double” / Memorable Fancies #610

     Old legends tell us that we each have a double – someone who looks like us, acts like us. If you meet your double, your Doppelgänger, the legends say, you will die.      I met my double last week, but I didn’t die. He did. The legends hadn’t been very clear about that. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“Changing the Past” / Memorable Fancies #609

     Desperately, we want to change our past, not to have done those awful things. We ask science to invent a way to let us go back, to give us a re-do.      Sadly, scientists tell us, time is a one-way journey, like that final walk to the electric chair. No, they say, you can’t go back and do something different; that’s impossible.      But we don’t need to visit the past, they explain, because everyone’s past changes itself. At night, in sleep, our memories gradually give us a new … [Read more...]

“The Cannibal Variations – XXIII” / Memorable Fancies #608

(with Jun Yan)      In a starving world, convicted criminals are sentenced to “donate” body parts to the State so that the masses may be fed: left leg for a first offense, right for a second. Some jurisdictions take the effort to make the punishment fit the crime: a hand from a forger or a groper (called a “hand-off”), lips from those who utter sedition or disagreement with official policy. In justification, authorities point to the ancient Middle East practice of amputating the hand of a … [Read more...]

“LOOK Homeward” / Memorable Fancies #607

 “Ghost, come back again” – Thomas Wolfe       Scientists developed a technology allowing us to see into our own pasts. Use of the LOOKward app was highly restricted at first; only the secret Guilt Surveillance Court could authorize it.      But it’s been hacked. Now all of us can see our own pasts, in all their detail.      It was expected that millions of people would use LOOKward, now that it was available to anyone. There would be LOOKward TV shows, parties. Wouldn’t everyone like … [Read more...]

“Alone” / Memorable Fancies #606

“I ate alone, while a slave read me geographic narratives” - ­Leopoldo Lugones about far-away places where slaves were freed. Imaginary places, for sure. No such place has surely ever been. If there were no slaves, after all, how could there be masters? And who would read to me?   <END>        If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.        Subscriptions to … [Read more...]

“Undergrounders – IV” / Memorable Fancies #605

     Something completed the old Second Avenue subway line, and other lines were extending themselves too. One reached as far as Stamford; others west, then south. And now it wasn’t just subways, but water leading from reservoirs into the cities, power mains, other tunnels.      There is a Thing digging new tunnels. The public seemed pleased with the situation; they could commute into the city more quickly now, and the water pressure had increased. But our leaders had nothing to do with it … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs XXVI” Memorable Fancies #604

In a far country there are no names, no nouns. Nouns have been overthrown. Everything is a verb, assisted if need be by a few conscripted adverbs. # “Please spread out on the platform,” the recorded announcement said. I tried to spread myself out. I saw others trying to spread themselves out, too, some by inhaling several times, others by eating candy. # Some ideas can only be written about, not spoken; or spoken, not written; or only imagined, perhaps falsely … # Statues of … [Read more...]

“Convenience” / Memorable Fancies #602

     Ernest killed a convenience-store clerk in a holdup. He was afraid that he would be arrested, but to his surprise the dead man’s ex-wife was charged with the murder. Even more to his surprise, Ernest received a jury summons and was placed on the jury trying the ex-wife for the murder Ernest committed. Now, Ernest had a clear conflict of interest here, which he should have revealed to the judge. But he did not do so, and he also survived the voir dire because neither counsel thought to ask … [Read more...]

“The Great Day” / Memorable Fancies #601

     “Have a great day.” Well, I hadn’t stopped to wonder if I was having a great day or not, until Sheila said that to me, requiring me by her imperative to have a great day.      I realized, then, that I was not having a great day, that I had never had a day that I’d be willing to describe as any better than “very good,” and that the odds of my having a great day any time in the near future were pretty low. But I looked at Sheila and said, “Yes, I am now having a very great day … [Read more...]

“The Fear-Whisperer – I” / Memorable Fancies #600

They’re in it together. Why did she hang up when I walked in? Everyone knows but you. Is that … breathing? Why are they looking at you? You’re going to say “be still my heart” once too often. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just … [Read more...]

“History of the Sky” / Memorable Fancies #599

     There is a history of the sky, beginning from the first time there was a sky. Rain was important then, and birds. Lightning shook it, the sun lightened and darkened it. And then there were balloons, and kites, and airplanes, and missiles, and great angry clouds, and fire. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“Undergrounders – III” / Memorable Fancies #598

      Something was traveling in the old subway tunnels, the abandoned lines. Expeditions had gone down into the tubes. Some never returned; others fled in panic before the thing from below was upon them. It rumbled like a train, but it was not a train. There were no more trains. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

The Great Simplifying Assumptions – I / Memorable Fancies #597

Intention is what happens Appearance is reality There are no accidents Yes means Maybe Maybe means No No means Never <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also buy one or both of my commercially published … [Read more...]

“Memories of Imaginary People” / Memorable Fancies #596

      There’s a new app that lets you create imaginary people and drag and drop your worst memories on them.      I created an imaginary Ralph. Ralph did those awful things, now, not me. Ralph will be driven out into the desert. I call him my scape-Ralph. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs XXV” / Memorable Fancies #594

She and I: we both loved her smile. # Reason is most conveniently thought of as a refined type of hysteria. # The god waves its little hands. Something snaps in our minds. Fires are lit. They are not being put out. # Amidst the data, Meaning flows like rumpled water. # He is disturbing our kingdom: the one who seeks out statues of those who have been assassinated – and shoots at them. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a … [Read more...]

“The Prophet – III” / Memorable Fancies #593

     I am revered; every word is cherished, illuminated, decorated with gold and set in stone. The people say that my teaching has come directly from the spewing mouth of God. I do not remember this, but I suppose it is so. I am disappointed that the words they honor are God’s, not my own. Surely I have something to say. Don’t I? <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      … [Read more...]

“Corpulent Correctness” / Memorable Fancies #592

[from Washington Post, October 23, 2013, page A2:] “CORRECTIONS: An Oct. 14 Style article about access to the prison camp for terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, incorrectly referred to Navy Capt. Robert Durand as ‘thickset.’ He should have been described as ‘muscular.’” Captain Durand has also been incorrectly referred to as dumpy, stubby, squabby, chunky, chubby, tubby, lumpy, and fat. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and … [Read more...]

“The Contest” / Memorable Fancies #591

     An official challenge has been made. Bill Gartner, a little-known building contractor, is challenging our veteran Congressman Orton F. Williams.      Williams, Gartner says, is old and weak. His mind is failing. He is absent too often from the great debates on the floor of Congress. It’s time for someone younger, more vigorous, to represent us, he says.      As the challenged person, Congressman Williams is allowed his choice of weapons. He selects flame-throwers. Not heavy, do not … [Read more...]

“Magic Mirror – I” / Memorable Fancies #590

     At one of those AS SEEN ON TV shops you can buy a magic mirror that reflects a different strange face whenever you look into it. Are these images of real people, or from your imagination, or what? I ask the image. Its lips move but of course no sound comes out, because it’s just a cheap mirror. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog … [Read more...]

“Quandary” / Memorable Fancies #589

     I wait in my room but no one comes to arrest me. I wonder why? How long will I be looking over my shoulder? Anyway, what I did was done. Should I send flowers? <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also buy one or … [Read more...]

“Together” / Memorable Fancies #588

“If something does touch many of us simultaneously, it touches only a large number of isolated beings. A mass feeling can scarcely develop out of such a general mood.” – György Lukács     Back then, he was just one of the speakers at our small community event, but his incantations made us feel - not just the same thing at the same time, – but he made us feel that we were a single soul, of one heart and mind, greater together than we could ever be as individuals alone. It was a beautiful … [Read more...]

“Flight 34” / Memorable Fancies #587

     After the masks dropped, putting them on has stifled our screams. Now we all look alike except for the eyes. What is that man doing? His mouth – is he praying, or ,,,?      We look like the aliens we’ve always suspected ourselves of being. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXIV” / Memorable Fancies #586

Statues creep into the council chamber on their stone feet, speak in the language of long ago, that remote past when some were still worthy of statues ... # Clothing in general is called “costume” because it hides and obscures who we are. We put it on and it puts us on. # Reality becomes corrupted by our dreams, just as our dreams have always been infected by our waking lives. # Citizens of our kingdom are told to dream of world conquest hoping this will have some effect, or at … [Read more...]

“Marital Blitz” / Memorable Fancies #584

     Our marriage counselor gave us a few “quarrel” scripts we could use when we’d reached a boiling point and couldn’t stop fighting. There was the “I saw you looking at him” script, for instance, the “why can’t you wipe your feet first” script, and many others. Several of the scripts had blanks where we could insert some term that pertained to our life together, such as the “Why don’t you ever pick up your [insert plural noun here]” script.      In case we had a quarrel for which there was … [Read more...]

“Training” / Memorable Fancies #582

    Train a god for the circus? What kind of omnipotent Being would put up with that? Watch the eyes; old yellow-fang squats and shifts his tub-top rump. Swing the whip! <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also buy one … [Read more...]

“Last Wish” / Memorable Fancies #580

“This is the cemetery of people put to death.” – Albert Camus      The murderer, sentenced to death, asks to be buried among other notorious killers, if possible next to the man who has killed the most people. This is premium space; it is costly, exclusive, and in high demand. Our murderer confesses to more killings than he actually did. Then he makes a public plea for funds …. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, … [Read more...]

“The Marvelous Word” / Memorable Fancies #579

“Perhaps the sacred name had been misspelled / or in its uttering been jumbled or too weak.” – Borges  Nothing happened when I said “SHAZAM!” Well, what did you expect? I thought I might become Captain Marvel. But of course that didn’t happen. No, but now I’m trying other magic words, phrases. I could become Captain Something-Else. There is always room for one more Captain, right? I’m using an app that searches, one by one, for all the magic words of all cultures. You input some … [Read more...]

“Entity” / Memorable Fancies #578

Elliott was feeling annoyed, vaguely put-upon, by the deletion of his condition of Asperger's as a separate clinical entity. Now it's just part of something vague, an ill-defined spectrum, full of unknowns and differences. No one with his condition could possibly tolerate such abuse! <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“Ontology” / Memorable Fancies #577

1100 A.D.: Anselm the Theologian compels God to Be by logical argument, as in far-off countries a magic word conjures the djinn from its bottle. Anselm develops his theory and the god – slowly – takes shape before him. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you … [Read more...]

“Bird, Watching Bird-Watcher” / Memorable Fancies #576

     I saw him look and flashed a little pink. Let him drool! Just watch him twitch his pencil-finger’d page and try to write my name.      No name names me. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also buy one or both … [Read more...]

“…………….” / Memorable Fancies #575

     We speak now only in images, like the finger-ducks we throw on the wall, ourselves sideways to the fire. There was something wrong with speaking in words, something both artificial and dishonest. It took us a long time to realize that. I’m violating the law just by telling you this. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available … [Read more...]

“Promise” / Memorable Fancies #574

     “I promise,” he said to his bride, “that I will tell you each morning my dreams of the night”; and she pledged the same to him. They confessed, each day, their betrayals. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also … [Read more...]

“The Search” / Memorable Fancies #573

     Arthur is searching for a misplaced item. A letter opener, for instance, or a roll of stamps. He returns to the same place time after time, knowing nowhere else to look. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also buy … [Read more...]

“Hope” / Memorable Fancies #572

     The Selection seemed random to us, but there really was a rule. When we finally figured it out we called it silly – simple – stupid. But the rule was our fate. We regretted having discovered it; not knowing gave us hope. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. … [Read more...]

“The Fifteen Words” / Memorable Fancies #571

 [“I imagine / inventing her from 15 words” – Marge Piercy]      The 15 words – adjectives, actually – were selected by Elisa’s parents after much squabbling with grandparents and uncles and aunts and the local school district that didn’t want too many “Brilliant”s or “Gorgeous”s – it confused their records, they said. Wouldn’t you like, say, “Astute” or “Serendipitous”?      But Elisa’s parents said no, and they had the last word until she became an adult and could choose her own words. … [Read more...]

“A-noname-ous” / Memorable Fancy #570

I’m going to get rid of my name. Why? So the government can’t find me. But then your relatives couldn’t find you, either. So? What’s your point?   <END>        If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.        Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs XXIII – Dreaming” / Memorable Fancies #568

In our dreams our minds have gone to other places, some real, others fantastic. But now we can take our bodies with us. This enriches our experience, as you can imagine, but also leads to certain risks … # Large crowds co-dream at music festivals – famous stars seed these dreams, let the dreamers have their way with them. # Spam dreams – how the wretched of Nigeria and Burkina Faso can make you rich. # Candidates for employment (first at the CIA, then at ad agencies) are … [Read more...]

“Pretense” / Memorable Fancies #567

[“They pretend to declare a war.” – Albert Camus] But the declaration is also a pretending, a way of imagining vast destruction that may never be needed, now that our hearts are sufficiently black. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow … [Read more...]

F567 “The Cannibal Variations XX: Sprouting” / Memorable Fancies #566

“That corpse you planted last year in your garden, / Has it begun to sprout?” – Eliot, The Waste Land]      That was Philip. Yes, as soon as the last frost was gone I caught the ground heaving one day, just a little, and a tiny finger poking out, the nail still soft and fleshy. A week later a few more parts of Philip sprouted, and the fingers had grown almost to full size. I poked the ground gently with a thin pole, and yes, Philip was growing healthily, the flesh firming up, the gaping … [Read more...]

“The Stare” / Memorable Fancies #565

[“The signal is the truth. The noise is what distracts us from the truth.” Washington Post] No: The noise is the truth, as the medium is the message, as the voice is the meaning, as the fluffed tail is the warning, as the stare is the attack. The stare is the attack. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“Co-Dreaming” / Memorable Fancies #564

     Last night we co-dreamed. It was wonderful, being there with you, doing the same fantastic, fragmented, excited things. But then this morning you denied that you had been there with me, that what we did ever happened. With a shiver, perhaps remembering your own dream, you called mine “disgusting.” <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog … [Read more...]

“Come True” / Memorable Fancies #563

     I dreamed about it, that future I feared. When I woke, my sheets were sweat-soaked and I was shaking with fright. But it was worth the agony, because dreams never come true. – Right? Right? <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this … [Read more...]

“15th Street” / Memorable Fancies #562

They prowl even at dawn, these ladies of the night. Until the evening they charge their customers less, because they will not shout words of encouragement then, nor emit feigned passion. This is a courtesy, they say, to the day-sleepers in their buildings. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“The Second Body XII – The Restaurant” / Memorable Fancies #561

[In the year 2030, having a lab-grown second body is the latest style must-have. “Twos,” they’re called. They can be very helpful, but....]      Wednesday was Paul's regular day to have lunch with Sally. They found a table at The Meating Place Restaurant and ordered. Paul made small talk, but Sally was obviously distracted.      "Isn't that funny?" he said.      "Isn't what funny?"      "What I just said."      "Sorry, I wasn't listening. I’ve got some issues with my Two; it … [Read more...]

“the lover” / Memorable Fancies #560

Where is your lover? She's gone.  Is there nothing left, at all? Rushing to fill the vacuum, remembered touch. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also buy one or both of my commercially published novels on … [Read more...]

“Changing the Past” / Memorable Fancies #559

If you change your past then you can never know, in your new present, that you did change your past. Perhaps you’ve changed the same past before, over and over, searching for the one past that will, at last, make today right. We can call this “the Scrooge dilemma.” <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“Five Briefs – XXII” / Memorable Fancies #558

A simple life dedicated to the furtherance of evil in small but effective ways. # She had the hard-bordered indistinctness of a cartoon. # I tried very hard to think of nothing. It was all I could think of. # Any closer to him, and I wouldn’t have had a shot. # Until they try to leave, they have no cage. <END>        If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites. … [Read more...]

“The Second Body – XI: One Two” / Memorable Fancies #557

[In the year 2030, having a lab-grown second body is the latest style must-have. “Twos,” they’re called. They can be very helpful, but....]      As Paul-Two was ingesting one day, Paul said to it “A van is coming by in about an hour to take you to the community clinic. They need to test your functionality, your well-being, physical and mental. It’s for your good and the good of the other Two’s, so we know we’ve done the best we can, and so you can be the best Two you can be.”      Paul's … [Read more...]

“Ted and the TV Monitors – II” / Memorable Fancies #556

    From where Ted is sitting near Gate 32 he can see six – no, seven – different TV monitors. There’s about a half-second lag between the earliest shot of the jovial TV weatherman and the last. But then one of the screens begins telling a different story, something about a plane crash. The monitor quickly goes dark, as if airline people have been watching, fingers poised to interrupt any story that might cause passengers to cancel, pilots to call in sick. Then a soothing voice: “We regret to … [Read more...]

“The View from Nowhere” / Memorable Fancies #555

[“Strange error about our lives because we try to experience them from the outside.” – Albert Camus]      There is no objective point of view, no place from outside ourselves to see ourselves, or to see others. A private point of view is the maniac’s truth that he is the God of his own small space, and that his eyes see only the contents of his own mind.   <END>        If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, … [Read more...]

“Pieces of Life” / Memorable Fancies #554

     I put the pieces of my life together in a different way. I learned to do this after many years of meditation, and many failures. Now there was only one piece left, that critical piece that had brought me so much grief. Where did it fit? Then it occurred to me that this – event – might never have happened at all. Why hadn’t I thought of that solution before? Now the rest of my life-pieces fit just fine! <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a … [Read more...]

“The First Statue” / Memorable Fancies #553

“What is it? Did something bad happen to Boleslav the Bold that turned him to stone?” “No, Boleslav is still our king.” “But what is this – object?” “I call it a ‘statue,’ said the man with rock-dust in his hair, “a thing like a man, that we at home may remember him as he swords his way through the provinces.” “And these banners, flags, …?” “For the ceremony,” said the sculptor, “for the dedication of this ‘statue.’” “That will prove a great occasion, for sure!” “Yes, … [Read more...]

“Mortem” / Memorable Fancies #552

[“Imagine being a corpse.” – Zadie Smith]      There are many kinds of corpse. I expect to be one of the better sort, a sweet-smeller like some of those saints. And with eyes open, staring up at those who remain, those looming guests at my funeral. In rigor, my pointing finger will accuse them as they slink away.      Afterwards, I will have very small guests. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, … [Read more...]

“The Second Body – X: Al Williams Is Two’d” / Memorable Fancies #551

[In the year 2030, having a lab-grown second body is the latest style must-have. “Twos,” they’re called. They can be very helpful, but....]      Project presentations were scheduled for 9 a.m. Paul and the other managers sat around the table, some confident or faking it, some nervous. No one spoke of anything but the weather. Those who apparently hadn’t met their project goals were wiggling slightly in their seats. Others were beginning to sweat. A recognizably corporate odor began to … [Read more...]

“Starring You” / Memorable Fancies #550

     “Send us photos of you – the more the better, different poses, face and body – still or movie – and through the wonders of computer graphics you’ll get, every month, a different movie of YOU with your face – your body – being the actor in the famous action film, being the star of the famous TV series and … well, the sky isn’t even the limit and you can be one of our Mars-explorers in their documentaries, too!”      The ad began appearing in 2019. The service proved very popular, and … [Read more...]

“Strange-ing” / Memorable Fancies #549

 [“This is the earth? Then / I don’t belong here” – Louise Glück]      “Strange-ing,” said Martin. “It’s a mind exercise I’m doing these days.”      “Another mind-gimmick?” asked Melanie. “How many is this you’ve tried?”      “Ah, maybe. Yeah, I do this too much, I guess, but strange-ing is different.”      Melanie snorted. “That’s what you said about est all those years ago, and Jungian whateveritwas, and Tantra. ‘This one’s different,’ you always said, but after two weeks…”      … [Read more...]

“The Second Body – IX: The President Speaks” / Memorable Fancies #547

[In the year 2030, having a lab-grown second body is the latest style must-have. “Twos,” they’re called. They can be very helpful, but....]      “Just think of it: a buddy. The Second Body – just like me!” The President smiled at the camera. “Who could your best friend be anyway, but yourself? How does it go, ‘See ourselves as others see us’? Well now, you can! Your Two won’t be able to do everything you do at first, but a lot of it. Housework. Data entry. Simple appliance repair. Answering … [Read more...]

“What Happened” / Memorable Fancies #546

[“Events live on, even when not immediately noticed.” – Roberto Calasso] No, it’s not an event until it’s been officially acknowledged, discussed, inscribed on the emperor’s scrolls. There could be disagreement about when an event had occurred, say, the third full moon after the 859th anniversary of the advent of the gods; or perhaps the fourth. However, there is no doubt that the event did happen. After all, it has been acknowledged, discussed, inscribed. <END>      If you liked … [Read more...]

“Luck” / Memorable Fancies #545

     The down-on-his-luck actor played an actor down on his luck in a new play. The reviewers were unkind. I guess that was just more bad luck, said the down-on-his-luck actor. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also … [Read more...]

“The Second Body – VIII: The Upgrades” / Memorable Fancies #544

 [In the year 2030, having a lab-grown second body is the latest style must-have. “Twos,” they’re called. They can be very helpful, but....]      That day, Paul experienced the full deluge of AnotherYou’s marketing push. Not a TV half hour, not a web site, not a popup that didn’t have some pitch -- large or small, blatant or subtle.      At home that evening, Paul’s wallscreen, which had been off, blared to life seemingly of its own accord, interrupting his online session.      … [Read more...]

“Diary” / Memorable Fancies #543

     In a used-book store, Alison found an old one-page-a-day diary. Aside from the name “Thomas” on the inside cover, the entire book was blank. Each page, however, judging from scuffs and stains, had been thumbed, examined, perhaps almost written on. Who had pored over each page, thought what to write, but turned to the next instead, saying “Maybe tomorrow…”? Who was this in whose life nothing had happened for an entire year? A blessed one indeed, Alison thought. How I envy … [Read more...]

“The Real” / Memorable Fancies #542

[“… the master entity of reality generator.” – Victoria Nelson] Reality is dictated to us by the Commissar of Reality, and we have no choice but to act on it. We do not, however, need to believe in it. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just … [Read more...]

“I am picking up a hint of Melvin, here” / Memorable Fancies #541

     There are connoisseurs of smell. Those who can detect hints of mushrooms or artichokes in their wine can also, although they don’t emphasize the talent, distinguish among their friends by odor alone. Some of them smell like artichokes, they say, some like mushrooms. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at … [Read more...]

“Look!” / Memorable Fancies #540

Staring at each other, we gambled on who would turn away first. We both won. We both lost. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also buy one or both of my commercially published novels on Amazon. For a profile, list of … [Read more...]

“Paths” / Memorable Fancies #539

I’m watching her face The path her tears would make But she kept them to herself Like a miser’s hoard. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      Subscriptions to this blog are available at www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch or at www.bit.ly/Fancies. – or you can just Follow this blog. You can also buy one or both of my commercially published novels on Amazon. For … [Read more...]