very time I end up in jail my tattoo saves me. I guess I should say every time Iíve ended up in jail since I got this particular tattoo, this particular tattoo has been the thing that kept me safe. Iím not saying it made it O.K., that it made it better in even some small wayÖ no, it sucked, it was awful every time. Shit smeared on the walls, packed into a triangular cell for two with five other people, a mat thrown on the floor by the toilet in case I wanted to sleep; I have never, ever, slept in jail. [1] Iíve slept in court after jail, Iíve slept on the ground outside the jail while I waited for a cab to come pick me up and drop me somewhere near my life after hitting a bank so I can pay the guyóand by hitting, I mean stopping by the ATM, letís just be clear about that, all right?óIíve slept in those cabs, Iíve slept on the floors of my friendsí bathrooms after using their showers, washing as much of that very specific stench from my body as I can before I go home, even though it continues to seep from my pores for days afterward. My crimes arenít worth listing here, the various reasons I periodically end up in jail far too pedestrian and boring to mention; what weíre talking about is this one tattoo, on my left arm, just inside and below my elbow. What it is, this tattoo, is a simple equation, from a book I wrote back when we still didnít know how to follow through on our grand schemes. The tattooís simple enough, [2] nothing too terribly complex. I do like the little joke on the right side, saying exponentially no different, but oh my god did we ever have to go through all kinds of shit to effect no change whatsoeverÖ Those of you who have asked me what it means have all received the same answer, the same words in the same order with the same inflection every time: Itís from a book I wrote (and pause for appropriate wonderÖ ďYou wrote a book? Wow! Golly!Ē or whatever else people say): Each letter represents a person and their value at a specific point in time. The combination of the influences on this side (making a circle with my finger around the left side of the equation) produces this result (pointing now to the right side of the equation) in another character. And sometimes the person will recognize the joke on the right side, and weíll chuckle about it and go on about our individual nonparallel, nonintersecting courses, having made our Geek Connection for the week. Much of the time itís just the blank stare, maybe another Wow or something like that, but Iím really only ever answering the question just because it was asked, not because I particularly wanted to talk about it. I understand that Iím obligated to discuss it, and to be polite every time, since I did put it in a very visible spot on my body. You are not allowed to not discuss your tattoos when theyíre exposed. Iím O.K. with that. I put the tattoo where it is so I could see it, so it would remind me constantly of all the things itís supposed to mean to me, but I donít mind when people ask.
     In jail, they donít get the joke. They say, ďDude, thatís one fucked up tattoo, what the hell is that supposed to be? It reminds me of school and shit. Did you have a test in math class you really wanted to pass or something?Ē And then I tell them itís from a book I wrote, and they all get real serious. ďDude, you wrote a book?Ē they say, ďYouíre like some real smart guy, then, huh?Ē And I donít answer that question directly, not the second one anyway. But yeah, I am some real smart guy, then. Thatís a given. Repeated trips to jail notwithstanding. The words: I wrote a book, are some kind of magic there. Everyone in the cell will get quiet, every face soften, and thereís odd reverie in action. Then, all the tough-guy tones gone, they start asking more questions. They ask what the book was about, and I give them a simplified rundown of the general idea. I tell them itís an unreadable piece of crap, something I just had to write, and I had to write it in a certain way to figure out some other things. They want to know am I published, and I say no. That I am not published makes me more like them, that I do things for the sake of doing them makes them dream. Makes them start to think maybe itís not so bad if they donít ever hit the big time, makes them feel like them and the real smart guy are pretty equal on some levels, and then I tell them that whatís most important to me is that I stay true to myself, that I am always trying, that I donít ever think about the potential end results of any of my actions (see repeated trips to jail), but instead stay focused on the always trying, on the doing. Never the finishing of things. None of us, I say, are ever finished with anything. Life continues despite conclusions. Then thereís the joke one of us will make about death being pretty damn fucking conclusive, but thatís not what weíre talking about there. You look in any cell they throw me in and youíll see us sitting there, dreaming, reminiscing about this one thing or this other thing that we always meant to do, but something always got in the wayÖ something like jail, most often. And then weíre all talking about what weíre gonna do when we get out of there. Yeah, I know, typical jail talk. But the thing is, I get out and I go do it. And I know a couple of the others have started on their things too. Out in the general population when they hand out our baloney on white bread with a rotten orange and 6 ounces of curdling milk, [3] Iíll say hi to someone I saw last time and weíll talk about how our things are going. Thereís one guy in particular who does the coolest airbrush work on lowriders Iíve ever seen. He got his stuff back from his ex girlfriend and started a little under-the-table enterprise. He was talking about setting up a shop.
      The fact that I write makes a difference. [4] None of these people will ever read anything I write, nor could they really understand it if they did (donít think that Iím pulling any class distinction thing here, you wouldnít understand much of it either), but the contact with someone like me actually makes a difference in their lives. A couple of them anyway. But Iím not doing this for them, I hardly ever think of them, donít think of any of them unless Iím stuck in a cell. Forced to think about them. Why Iím thinking about them now I donít know, probably just because a cop tailed me for about eight miles on the freeway this morning, his presence reminding me of my lack of a valid driverís license, bringing to mind the continuing existence of a number, a small number, of warrants still out there on me. He pulled someone else over, I think he was using me for cover or something. [5] And Iím not doing this for you, either. Iím doing this so that these things may be done, that I can have a world where these things happen, because I believe it does make my world a better place. And yeah, you may live in this world, and so you might somehow benefit from my actions, but still itís not about you. The guys in jail, even though itís not for them, I see in them the results of my efforts in a far more direct and tangible manner than people like us would ever allow to be displayed. [6] All the things I do are all about me. [7] I live in this world, and Iím going to shape it, if only perceptually, to suit me. What youíre supposed to take from this is not that Iím an asshole, since thatís a given, and not being disputed here, but that the tangentials playing out from our direct actions have far greater impact than the things we think weíre doing. And that we are making a difference and that we should recognize that, and stop wailing and moaning about the pointlessness of existence, stop our search for meaning (see, Iím still on about it, still talking about it, since there are some of you who still donít quite get it, still hindering forward motion with a fruitless quest for sense. And no, this still does not contradict earlier statements Iíve made about the continuing and ultimate pointlessness of our actions; yes, we impact, we make a difference, itís just that we cannot expect that what we want to do and what comes of our actions will necessarily coincide. If they do, thatís great, but we should never expect, not even if it happens every time, that thatís how things are supposed to work. It is just as likely that intent and reality will coincide as not).
      Part of what keeps landing me in jail is a refusal to accept that the established methods are the only methods. The established methods are just that, theyíre established, meaning they exist. Thatís all. Stagnation and failure are the results of following the existing paths. I say that and you say, ďDuh, we all know thatÖĒ but I wouldnít be saying it if it didnít need to be said again. And again and again. Stop right now and list ten things you arenít doing or havenít done because youíre following the established methods. You donít have to give me more than ten, itís just an exercise to prove my point. I mean, think about Gotham, what a hell it would be if Batman didnít forge his own way. Forget for a second that Batmanís a comic-book guy and letís consider Batman as metaphor,†       |

(eight pages of Batman digression excised from this area)

††††††††††††††††††††††† |† that opinions differ on whether or not he actually ever killed anyone (Frank Miller, in The Dark Knight Returns, says yes, others say no) has nothing to do with it. What we should take from him is that we all need to step up and wear a goofy costume and fight evil in all its forms, [8] wherever we encounter it, never stepping back, never stepping down, never entering anything with even the tiniest shred of self-consciousness (and I mean consciousness of self) or any sense of the danger to ourselves that our actions may or may not present. We exist: we are responsible. Thatís pretty much all there is to it. No amount of thinking or clever phrasing or discussion or arguments with your friends where your superior vocabulary and education occludes reality to such a point where they suspect you might be right will ever change it. ďPhilosophizing is just another way of being afraid. A cowardly pretense that doesnít get you anywhere.Ē (Louis-Ferdinand Cťline, Journey to the End of the Night).
      Iíve said in past sections, in previous issues, lots of stuff about how things are wrong, how our perceptions and actions are not aligned with a more positive approach to living, to existing in our meaningless and hostile universe, but to date Iíve not offered anything else, havenít proposed any alternatives. [9] I donít know that what follows is really an alternative, but itís something to think about. I like to think that what weíre doing with spork is a pretty damn concrete manifestation of an alternate option, but thatís because itís me doing it, as an alternative to doing other things.
      There is an insane number of independent journals out there, some of us presenting ourselves as an alternative to the crap the industry foists upon us every day, some of us just doing it because we want to, some of us believing that what weíre doing is the only real way to go about it, and weíve all got our little audiences. From just a few people to maybe a couple thousand, people are reading what we put out there. Individually, however noble our actions, we donít have much of an impactóespecially with so many authors and grad students and assorted wannabe writers holding on to everything they write and working only within the strict confines of the rules set forth by larger institutions, rules saying you cannot do this or you will be disqualified from this competition, and if you do that you wonít be eligible for that thingÖ and then what happens to the stuff? It never gets published anywhere, and then some of these people give up and stop writing and go on and think that it somehow had something to do with the quality of their writing, the nature of their vision, the whatever or whatever, and we are constantly deprived of potentially great, potentially transcendent, potentially paradigm-shifting workóbut thatís individually. People donít really want to give over their masterpieces to a journal that has no circulation, no matter how great a thing it might be. People will give you their crap, theyíll hand over the stuff Granta and McSweeneyís and everyone else has rejected, figuring that publication, after all, is publication, and they were just going to throw that stuff away anyway. [10] On some level I sort of understand that, but that doesnít make it right. What I propose is that we, all these little journals, all so bent on outshining the each other, all trying so hard to get up there with the big boys, we work together on one small thing. This small thing is really very simple: Take one piece and publish it in every damn journal and Ďzine released over a span of say, three months. [11]
      Stop that. Stop shaking, stop spitting. Stop saying how impossible that would be. And you, youíre laughing so hard you fell on the floor. Shut up. And you, telling me how some idiot already tried that and how it failed so miserably, I donít care. Spork was impossible, and it still is, but we keep doing it. All your little Ďzines and projects, theyíre all impossible, but you keep doing them. So letís all agree that impossibility is not a deciding factor. That done, letís now talk about how to do it.

1.       Who decides? Um, weíll decide. Me and Richard. Weíve got good taste, you can trust us. What we publish, whatever it is, is less important than the actual fact of our doing it.
2.     What about consistency? Our format is our own, different than yours, how do we all publish the same thing? We canít all do it the same wayÖ We will publish it according to our individual formats. We use our fonts, our spacing, our whatevers, so long as the content is the same, thatís all that really matters. Sure, there will be some mistakes, some minor differences, but thatís unimportant. The important thing is the actual fact of doing it.
3.     We donít want to do that. Why would we want to do that? So donít do it. You would do it, if you did, because itís a freaking great idea and it should be done. Iím saying it here, Iím putting it on the page and Iím going to publish it and three or four people are going to see it and thereís no going back after that. And you know what? Even if Iím standing all alone on my mountain of impossible, unworkable ideas, Iíll be the one standing.† Even if I have to start three more journals just to realize in some small way my little dream of simultaneous publication, itíll happen. You just watch.†
4.      O.K. you psycho, letís do this thing. How do we get it going? Just e-mail me and let me know youíre on board. Weíll get a list going, weíll all start sifting through the inevitable glut of submissions all vying for this honor, and weíll get it done. My e-mail address is dburk@sporkmag.com. This will work. I donít know just how itís going to work, but thatís not important. Weíll figure it out.


      This is, I know, just one small thing, and youíre thinking that itís hardly enough to effect the sorts of change weíre all always talking aboutóor maybe you realize, like me, that itís not the what of what we do, but that we do the whatever it is. Any step we make that takes us away from the established methods is one step toward meaningful and lasting change. Everything we do or think or read or see or anything sets in motion a series of chemical reactions in our heads, reshaping small parts of us every moment of every day. Start acting in a certain way, and the resulting chemical bath will start altering who you are. Continue along any line, and the resulting bath will radically and dramatically change every aspect of your being. Itís simple behavioral stuff. Itís so easy. We do it together and we compound the potential effects exponentially. It happens to us anyway, every day, why not be the ones deciding what factors influence our being? [12]
      Now, on to binding, since thatís what this sectionís always supposed to be about. If youíve seen us before, you will notice that weíve changed again. And I know I promised Richard that I wouldnít change it until we finished Volume 2, but what I did last time was, while beautiful, far too difficult to continue. [13] And too expensive. My math is so bad, so bad, so bad. I didnít realize how much the supplies would cost (and I worked it out no fewer than three times and still got it wrong), nor how much time it would take per copy. As I write this I still have a stack of 30 sporks waiting to be bound. The last 30, sure, but Iím still not finished, and weíre going into production on the next issueÖ just like always. The difference with this one was that I had lots of help with the binding this time, and still we werenít able to finish them. Every day for the last six months, every morning, many evenings, always at the studio, binding and binding and binding. We were unable to keep up with demand. It made me frustrated and sad, and not just a little broke. But donít interpret that as me complaining, since Iím not. I consider that inexcusable, and it makes me angry when I see people doing it, that they feel like theyíve got the right to moan and whine about the things they did to themselvesÖ Iím just saying I had to rethink my approach, and I have.
      ††My ex-wife had an old Mother Goose book that had lost its spine and needed to be rebound before she could give it to my daughter, ZoŽ. Itís a really nice book and I wanted to try to restore it, but I couldnít, since there was pretty much no spine left. Repair was all I could do. To repair something you have to take it completely apart, so thatís what I did, and discovered the most perfect binding beneath the layers of mull and glue. What it is, is a straight stitch right through all the pages at the spine. Do you see how wonderful that is? Do you understand how brilliant that is? Well, I did, and do, and thatís what weíre doing here. Weíre not using a huge sewing machine, like they do/did with kidís books like that. Weíve got seven holes about a quarter of an inch from the spine, and we start at the head, wrap the thread around the spine, tie it off, then work down to the next hole. Come out the bottom, then circle back to the first hole, then back to the second, through that and then to the third, then back and again and againÖ the result is an alternating double-thread, single-thread thing working its way down the spine. I thought about wrapping again to get a consistent double-thread thing going, but then Iíd have a triple-thread thing, and so long as weíve got a full wrap-around between each set of holes, itís strong enough. Extra wrappings wouldnít add any more strength, just bulk. At the seventh hole, at the tail, we go around the spine again, tying it off with a couple of knots. Early tests had me going around the spine at every hole, but it ended up just being extra work with no real benefit. So I stopped that.
      Another thing I noticed in the Mother Goose book was how they sewed through the endpaper as well, which hid the sewing from view, while also providing a non-adhesive way to attach the endpaper to the text block. Again, this is brilliant, so thatís what weíve done. The endpapers are folded and placed along with the text block into our little drill jig thing (which has had holes added to it since the last issue), and the whole damn thing gets a line of holes all the way through. The endpapers, which are shorter on one side than the other, which you see, since youíre holding this, are then glued to the cover near the hinge.
      The reason the endpapers are shorter on one side has everything to do with the covers, which you also already know since youíre holding this. The covers are a combination plexiglas/linen book cloth thing, with a little bookboard in the spine for that honest-to-god, hot-damn! this is an actual book! thing. Through careful measurements I have determined that six inches is the optimum width for the cloth, three-quarters of an inch for the spine, and three-quarters of an inch on either side of the spine for the hinges. This might seem a lot for the hinge, but the sewing requires more hinge than a traditionally-sewn book would. Some efforts were made in early tests toward hiding the stitching and minimizing the hinge, you know, having it look more like a book bookóand then I remembered just what the hell I was making here, why I was doing what I did. This is a hand-made book, there should be some indications to attest to the fact of its being bound by hand. If it looks just like a regular book, then what would be the reason for my having done it by hand at all? Occasionally I forget. I have remembered, and so if you touch the joint you can feel the stitching. After a little caressing, the cloth will mold around the stitching and a wonderfully biological thing will appear. Something like veins, Iím thinking. Thatís how I see it, what it looks like to me. The endpapers are measured to line up with the book cloth on the outside of the cover, leaving the majority of the front and back covers free and clear of any obstructions. Itís part of the new spork full-disclosure initiative. O.K. itís not, but I thought it might be fun to say that. Turns out it wasnít quite as fun as I thought it would be.
     The results of this method are a strong, beautiful, more easily opened than previous issues spork. I have chosen to abandon the bookplate, and if youíre all sad that itís not there, if you think that spork just isnít what it was without it, then I think youíve missed the whole point of what weíre doing. If you absolutely need one, then by all means put one in, I could even make one up and send it to you, or put a printable one on the website that you could download, but Iím not going to be directly party to that behavior any more. Not for this issue anyway. I canít say what future issues will hold, since weíre not there yet. As soon as I know Iíll pass it on to you. [14]

 
 

[1] Itís never been more than a couple of days. Iím sure I would have slept eventually had it gone on any longer than that. The first time I was in jail was in Memphis, where I was arrested for murder. I didnít do it, and after a couple of hours the cops got their shit together and realized it wasnít me in this cell what done all the murderiní, but this other fella in this other cell what killed that nice family in California and done stoled their car, then stabbed that guy in Nevada to death, leaving him on the side of the road; then they done lost trackía him somewheres in Arizona, ďand hereís the funny part, son. See when you done stoled that car, you done stoled the same kindía car he done stoled, and so when yíall stopped in Amarillo at that motel, and he did too, well we just thought when we saw yíall that you was him and started follaíin yíall, and it just so happens that yíall and him and his ladyfriend who looks a whole lot like your ladyfriend went the same way.Ē So what happened was that Só and I stole this car and a bunch of credit cards and hit the road. Iíve written a book about it. Another completely unreadable book, yes, but this was the first of my continuing series of unreadable books. This one was called Lowroad. Originally it was called Lowroad to Elvis, since our destination, unknown to me, was Memphis, and Graceland. Só didnít tell me where we were going, she just called one Sunday night, after our not having spoken for nearly a year, and said ďWe have to go,Ē and I, of course, said: O.K. Not to try to sound innocent, but she was the one that stole the car, showing up the next morning after Iíd left for school and circled round until everyone left for work and school and everything. I got in and she asked me to drive, and so I did. Vegas then Memphis, with a quick sunrise stop at the Grand Canyon where a bunch of families pulled up to the rim as I was standing pretty much naked by the car, not actually standing, but leaning through the window and sorting through the clothes weíd bought in Vegas with our stolen credit cards, a skinny white ass photo-op, trying to find something suitably felonious to wear for the duration of our trip. Another stop in Amarillo, where I pulled off my braces with a screwdriver, used a nail file to scrape the cement off my teeth, then dyed my hair black. I could go on, but Iíve wasted too much space with this alreadyÖ so Iíll just say I was seventeen then and didnít yet have the tattoo, so it didnít play any part in that story.

[3] So youíre there with your brown paper bag that some fucked-up asshole has fallen on, crushing your food, the only food theyíre going to give you, and they bring out this monitor and show you a video that people outside the jail see. Itís about our jail system, and it shows a bunch of happy inmates all working together, all coexisting, all clean and joyous and studying or working or whatever the hell it is theyíre doing. I donít care about that. Then the scene changes to the cafeteriaóthe cafeteria at the jailóand they show the inmates all passively and happily lined up with their trays, being given big, beautiful steaming portions of all kinds of beautiful food. Shows them happily eating these big, beautiful steaming portions of all kinds of beautiful food. Nowhere in the video does it show a crushed paper bag with two slices of stale white bread and one greening slice of baloney, a piece of rotten fruit and 6 ounces of curdling milk. When you get out of jail you want to go hurt someone. When you get out you want to go destroy things. You are not contrite when you leave, you are murderous, you are vengeful. You expect the dehumanization, you expect the cops and guards and clerks to treat you like shit. You are in jail after all, but you donít expect that theyíre lying to people about you. You know why youíre there, itís all really simple and sure it sucks, but itís pretty cut and dry. That they feel like they have to lie about the fact that they donít feed you, or more accurately, that they donít feed you and then lie about it, changes everything. Makes your pedestrian little crime into the first little seed of a dangerous and pointless revolution.

[4] To them, I mean. It means something to them. It does not give the act meaning, does not infuse my work with meaning.

[5] Iím driving a Volvo now, totally stealth. Even when it hits 90 it still looks like itís going about 35Ö I pass someone and the cops think the other personís stopped, instead of thinking Iím going really fast. And in a purely perceptual sense, if your speedometer only reads up to 80, then no matter what your actual speed, youíre only ever going something less than or equal to 80. I never really had my big, devastating loss of faith in all things around me, no crushing realizations that things just arenít what they seemed; I donít know that I was much into the idea of faith, ever. But lately, as I get old and my children grow up I feel now and then that maybe I should believe in something, have a tenet or two I can pass along to my progeny, and so Iím starting with this. Itís been pretty constant in my life, through all the Datsuns and old Hondas and Bugs and Buses, the Peugeot and every last Volvo thatís crossed my path, theyíve all supported this idea. I have never been pulled over for perceptually speeding in any of those cars. It wasnít until I got the Acura that boasted 160óand yes, I did test that on the 10, between Tucson and Phoenix, and though I didnít get to 160, the car told me it had what it took to get me there, should I need to get to Phoenix in 45 minutes; nobody needs to get to Phoenix that quicklyóthat I got pulled over. And then it was always for 50 in the 40 or 40 in the 25. Itís perceptual, is what Iím saying. The Acura displayed an ability and propensity for speed and thus drew attention. Come to think of it, when the cop was using me as cover, he was trailing an Acura not too different from the one that used to get me in so much trouble.

[6] Not really the effect Iím shooting for, but I take whatever I can get, wherever I can get it. I donít really want to have a life that puts me in a position to affect inmates, but if thatís how it is, then thatís what it is.

[7] And maybe my daughters. Definitely my daughters. But thatís still about me. Since theyíre mine.
     Last night I had this bizarre dream that my wife Andrea and my daughter Trillian were flying to San Francisco to meet meóbut I was in Tucson, so I canít quite figure out where they thought Iíd be. Maybe they got confused because Iíd told them Iíd meet them at the San Francisco Bar and Grill, and they knew I wouldnít ever go there, so they got on the plane, since that was the only rational thing to do. Anyway, I get an e-mail saying the planeís crashed and that Andreaís dead but Trillianís O.K. but that I have to go find her, somewhere in the wreckage, and I need to bring a claim check, like sheís luggage or something. Iím in shock and my travel agentís on vacation, having siphoned frequent flyer miles from all her clientsóand I donít really have a travel agent, or a hairdresser or accountant or any of those things people accumulate through life like conditionsóand Iím informed that I canít use anyone but my own agent so I have to walk. I relate this only because I woke up thinking the only way to keep this from happening is to get to work on the next issue of spork. Iím not sure how this would help, but Iím thinking Iím going to have that as my other tenet. The Winchester lady had her house, Iíll have my spork. All I have to do is keep working on it, always working, and nothing bad will ever happen. Sure, I went to work right after waking up, but now Iím off and Iím working on it. We get submissions every day now, actually every single day, so I feel pretty good about the idea that there will always be something to do.

[8] This is not to be interpreted as my aligning myself with any current anti-evil factions out there saying kind of the same thing. Iím talking about bad poetry, awful fiction, manufactured Southwestern Art Product. You know, evil.

[9] What I have said is go ahead and make potholders if thatís what you want to do, and Iím still sticking by that. Just last Sunday I grabbed a sautť pan that had been sitting on a flame for a hell of a long time, one of those all-metal affairs, no wood, no rubber, nothing but metal. Iíve had a culinary reference to Raiders of the Lost Ark in my right palm all week. Some of you out there may want to consider abandoning current directions in favor of potholders; I think I may have written to a few of you and suggested as muchÖ hopefully this helps to bring you to a more complete understanding of the divine nobility of such a course of action. Sure, you might think me cruel, but letís just see you try to pick up a freaking hot pan with a book. Itís inadvisable, at the very least. I mean, think about it. Your panís too hot to touch, you reach with your book and Chapter Eighty-three or your slamminí epic poem dips beneath the pan and ignites. Youíre a poet, youíre a wacky artist, you donít know how to deal with household fires. Youíre not trained in that. You scream, you drop the pan and the book and run out of your apartment. Meanwhile, the Guatemalan throw rug you senselessly placed in front of the stove, saturated with grease, makes one wicked hellfire on the floor, which then crawls up the cabinet by the fridge and in like ten minutes the entire buildingís gone Towering Inferno and youíve just murdered one hundred and eighty three people. All because you had to write your damn book. Think of the children, for Godís sake, think of the children.

[10] Iím proud to say that weíve gotten past that, and people now see us as a viable and desirable venue for their work, but it wasnít always like that.

[11] Iím not talking about some independent-publishing world syndication thing, and Iím certainly not saying I think we should all band together or stop trying to show each other up, that we should stop competing, stop eyeing each otherís products with envy or disdain or whatever we eye things with when we see them. Iím saying letís just do this, keep competing and deriding and envying and everything we do, but do this too. You donít want to work with me, and I donít want to work with you either. We wonít have to work together much at all to make this happen, just agree to do it. Thatís all.

[12] Wow, that was almost spiritual. I had a conversation last night where I was told that everything is spiritual, and not in one way or another, but just is, everything is spiritual. I donít like that idea. I draw a big, fat line between behavioral and spiritual, and Iím talking behavioral. Jesus said we should do our praying in private. Letís keep that there. Our spiritual life may influence our behavioral life, but that still does not inextricably link them. Hey, I said Jesus in spork. I just think itís funny that I just said, ďJesus saidÖĒ

[13] I mean, you only need so many stairways to nowhere.

[14] Iíve really got to stop doing this last-minute just get it all out at once thing. Here, hereís a little Notes on the Notes: I get paralyzed in rewrites, never finishing something if I go back and think about what Iíve said. Thereís always an infinitude of uncertainty, especially with this, with spork, where I present my ramblings alongside work that we (and I mean the other editors when I say Ďweí, I mean the people with the schooling, training, experience, talentÖ everything necessary to recognize qualityóor lack thereofóin a piece, everything to take something thatís almost shining and transform it into a thing of brillianceÖ and they know people and those people know peopleÖ) decide to publish here. They let me have my say, and they donít make a fuss when I get stupid, since nobody wants to make the boy angry until after heís made all the booksÖ and if thereís going to be a next issue, then they donít really want to make him angry then eitherÖ So I know, I know, I knowÖ but I canít go back, I canít edit or rephrase, Iíve just sat myself down and written it each time. If I tried for coherence or readability Iíd never finish it. So thatís it. Itís not me having style or a quirky method. Itís just I get distracted while writing, have too many things to say, and want to say it all at once. Thatís pretty much it. Sometimes I just go on and on because Iíve done what Iíve just done here and rambled so much Iíve got just a few lines on an otherwise empty page (which, strangely enough, wasnít there anymore when this got put into the master document, and these words here between the parentheses contradict the idea that I wrote this all at once, since Iím writing this later, writing this nowóI was going to take out the talk about the few lines on the otherwise empty page, but I really liked it, liked how it got me to thinking about minimalism and otherwise empty spaces, and now Iíve added enough words that Iíve got the otherwise action going again). I will accept this and just hit Ďsaveí and then Iím going to e-mail it to Richard, who will probably start swearing and wish for another binder to materialize, all magic and complete, compliant and without the need to explain anything.