Pages Give Air to Scorpions and Poetry to Peoples

"Book Lungs" are respiratory tissues used in the process of atmospheric gas exchange. Arachnids have book lungs. Scorpions and spiders and ticks. There is no other order of land-dwelling creatures that uses books for breath. Book lungs are quite literally an arrangement of page like sheets of hemolymph saturated tissues that collect as pages do into 'books'. Spiders and scorpions use these air/life 'books' to maximize the total surface area of hemolymphic tissues exposed to the air. Therefore it can be said that these 'books' optimally maximize (for spiders) the amount of gas exchanged with the environment. Modern arachnids have enjoyed this system of respiration without any determinable evolutionary changes for at least 410 million years.


Response to Simon Morris and Mr. Kerouac.

* Simon Morris, the contemporary conceptual writer was told by one of his students that she had recently been asked by another professor to write a short creative piece in which she was to imitate the prose-style of her favorite author. Mr. Morris found this assignment to be ridiculous and not at all conducive to any sort of creative development. But! It got him thinking! What does a writer have to do to get inside of an author's head? Get inside another artist's style? Thus Morris crafted for himself the project "Getting inside of Jack Kerouac's Head" in which he would manually retype a single page of Kerouac's On the Road every single day until he had typed, and subsequently blogged, the entirety of Kerouac's iconic novel. Students of the visual arts study the brushstrokes of master artists, why can't authors directly recreate and appropriate the cannonical texts? When publishing "G.I.O.J.K.H",  Morris arranged his work backwards: pg 300, pg 299, 298, 297, etc. This work works to the conception of Kerouac's voyage, knowledge to ignorance, sundown to sunup.

In response to both Morris' project and his conceptual arrangement of the classic narrative I wrote the two pieces below:
*NOTE on the second response...( the backwards page presentation of Morris' On the Road offers up some pretty interesting line-breaks between pages. Using moments where these page-transitions seemingly provide full ideas I first cataloged then formatted the liminal, transitional "sentences"into a piece of coherent verse! Check it out!)

Head Morris’ Simon of Inside Getting
 nick aster

I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up. I had just gotten over a serious illness that I won’t bother to talk about, except that it had something to do with the miserably weary split-up and my feeling that everything was dead. With the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on the road. Before that I’d often dreamed of going West to see the country, always vaguely planning and never taking off. Dean is the perfect guy for the road because he actually was born on the road,  when his parent s were passing through Salt  Lake City in 1926, in a jalopy, on their way to Los Angeles. First reports of him came to me through Chad King, who’d shown me a few letters from him written in a New Mexico reform school. I was tremendously inter-ested in the letters because they so naively and sweetly asked Chad to teach him all about Nietzsche and all the wonderful intellectual things that Chad knew. At one point Carlo and I talked about the letters and wondered if we ever would meet the strange Dean Moriarty. This is all far back, when Dean was not the way he is today, when he was a young jailkid shrouded in mystery. Then news came that Dean was out of reform school and was coming to New York for the first time; also there was talk that he had just married a girl called Marylou.

One day I was hanging around the campus and Chad and Tim Gray told me Dean was staying in a cold-water pad in East  Harlem, the Spanish Harlem. Dean had arrived the night before, //
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nick aster
I//arranged to meet me
and Neal
for an afternoon talk.
I told Neal
and he instantly recognized it as the mere simple longing
a great silence like the inherent silence of the Apocalypse.
He was always talking about
Frederick Maryland and Fred-//dry stretches
leading to Mexican mountains in the south.
He was working in May’s department store nights;
crazy Bob Burford called him up from a bar//
[ ( ]on the Kansas plains in the eighties[,]
when for diversion he rode ponies bareback
and chased after coyotes with a club
and later became a country schoolteacher in West Kansas
and finally a businessman of many devices[ ) ]
in Denver.
I opened my eyes//fell asleep and we talked and talked all night.
“One night my old man left the day’s receipts sittin’ on top of//Sunday.

What was he//at the starter.
One night we were alone on duty//
it was my duty to put up the American flag on a sixty foot pole,
and this morning I put it upside down and went home
to bed.

I left//hasn’t stopped since.
I was willing//no direction.
I’ve been working as a brakeman//of my life.
I//tired of this.

(Meanwhile, remember, I was lolling//suddenly
Neal’s eyes grew tearful and he got up and left his food
steaming there
and walked out of the restaurant.
I wondered if he was just wandering off forever.
Meanwhile Neal took a carton of cigarettes from the gas station and we were stocked for the voyage---gas, oil, cigarettes and//a moving boxcar:
Meanwhile//won’t change for a long time.

In the Fall I myself started back from Mexico City
and one night just over//An ambulance came balling through.
“Whoo!” said Neal,
and he turned on his headlights and they weren’t working.
Neal saw that, and began frowning and thinking
and trying to straighten himself out,
and finally I broached the idea of leaving once and for all.
“So much ahead of us man it won’t make any difference.”
Here of course we got snarled in traffic and had to go slow
and I got back in the front//to a fanning dawn;
we were hurling up to it.
Well I got out and had to walk across the woods
with the fear if they caught me//dead and gone.

They were headed//about life, and life on the road.

Reopen no old wounds, be as if you had//no money.
The light of our tent burned on//work.
“Real beat huts, man, the kind you only find in Death Valley and much//mysterious Spanish streets.
Great crowds of businessmen, fat businessmen in boots and tengallon hats, with their hefty wives in cowgirl attire bustled and whoopeed on the//stars

The bus leaving at ten
I had four hours to dig//a witch.”
She let me take a shower and shave and then I said goodbye
and took the bags downstairs and hailed a Frisco taxi-bus,
which is an ordinary taxi that runs//in the tenements
in the back of Howard.
Her great dark eyes surveyed me with emptiness and a kind of chagrin that reached back generations and//unpacked and played till nine o’clock in the morning.
She got off at Columbus Ohio
and I slept all the way to//Hollywood alone.

“I get you gurls, anytime.// girls that cut along with groceries.

At one point the mother of the little colored girl
---not colored but dark---
came in to hold a brief and mournful convocation with her
||the whorehouse.
It was as hot as the inside of a baker’s oven//wonderful bath.
“Neal? I yelled across the party, which included Jose Garcia Villa the poet, Walter Adams, Victor Tejeira [             ] the//it.
Poor Henri, he had a special necktie made for this evening;
on it was painted a replica of the//yes.”

I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future, and maybe that’s why it happened right there and//went all the way down and I was standing in the purple darkness.

All over the world, in the jungles of Mexico, in backstreets of Shanghai, in New York cocktail bars, husbands are getting drunk while the women stay home with the babies of the everdarkening future. If these men stop the machine and come home
---and get on their knees---
and ask for forgiveness
---and the women bless them---
peace will suddenly descend on the earth with// 

          [   //   ] denotes the regions where Morris’ reverse-page presentation of “On the Road” reads backwards, back into itself like a wave on the ocean, looking down and seeing its own genesis, in the moment right before it crashes in on itself, casting shadows    like spots on the sun.

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