Death By the Novel

It doesn’t take a whiz to take a guess at how deadly the spine of a novel could be. What takes a whiz, though, is to be dead-on about how deadly an e-novel equally could be. I a no-whiz didn’t know it until I got a call from my friend a whiz asking if I knew whether or not the extended warranty covered a display-shattered, blood-spattered two-year-old Kindle. It transpired he was reading Fight Club as he clubbed with it a mischievous mouse. Holy moly, man! I didn’t know you could do that. I’ve had my share of kills – lizards crushed with Snow Crash, beetles smashed with Metamorphosis, ants pulped with Battle Royale, but to kill with an e-novel, that’s unheard of.

While that’s impressive I’d contend there are things an e-novel couldn’t do that only a novel could. Mosquitoes could be squeezed between the pages while you’re at the middle of a novel. That act of killing couldn’t yet be performed with the e-novel but the days of foldable e-reader isn’t far off. Now shooing off mosquitoes by flipping the pages of Don Quixote, that could never be performed, not even with a foldable e-novel. This therefore makes the novel more deadly! Whiz goes, Oh!

I’ve almost always failed at my felling of Hymenoptera with a He-Man. That and dropping an Absolute Sandman onto a tile to find the cockroaches sandwiched between the split tile and sand would prove graphic novels could be deadly too. No! Now perhaps if you’re reading on your desktop ,or laptop, you could split the tile and squash the cockroaches with them motherboards and that would mean the e-novel could be as deadly too but the chance of Hymenoptera being fell by either is rather slim while you could almost certainly fell them with either the front or backside of the trade paperback.

On the other hand, with Cat’s Cradle the novel you could barely shoo off a cat but with the e-novel if it be a laptop you could do serious damage to the cat’s mobility and with the desktop you could send the cat straight to its grave. I mean you could cause so much death even with a mini classic if it were an e-novel. This therefore makes the e-novel deadlier! Yes, so, what are we up to here – the novel is deadly, the graphic novel is deadly too and the e-novel is deadlier? Well, but!

Perhaps the novel and the graphic novel are quite flexible and handy you could make paper fans and paper planes out of them. You could smell the pulp or paint too if you wanted to. The bottom-line being the novel is handy. Oh! The e-novel on the other hand is not so flexible yet is more or less solid and trendy. It’s so solid you could make it do things a novel couldn’t and so trendy you could find your way home with it in times of blackouts. Definitely so the e-novel is trendy. Yes! Now, we couldn’t possibly be wishing the novel were trendier and the e-novel handier or, for that matter, deadlier.


‘The Novel, I suspect, might prove to be deadlier than the Author.’ – Attributed, this time, to Boland Arthelmed

This Illusion

Śruti, it’s named & called,
is stood on a stool of gold,
adorned with full stops
and exclamation points

Unlike the whole that cannot be
but for the parts it’s made of,
it’s a Whole in itself—one single Entity

This Beast, if it makes you want to feast on your
own empty hand, can it be Śruti

Or is this Smrti instead dressed up as Śruti?

[One Two] Three Poems

Being and Feeling

I’ve felt all along, at
once and at different
times, so damn proud
of being, just simply
being and so not proud
of being, just pure
and simple being. This
is this is how I’d
always be feeling as
one long arm made out
of many short arms shoves
down my throat another feeling
of the same kind that I know
to be not worth a damn.


March Unmarch and March

bite soft

grim face
say talk

sleepy feet
stroll on

primrose highways
jet pack

set fire

jog errand

face lust

a void
step in


splinter circle

sleep hard

wake late


—many hypercontexts—
go on


A Weak Dissent Does Count

Count to ten.
Count to ten
with your fingers.
Make a hard fist
and count to ten
one finger at a time.
Dance, drink, howl.
Drink, howl, celebrate
as I count one to ten
backwards five
fingers at a time
and make a soft
fist of protest.


On the Staircase to the Terrace

Seemed like light wouldn’t shine

and then

the long-absent dragonflies glide
– handmade paper planes
over the ten-feet pinnate leaves
whose new flowers splayed out
– a frozen firework
where a sparrow, no, a passerine,
wiggling weensy tail bounces.

Up shoots a two-colored mynah
wings spread out
– an oversized butterfly.
Down shoot parakeets



















from, what, manmade rocket launchers.

Been shady days and nights.
With puffy eyes and all,
no wonder, the sky’s gray.
The sky’s a mess,
prepping for the feast.

Birkensnake 7, Y’all

Birkensnake 7 is live in its entirety (in various formats) for your perusal and it contains my I, Y’know Who, Having Stepped Into Well Street.

The print version of the magazine can be got by reading out loud any short or short-short story into your phone (or any neat recording device) and emailing it over to the people responsible for the creation of this artifact. Although it isn’t mandatory, readers outside the US might want to consider chipping in postage.


Look, did I or did I not say, this is a glittering artifact!


In Nether VI

Issue VI of Nether features works of poetry and prose by many (writers of all ages and stripes – old, new, obscure, in translation, what have you), including my prose piece called Lines. It can be ordered from, or ordered directly from