Ran across some verse and realized: The tidal-wave of domesticity that's crashed on these shores has rendered modernist and
late-modernist love poetry inoperate.
I have eaten
that were in
Etc. I'm standing in front of the fridge and I can hear the voice already, lilting up, with a frustrated shrug and frown for the
question mark: you ate the plums? That she bought special at Fairway to have for breakfast, not only that but didn't you remember that you're mildly allergic to plums? And I'll be handed a Benadryl after my face turns red, forced to bear her sad headshake. She can hear me open the fridge
door from 100 yards and if I opened it right now she'd yell out “don't eat them” and I'd get pissed off and run back into
the bedroom and say with a mock sneer, “baby, I'm not going to eat them for God's sake.” So actually as a test I do open the
door and she yells “don't eat the plums,” and I laugh and go in and tell her about how I'm not about to eat her stonefruit
and brag about how I tricked her.
With my 20s behind me e.e. cummings just looks like a ridiculous trimhound horndog—Pan, punctuated, rampaging through the
garden to compensate for his lowercased organ. Consider also Roethke: She moved in circles and those circles moved. The problem is that smooth diameters are now replaced by visions of a row of women exercising themselves upon the ellipticals
on the second floor of the Park Slope Y. The sentiment becomes jiggly and insulting, and I'm not going to judge given that
I am myself ovoid. I'm going to go home and put my gym clothes in the laundry basket.
(If you drop your dreams on the floor like that cats are going to tread softly on them and they'll end up dirty with pawprints. Dreams should be in the dresser; that's why we have a dresser. For dreams.
In the little right drawer.)
Thus life turns out not to be all picnics in graveyards. (You do get the complacencies of the peignoir and the coffee.) All those dead poets stressed about god and goblins and getting laid should have been born later, into cell
phones and science. Send a few flirting text-messages—not even a stanza's-worth—and if you have any game you can meet up at
a bar and get your circles moved. Not to mention the universes-worth of imperishable bliss inside every plum.
Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some
There is a Facebook group.
You will regret following me on Twitter here.
About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit
things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.
If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am
glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.
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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford
Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose.
As a hobby I write.
Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out.
Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley.
Welcome to the Company.
“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”.
Forgot to tell you about this.
“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”.
An essay for TheMorningNews.org.
People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately.
Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford.
Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford.
Nanolaw with Daughter.
Why privacy mattered.
0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford.
It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so
that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So:
Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand
below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every
Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came
unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...)
That Shaggy Feeling.
Antilunchism, by Paul Ford.
Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford.
I'll have no one to blame but future me.
Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford.
(1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and
the historical fallacy.
The Moral Superiority of the Streetcar.
(1) Long-form journalism fixes everything. (2) The moral superiority of the streetcar. (3) I like big bus and I cannot lie.