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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 1, March 2016


Johannes S. H. Bjerg
Højby, Denmark

It's the Process Not the Result

I get them sent from all over the world, nail clippings of philosophers and poets alive and deceased. They come in envelopes often containing a postcard with a picturesque view of a must-see from a city or a country not necessarily connected with the p & p's who send them (and of course the dead don't send me anything; I imagine relic hunters or simply forgers do that) and I—in my own small but to me highly sufficient way—mentally wander the streets or soil or grassy plains of the pictured location imagining (disturbingly increasingly vividly) that I'm there, and it seems I have acquired the ability to bring bits and pieces back with me, when I return. Once I found small droplets of water on my skin while viewing the Victoria Falls on a card sent along with bits of what once (supposedly) was at the end of Sartre's fingers. I don't know if he was ever in Zimbabwe but that isn't really important. What is important is the addition to my project.

in a white-out breaths even whiter

My plan was to build a house from the clippings but I have settled for just a door. Time isn't as abundant as it was and I'm really not good at building houses. But it's a wonderful door. A magic one. With a keyhole to look through. It stands alone in the middle of my room supported by cobblestones I took from the street. It doesn't open up to anything and what follows is: it doesn't close on anything. It's a door with no function; which of course raises the question if I can call it a door at all.

after the snowfall the crap camouflage of blackbirds

But it's my project and if I had a son, I could pass on the task of creating a house the door could fit into but . . . . When the end comes I might just hang a note on each side of the door saying: “Out to lunch” and let the dirt floor soak me up.

even with emet on its forehead the snowman melts

Author's Note: Emet is a Hebrew word written on a golem's forehead to make it come alive. A golem is a being made from inanimate matter.



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