Things I’ve been asked: an ongoing list
Someone asked where are you and are you happy there.
Someone asked if I thought Geryon knew something of exile.
Someone quoted Gombrowicz: “I’m not so foolish as to have an opinion These Days, or not to have an opinion. But since you’ve stayed behind here, get thee to the Legation forthwith, or don’t get thee there, and present yourself there, or not present, because if you present yourself or not present, you run the risk of causing yourself a major aggravation, or not run such a risk.”
Someone offered a list of curiosities and questions: “Eise Eisinga, the oldest working planetarium in the world, was built between 1774 and 1781. The man who built it created detailed manuscripts for others to build one of their own. What compelled Bas Jan Ader and Yves Klein in such different directions? Andrei Tarkovsky and Roman Opalka? What was your favorite music when you first in your life felt a sense of independence? Where is a place that truly belongs to no one? Dylan Trigg has written, to my mind, an interesting article on agoraphobia.”
Someone recommended Masuji Ibuse’s “Black Rain,” with a warning that it is one of the most viscerally haunting and bleak books she had ever read. Someone else recommended Kobo Abe’s “Woman in the Dunes,” for seas and exiles.
Someone asked in what season or time of day I prefer viewing the sky.
Someone asked about my favorite meeting place of land and water.
Someone asked how I am and someone asked why?
Someone consoled me for the loss of a home that never was.
Someone asked what book of Thomas Bernhard’s is the best to start with.
Someone asked which edition of Rilke is on the bench.
Someone asked whether I find photographs of the female nude only erotically pleasing or if I feel an aesthetic appreciation for the female form as well.
Someone demanded: “Who are you? What is the meaning of this post? What does Moby Dick have to do with you? Have you ever read any parts of moby dick while camping in front of a fire? I have. I didn’t read it, but my friend friend Ben did. Tt was a Ben-idction. Get it? He then burned the paper in the fire. Does that appeal to you? Do you want to go camping with me and my friends? We talk about our feelings and how to conquer happiness and nature. Please respond to all my questions immedieately. Thanks.”
Someone confessed to having a dream about me—and wanting to banish that dream.
Someone asked what love is like and if I’ve solved any of life’s mysteries.
Someone asked if I review books.
Someone asked what books I enjoying rereading.
Someone asked what is the most stunning book I’ve read in the past year.
Someone was bruised, and thought of me.
Someone said I can’t.
Someone demanded that I follow her back and then finished her appeal by writing “Poetry at it’s best.”
Someone asked what bird is on my chest.
Someone transcribed a portion of Milosz’s introduction from the Book of Luminous Things: ”Since poetry deals with the singular, not the general, it cannot - if it is good poetry - look at things of this earth other than as colorful, variegated, and exciting, and so, it cannot reduce life, with all its pain, horror, suffering, and ecstasy, to a unified tonality of boredom and complaint. By necessity poetry is therefore on the side of being and against nothingness.”
Someone asked why am I not here?
Someone suggested that the best way to get to Iceland was as a stowaway.
Someone quoted The Name of the Rose: “In short, I am full of doubts. I really don’t know why I have decided to pluck up my courage and present, as if it were authentic, the manuscript of Adso of Melk. Let us say it is an act of love. Or, if you like, a way of ridding myself of numerous, persistent obsessions.”
Someone asked where is north.
Several of you said this is not a question.
Someone told me that I seem sad.
Someone asked if I’d be interested in skyping.
Someone said I’ll be watching you closely.
Someone asked where are you from.
Someone said we all need to be asked in order to know someone is listening.
Someone asked how many tumblrs I have.
Someone asked what I like about modernism.
Someone wanted to tie all of these posts with one thread.
Someone twice asked why have you left Champaign.
Someone asked why Invisible Stories?
Someone asked are you in love?
Emboldened by anonymity, someone asked aren’t you worried about falling into the trap of just being a reader? and then continued on to offer unsolicited advice.
Someone asked what do you know of survival?
Someone asked if I’d ever seen a copy of Rockwell Kent’s N by E.
Someone asked what I thought of Nightwood, and that it’d left him or her dazed.