apocalypse March 24, 2020

 

It doesn’t matter which day it is anymore. Yesterday, the President tweeted “THIS IS WHY WE NEED BORDERS!” It seems perhaps that swans and dolphins didn’t appear in the Venice canals as previously reported, but foxes, deer, coyotes, raccoons, and monkeys abound. House Democrats introduced a coronavirus stimulus plan as the Senate bill was stalled. Trump appears to “waffle on shutdown”, whatever that means. At this moment, the World Health Organization is reporting 378,394 total coronavirus cases with 16,491 deaths and 101,584 recovered. A pet birdie is still dying. فَكَذَّبوهُ فَأَهلَكناهُم . State shutdowns don’t happen to us. Call from “Scam Likely”. Birds, birds, everywhere. A cardinal calls from the telephone pole. I forgot to send Shawn a list of book recommendations. Dishes laundry dusting bills lessons shower recycle shave bills bills bills words words words free

 

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I think I’ll explain just how this whole thing works. Basically, I wake up every morning and I go about my day: making coffee, eating cereal, playing some morning jazz. And then, I try and catch up on the news, check on my friends, um, talk to my family, and all the while I’m trying to pick up, like, what are we all thinking and feeling today? So I sort of sit around sort of tuning my radio, so to speak, to see what’s going to come up until eventually, strings of words start to appear before my eyes, and I, I just write them down. At the time I receive them they don’t really mean anything or tie together in any way I’m not sure what they’re about but…just picking up strings of phrases and sentences that just appear in my mind’s eyes, and, I sort of end up with a basket of strings of words and phrases and my job is to figure how to piece it all together, how to make meaning of what all of this really is, or encapsulates. I kind of start an almost…phrase jigsaw puzzle trying to piece all of it together in a way that creates a picture that all of us can understand and relate to, in a way that translates all of the muddled chaos of our thoughts and feelings that day, uh, into something comprehensible and relatable, and…that’s pretty much the process, I…sit down, and, listen to what’s going on, and put it all together, and I read it over and over and over, and sometimes it needs a syllable here or another word there or maybe that phrase there is what I want to say, but not how I want to say it, so I need to find the words. And maybe today, it rhymes, or it’s metered, maybe today it’s solemn, or it’s set in iambic pentameter, maybe today it’s going to include famous phrases, uhh, maybe today we’re gonna reference Hemingway, or T.S. Eliot, or Shakespeare or the Bible or Dr. Seuss—whoever is the best at having said that which we’re feeling on this particular day, and I almost go into a trance of blind…almost without my eyes it’s like almost entirely intuitive I could probably close my eyes and still do it. because it starts to sound right, and basically the words transition from my eyes and hands to my ears and the process then becomes auditory, uh. I listen for what it’s supposed to sound like. And what I come up with eventually is some sort of poem or song that sounds right. and I think it’s harder to detect reading it on the page, I think it’s much easier to listen to it as it’s being read out loud, so I thought audio recordings would bring the words to life because they’re very melodic, very musical, and it’s really a poem, a song that you’re listening to, more so than reading content off of a static page and so, um, that’s kind of been my process every day I listen for what’s out there, I pick it up, I put it back together into something new, and I read it out loud until it sounds right.

 

 

 

NOTES

فَكَذَّبوهُ فَأَهلَكناهُم “So they doubted him, so We destroyed them.” The Quran 26:139. Birds, birds, everywhere “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. words words words “Hamlet” 2.2.

 

 

Read more by Yousef Alqamoussi.

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