problems with the text as published: artifactiness (which leads to its stasis, at least in this edition, as the text contains errors, uncorrectable except via errata sheets: [1], reprinting, or admitting of them, as such).  
  personality problems: selfishness; self-absorption; solipsism; suaveness; sauciness; overwhelming love of salsa; sappiness; sadness, general and pervasive; inability to shut up at times; sad-sackitude; sweetness; suckage  

problems related to performance of these texts:

  • difficulty of performing these pieces out loud, or even reading them, as they so obviously make use of the page, and are written almost as visual performances, or at least are so involved with the visual
  • the daunting task of reading the sentences out loud, of performing them, because some of said sentences diverge so far and often that they will probably obscure their own beginnings before I can get around to ending them, so how is a listener able to follow them without some sort of handout or visual designed for this purpose
    • perhaps I should try out PowerPoint and see what it has to offer
      • though I have doubts that its technology is any better suited for this sort of maze either
        • but at least I could use a laser pointer and have some text rotate and blink
          • woo-ha! woo-ha!
    • and then the boredom of reading the four (or so) somewhat performable essays over and over at readings; and then the perceived boredom of those who have seen me read the same pieces over and over at readings, and my decision whether to try to think of their feelings or whether I should just blaze on, or whether I should perhaps try reading different bits each time until I have read the whole book—possibly in sequence?
      • I am thinking about having people vote at readings for their least favorite poem of the bunch (when I read poems) and then retiring that least favorite one from all future performances, or, more reasonably, for future performances in the next x years or whatever. It will be kind of like the television show Survivor I think, except, like, with poetry and stuff.
  • consideration of whether the medium of these essays is the page or webpage (and thus the viewer slash reader's eye) or the voice, or something else
    • and further, the question of perhaps sending a couple of these out for publication, if they are essays per se, or publishable, and what it means to publish, whether these are in fact published or not, given their ability to be tinkered with ad nauseam, which is a Latin phrase I think I can figure out without wikipedia
  • it seems I will have to think out loud a lot and get caught in recursion, or at least experiment to find a way to make it work

problems related to the publication of this text:

  • many essays too long to be considered for regular "publication" in journals or beautiful magazines
  • many essays too obnoxious or mind-blowing, whichever you prefer on any given day
  • many essays already published on this website, if that's what we can call it—I think of it more as a concordance of neurotic or thinky tics
  • essays published on website (ostensibly as part of book, that open-ended equation of a noun) beginning to dwarf actual essays published in physical object of codex
  • possible necessity of overused and too-academic air quotes around "this" and "text" in this heading—or need for further elucidation

problems related to the artifact:

  • how to continue to metabolize the contents of the book; the codex; the artifact after the book's acceptance for publication and after the various stages of editing; and even after publishing? Difficulty of just letting this material go.
  • how to refract the book into this other form without annoying or doing things stupidly
  • how to make the text continue to be true even after circumstances have changed, leaving the book just an artifact, a record, a pointer to a yawning space, a former truth, has-been, also-ran

problems with the website:

  • general uselessness of book (and often author) websites and widespread (perhaps) perception of this fact
  • probably too cute slash smart for its own good (like author)
  • how to deal with the idea that websites themselves, and the web, thinking larger, may be doomed technologies, thinking long term, galaxies collapsing, though at that point the dooming of the web will be the least of our problems; maybe the book is the thing that will persist after our silicon and silicone has burned itself away
  • how to get one's head around the fact that everything tends towards obsolescence
  • fear that it is not smart enough about itself, its subjects
  • fear that author has said too much

problems; answer key for; chapters one through six (even-numbered only):

(2) James Agee; (4) the quadratic equation; (6) eighteen; (8) James Ellroy; (10) the band James; (12) how to be a better friend; (14) Sunday morning service at the drive-in church just north of 28th St off Breton; (16) sixteen is the legal age; (18); he's just a dick, so can we finally drop it?; (20) the punctuation goes inside the quotation marks; (22) the number twenty-two; (24) the letter U and the numeral 2; (26) there are ghosts all around us, all the time, I think sometimes, they're hovering, circling, it's like they're in orbit around the sun of us—can't you see them? reach out yr hand? just there—; (28) an immense amount of pain, more than most people could stand; (30) nearly proportional to beauty; (32) who invented the answer key anyway? the problem? does it come from the Greek, like I imagine?; (34); in German, it means other (36); (38) more true than most; (40) just to have the answers, even though you've cheated: it can be enough, just that; (42) a hush, a shush, a brushing of the fingers across the lips; (44) 1983, then version 2.0 came out in 1985; (46) this answer key itself; (48) when I was fourteen; (50); Einsturzende Neubaten, or maybe Negativland (52); (54); (56) repetitive stress from typing the same keystrokes in, all these numbers, an arithmetic series stretching on by implication toward infinity, and the open- and close-parentheses, the litter of spilled-out semicolons doing something here like Morse; (58) train B, by six minutes; (60) if you got sixty less than x, then you're golden: congratulations—answer keys never reward you in the way they should; (62); the very center is the sweetest; (64) the answer key itself; (66) ooh, recursion; (68) I love it when you talk that way; (70) snow is white, for starters; (72) what comes to us by satellite; (74) I tried to discover / a little something / to make me sweeter / so baby, refrain / from breaking my heart; (76) everything slouches back to its beginnings; (78) the Poincaré conjecture; (80) ars poetica; (82) Bennigan's; (84) alcoholism, maybe, or maybe not, depending; (86) Alexander Graham Bell; (88) playfulness: you should try it, too; (90) aphorisms; (92) anaphora; (94) looking slouchy and anachronistic with that tie; (96) the inexorability of the end that you see approaching; (98) the ridiculousness of inexorability as a word, much less the use of it in casual or causal conversation; (100) the emptiness of closed salons when you're the last appointment of the day and you can feel the place draining all around you.


A selection of (found) answer keys: