the gas line is leaking, the bird is gone from the cage, the skyline is dotted with vultures; Benny finally got off the stuff and Betty now has a job as a waitress; and the chimney sweep was quite delicate as he giggled up through the soot. I walked miles through the city and recognized nothing as a giant claw ate at my stomach while the inside of my head felt airy as if I was about to go mad. it’s not so much that nothing means anything but more that it keeps meaning nothing, there’s no release, just gurus and self- appointed gods and hucksters. the more people say, the less there is to say. even the best books are dry sawdust. —from "fingernails; nostrils; shoelaces"