E·ratio 11 · 2008



E·ratio 11 · 2008




Two Excerpts from


Now Then When


  by John Mercuri Dooley






Two excerpts from SOMETHING



Anything will be ok will be said Statements will be things not met Objects will get lost Lost things will have or will be no object One will not agree with that and call it Statements will be nothing to be fooled Something that will be nothing will come and go And a feeling will come It will be something not an object and there will be one Things to be seen will be there and take up space Seen or other things will bring which will be a subject or two Topics will be considered objects will be spoken of Talk there will be none No one will come and will This will be close one will come to it One will not say it and will say something why will one not one will be something will not mean it Something will be said but one will not make it One will say how will there be no object It will disagree to one will come Will it And it will decide to feel its size These will be in a place in some area Things not to be said will call Will not be.







One will go there The place will be it Certain of them will have an emotion about it and get have thoughts about it Heads will what will be in them The other will make something The results will not be good to some of them something opposite It will make a sense they will move something in them they will not say It will be something useful Something will be and there And there will go something Something will decide not to bring in any thing They will be kept or thrown out Things will be kept but one will make sure about it They will feel well not sure they will They no not and one will not say that That will not be said and will feel something Another or another will be ok and one will not leave it that It will say things can’t enter Everything will meet where one will be in that place they will be full and these won’t Places all over will be made to be by one and another One will hold and forget others Some they will know it They will feel in places with others One will pay them no mind They will not be looked at in what they will think will be theirs Any shape will be no reason to think about one It will be part that need not be discarded One will feel something One will one will want to be will be said Nothing won’t mean what will happen is ok.











Two excerpts from Now Then When



Hold the future.  Let go of the present.  Think of what was before now.  Relate this to the future.  Think how the future affects what you are doing now and how what you are doing now is a result of what happened in the distant and near past and if an experience of doubling experiences occurred and had anything to do with this.  Imagine that you have more than one future one each for all your yous.  If you are an easygoing person maybe the only way you think about the future is in terms of what you have to do later in the day or night or tomorrow or next week or further into the future.  Think about what happened to others in the past that affected you and will affect both of you in the future individually and collectively.  Your parents are in your future.  I am in your immediate future and if you care to read further into the future than 10 minutes from now I will be in that future.  If that 10 were a lower number I would have just written it out for example five and then in the almost immediate future written 10.  Is making the figures 1 and 10 ever writing.  Are numbers ever part of writing.  Imagine how the people who invented quantities would feel about characters such as 5 and 10 and how they would feel about what came much further in the future machines that made the figures first mechanical machines then electronic machines.  Who could have imagined 100 years ago that there would be electronic machines with memory.  How much memory does your computer have and do you understand the numbering system used to express the size of memory and how large a quantity that figure represents.  I forgot what I was going to say.  I hoped that typing that sentence I forgot what I was going to say would give me time to remember what I was going to say but now it is even further from my mind.  It lasted a split second and was immediately gone.  Remember what you did yesterday at periods you determine.  What was I saying before.  Every sentence brings you further away from the thought you had a few sentences ago and if you have a bad memory that can be frustrating and hold you back at least in your head.  People who died stay in your memory.  What is your favorite song and how long into the future do you think you will remember that at this time that was your favorite song.  What are you doing now and what do you think you will do tomorrow.  I remember not what I was going to say but what I said.  What I said was what I was saying at the time.  Saying what I was saying at the time expresses a different time than saying I said.  What did you just say to someone if there was someone else there and if there was no one else there did you say anything in your head when you were reading this.  What I remember is that I was thinking about the future and thought about holding on to the future which anyone can do.  And what I said was something about holding on to the future I don’t remember what the exact words were but I do remember the general thought.  I almost forgot what I have to do later.  What does it mean to say you almost forgot.  When will things end.  It depends what is meant by when and it depends what is meant by things and it depends what it meant by end.  What do you want to end and when do you think it will.  Will you bring about that ending or is it something beyond your control.  If it is beyond your control do you think there will be something in the near future you will be able to do to bring it about more quickly. . . .







How often do you not want to do something and don’t do it.  Like I don’t want to do this now but I am.  Why am I doing something that I don’t want to do now.  Why does anyone ever.  When did you last read a book you did not want to read but thought you should.  Why would anyone ever listen to anyone even themselves telling them what should be done.  Morals are always a factor in many things.  That sentence might never make sense to some in English but it might in a language of a culture with another sense of time.  What time is it.  If you were a continent away what time would it be.  What time do you want it to be.  If it were another day at the same time how would you feel.  Are you lonelier on Sunday or Saturday.  Are you more lonely on those days than you other other days of the week.  Does the fact that you have a regular Monday to Friday job have something to do with this.  Travel tomorrow.  Go as far as your money can take you in time to get home to eat tonight.  If you don’t want to go home to eat tonight eat somewhere you can afford or can’t afford and put it on your credit card.  Peroni beer is made in Rome or the company is based there and it has been made since the mid 1800s.  My husband just told me that on a Sunday morning drinking his first cup of coffee at the kitchen sink.  Our house has a more or less open floor plan but when I first saw it it was cut up into little rooms.  A sense of living and space has changed since it was built more than 100 years ago indicating a change in the way people feel about life themselves in it their relation to people and things and themselves and to public and private life and space and so forth.  How do you feel today about public life.  Does how you feel depend on the day of the week it is or what time it is.  If it is 2 a.m. how do you feel about it.  If it is 11 a.m. and you just barely heard the train whistle like now how would it be.  Have a soft boiled egg cooked for four minutes with butter and salt and pepper in it.  Yesterday I spent a long time cooking for my family.  They were coming over to go skating at a rink near our house and they stayed at the rink for two hours.  I cooked chicken soup and let it simmer for three hours uncovered so over time it develod a concentrated flavor.  I trimmed and pounded chicken for cutlets then coated them in flavored breadcrumbs I had made earlier from bread I had left out for two days to harden.  I boiled a head of cauliflower for five minutes then broke it apart dipped it in egg grated cheese garlic and parsley and fried it.  I poured olive oil on three varieties of potatoes and onion garlic parsley salt and pepper and let them roast for an hour mixing them every twenty minutes.  I washed lettuce and made a salad which doesn’t take much time.  Everyone stayed for six hours.  We ate and drank for a few hours.  What can I do now.  I am sitting here now no longer feeling like I don’t want to do this.  I forgot I didn’t want to do it which is typical of how thought changes over even a very short expanse of time.  How expansive will your day be.  If it is Sunday will you languish will you see a long movie will you cook or be cooked for will you go for a long walk will you work even though it is Sunday.  Do you know anyone who has to work every day.  Do you ever get tired of people asking you questions.  Are you tired of it now even though I am not really talking to you.  What I am doing now isn’t talking and I am doing it to you.  To say I am writing to you would not be quite right and to say I am writing for you is not right and to say I am not writing to you or for you is not right either.  I hope you read this and like it whenever you read it.  I do sense you are there now that I am writing but I do not want to know who you are and avoid thinking you are someone I know or want to impress.  I write for myself and strangers as Gertrude Stein said long ago and it is still true for many unless they know a lot of people who will read what they write.  I am still writing and continue to do so and hope you read and I do want to be recognized.  It is embarrassing to let you know this and it is annoying to be writing in a way I do not want to write and never wanted to but I feel driven by the force of it now in a way I find annoying and do not want to erase.  Writing is the mind and can you ever say vice versa. . . .





John Mercuri Dooley lives in Cambridge, Mass., where he and his husband, Andrew Richardson, curate the Demolicious Poetry/ Multimedia Series.  MuBet, an ongoing online project, can be seen at .  Other works have appeared at BlazeVox, facsicle, Gut Cult, Moria, No Tell Motel, Shampoo and Word For/Word and have been distributed as mail art by Marymark Press.  His multimedia work has been presented at the Brickbottom Gallery in Somerville, and Oni Gallery and Atlantic Works Gallery in Boston.  He has written book reviews for Boog City and Jacket.

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