excerpts from Autobiography of a Book


as told to Glenn Ingersoll





in which the book proceeds from booms to sums



A series of booms followed by a series of dubious intent. What emerges from a pupa is colored three shades of brown, two of purity, and one of the underside of the notorious event.


You know, said the situationist boy to his superior officer, the warden of glens, what began as a rout continues as a huckleberry pie with custard.


The other, his news well-positioned for the return to the evening, raised his quotient, silvery and resplendent in the passbook, and shifted to an orientation nowish. “I, thou, and the verities shall commence among thence the very specificity reserved for thus!”


The guard, denuded of his oath of orifice, complains, seeking and deseeking a parallel viper. Vomit left in a bowl in a trepid vice unites its volatiles with vomit expunged by the medium of new grace which unites with unitary moon ritual camping pancakes.


“If you think you are dreaming,” says the pantaloon’s wife sagely with two bricks positioned for the retuning of the carnival instrument, “then your dream has two aspects.”


No one with half a brain disagreed with the remainder. How many times can a universe be divided? You page down to the last departure of the main character. He is standing with his back to the warrant. Rivers surge unprotected past a brick edifice of iced catapults. We who salute you are sullen as you who, saluted, are salutatorian. Singing begins at the strike of noon. Pickets are blue. Pickets are brine-soaked. Pickets are specific. Two of the brown shades walk, carrying elephant forget-me-nots, to the borderline between thimbles and the forest.


If the explosions have truly set the city aflame, you’ll have to forgive me for a moment while I ring atones, one after the other across the universally prevalent sympathetic nervous samba. But if what you are looking for is a roadmap to an orthopedic synecdoche simply uncoverted from the repeated tingle then we will have to reassume the wargame’s several neutron aspartame in order better to accommodate the ruffian suppurate. Collide indeed with mucus and coroner car partnership.


Don’t expect the wallet to explode with titulary abscess. Even an eagle pulsates while appertenance. Her scurvy albumen the fine fine spending cake ardent and lyre.


Down the willing streets a surgeon stems her sack of the sack, stacks provided by verdure and the startling sums.





in which the book sees people



People of the Book. People of the Deer. People of the Wind. People of the Silence.


People of the River. People of the Moon. People of the Sea. People of the Corn.


People of the Breaking Day. People of the Desert. People of the North. People of the West. People of the Mists.


People of the Lightning. People of the Lie.


People of the Dream.


People of the Masks. People of the Eye.


People of the Streets. People of the Road. People of the Way.





in which the book serves potroast and watches TV



I am waiting. I am waiting for dinner. Hungry. And getting cross about it. I’ve been reading the paper. I worked all day and now I come home I have to wait for my supper?


In the kitchen I am checking the roast again. The recipe said it would be done but I poke a fork in and … isn’t that blood? I’m not even sure it’s hot inside.


At the dining table I see myself sitting there stewing, still wearing the tie I wore all day at the office. I’ve loosened it but maybe I should have taken it off. I look myself over. It’s going to be one of those fucking nights. I scrape back a chair and sit down. I look up at myself and see the baseball cap backwards on my head. I know I’m not supposed to wear a cap at the table.


Upstairs I am still watching TV. I hear someone shouting. I turn the volume up so I don’t have to hear exactly what the shouting is about. I think it’s stopped when I hear heavy feet on the stairs. I know I am coming up to get me, to yell at me; at the same time I hope I’m wrong. I wait and on the TV shapes move and change color. I am chewing on a thumbnail.


I knock on the door. No one answers so I knock again. I can hear people within. I ring the bell. Finally, footsteps approach the door and the door is yanked open. Without pause for a greeting I sweep into my house. I stride down the hall as if I owned it. I do own it. With a contemptuous finger I knock a framed picture askew; the next, a charming one of the whole family, the stone faces of Rushmore gazing over its shoulders, I snatch from the wall. I slap it down on the dining room table. I’m all here. I look at myself. From the face standing in the kitchen doorway I look at myself. Across the table, standing over the chair that fell to the floor so hurriedly did I get to my feet I glare at myself.


As I stare myself down I see I have snuck by and am clinging to my legs in the kitchen door, my fingers and gnawed thumb gathering my apron and pressing it to my mouth. So I sit down. I gesture to the other chairs. Warily I sit down at the other chairs. This face isn’t in any of the family photos. But I can change that. Idly, I stroke the glass over Rushmore. Yes, there I am. Obviously. How could I have been missing? It is a picture of me.


I begin a new paragraph. I am waiting to hear what I have to say.


But I have nothing to say. As usual. I pat myself on the cheek. Yes, I still have that acne and, no, I haven’t seen a doctor about it. I kiss myself on the nose, then on the lips. I have brought out the potroast. I shove it onto the table. I climb onto the table with the potroast. I hold out my hand and take my hand and with this help and stepping on a chair I climb onto the table. Now I am dancing. Is the table strong enough to hold my weight?









Glenn Ingersoll works for the public library in Berkeley, California, where he hosts Clearly Meant, a reading and interview series.  He has two chapbooks, City Walks (broken boulder) and Fact (Avantacular).  The multi-volume prose poem Thousand (Mel C Thompson Publishing) is available from Amazon, and as an ebook from Smashwords.  He keeps two blogs, LoveSettlement and Dare I Read. Other excerpts from Autobiography of a Book have appeared in Inverse Journal and Hawai i Pacific Review (as fiction) and Caveat Lector (as essay).  Glenn Ingersoll is online at lovesettlement.blogspot.com



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