ot and long: Spamcraft

Janet Hawtin lucychili at gmail.com
Fri Oct 19 06:39:34 CST 2007

this was the story i was talking about at the ubuntu thing
i dont get ant nice random text these days so havent done anymore
but thought word geek people might enjoy it

I made this story out of spam. I think it has bits of Fyodor Dostoyevsky in it.
Spammers are expanding my reading habits...
Evil copyright thoughts: perhaps this is how stories would be made
when copyright is saturated. Google provides a least used combination
of words and stories are woven from the negative space between
copyright franchises.

Language quirks are a natural feature of this fabric and should not be
considered flaws. I just thought it was an interesting spam fragment
and so tried to link the threads into something. Kind of recycling


"Hmm, A river idea steers a knee into my mind," he concluded.
Faced the shock with a nod, and walked away.

Please what next, I thought. Despite the earliness of the hour I was
determined to unpack the stories in this mind. Time seemed short, he
seemed tenuous, like a tourist. I needed to catch him in print. Paste
that mind into place. I was staying.
I followed him backstage.

He turned away from the crew. Mobs of people made such an impression
upon the General that he almost choked with fury. They clashed noisily
with his inner stories. Cacophony. Their apparatus was darkness all
around and sharp ideas drum in that darkness. Bubble spike and crash.
Inside he worked to rebalance his thoughts into the rhythmic rowing of
a boat.

He dipped towards the Greenroom. Confluence. It was carefully "Passe"
old paint and stories fit well here. A rough couch pushed plumply
against a row of numbered leathers 19 to 36 inclusive. Dust mowed back
from the facing row of numbers, 1 to 18 inclusive. "Yes, yes I have
won twelve thousand florins," puffed a partly painted draft of a
character as he paced the corridor. "And then in this card, in this
ticket, there is all this gold."

The General sat at 17. I tried the couch. Taking a cup from the quick
green queen of the evening shift. "Many thanks, Madame." "He is an
innocent" replied the clean old lady. Adjusting the fit of her stern
eyebrows and patting his shoulder. Bucket and kettle rattled away.

Pigeons cooed and he watched the tea spin. He watched me over the rim.
I drank and waited. The words wound tight around him like a knitted
cloud. I wrote and listened.

A fake blood warrior looked in, deceived me anyway. The General didn't
notice, no break in the flow, weaving more fragments of mad
cleverness. Straightway concerned, I started afresh with my fussy
transcriptions. Instructions on flow.
Madame returned, listening as she worked the room into order,

Writing the words as they came I filled pages with familiar words in
awkward patterns. A different kind of sense. I often felt the picture
he told was overtaking me. Faster and wider than my writing. I would
need time to think things through before the deadline. "Yes, I must
hurry away, I'm writing late!" I apologised and collected my things. I
would like to hear so much more.
People drifted in. The General stared wildly.

Madame unknotted the traffic and put the kettle on.
"Look here, dear, let him write you something in your album."
Well that would be one way to get the real substance of his thoughts.
I pulled out a second red book.

"Well, I'll tell you," said Middle the Prince, "You'd better bring a
few of those because he won't be brief. The General rubbed the print
on the cover apparently in a deep reverie. In that book slept the
first moment of his arrival in pen Paradise.

A few weeks later with 3 books of thoughts jammed into my bag I
finished my tea and waved the G goodbye.

Blanche, the day queen of the Green space set herself to plead with me
on his behalf; "I will come to the point. These books are filled by
the General with the greatest pleasure, and thank you very much for
taking the time to help with this development. Please dont think this
a complaint, it is just a fancy to me, but I wonder how you will use

I looked across at the easy wave of writing filling the page, and the
General's quiet concentration. I hadn't really thought it through I
guess. Collecting the thoughts and writing them up had felt like
honest journalism, but now who was the writer?
Seriously rightfully I dare say I should employ him. I thanked Blanche
and said I would think about it. And the next visit we talked with him
about it.

The General replied to Blanche, as if I was long gone.
"Are you lock sure she said that?" he asked, and his voice seemed to
ball and quiver as he spoke. "Today has been a day of folly, running
crazily to brake at night for slow sleep, stupidity, and ineptness.
He took a breath and spoke to my shoulder. "The time quality fought
for is now eleven o'clock in the evening. I can write then. Is that a
match for your purpose?"
I agreed.

My faculty family asked what I was working on, I would say, "I play roulette."
It was a strange roulette indeed. Bolting from G to my hub to dress
and frame a strange text. Readers wrote to ask what the core purpose
and essential thesis of the work might be. Some railed against the
blather, finding no purchase or pattern to orient by.

The red books became the corpuscles of an artery of thinking. Pieces
of vitality I would feed into the publication. The comments drifting
back like empty shopping bags looking for more to fill them. Really
hematal in view of my position, feeding back the cash to the General's
sanctuary. Cream biscuits and green tea crocheted cushions and a huge
blue mug meshed smoothly with the Greenroom.
I wondered if Blanche bought them or if he chose them himself, good
call either way, it was wealth which fitted.

Theater waxed and waned about him, but he was less distracted by them
now. High drama and intrigue clattered around, intense pressure,
exhileration, love and weariness. But he walked a different thread.

Until June. A windy day. The dancers took coffee and magazines back to
the room. Chatter and fine hungry energy stretched the room, so he
grabbed a magazine and started to read. He found himself there. About
two days worth of deja vue. Perhaps it was the formal typing, or the
strange feeling you get when you recollect what you are saying, but he
was changed by it.

"Who is this abbot?" He asked me. "What does he know?" "Stop a minute,
where is this thinking off to? I tried to laugh it off and told him he
was forgetting himself, but something had changed. He collected the
magazines and pasted the articles into red books. Reading and
following the journey of his abbot. I stopped with him for an evening,
helping him to order and paste the pages. My guilty thoughts were
largely about circulation and finding ways to start him again. But the
Greenroom people seemed relieved. "Your croupier has closed his table"
smiled Madame as she wrangled the retreating traffic.  "Vingt-deux!!
called the General to his Madame. G loved her fiercely and would show
her the pages as he pasted them in.  It was hard to imagine what would
happen once the articles were finished. It was a risk, part of the
gamble, I knew that very well, but the realisation that these words
were final was something I was not ready for either. I brought him in
a bookcase. We collected the books into rows and filled it. It felt
like I had cloned my own collection. I left him flicking through the

Blanche met me when I came next time and showed me the note.
The General had decided that the books would be a good placeholder for
that theatre now, marking where the words ebb and flow. He decided
that his contribution to our red bound world was no longer needed.
Average skies would dress his days and writing would no longer be
possible. We worried for him. Windy weather and plain minded jokes
about the wandering thoughts of our General didn't help. I did feel a
knee kick and tumble my choices. I missed the river of words. I quit
my job. Helped at the theater, odd jobs and cleaning.

And started to write in the Greenroom. I would start with a word from
the General, picking pages and thoughts and then wove them together to
make a new day in a familiar place. Blanche and Madame would read them
and tell stories about how they fitted. Perhaps one day the General
would return and we would have some more bookcases finished to welcome
him home. I sent the writings to the magazine and got a polite letter.
Perhaps the committee would consider them, perhaps not.

Snow lay deep and wind swept through the laneways. Shopkeepers joked
disgust at the weather. A Kickbox sign lies on its face. A Russian
troupe fill the theatre.
Banche and I play chess until four when they usually called me. The
wind dropped. A deafening silence as if the sound had been turned off.
The streets waited.
The sound of singing. The General's voice echoed around the buildings,
dampened by the snow the sound seemed to fill the space. The words
flowed as music with the notes drifting through half familiar patterns
to match his word play.

He stopped for a cup of tea. He entered with marked affability, and
began by complimenting us on the book cases, on the new words in the
room. My average shelf building. Then, perceiving that we were
relieved to see him, he told us about his journey. The room was
crammed, he didn't mind. Elated, I calculated that he had been through
10 towns in 2 months. Singing stories. Bravo. He had adopted a dog. It
was his sand relation. A friend in the cold and the earth. He called
it "Eight thousand roubles!" The dog would sniff and glare as if it
doubted his wealth would exceed seven thousand roubles or, at the
present rate, a big dinner and a warm bed.

Madame held the dog as they compared notes from the couch. The dog
explained that the General was a one man (one dog) broadcast medium.
The snow stilled cities rang with his bent whimsy. Which helped in
tracking him down when he had wandered off. He could be lively and
engaging when it suited him. Eight thousand roubles! crazy name, but
what can you do. Madame agreed.

A familiar commercial simpleton inside me thought: What a splendid
thing! And to think of you walking around and I could record all the
songs and we could make a fortune! But this time I heard it
differently. I had won. I scared the overdone pragmatist away.
Watching it flail frantically all the same offers again but this time
I knew when to fold. I felt that I kept both my original stake and my

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