Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Category: Other

Reckoning 3, Out Now

I would be remiss not to mention that the third (amazing) issue of Reckoning, which we’ve worked all year on, is out now. You can see the cover below, made by Stylo Starr, and if you click on it or the link below you’ll be whisked away to a page where you can buy the ebook for a mere 7 American dollars. Come read about extinct animals and endangered justice.

weightlessbooks.com/nonfiction/reckoning-3/

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Introducing: Request-a-Couplet

Faithful readers few,

Back in the long-ago, in those distant foggy times when I had a Twitter account, I used to tell people to give me a topic, any topic, and I would produce for them a rhyming couplet about that. That was fun. Since I no longer have that avenue for boring and political reasons, let us say that you can email me at johannes.punkt @ gmail . com, and politely request a poem. Then, as if by magic, one will appear. I reserve the right to make it a bad poem and also to change the rules. This offer is open indefinitely. Do let your poetry- or weirdness-loving friends know. I need things to do in idle times.

Here are a few examples of such poetry, from those dark days long past:

Sometimes your thoughts are gold and you feel wise
and other times it’s like “…view 18 more replies.”

— On “The Missing Link in the Otherwise Perfect Chain of Thought”

You wear long dark gloves alone
in solidarity with stone.

— On “Statues Missing Limbs”

They rub their hands together not
for God but cuz they hatched a plot.

— On “Just How Athetistic Praying Mantises Really Are”

One pill, two pill, red pill, blue pill;
I’m a bit uncomfortoobill.

— On “Medication”

Across the Street

The family across the street have two sets of drapes, one seems to be made of metal. Perhaps it’s bulletproof. They hug their kid hard in the mornings, looking at her like she’s survived cancer when she gets into the school bus. I don’t know what their names were, but the dad was not called Pete, Simon, Mark, Matt, or Robert. He’s called Trevor now; I don’t believe that either. Sometimes when we are in our gardens simultaneously I shout male names to see if he twitches. He thinks I’m boisterous and on good terms with everyone who bikes past.

Life Advice on Post-It Notes

A while back I asked my Twitter friends and strangers to ask me for life advice, because I felt the urge to write life advice on post-it notes. This very quickly became very difficult, as I squeezed all my wisdom out pretty quickly and had to generate more by having offworld adventures and learning deep lessons in deeper space, but eventually I pulled through, and everybody who asked for a post-it in a certain time period, and also everyone whom I mistook for having asked for a post-it, was given one. I thought I’d share them here too.

Some of these are for people I don’t really know, and as such I’ve simply given them advice I would give myself. Some of them are for people I know very well and, as such, I’ve given them advice I wouldn’t dream of giving a stranger. If something here feels like bizarro evil-twin shenanigans to you, that piece of advice is probably not for you. And that’s okay.

Sorry that these images are not captioned. There are a lot of images.


IMG_1157

Advice for @jakespecialk.

Advice for comradesputnik.

Advice for comradesputnik.

Advice for @prismofstars.

Advice for @prismofstars.

Advice for @sciphotogastro.

Advice for @sciphotogastro.

Advice for @ohmydeardreamer.

Advice for @ohmydeardreamer.

Advice for @light_thief.

Advice for @light_thief_.

Advice for @muffinlabs.

Advice for @muffinlab.

Advice for @lambdagrrl.

Advice for @lambdagrrl. The Charlotte Shane writing is from a piece titled Gave Freely.

Advice for @vaguelyberd.

Advice for @vaguelyberd.

Advice for @taylorshannonn.

Advice for @taylorshannonn.

Advice for @NDXON.

Advice for @NDXON.

Advice for @___liwanag.

Advice for @___liwanag.

Advice for @suntzufuntzu.

Advice for @suntzufuntzu.

Advice for @vecna.

Advice for @vecna.

Advice for @Panterdjuret.

Advice for @Panterdjuret.

Advice for @streamofpixels.

Advice for @streamofpixels.

Bonus life advice from Piet Hein, who wrote little aphorisms he called grooks. He helped keep Denmark fighting against the nazis during their occupation. He's worth reading/reading about.

Bonus life advice from Piet Hein, who wrote little aphorisms he called grooks. He helped keep Denmark fighting against the nazis during their occupation. He’s worth reading/reading about.

Advice for @Croxus.

Advice for @Croxus. “What did you do for the revolution today?” is from an Unwoman song called The Future, the Boot.

Advice for @derelictmemory_.

Advice for @derelictmemory_.

Advice for @earlgreyhot.

Advice for @earlgreyhot. The Trista Mateer quote is from a blog Q&A thing, if I remember correctly.

Advice for @effIuences.

Advice for @effIuences.

Advice for @MitchDokken.

Advice for @MitchDokken.

Advice for @fictionaljosh.

Advice for @fictionaljosh.

Advice for @kerastion.

Advice for @kerastion.

Unanswered Business Emails: Teledreams

Here’s an email I sent, which was never answered. It’s from a business idea that me and Jenny H are running.

Dear Steven,

Greetings from AlterDream. As you can guess from us not having our own domain email yet, we are a small start-up. Unlike most start-ups though, we have a big and nearly untapped market of potential customers just waiting for us, and we would like to work with you on this. As our name implies, we represent an alternative to the current industry, which we feel has grown insular and detached from its customer base, even though no competitor has (yet) risen to challenge their authority. We believe, as you do, the customer has a right to choose who they dream with, just like they have a right to choose their phone operator.

Let me give you the pitch we give our potential customers, almost all of them still subscribed to the network in an agreement they believe is binding. Are you tired of the network? Did you have bad dreams last night, again? But are you somehow still worried about signing up for some garage-run indie lucid that will curse you to low-resolution dreams with even less coherence and structure? Are you worried about their cost-cutting, that they would save money by regurgitating old träuma? We know your pain. We’ve been there. At AlterDream, we seek to provide high-quality dreams to our customers, available at the tips of their ears when they hit the pillow. You can see us as the Neflix of dreams, if you like.

So you might be wondering, what could a brood dreamscultptor want with you? Well, here is our business secret, something our customers do not (yet) know: to save money on production cost, casting, and symbolism, we are letting several people have the same dream simultaneously. We have the tech for most of the senses, but what we don’t have is good solutions for voices in your head. In short, we want you, as the best telephone company in the UK, to run the telecom side of our venture. Imagine offering new customers the dream deal.

There are many details to be smoothed out, of course, and many numbers to be run, but I hope I have enticed you. Do call back soon — the offer is not indefinite.

Best,
Johannes Punkt, head of Recurring Motifs

OTHER PLACES IN DREAMS in Pictures

A few pictures of OTHER PLACES IN DREAMS in situ:

By Lena Bohman:

YOU WAKE UP WITH THUNDER IN YOUR SKULL. THERE IS A DREAM AT THE EDGE OF YOUR COGNITION. IT FEELS JUST OUT OF REACH, LIKE IF YOU TRY TO REMEMBER MORE IT MIGHT ALL FADE. THERE WAS SOMETHING IMPORTANT IN THE DREAM. HOW DO YOU TRY TO REMEMBER IT? RETELL THE DREAM? LET IT COME BACK ON ITS OWN?

YOU WAKE UP WITH THUNDER IN YOUR SKULL. THERE IS A DREAM AT THE EDGE OF YOUR COGNITION. IT FEELS JUST OUT OF REACH, LIKE IF YOU TRY TO REMEMBER MORE IT MIGHT ALL FADE. THERE WAS SOMETHING IMPORTANT IN THE DREAM. HOW DO YOU TRY TO REMEMBER IT?
RETELL THE DREAM?
LET IT COME BACK ON ITS OWN?

RETELL THE DREAM YOU HOLD THE STRUCTURE OF THE DREAM IN YOUR SKULL, BLUEPRINTS OF A MASSIVE BUILDING. YOU TRY TO REMEMBER IT ALL, BUT THE CHALK MARKS DISSOLVE, YOUR DREAM GIVES WAY TO REAL WALLS, CEILINGS, FLOORS. YOU'RE IN YOUR BED. GO BACK TO SLEEP? OPEN DREAM JOURNAL?

RETELL THE DREAM
YOU HOLD THE STRUCTURE OF THE DREAM IN YOUR SKULL, BLUEPRINTS OF A MASSIVE BUILDING. YOU TRY TO REMEMBER IT ALL, BUT THE CHALK MARKS DISSOLVE, YOUR DREAM GIVES WAY TO REAL WALLS, CEILINGS, FLOORS. YOU’RE IN YOUR BED.
GO BACK TO SLEEP?
OPEN DREAM JOURNAL?

By @jakespecialk:

TAKE A PHOTO BEFORE IT FADES THE FIRST POLAROID COMES OUT WITH ALL THE TEXT ON IT, BUT IT BLEACHES TOO QUICK TO READ. THEY ALL DO THAT. MAYBE YOU PUT THE FILM IN BACKWARDS. BREAK SOMETHING? TRY TO HOLD ON?

TAKE A PHOTO BEFORE IT FADES
THE FIRST POLAROID COMES OUT WITH ALL THE TEXT ON IT, BUT IT BLEACHES TOO QUICK TO READ. THEY ALL DO THAT. MAYBE YOU PUT THE FILM IN BACKWARDS.
BREAK SOMETHING?
TRY TO HOLD ON?

TRY TO HOLD ON WAS IT A DREAM YOU HAD? IT WAS MORE LIKE A LONG MOVIE OF A MEMORY YOU HAD, BUT IT WAS NOT YOUR MEMORY. YOU REMEMBER: THE WORDS YOU COULD USE TO DESCRIBE THE WORDS YOU WOULD USE FOR THE DREAM. WORDS LIKE ELDRITCH, HOLLOW, FLUID. NO, IT WAS A MEMORY THAT HAD YOU.

TRY TO HOLD ON
WAS IT A DREAM YOU HAD?
IT WAS MORE LIKE
A LONG MOVIE OF A MEMORY YOU HAD, BUT IT WAS NOT YOUR MEMORY. YOU REMEMBER: THE WORDS YOU COULD USE TO DESCRIBE THE WORDS YOU WOULD USE FOR THE DREAM. WORDS LIKE ELDRITCH, HOLLOW, FLUID.
NO, IT WAS A MEMORY THAT HAD YOU.

OTHER PLACES IN DREAMS are Manifest

The signs are ripe like fresh fruit. If you’re in St. Louis or somewhere within a four-hour radius of it with time to kill, find Tower Grove Park, the corner of Grand and Arsenal, and begin your journey with OTHER PLACES IN DREAMS.

Pictures to come.

Make Room for OTHER PLACES IN DREAMS

OTHERPLACESINDREAMS

I bet you’re all wondering why I gathered you here. It’s simple: you’re in the St. Louis area and I have something that will interest you. Within the next week or so, a contract of textboxes will appear in the South Grand neighbourhood. Or rather, the artist will make the textboxes appear. They will become appeared.

OTHER PLACES IN DREAMS is a project by Lena Bohman. Text: Johannes Punkt. Artist: Lena Bohman. Technical Assistance: Rachael Telleman.

It is a sort of Choose Your Own Adventure, where the story is something to do with a dream you just had, and you want to remember it. You have to make choices and then read what those choices lead to.

THIS IS THE PLACE IN DREAMS THAT IS INSIDE, DREAMED BY SOMEONE LIKE YOU

I am very excited about this. This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever been involved in.

THIS IS THE PLACE IN DREAMS THAT IS OUTSIDE, WHERE IT DREAMS, LIKE IT MIGHT RAIN OR SNOW OR HAIL

I will make another update when the thing kicks off for real. When I do, you should find yourself in Tower Grove Park, at the corner of Grand and Arsenal, and you shall read

PREHENSILE NONSENSE, BRIGHT BLUE WORDS WRITTEN ON THE SIDEWALK WHICH YOU CANNOT READ OF COURSE

If you go on this adventure, please take pictures and send them to me. Please let me know what consequences your actions have, and what emotions are wrought from this paint.

Good talk, friends.

Three Trees that Fall from the Sky

Three trees that fall from the sky: confetti, propaganda, burning paper wings.

Triad written by me and Rob Mitchelmore (@kerastion).

Chiasmic Apposition

by your secret accomplice, Johannes Punkt

You too can have a tweet analyzed for five bucks, just contact me. It’s like I’m your therapist, but cheap.

This is a tweet that we read, which traps us in a room. The first thing that strikes us upon reading it is that it starts out full of hope, which soon diminishes until nothing is left but despair. The appositives, a certain grammatical stucture, are stretched almost to the limit. We read the tweet again, for we are trapped in this room and the key is elsewhere, if existent at all.

The second reading lets us understand that the things which at first sound hopeful aren’t intrinsically imbued with hope, but the memory of the first reading overwrites their naïveté. This underlying shadow-meaning is even more clearly pronounced upon reading the Lockean “blank slate” again – we know that the tabula rasa is a palimpsest. This idea, traced out by the palimpsest, of retaining dead patterns from old lives, in turn brings us to the Groundhog Day nature in which we read the tweet:

We read the tweet again, the third time. In the movie Groundhog Day, as you know, Bill Murray can’t escape a time loop until he does it all just right (after a long hard look at his life). So too it is for us as we read Amos’ tweet again & again, or when we just live in general. To our great frustration, every day we live our life the “tomorrow” moves apace with us and displaces itself when we arduously climb the midnight threshold. Reincarnation, of course, is the same thing but on a grander scale. At the same time, we know that all life ends –

When upon another reading and another reading and another reading the meaning dies down to a dull hum, the shrill sound of form is heard. We can now see that the appositives from earlier are not the only form in need of analysis. The strucutre of Amos’ appositions is, chiasmic. Chiasmatic. Some such thing. (A chiasmus is, essentially, an X structure, that goes AB then BA, or ABC then CBA, &c.) The first 4 elements of the sentence are hopeful, the latter 4 are hopeless. Observe: [A|Tomorrow] is [B|another day], [C|full of possibilities], [D|a blank slate], [D|completely empty], [C|a void], [B|a deep abyss], [A|a cold and unforgiving waste]. (With four on each side, if you draw lines between the same letters, you will see the multiple X-shape.)

The “blank slate” and “completely empty” are two ways of saying the same thing, though their connotations are the opposite. (A “blank slate” has to be hopeful, for it is contrasted with original sin.) The same is true for the next, a void full of possibilities. Trickier to figure out are the next 2: how is “another day” opposite “a deep abyss”? The answer, as with many things, lies in Shakespeare. In The Tempest, one can hear Prospero ask: “What seest thou else / In the dark backward and abysm of time?” The abysm of time is present. I’ve explained why “tomorrow” represents the lies of time – a cold and unforgiving waste, by contrast, is the only thing time can promise:

When we read the tweet one last time we realize how we can make everything right again and stop reading the tweet: we step out of the microcosmos built up by his tweet, walk away from the internet into the larger chiasmos surrounding it, trusting that when our semantic structures are gravestones in the universe’s zero-k night we can step out of even this reality.