There are times means I was not there, or I will not admit to having been there. In this case I was not there. Not resting in the crook of the squid's boney arm or nuzzled with her hooded nose while in the background the other impediments to sleep. There was no decor. So does it concern me at all? Here I pause to think about mammals. I have insisted on one continual stream of statement but have floated away. I have floated the sensibility of the voice or style of the one I am paid to represent at meetings. Imitation is mostly mockery. Cat = 20 + A. But when I assert the authority of the one I am representing, I undermine nothing, and when I assert my own authority, the words are leading me by virtue of the use I have made of them to their surroundings.

While non-monogamous animals look for mates, work flows out under pressure.

Now to erase the sex from the boot I am polishing. Continuity is perceived by the person who will fill the slot I project my labors to. In the office I am my function or everybody loses faith. I like this. Everything is work! Now I see someone I know, and my sense of duty mars her beauty, which looks mannered in light of all the 'material' I have no will to absorb having become renowned for snap judgements. This was the time when function was mythologized and fate was represented in its helpless state.

A machine without operators.

"He knows well how to find himself in a state of complete institutionality."

A dictum here tests the power of gossip by holding it back for twenty years. When the law is violated, the magistrate, whose words are noted to change instantly into our ideas no matter what the banality, says "paint the post white," we have erected a monument to Johnson. Then the libidinous newcomer goes and sits on the fence!

--excerpted from a longer work, "Typical Domains"

Carla Harryman edits QU, a periodical of experimental prose, and has had her plays produced by the Poets Theatre in San Francisco. Her most recent book, The Middle, (Gaz, 1983), combines elements of poetry and story with critical prose.