3. "Zen, or the Art to Catch a Murderer"

"For to end yet again skull alone in a dark place pent bowed on a board to begin."

- Samuel Beckett, "fizzle 8", Fizzles

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by Luke Edwards

Table of Contents


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I am Rimbaud, the killer of dogs. I am Rimbaud,

the toad. I am the snake, the hyena, a Philomath butterfly.

My lyricism gets old fast, all this "I" (Germ. "egg"), "I."

I say nothing when I quote myself.

There has to be some other way to communicate all this.

Silence is golden, I know.

Mother is yelling.

He asked my opinion then yelled at me for a third suggestion.

This was a long time ago, when I was alive.


The Story of Success

Because his parents had chosen the name Willard, Willard knew himself to be possessor of undying cunning.

(In which he becomes adept at and never suspected of nor apprehended at crime.)

We know he's a spy of sorts, sending out coded messages. We just don't know to whom they are being sent.


I'm depressed. I fizzled decades ago after I wrote 

poetry about how the Son of Sam was going to kill me. 

I kept the book and am about to start quoting from it.

Edward is afraid to read it. I read it all the time.

Rather than take credit for others' works, I'll make a cut-up of what I can from Ed's journal of poetry, pieces of it.

If Edward were to read "The Story of Success" he would see that over twenty years ago he wrote the story he is trying to write now. George Bush became President and caused a war by believing it so. It's what he's wishing to do with his own writing by writing Harar: believe his version of the reality until everyone else does too. References to Hitler would not be out of context.

The story waxes and wanes not unlike the moon. Some days I add to it, some days subtract. Today I'm being gibous.

Two people together, like a moon and earth, learn an ebb and flow of oceans and shadows and such. We are stardust blowing in a seasonal wind.


The weather being

false predicted on that night

that souls return.


There's too much of it to quote it entirely. Instead, I'll use what parts I might be able to explain.

The weather reference is remembered but has never been explained. A snowstorm "blanketed" (a favorite verb for media writers in the area for winter snowstorms) the surrounding area but Spokane was warm as Hell that night. And windy. ("Weather Witch"!)


Vieleicht können sie Deutsche irgendwo sprechen.

Von Neauveau können wir lusten und mehr (ich denke Herr Lacie

magt ihn au'. Er ist zehr hübsch. Ein Ei? Es macht nicht.


Page One of the Gnome notebook lists a working title followed by a list of "previous books" of which the working title is fifth on the list. The first book on the list is Bouleversement.


Then when such a white

vociferous some summer

and as he is returned, as

He begins his learning, I

hope those holy eyes pass

over this to lately learn sin

is more than (afterwards) om



Second book on the list is a travelogue of the trip to Seattle (The Trip) that Edward had just completed. The third book is a projected coming-out tale. The fourth book on the list, "School Journal," is unknown. (Edward may have been feeling extra prolific; as he's gone from one to four books in a matter of weeks, why not project another?)

During the train trip, alternately reading and writing in a journal since destroyed, he had a vision, a sudden belief in a magical theory of art¹ gleaned while reading an extended passage by Gertrude Stein. (We have since tried many times to find this passage in the book he was reading,² but it has disappeared.) 

In In Go In the days and weeks before this train ride and vision, Ed had fasted (and wept and prayed³) and altered his sleep pattern, unknowingly becoming a seer.

After the sleepless night on the train, returning from Seattle, Edward detrained and immediately went to purchase a blank journal with the gnome on the front.

The poem begins on October 26, 1979. (Italics are generally used to indicate quotes from that poem, the Gnome notebook.)

A problem with Harar: Taken to Twin Peaks is that there are very few characters. I mean flesh and blood characters. The Gnome notebook had an array of characters, each usually introduced with the phrase "The story (blank)".

Some of them: Dean, Maggie, Burhan, Cindy, Ron, another Ron, employees of the restaurant where Ed worked, customers of the restaurant, eventually a sheriff investigating Son of Sam. I'll have to be sure to describe the important ones before they're mentioned in a context where it's expected a reader will know who they are.


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