These extracts from my spontaneous and infrequent jottings-down – scraps of paper fluttering by in the wind – are elliptical in the sense that their original context has been elided, thus they are to some degree nonsensical. (Unfortunately ‘ellipsis’ and ‘elide’ turn out to be etymologically unrelated.)



I have fallen lately into the habit, when I make some tea for myself or for Jocelyn, of afterward taking the just-steeped tea-bag in my hand and crushing it in my hand.

If one is singing Compline outdoors in the wintertime at night, it is a very wonderful thing if the air is completely tranquil, so that one's candle-flame hardly quavers, much less thinks of blowing out. I am very grateful on such occasions.

On chickpeas

Whenever I open a can of chickpeas, I find myself soon engrossed in removing their transparent skins, one by one …

It makes me glad to hear pumpkin seeds pop as they toast in the oven.


As I was reading Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, I came across a song that turned out to be a translation of Clamanda, from the Sacred Harp.

Last night I woke up at 2:30 am and could not return to sleep. Eventually I lit a candle and finished reading my novel, Piranesi.

I once dropped my semicolons between the boards of the front porch: I rescued them with a bent m-dash.

On oomancy

Yesterday evening we had friends over to our apartment for our weekly oomancy session. As I was sweeping the floor in anticipation of their arrival, I reflected upon the first time I tried my hand at oomancy.


This city is a strange place—so much of it is paved.

The trees here—it must be lonely for them, not being in a forest; stretching their roots out and finding soil compacted by cement, soil sparse of arboreal conversation.

I want to buy this Oxford UP edition of the Book of Common Prayer; but maybe I only want to want it, not to have it.


Purple sparks

I used to be able to make purple sparks shoot from my fingertips. I just had to snap my fingers at just the right angle, with just the right force, when the humidity was just right …


While skating at the Oval this afternoon with a few friends, I felt compelled to offer an explanation for why I was alternating smooth skating with bouts of stumbling.


I made a remark shortly after I came in the door—paraphrased from David Lebovitz (unfortunately I've lost the link)—about the state of the Parisian baguette: Emma is this moment recording it in her quote-book. I am flattered.