Knauff was a "fancier," that is, he raised homing, or racing, pigeons in Antwerp, during the 1930s. Pigeon racing was called, for much of the last century, "the national sport of Belgium." His prose poem (below) was published, in my English translation, by Elimae Books and is reprinted with the permission of the publisher, Deron Bauman. Knauff is generally considered the heir to Multatuli (Eduard Douwes Dekker, 1820-87), another native Amsterdamer, whose aphorisms and parables anticipated several twentieth-century experiments in the short-prose form.

He raised pigeons and flew them as his father had done in Belgium where pigeon racing is the national sport. He would take them on trains, in wicker hampers, and release them at a distant place. They would fly home, nearly always, leaving the baskets in a sudden sharp rush of feathers. They would fly home—one day, two, three, even over mountains. On their legs, tiny brass capsules contained messages for his children. When he died, a pigeon returned—one that had not made it over the mountains after being let go years before. His children opened the capsule, unfurled the small piece of paper, read the minute handwriting: "I am on the other side of the mountain, where the beer is good and the music on the radio what we danced to in Belgium when I was a boy."

The photograph confirms Knauff's interest in hats; the prose poem, his passion for beer.


• • •



" rational metaphysics teaches that man becomes all things by understanding them (homo intelligendo fit omnia), this imaginative metaphysics shows that man becomes all things by not understanding them (homo non intelligendo fit omnia); and perhaps the latter proposition is truer than the former, for when man understands he extends his mind and takes in the things, but when he does not understand he makes the things out of himself and becomes them by transforming himself into them."

["Poetic Geography"] "By the property of human nature that in describing unknown or distant things, in respect of which they either have not had the true idea themselves or wish to explain it to others who do not have it, men make use of the semblances of things known or near at hand."

Giambattista Vico. The New Science. Third Edition. Ed. Faustino Nicolini. Naples. 1744. [Rendered into English by Norman Lock from Marco Knauff¹s 1943 translation of the Italian.]


• • •



Diagram 1: Sea
Diagram 2: Zone of Perversity
Diagram 3: The "Horn"
Diagram 4: Soft Tube
Diagram 5: Narrow Duct
Diagram 6: The Central Paradox
Diagram 7: Precincts of the Machinery (1)
Diagram 8: Asynchronous Gears
Diagram 9: Generator of Causality / Generator of False Causality
Diagram 10: Precincts of the Machinery (2)
Diagram 11: Shadow Universe [& Machinery]
Diagram 12: Forest [& Lawn]
Diagram 13: Particle Bath
Diagram 14: Principal Worm Gear
Diagram 15: Planetary Gears
Diagram 16: "Hairpins"
Diagram 17: Transmission System
Diagram 18: Occluding Chamber
Diagram 19: Coils
Diagram 20: French Curves
Diagram 21: Anti-Room
Diagram 22: Aleatory


• • •





The Machinery is all, is habitation, is dreaming and exile.

The Blue Wire is essential to its construction.

And the Diode ringed with the colors of technology.

The Capsule contains an element yet to be identified.

(We suspect magic. We suspect a small beneficence.)

Now open the window. The air will further the enterprise, which, we insist, is a noble one. The light, which clings to the surfaces of leaves and grass, is also good.

Do not fear rust or the illness of time. The design has taken them into account.

In a corner of the room, install a bed in which you may, according to the time of day and your desire, lie down to sleep or take pleasure.

Night is best suited to desire.


Night is a precinct of the Machinery. It belongs to the visible Universe, although what occurs there is hidden from view.

Night is indicated in the Diagrams by an Ellipsis […], that is to say: a passage in which you may hide.

(From here on, "Ellipsis" is understood to mean "night.")

We love night and also fear it.


That which is hidden from view is to be respected.

The bird, for example, is to be allowed to remain in the wood. Its song will carry sufficiently in the natural air to the listener as he walks among the trees or sits on the Lawn bordered by the Forest. Lawn and Forest are clearly marked on the Diagram {12}. The extent of the Forest is not known, although it is believed to be nearly limitless. The presence of the bird is deduced from its singing. The bird itself is not marked on the Diagram, as its exact location is not known; indeed, some believe it can never be known.

No attempt at amplification of bird song is to be made. Recordings are permitted, provided the equipment is of an older technology. Waxed recording cylinders, which can be stored in mahogany or rosewood boxes, are our preference.

And also the Sea, which cannot be transported in cups or in beakers or in the most cunningly wrought scientific glassware. The Sea must be allowed to remain in the Sea-bed. The Sea appears in the Diagram {1} as a restless line [~].

The Sea is visited twice in the lifetime of each of us: when we are young to initiate us into the powerful nature of the Universe, which remains largely hidden, and again when we are old to console us for a mortal nature.

The Sea-bed is hidden from view.


The Zone of Perversity {2} alludes to an elemental rebelliousness and to the refractory nature of the material, which is not specified. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the sexual behavior of the technicians—deviant or otherwise—as some readers of these notes will, no doubt, mistakenly conclude. Such acts, if they take place, take place in the Ellipsis (2) or in the Particle Bath (34).

There is no evidence that such acts take place.

(Humor in the work is accidental and should be understood as such.)

Pleasure has not been defined. It is left entirely to the imagination.

(Future editors of the Notes must determine whether or not the material used in the composition of the Zone of Perversity ought to be specified. I am of the opinion that it ought not to be. To my mind, the value of the enterprise lies in its unrepeatability. The Notes published here will serve as a historical record, not a paradigm for future construction. The conditions that gave rise to the Machinery will most certainly not obtain in the future. The conditions cannot be duplicated. Neither can the Machinery.)

The success of the enterprise depends on its singularity.

It is enough, perhaps, that the Machinery exists.

The intention of the original designer is contained in the Machinery, is embodied in its design.

The intention is good; the Machinery, therefore, must also be good.

The design accommodates illogic. (See Vol. 5: Irrational Modes.) Deception is also "built in." There can be no truth without its opposite. If truth is a virtue, then untruth must be also. If not a virtue, at least a pre-condition of existence. So, too, peace, which is dear to us, and conflict. The Machinery has been constructed to embrace Contradiction (46).


What is referred to in the Diagram as the "Horn" {3} is in actuality a depot for wayward electromagnetic charges. They are permitted to accumulate inside the valves until the differential between A. and B. tips in favor of B. ("the sweet spot"). A streaming results whose observable characteristic is said to resemble fireflies or, better, sparks caught in a sudden draft.

It does not resemble as some have insisted pelagic phosphors, or "corposant," which it is called by mariners.

We do not scorn the comparison; it is, in fact, employed aptly as a description of activity within the Occluding Chamber (36).

The sound of the Horn when it discharges puts some in mind of Caruso.

The "Caruso Effect," as it is called, is charming but unintended by the original designer.

The designer was tone deaf.


Fireflies were included in the original design and have remained in order to "lend delight to a summer's evening."

There is no summer, only a semblance of it.

Opera exists, as well, to give pleasure.


The Notes may be read in any order.

They may also be read without regard for order.

The Machinery will go irrespective of the sequence of assembly.

There is, in the design, room for disorder.

One is also invited to improvise to the best of one's ability.

Imagination and freedom reside in the Machinery. No one knows whether the designer intended them, or they are products (welcome or not depending on your point of view) of the assembled whole, or if they "crept in."

("Crept in" from where and on whose authority or at whose behest?)

I cannot enlarge on the implications or ramifications of "crept in."


Music is not to be despised as it relates to the Machinery. (See "The Caruso Effect" [5].)

In addition to the ordinary humming, throbbing, and droning of the Machinery, there is a "mineral modality," difficult to characterize. I have not the typography with which to reproduce this modality.

A winter modality is always present: an ostinato phrase in a minor key. It is not understood. Some believe it is death.


Desire is drawn up the Soft Tube {4} into the Particle Bath (34).

Desire will make its way resolutely into the Ellipsis (2)—that is to say, night. Into sleep.

Into dreaming.

Desire drives the Machinery. It is also manufactured by the Machinery. Desire is circular and cunning.

What happens inside the Ellipsis has never been monitored, although technicians struggled for years to secrete listening devices inside it {…}.

Such invasion has never been allowed by the Machinery, nor will it.


Many of us suspect that the secret recesses of the Machinery are most vital to its operation.


We put on colorful clothes when we come to regard the Machinery in operation. I myself have a pair of lemon-colored gloves with spats to match. Borsalino hats are much in fashion for those whose business it is to regard the workings of the Machinery.

Tangos are sometimes played in the Rest House {7} when we gather in the evening. Men and women will sometimes take each other in their arms and dance.

Dancing is permitted. It is not frowned upon. It is felt that whatever happens in the precincts of the Machinery is for good reason.

Chance resides in the Machinery—this much we know. Chance does not, however, appear in any of the Diagrams. It may dwell in one of the secret recesses of the Machinery. It may be elsewhere, perhaps inside the Zone of Perversity (2), although no one has discovered it there when the Generators are opened for periodic inspection.


The Generator of Causality {9} performs, for us, a function analogous to gravity. It "stitches our actions with a red thread." (The allusion is classical.) Without it, we could not hope to hold our lives together. There is also a "gay yellow thread," produced by the Generator of False Causality. Both Generators are essential for harmony. Together, they produce the requisite entanglement at the molecular level (the threads). Chance is thought by many to reside in the Generator of False Causality, although it has never been found (11).

The Generator of Causality provides a semblance of purposeful existence.

Our existence has no purpose that we have so far been able to discover.

We live in spite of a lack of purpose.

Living in spite of a lack of purpose may very well prove to be the purpose of our existence.


Chance is felt to be "pleasant."

As in a chance rain storm.

Or meeting with a beautiful young woman. Or a handsome young man. Chance has no gender—scientifically speaking—despite the phrase "lady luck."

The best minds believe chance is inevitable and desirable.


Love is also possible in the precincts of the Machinery {7 & 10}.


Does the Machinery have a soul?

Yes and no.


There are times when the Machinery stills. When its various modalities and musics [sic] cease. When the ordinary noises of operation are not heard. It is then one hears a solemn tapping as if against an Ouija board or, better, the tapping of a telegraph key.

I say "one" because I have never heard this mysterious tapping.

I say "mysterious" because those who have heard it assert it to be distinguishable, in its dots and dashes, as code, but the message is indecipherable.

I do not believe in this tapping. I do not believe that the Machinery is "trying to tell us something."

At the heart is mystery. Let what is hidden remain so.


The Diagram {6} illustrates what may well be the essential, or central, paradox of the design.


Space is infinite.

Every point in space {A., B., C., D., etc.} is intersected by an infinite number of straight lines radiating outward to infinity.

Every point of a straight line is equidistant from the two opposite ends of the line on which it is situated, which are at an infinite remove from the point.

All straight lines lie in space; therefore, all points lie in space.

Every point in space is equidistant from the farthest reaches of space, which is infinite.

Every point in space {A., B., C., D., etc.} is, therefore, located at the exact center of space.

There can be one and only one center.

All points in space lie at the exact center of space.

Which is patently absurd.

Space, therefore, is not infinite. Q.E.D.

(N.B. Every point in space is also intersected by an infinite number of curved lines radiating outward to infinity. Curved lines eventually "double back" on themselves, additional proof of the finite character of space. The curve is prized by us as the most elegant and virtuous of shapes [37 and 39]. Power is thought to reside in the curve.)


Space—that is, the Universe—is, in its entirety, taken up or occupied by the Machinery and its precincts (the Lawn, the Forest, the Sea, the Rest House, the Hall of Machines & Science, etc.). There is nothing to hand, or that can be brought to hand, that is not in the Universe.

Unless it be the Invisible.


Predictability was soon disabled by the Machinery.


Beauty is possible and, indeed, a common occurrence.

The dark shapes of the pine trees stiff against the darker night.

The particles of light shed by the stars. The moon.

The rings of red leaves fallen around the Japanese maple tree.

The curve of flight traced by a bird.


The Ghost in the Machine is inferred by the mysterious cigarette ash we find in the screens. And the cigarette smoke, which is blue and acrid. (Turkish or perhaps French.)


The Invisible is deduced from the visible.

By signs.

We deduce the gardener from the glove caught in the hedge.

The woman from the camisole dropped carelessly on the bed.

The bird from its song (3).

The Sea animal from the empty shell tumbling in the Sea-wrack.

These are signs of a world hidden from view, but not Invisible.

What are signs of the Invisible?

The pressure of a hand on your arm when there is no one in the room but you.

The sudden light that flickers in the leaves.

The glass vase that falls of itself to the floor and breaks.

The glass vase that falls, but stops in midair. This phenomenon has been recorded, although I have never witnessed it.

The cloud veined with gold. There are skies, both the night sky and that of the day. They are not to be confused with the inside of the Dome painted blue and decorated with stars and alchemical symbols.

The sudden odor of roses where there are no roses.

The voice in the wind's bright folds.

(And still other things impossible to discuss.) {Impossible to Diagram.}


The arithmetically perfect curve of a woman's breast: this can be diagrammed. The curve has been used extensively throughout the construction. The equation governing it has been generated and used to elaborate fundamental texts.
The Diagram {20.b.} was drawn by a man who was drinking gin and bitters and whose hand shook slightly as a consequence.

The Diagram is not to be despised. It is not to be doubted.

It is, itself, a diagram of the draughtsman's vexed state.


Consider the flame, how it frustrates the idea of symmetry and order. Nevertheless, it makes a heat and a music in the wood.

The moon dwindles to a scythe. Even at the full it smiles a lopsided smile.

All this is effected by the Machinery's Asynchronous Gears {8}.


White space in which to rest your eyes, after so long a period of concentration on the Diagrams:









Perhaps the greatest controversy in the preparation of the Notes arose between those who argued for the inclusion of this Diagram {11} and those who argued with equal vociferation (and occasional ferocity) against it. The Shadow Universe is a contingency of other elusive mechanisms, such as the Generator of False Causality (12). The existence of the Machinery that allegedly produces it, and without which it is impossible, is inferred from subjective phenomena, such as a shudder for no apparent cause or the hair that will unaccountably stand up on the back of one's neck. (See Vol. 6: The Invisible.)

Love is thought by some to originate in the Shadow Universe.

And desire.

(The Shadow Universe is rendered in a 10% tint of black ink. The Diagram is a representation. The nature and material composition of the Shadow Universe are not known. Its Machinery is indicated by stippling.)

It is not to be confused with "the Ghost in the Machine" (21 & 46).


Those convinced of the existence of the Shadow Universe describe it variously as "an iridescent spume," "a halo," "a ring around the moon," "an umbrella stripped of fabric," or "a winter tree." Those who employ one of these tropes in this context will often throw up their hands or shrug their shoulders in acknowledgment of the Shadow Universe's capacity to beggar all description.

Poetry is the last resort of those who grapple with the Invisible. Or the impossible.

If the Shadow Universe exists, it is unlikely ever to be known.

We are not troubled by what is not known anymore than we are by what is known. Both conditions are essential. We note with satisfaction that both can be a source of pleasure. (They can also be a source of pain, but this is an unavoidable result of the Machinery.)


One theory of the Shadow Universe is that remnants of the original creative Urge are stored there or, at least, at rest there. (Stored for what purpose, at rest to what end?)

There are those who maintain that the Shadow Universe is a hat. They smile knowingly when they talk of it.

We are very fond of hats.


The Shadow Universe is alleged to originate in the Invisible and to "cast its shadow" onto the sensational world. This shadow is not at all like that thrown by a branch against the wall of the Rest House {7} or even of a moving penumbra made by someone walking across the Lawn. It is rather an "impression" made on the consciousness of those most susceptible to it. They claim to hear it or, in rare instances, taste or even smell it.

It is said to sound "like rain."

It is said to taste "like poppy-seed cakes."

It is said to smell "like old books."

Even those who believe in it declare that the Shadow Universe (and its Machinery) are beyond reach in the present era. Some assert permanently beyond it.


An expedition into the Shadow Universe was mounted by a sect convinced not only of its existence but also of its exact location ("the other side of the Forest" {12}). They left in the summer with waxed recording cylinders, oculist instruments, an astrolabe, and a theodolite with which to take its measure. They left, as we recall, in high spirits, singing a hikers' song.

We received their last transmission three years ago. At that time they had not yet come to the end of the Forest.

Space is finite; it is also, however, pinked with vexed states.


The Forest is thought to possess a fifth, sixth, and seventh dimension. Its topology is sometimes described as "folded" {12.c.}.

The topology of Time is also folded. It is illustrated in Vol. 5: Irrational Modes.


There arise, from time to time among us, diviners and soothsayers who seek to adumbrate in the shape of the visible Universe the future.

They are ignored. They are not persecuted as they might be under other systems.

We are tolerant of eccentrics.

We honor the scientist, the poet, and also the gambler for his infatuation with chance. We ignore self-proclaimed prophets because nothing can be predicted.

"We ride the asymptotes!" is something one hears everywhere.


Arithmetic is not studied. Only differential equations and the calculus are of use because of slippage and the instability of essences. Statistics is ridiculed.

Tropes are often resorted to in lieu of mathematics.


Love is most pleasurable when it is made in the Particle Bath. The Bath is clearly marked in the Diagram {13}. Its source, however, is not marked.

Some believe that the source of the Bath lies in the Shadow Universe (26). The source does not appear in the Diagram, because nothing in the Shadow Universe is known, although much has been speculated.

The Particle Bath irrigates the Narrow Duct at B {5}, and a "liberal spilling" occurs. It is the Bath that manufactures pleasure, which is announced by the liberal spilling.

The manufacture of pleasure is not despised, because the quality of the pleasure is judged to be sublime. "Sublime" in the glossary of terms does not exclude the body or its functions. The Glossary is appended to Vol. 6: The Invisible.

The waters of the Bath are aromatic.

The waters of the Bath are a liquid other than H20. The precise molecular structure is of interest to the specialist only and has been excluded from the Notes.

The particles suspended in the waters are poetically said to be "broken bits of moon." They are, in reality, cosmic debris.

Poetry is not despised.

The "Horn" (5) will sometimes emit a joyful noise at the moment of the liberal spilling. [The "Caruso Effect." ]


The principal Worm Gear {14} inhabits the earth beneath the Lawn. It drives the Motor, which is responsible for all rotation in the Machinery and—by extension—the Universe.

Planetary Gears {15} drive all inert bodies in space. These bodies are arranged according to the Keppler model.

Tiny mechanisms, called "Hairpins" {16}, effect all minute movement, wherever movement is possible or desirable. Their range of motion is slight, sometimes infinitesimal.

The Transmission System {17} has been deliberately hobbled by the original designer, so that chance can influence movement.

Gestures are poetic and not governed by mechanics.

Movement is not always possible or desirable. (See Vol. 4: Indolence & Sleep.)


Substances used in the building of the Universe are manufactured in the Occluding Chamber {18}. Radiation, refractions, and rarefactions are coaxed into the Chamber through an ingenious system of vents and traps. Inside, subjected to enormous pressure, they are flattened into foil sheets or extruded as light-bearing filaments. Finished materials are conveyed by Pulleys to the building sites.

Desire enters the process at X.

Models of the substances' molecular structure are displayed in the Hall of Machines & Science {10}. It is admitted that the models are imperfect. Desire is not yet sufficiently understood.

The luminous behavior inside the Occluding Chamber is often described as pelagic phosphors, or corposant (5).

Construction is perpetual to accommodate an ever-expanding consciousness.

Consciousness enlarges irrespective of the finite Universe (17 & 30). The process is ineluctable and known as "in-dwelling." In-dwelling is followed, when time becomes pregnant, by "up-dwelling," in which space accretes.

Because space is finite, destruction is a requisite corollary of construction.
The Pulleys "sing."


The Machinery will break down because of stress to its parts and to the minds of those who conceive it. They are well paid to conceive it. They are given luxurious beds in the Rest House {7}, where they spend their days and nights in conception.

The conception of the Machinery occurs in sleep.

The Machinery must be dreamed. There can be no cessation to dreaming. Should it cease, the Universe would also.

Desire is distilled in the Coils {19}. It is then drawn up into the Particle Bath as a prelude to the liberal spilling from the Narrow Duct (34).

Desire—it is said—has the shape of a French Curve.

Desire is not despised.


The nightingale was enhanced in the Second Revision. It does not appear in the Diagrams of the Lawn or Forest. Indeed, it is absent from all zoological compendia. No one living recalls its shape or color.

Its song is sufficient.


The French Curves are kept in a cabinet of indefinite shape and dimensions {20}.

They are for the exclusive use of the architect in charge of construction.

The Curves make each a different music. The musics [sic] are piped into the ears of the dreamers of Machinery by means of filaments. The filaments are of rare metal.

Gold and iridium.

The French Curves are tuned each evening when the air's natural harmonics are most pleasing.

"The Song of the Curves," as it is called, has been recorded on waxed cylinders.


The Western Wall liquefies in the evening as the sun is setting.


The Anti-Room {21} cannot be entered. In it the Opposing Spheres (+ and -) accelerate the reversal of charges and polarities. Chance operations occur here whose outcomes are "harvested" electromechanically, then stored in Leyden jars where they undergo an additional permutation (sometimes called a "fermentation"). At random intervals, chance is released as a gas to the Aleatory {22} for distribution throughout the Universe.

Those who entered (were entry possible) would be torn apart by dissonance and disorder.

The Anti-Room is essential for the harmony of the whole.

Mathematics is useless in the Anti-Room. Equations—no matter how intricately woven—unravel into broken signs and numbers.

Beer is greatly enjoyed by us and is also felt to be essential for harmony.


Movement is not limited to three or four dimensions. Movement can readily occur in all known dimensions. It is limited only by the indolence of the individual, which is respected.

(See Vol. 4: Indolence & Sleep.)


What is shown in the "Diagrams" is only a small part of what is.

What is shown in the "Diagrams" is only a small part of what is not.

What is and what is not interest us equally.


The existence of the Invisible cannot be refuted.

For example: many believe an invisible Zoo exists. How else explain the animal sounds that issue unaccountably from "seams in the air"? (Not to be confused with the "Caruso Effect" [5 & 34].) Or a mauling on the Lawn one afternoon in which no assailant was seen.

Some produce, in evidence, recordings of chamber music made by an invisible string quartet. The adagio is "unearthly" and few can resist weeping.

Some have brought leaves into the Rest House {7} that, they allege, dropped onto the Lawn from no apparent tree. These leaves are treasured as relics. They are said to possess healing properties.

I myself have a hat of a style unknown to us. I found it in the vestibule of the Rest House in which I take my leisure. The hat is precious to me.

It has, in the hatband, a feather of a bird our zoologists cannot identify.

All these are—are they not?—evidence of the Invisible?


Movement is also possible in the unknown dimensions. (See Vol. 5: Irrational Modes and Vol. 6: The Invisible.)


Perfection is felt to be sterile if practiced to the exclusion of its opposite. Every third child born to us, therefore, is taught to abhor perfection and strive to be imperfect.

Everything has its antidote. Nothing must be permitted to flourish without its antidote. Equal parts of a quality and its opposite, however, will result in stasis. Stasis is not only undesirable for the system as a whole but also impossible, because of the steadily enlarging consciousness (36).

A slightly imperfect Universe is thought to offer the most fruitful conditions for survival.

Indolence and inertia—as previously noted—are countenanced and, in fact, encouraged. (See Vol. 4: Indolence & Sleep.)

Movement for its own sake is also encouraged.

The Machinery has been designed to allow for Contradiction (4). Some believe that this Contradiction is the "beneficence" referred to in 1.

Few believe in a Supreme Being. Those who do conceive of it as Contradiction.
"It embraces all," they say.

If not a Supreme Being, then perhaps the "Ghost in the Machine" (21 & 26).


Magic is not underestimated, although we do not practice it.

It is practiced upon us—perhaps by the Machinery, perhaps by some other agency impossible to know in the present era.

We allow its influence.


The Sea {~} laps the farthest edges of the Universe, which is finite.

The Sea, however, is infinite in extension and duration.

No one has successfully explained this paradox.

I do not hope to explain it, or attempt to explain it. It is enough for me that it is true.

Underneath the Sea, the fish. They thread their way through the blue-black depths. Other things, too, which become visible in the Sea-wrack.

This much is known.

The Sea-bed is not known. We have not, any of us now living, lain down to sleep in it. In death, perhaps, we will. I am not yet become an old man. If chance allows, I will become one. Until then, I shall regard the Machinery, put on my yellow gloves and spats, put on my inscrutable hat.

Suffer dreams to come.

Take pleasure in the Ellipsis {...}, that is to say: night.

Understand what may be understood. Be insouciant in despite of what cannot be understood.

Allow desire. Celebrate chance. Hymn the Sea. Wait for the end. Banish fear. Love where I may.

Live as if life were possible.


Translated from the Dutch by Norman Lock

This piece happened strangely as some of my fiction does. I wanted very much to submit something to the contest because I like your site quite a lot. It came to me that the submission with the most chance of succeeding would be one that had "diagram" in the title. [Fair enough. --Ed.] I also wanted to do something with machinery, in homage to my father, who was all his life a machinist. The first line came to me, and then the second, and the third, and so on. In a week, the piece was finished. It took very little conscious thought and only a small number of revisions. I suspect the work, the true work of composition, occurred in my subconscious—which is not in the least susceptible to diagramming. The only truly deliberate effort went to the ruse that had me pose as the translator of a piece written by a Dutchman during the war. I rather enjoyed that! Marco Knauff, by the way, exists, is my good friend, a writer of science fiction, an artist of the surreal, and a "crowd artist"—that is, a walk-on actor—living in Papendrecht, Holland.