My full-length book, Where We Think It Should Go, can be yours via Octopus Books, Small Press Distribution, or Amazon. We better celebrate these hard copies while we can. When I'm not writing poetry, I teach amazing young people who are blind. I believe in a healthier future.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I told myself that I see the world. But the whole world was not accessible to my gaze, and I saw only parts of the world. And everything I saw I called parts of the world. And I examined the properties of these parts and, examining these properties, I wrought science. I understood that the parts have intelligent properties and that the same parts have unintelligent properties. I distinguished them and gave them names. And, depending on their properties, the parts of the world were intelligent or unintelligent.

And there were such parts of the world as could think. And these parts looked upon me and upon the other parts. And all these parts resembled one another, and I resembled them. And I spoke with these parts.

I said: parts thunder.

The parts said: a clump of time.

I said: I am also part of the three turns.

The parts answered: And we are little points.

And suddenly I ceased seeing them and, soon after, the other parts as well. And I was frightened that the world would collapse.

But then I understood that I do not see the parts independently, but I see it all at once. At first I thought that it was NOTHING. But then I understood that this was the world and what I had seen before was not the world.

And I had always known what the world was, but what I had seen before I do not know even now.

And when the parts disappeared, their intelligent properties ceased being intelligent, and their unintelligent properties ceased being unintelligent. And the whole world ceased to be intelligent and unintelligent.

But as soon as I understood that I saw the world, I ceased seeing it. I became frightened, thinking that the world had collapsed. But while I was thinking this, I realized that had the world collapsed, then I would already not be thinking this. And I watched, looking for the world, but not finding it.

And soon after there wasn’t anywhere to look.

Then I realized that, while I had somewhere to look, there had been a world around me. And now it’s gone. There’s only me.

And then I realized that I am the world.

But the world—is not me.

Although at the same time I am the world.

But the world’s not me.

And I am the world.

But the world’s not me.

And I am the world.

But the world’s not me.

And I am the world.

And, after that, I didn’t think anything anymore.

–Daniil Kharms, May 30, 1930, translated by Matvei Yankelevich, from OBERIU


Joshua said...

I wrote a paper kind of on this.

Justin said...

But after realizing the world is not me, I stopped breaking things. Without parts, then, I stopped building. And the world buried itself in the present.