only wanted to be a literature
jukebox; something you could return to.
You would always go back to that same lonely URL and punch the same numbers and hear the same stories.
After a couple of drinks you might laugh or cry.
The canon should have been that way, but we wanted to be something you might feed quarters, like a literary pinball machine, a game of chance, a practice.
We could have been like a literature trivial pursuit with six narratives, each packed with trivia.
The game of life, something you could take your kids along with you on, as long as you covered their eyes at some points.
We wanted to be a wine joint with candleflames dancing in Chianti bottles—you could crawl into a table in the corner along the vertices of a web of darkness, like a spider.
With always the same folksinger in the corner.
We would light up and make noises, there would be fragments of pleasing, familiar music, and the sequence would never repeat.
Like every time you went to the bar for another pint of beer it was a different bar with different beers on tap. It was the habit you could never repeat.
And thus Unknown were we, wanting to draw a bar room full of readers on through the fog, lit by cigarettes, somehow curious and relieved.
And well you might have thought, if novels are the wood, the deeply grained, stained, palmed, oiled, wiped, wood of this bar, then those four, three, five, howevermany Unknown were the neon in the window.
Something in the darkness and smoke of the web, where they always charged too little and poured too high, a tavern of love.