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Bathwater in your shoe

I need to work the phrase "misanthropic potentate" into my résumé. Would it go better in the "related experience" section, or should I list it as part of my "objective" line? Probably as part of the objective, now that I think about it, because I've never been a potentate. A potential employer might catch me on that one: "So, tell me about your experiences as a potentate." I'd have to say something like, "Well, I've never actually been a potentate, although I never knew one." Maybe that tricky use of "although" could get me through the marginal margarine ordeal, the top snapping down on the question like Tupperware, a little burp of air pooting through the baby's waxy and corpulent lips, little red ants having found their way into the bag overnight and now infesting the creme-filled doughnuts, the bag fingerprint wet with unanticipated dew. Maybe the potential employer would raise one eyebrow in an arch manner, and then I would have to offer a sacrifice to the gods of vinyl so that they would summon forth Elvin Bishop, carrying Henry Aaron's baseball bat to smite the potential employer in the forehead. Or foreskin; either would be fine, as long as it was a smiting of biblical proportions.

Even if I were able to bluff my way through that question (By saying, "The crux of potentatianism is the apostrophe," for example, and then nodding vigorously, pointing my chin toward the interviewer as if my first name were Maximillian. I would need some kid gloves, though, something in a rich, creamy vanilla), potential employers still like to ask about results: "So, what resulted from your being the potentate?"

I would reply, "Cognomen!" thumping my fist on the plate glass on top of the interviewer's desk. "Just ask the swashbuckling movie star Al Flynn." The local newspaper used to run reader's poems, and I wrote one with the line "Swoon to the swashbuckling adventures of Al Flynn," and the poetry editor, who had a rather prominent proboscis, changed it to "Errol Flynn," which is who I really was referring to, but I thought "Al" Flynn had sort of this blue-collar, street-corner sound to it. The editor, in his usual ham-handed manner, eviscerated my art. It is awful to be perpetually misunderstood by newspaper poetry editors. Which raises the question, "Who's that boy with the sandwich in his hand?" (Well, actually, Handsome Dick Manitoba raises that question.)

Upon hearing the word "sandwich," the vermin stir in the mortar and lathe, licking their lips glowing green and blue from the iridescent gumball sunset.

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Wish I'd Said It

Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”

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