acceptance: n; if you can live alone for ten years you belong alone.


age: n; 2. there are many aspects of your living which have always been aged, infirm, near-death.


angst: n; the infections caused by the contingent understandings and beliefs which others have stapled to our souls.


apocalypse: n; 3. the fact that so many people, who could think otherwise, are unanimous with respect to judgments which are false is an argument in favour of an apocalypse.


apology: n; 1. when you have attempted to create something on the margins of a tradition and are then asked to describe your creation (and can do so only by referring to that tradition which you have attempted to transcend or subvert) then often all you can do is make apologies.


arrangement: n; the poet was asked, why are you building a bridge where there is no river? and the poet answered, i am only building half of a bridge, you must build the other half.


art: n; 31. sometimes we create things which run far ahead of our understanding. in such cases, we must create things to overtake what has already been accomplished. 32. art will always fall in love with a deluge. 33. you must find the eden you wish to be banished from. 34. the cake decorator must understand that sometimes there is nothing wrong with the cake, sometimes it is the decorator's fingers that must be broken. 35. every paradise has its subtle gate which opens onto devastation. 46. happy people do not make art, they destroy art. 47. children can play house effectively because they are physically incapable of being husband and wife, of producing a child, etc. the same is true for those who play art— those child-curators and child-performers, and child-painters…incapability ensures their success. 48. most of our time is spent attempting to support and preserve what is least supportable in our living, and the least worth preserving. fortunately, art exists to relieve us of this burden.


audience: n; 3. i write for the dead and the dying… because they are literate.


award: n; 3. life is second prize. death is a recognition by the judges that you deserve first prize and so are awarded it promptly.





from A Personal Dictionary  Mike Schertzer, 1997, 1999