Well? Shall we go?

Come in, come in. Look at this now. Cramped in here isn't it. This is the inner chamber. Impressive isn't it. Well, not that impressive, I admit, but it works and that must count for something. Note the ventricles, the pounding, the activity. Almost makes one feel alive. And then there are the sensations! The agony, the ecstasy, all of that bilge. Beckett saw it all, cleaned the rubbish from the soles of his boots, wrote it down, told the story from his heart. From his heart!

ESTRAGON: I hear something.
POZZO: Where?
VLADIMIR: It's the heart.
POZZO: (disappointed). Damnation!

Never mind, never mind. False hopes. Though those are the best kind. If you're looking for answers you know this already. You look though you don't find, what's the use of looking if you're not going to find? This Beckett fellow, a face full of trenches, what does he mean? Staring like that, what does he mean? Perhaps you've got the angle wrong, there are lots of facts here to help you, if you like facts and changing angles. But you know, call it this or that, it's all the same, call him Belacqua or Watt or Moran or Worm, all the same again, a heart is just a heart.

HAMM: Last night I saw inside my breast. There was a big sore.
CLOV: Pah! You saw your heart.
HAMM: No, it was living.

Moving on. The rhythm can be a little overwhelming. That's the pulse, you know. The stuff of literature, the rhythm of language, the pulse of language. Of course it could be shut off. Bugger it all. Gets to be a headache after a time anyway, all that noise. Tedious in the extreme. Now and then seize upon an interesting word or thought. Play with it. Hold it close. Suck on it. Put it in one's pocket. Devise a routine for playing then holding, holding then sucking, sucking then pocketing, repeat. Wait until all potential wasted. Then discard. The things here may be useful, perhaps, or entertaining, but that's all one in the rubbish. We make mistakes. That's the hitch. We don't have all of the answers.

Here we are eating our hearts out with anxiety and he calls that a hitch! Those of us like myself with heart and kidney trouble may collapse at any moment and he calls that a hitch!

Oh, the voices. You get used to them here. A variation on the dull pounding. They rise and fall, like any of us, like ideas. And things get on, you know, one way or another. Live not for that. That's my advice if you like. Ever read Geulincx? Ubi nihil vales, ibi nihil velis. Sounds very good doesn't it. Rhythm again, you can't escape it. Nothing to be done for nothing. That's a kind of translation. And maybe too a raison d'être for Apmonia, the site that is a medical-musical condition. Yours to be infected. Apmonia is a map of the heart, a friendly diagram of an unfriendly but inevitable place, designed by the occasionally friendly editors. Almost makes one feel alive. Not the editors, I mean. Beyond hope, them. Speaking of whom.

Deviser of the voice and of its hearer and of himself. Deviser of himself for company. Leave it at that. He speaks of himself as another. He says speaking of himself, He speaks of himself as another. Himself he devises too for company. Leave it at that. Confusion too is company up to a point. Better hope deferred than none. Up to a point. Till the heart starts to sicken. Company too up to a point. Better a sick heart than none. Till it starts to break. So speaking of himself he concludes for the time being, For the time being leave it at that.

Tim Conley, who speaks of himself as another, is the editorial deviser of Apmonia. In February 2001 he earned a doctorate from Queen's University (Kingston, Canada). He has published scholarly articles on James Joyce and Samuel Johnson, handfuls of fiction and poetry in different North American journals, and he is book reviews editor at the online journal paperplates. He has a heart, yes, put it down somewhere. Never mind, never mind.

Allen Ruch, known as The Great Quail, or diminutively Quail, or superlatively but simply Great, but hardly ever articled as The, is the editorial director of this massive sprawl of words, words, words. The Modern Word, in fact, the library and the labyrinth, the Libyrinth, in which corner we now sit reading. He would also like to mention that he is the editorial deviser and chief barkeep of the Joycean pub The Brazen Head, from which Mr. Beckett himself may be seen, quietly, in the corner, tippling a pint.
"Mr. Beckett, have you heard, they've devoted a whole site to you, the cheeky bastards."
"Oh bugger. There goes the neighborhood."
All out.


--Tim Conley
& A. Ruch
1 June 2001



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