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The victim, male, discovered in fine clothing along the beach in Adelaide appears aged 40–45. Eyes, hazel. Hair, fair, gray at the temples. Broad shoulders, narrow waist, with hands that have not met hard labor. According to a taxidermist, the victim often wore pointed, high-heeled shoes, his wedge-shaped feet and pronounced calf muscles characteristic of women in vogue. No matching dental records. Found sewn deep in a fob pocket, torn from a rare, first-edition copy of poet Edward FitzGerald’s translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a scrap of paper that reads: tamám shud.

 

Currently, investigation attends to the victim’s peculiar ears and a case of hypodontia. Few procedural roadblocks accompany acquaintanceship with the authors and artists in this journal.

As with all gift economies rooted in war reparations, Mt. Hagen, Papua New Guinea’s Moka exchange has rules. If a man presents to you a pig and a pearl shell, give to him a bigger pig, a rarer pearl shell. Generous reciprocity is its own reward in terms of communal prestige. The man is now in your debt. You are well on your way toward establishing a reputation as a Big Man. Should your debtor later fail to lay down an ever-bigger pig¹, an ever-rarer pearl shell—if he merely matches your gift—he retreats in shame, a Rubbish Man. This is how banks work.

 

Your donations to Noble / Gas Qtrly will be free of social ramifications.

 


¹ It is a common misconception that, after countless generations of such a ritual, pigs of risible dimensions rove the inland territories of Papua New Guinea, rulers of men.

Right now. Carpe diem.¹

 


¹ From Horace’s Odes, carpe diem is one part of a longer sentiment, Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero, which, in translation, reads: Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the next—in the next day, in the curious and unrelenting future, which even now wears out the Tyrrhenian Sea on the rocks. Do today what you can to make tomorrow better. This journal will be here tomorrow. You might not be.

Heinrich von Kleist, suitably one year before fulfilling a murder–suicide pact on the shore of a small lake near Potsdam, suggested in Berliner Abendblätter that mail be delivered attached to rockets. Later, Jacob Gould Schurman, the United States Ambassador to Germany, a serious-looking gentleman, openly palavered with reporters regarding the legal nature of transatlantic rocket mail. Thurn-und-Taxis Post wielded little influence in conference, having dissolved in 1867.

 

Today, sending letters and goods, like donations, is far simpler. This journal conducts its business through secure online services.

It wasn’t him, Reader, it was you. Remember that night in the Garden, you came down to this journal’s dressing room and you said, Kid, this ain’t your night. We’re going for the price on Wilson. You remember that? This ain’t your night! This journal’s night! This journal could have taken Wilson apart! So, what happens? He gets the title shot outdoors in the ballpark, and what does this journal get? A one-way ticket to Palookaville! You was this journal’s brother, Reader. You should have looked out for it a little bit. You should have taken care of it just a little bit so it wouldn’t have to take them dives for the short-end money.

 

(beat)

 

You don’t understand. This journal could have class. This journal could be a contender. This journal could be somebody, instead of a bum, which is what it is—let’s face it. It was you, Reader.

Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary, defined in his French–Huron dictionary the word how, the greeting used in some representations of Native American languages, as an interjection indicating approval. Marauding Iroquois warriors held him in captivity, drank his blood, and poured boiling water over his head in a mock-baptism. Nearly three centuries later, his canonization by Pope Pius XI in 1930 revitalized public interest in his linguistic work; by some estimation, Brébeuf has indirectly contributed up to 66% of all dialogue spoken by Native American characters in Western films.

 

Endowing a project of the written word need neither end in gruesome fashion nor promote a harmful cultural stereotype. This journal accepts donations via PayPal.

The button to your right rewards authors and artists, defrays this journal’s operating costs, and sponsors quixotic new projects. To paraphrase Don Quijote de la Mancha—or Dale Wasserman’s idea of him—that ingenious gentleman: “Too much sanity may be madness—and maddest of all: to see [this journal] as it is, and not as it should be!”