Month: September 2012

Editor’s Note

Welcome to Matrix Magazine’s extended Conceptual Dossier. When Sina Queyras and I set out to co-curate a conceptualisms issue, we had no idea that we would end up working on two issues instead of one. As the amount of quality submissions grew exponentially, our own ambitions for a second or extended issue also grew. I am extremely grateful and honoured to introduce you to these brilliant conceptualists and their work.

Ranging from Simon Wake’s “Immortal Poets” to Kristen Gallagher’s “Things You Can Buy,” the works gathered here point to the artifact, the sediment, the storage of data as more than mere trace elements shadowing a compositional plane. The act of collecting and parsing information is perhaps at its most exemplary in Jeanette John’s “Plans for Walls and Floors” where space is compressed into units of data vacillating between artifice and artifact, confounds the two. In contrast, derek beaulieu’s and Steve Giasson’s visual works use space, not as units of information per say, but as a a manner of framing the given-to-be seen. In several instances, the texts gathered here invite visual deconstruction, textual reconfigurations, but most of all they invite us to consider the frame as substantiation device.

I invite you to explore, surf, read into the vantage point, the in-between spaces, the tangible presence or absence, and wish you a bonne lecture!


Self Portrait for Abortions by Steve Zultanski

Self-Portrait for Abortions


So there’s obviously no chance that a cluster of cells that ends up a newborn could grow up to be a perfect copy of me. But every cluster of cells that remains unborn has exactly the same chance of potentially having grown up as a perfect copy of me, given that because it never happened, and thus remains an impossibility, there’s no ruling out any one aspect of such an impossibility.

And given that any of the 42 million clusters of cells destroyed in abortions each year could have, in an alternate future, survived the operation and potentially grown up to be a perfect copy of me, and that only .8 million of these abortions are in the U.S., there is a 1.905% chance that an aborted cluster of cells that survived the operation in an alternate future and grew up to be a perfect copy of me would have been an American.

But there’s a 30.952% chance that I would have been Chinese.

And a .178% chance that I would have been Cuban.

Based on current information, which is of course incomplete given how many abortions go unreported; very many.


As a child, I heard my father tell a friend of his a funny story about storing condiments too near the flame of his new outdoor grill, and accidentally melting the plastic packaging.

Because he didn’t share this story with me, and because I was young enough to associate the word “condiment,” which I didn’t know the meaning of, with the word “condom,” which I didn’t know the meaning of but knew the meaning of just enough to know that its hidden meaning masked the more terrifying hidden meaning behind the word “sex,” I associated outdoor grills with this mystery; and I assumed that when I was old enough I would finally understand the relationship between the two.


If I (the perfect copy of me, which is so perfect that there’s no distinguishing between “I” and “it”) were born in China, there’s a 7.9% chance that I would have the surname 李 (Lǐ), the most common surname in the country.

So overall there’s a .002% chance that I would have been born a Lǐ.

As there’s a 6.12 x 10-7% chance that I would have been born a Borg, the most common surname in Malta.

Given that the chances that the perfect copy of me would be christened with my current name are unfathomably small, I must accept the possibility that a perfect copy of me may remain perfect despite the legal implications of carrying a different name, which distinguishes me from me in the eyes of the law.


As an even younger child, a friend used the unfamiliar word “condom,” and provided a baffling cursory definition.

The mental picture I conjured of the object resembled an action-figure — a hard plastic tube which looked vaguely like a piece of military equipment, with blue stripes running down each side and a narrow boxy tip, like a cockpit for a toy pilot.


Given that these perfect copies of myself will never exist, because the cluster of cells that could have developed into such a copy have been destroyed before assuming any identity at all, much less my identity, we know that I will never meet myself.

However, there remains, because of the potentiality forever condensed in the unborn, the possibility that I would have met myself, or even more than one of myselves.


Say the average person meets about 10,000 people in their lifetime.

Given that one has a .000145% chance of meeting any given person, we can assume that there’s a 1.77 x 10-13% chance of my 李 self meeting my Borg self, by my calculations, which surely leave certain factors entirely out, such as geography, which is a big one, and so the percentage would probably be much lower. So:

“喂 我的名字是李先生”

“Hi, jien jisimni Sur Borg”

is a perfectly unlikely scenario, without precedent. However, as long as it remains without precedent, that is, as long as my perfect copies are unborn, we cannot assume that it’s impossible.


Because a perfect copy of me would, by definition, do what I do, there’s a 100% chance that each and every perfect copy of me would also calculate the likelihood of the existence of a perfect copy, that is, itself, and the likelihoods of their nationalities and names, that is, of its own nationality and name.

The only difference would be imperceptible: instead of calculating the likelihood of another’s existence, the perfect copy would be calculating the likelihood of its own existence, and thus the resultant numbers would function, for the perfect copy, as horrifying existential proof of the unthinkability of its birth.


As an adolescent, I bought condoms presumptuously, hoping to use them with my first girlfriend. When she rejected this idea, I used them by myself, to see what it was like, because they gave me a sense of being with another person.

But because I was too nervous to toss them in the trash, where there was an outside chance one of my parents might inadvertently catch a glimpse, I hid them in a small safe, along with my coin collection, and waited for them to dry out.


And if two of my perfect copies meet, or three, say 李 and Borg and my Cuban self, Romario Martinez, who has a 1.72% chance of being christened Romario and a .00275% chance of having been born at all, chances are (by the way, there’s a much less than 4.867 x 10-16% chance that all three perfect copies would meet) they would most likely engage in a detailed comparison of private minutiae, hoping to map the commonalities between their lives (which commonalities would be abundant enough to remain fundamentally unmappable), in order to bring each perfect copy into sharper focus for the others.

For example, if any one perfect copy has a .6% chance of knowing a girlfriend or future ex-wife who’s had an abortion in the past year or thereabouts, then each has a .6% chance of knowing such a girlfriend or future ex-wife, and would tell the others about it. This goes as well for the perfect copies of me who are women, as it’s equally possible that they know a girlfriend or future ex-wife who’s had an abortion.

They could then figure out for themselves that there’s a .6% chance that three or however many more perfect copies of me might each be, respectively, the co-creators of a cluster of cells, which, by virtue of its having been destroyed, would also potentially have been a perfect copy of me.

And that these perfect copies, because they won’t exist, will always might have grown up to become the co-creators of however many more potential perfect copies, and so on; not to mention they might have met by chance at an arbitrary point after having set out from beds scattered all over the mess of countries; not to mention they might have recognized each other if not by name than by uncanny face; not to mention they might have then calculated the unlikelihood of their being alive, in perfect redundancy, word by word, of the method by which I’m now calculating the unlikelihood of my being alive more than once.

Insofar as any living copies of me, as a cluster of impossibilities, are so perfect as to actually be me, they write whatever I write, at the same time as I write it.

That is, there’s a .6% chance that I wrote this.

Steve Zultanski says:

“This piece is an excerpt from a long poem, Agony, which uses mathematical and logical constraints as a form of confessionalism, or autobiography. Sort of.”

Plans for Walls and Floors by Jeanette Johns

Plans for Walls and Floors

Jeanette Johns says:

Plans for Walls and Floors is a series of 17 works that use the traditional craft of paper marbling to achieve cartographic effects. The map-like surfaces are each paired with a pattern derived from the 17 distinct plane symmetry groups – also called wallpaper groups. A wallpaper group is a mathematical classification of a two-dimensional repetitive pattern, based on the unique symmetries that structure the pattern. This particular way of filling a plane with a repeated image, often used in decorative motifs, is used here to draw a connection with how we look at and absorb landscape. These two observational vantage points draw attention to similarities in the processes of deciphering topographical landscapes and deciphering the various ways a pattern can repeat. The act of observing leads one to notice intricate constructions of landscape and geometric pattern composition. This looking, and seeing the whole, transforms chaos into understanding, which in turn allows one the experience of pleasure and intrigue in observation and maybe finding beauty while trying to locate a sense of order.

Untitled by Josef Kaplan

So you could totally arrest me right now?

I could. But trust me, you wouldn’t want me to. You really, really don’t. If I’m in your living room, you know you’re in trouble.

That’s the understatement of the year.

I’m not kidding.

Neither am I.

As long as you stay on the right side, you’ll be fine. For the last seven years, I’ve been a detective for Internet crimes against children. So if you ever see me, you know we’ve got you. If we come to your house, it’s all over. You’re going to be arrested. You’ve been having Internet conversations with me, and we’ve got all the evidence we need to take you down.

What’s your arrest catchphrase?

My catchphrase? Like a motto?

What do you say when you’re roughing up a perp? “On the floor, dirtbag!” “Book ’em, Danno!” That kind of thing.

Well, uh. (Long pause.) My job is to be a little girl.

Come again?

I play a little girl on the Internet. So whatever name I’m going by, that will probably be my catchphrase. If I’m Tanya, then it’ll be something like, “Tanya says hello.” And they’ll be like, “Tanya who?” And I’ll say, “You don’t know no Tanya, huh? I’m Tanya. Let’s go.” And that’s when the cuffs get slapped on you.

I’d be less concerned with the handcuffs than the fact that a seven foot bald man just introduced himself as Tanya.

(Laughs.) Yeah, they don’t like that very much.

Without any warning, Shaq grabs my hand, places it on his cock and holds it there. Then he guides my hand along the shaft so that I am stroking it with my fingertips. I can feel it throbbing, growing and getting stiffer by the second. The feeling is awesome. So is its size. I feel myself getting hot. Shaq was right: I do want to suck his beautiful, big, black cock. I close my eyes, trying to visualize myself sucking that long thick rod, and sigh audibly.

Shaq lets my hand drop and moves a large chair over, and sits down in it. As tall as he is, it would have been impossible for him to stand and for me to be on my knees trying to suck him. Shaq tells me he wants me to be naked when I suck him. He helps me to undress, and I parade my body in front of him seductively. He smiles his approval, then I get down on my knees directly in front of him and bring my head forward. I am face-to-face with, and staring in awe at, the colossal head of his erect penis. It has a big Cyclops eye.

“Is this what you want?” I say in a very seductive voice. Then I bend forward and begin to kiss his dick. I rub my finger on his cockhole, pinching it lightly as a drop of clear sticky fluid forms. I use my fingers to moisten the swollen glans. Shaq strokes my hair. I tease his cock with my kisses until he howls in agony. After more than half an hour of teasing him in this way, my lips part. I open my hot and tight mouth and pull his cock into it. Placing my right hand at the base of his penis for support, I guide the monstrous head in and out of my mouth. I thrust it in fast and then slowly pull it out. I suck the top half of his shaft while jerking off the lower half. With every beat I suck down quickly, and then gradually withdraw my lips so that he can see the saliva-coated shaft slide out of my mouth.

Then I change pace, roughly grabbing the base of his pole and jacking it off rapidly. At the same time, I bear down hard on the top half of the shaft and collapse my cheeks, responding to every piston-like stroke. Seeing my cheeks change shape from convex to concave, as I’m being mouth-fucked like that – it’s almost too much for him to bear. My hand slathers my saliva over the area I was jerking, causing him to vibrate and twitch. He says that it feels like electricity is shooting through his balls. He senses he is close, but he tells me that he wants to make it last.

“You’ll have to work harder than that to taste my cum, bitch! By the way, do you want me to cum in your mouth? No, on second thought, maybe I should cum on your face!”

“Please fuck my mouth more, I want you to fuck it until you cum!” I whisper in my throatiest and sexiest voice. My eyes must be wild with lust.

“Are you sure you can handle this kind of rough treatment, my little white sex bitch?”

I nod as best I can, and don’t move a muscle as his huge cock slams in and out of my mouth, inching a little deeper with each thrust. His huge balls slap against my wet chin.

Josef Kaplan says: 

“In this untitled poem, I interview Shaq, and then I give him a pretty good blowjob.”

Morning by Sarah Dowling


Number one is my coast

Number two is my sunshine

Number three is mornings

Number four is my feel

Number five is my girl

Number six is that somebody

Number seven: go death

Number eight is my girl

Number nine is mouth

Number ten is my feel

Number eleven is my naughty

Number twelve is girl

Number thirteen is my coast

Number fourteen: go tea

Number fifteen is that somebody

Number sixteen is tell nobody

Number seventeen is cigarette

Number eighteen is my feel

Number nineteen is my girl

Number twenty: go robe

Number twenty-one is my hawk

Number twenty-two is window

Number twenty-three is my feel

Number twenty-four is that naughty

Number twenty-five is flies

Number twenty-six is my girl

Number twenty-seven: go snow

Number twenty-eight is my girl

Number twenty-nine is might

Number thirty is my feel

Number thirty-one is my coast

Number thirty-two is baby

Number thirty-three: go dock

Number thirty-four is bout nobody

Number thirty-five is that one

Number thirty-six is my naughty

Number thirty-seven is girl

Number thirty-eight is buses

Number thirty-nine is my feel

Number forty: go clouds

Number forty-one is my girl

Number forty-two is my girl

Number forty-three is that’s good

Number forty-four: go flutes

Number forty-five is beach

Number forty-six is my feel

Number forty-seven is my girl

Number forty-eight is my bees

Number forty-nine is tell naughty

Number fifty is nobody

Number fifty-one is my coast

Number fifty-two: go sand

Number fifty-three is that somebody

Number fifty-four is my girl

Number fifty-five is my girl

Number fifty-six: go tears

Number fifty-seven is heart

Number fifty-eight is my feel

Number fifty-nine is my girl

Number sixty is that we’ll

Number sixty-one is my naughty

Number sixty-two is birds

Number sixty-three is baby

Number sixty-four: go humor

Number sixty-five is parking lot

Number sixty-six is my feel

Number sixty-seven is bout nobody

Number sixty-eight is my girl

Number sixty-nine is my coast

Number seventy: go keys

Number seventy-one is that somebody

Number seventy-two is car

Number seventy-three is my feel

Number seventy-four is my naughty

Number seventy-five is girl

Number seventy-six is my girl

Number seventy-seven: go bicycle

Number seventy-eight is lunch

Number seventy-nine is my feel

Number eighty is that somebody

Number eighty-one is my girl

Number eighty-two is tell nobody

Number eighty-three: go anchovies

Number eighty-four is my girl

Number eighty-five is sentence

Number eighty-six is my feel

Number eighty-seven is my naughty

Number eighty-eight is my coast

Number eighty-nine is that somebody

Number ninety: go stars

Number ninety-one is my girl

Number ninety-two is snow

Number ninety-three is my feel

Number ninety-four is my girl

Number ninety-five is baby

Number ninety-six: go calling

Number ninety-seven is card

Number ninety-eight is my girl

Number ninety-nine is that somebody

Number one hundred is bout naughty

Number one hundred and one is nobody

Number one hundred and two is nothing

Number one hundred and three is my feel

Number one hundred and four: go music

Number one hundred and five is my girl

Number one hundred and six is my girl

Number one hundred and seven is my coast

Number one hundred and eight is that somebody

Number one hundred and nine: go crossword

Number one hundred and ten is puzzle

Number one hundred and eleven is my girl

Number one hundred and twelve is my girl

Number one hundred and thirteen is my naughty

Number one hundred and fourteen is feel

Number one hundred and fifteen is my girl

Number one hundred and sixteen: go passenger

Number one hundred and seventeen is tell nobody

Number one hundred and eighteen is that flies

Number one hundred and nineteen is my girl

Number one hundred and twenty is my coast

Number one hundred and twenty-one: go place

Number one hundred and twenty-two is my sunshine

Number one hundred and twenty-three is my girl

Number one hundred and twenty-four is that naughty

Number one hundred and twenty-five is somebody

Number on hundred and twenty-six is baby

Number one hundred and twenty-seven is morning

Number one hundred and twenty-eight is my feel

Number one hundred and twenty-nine is my sunshine

Sarah Dowling’s note on the poem:

In his now-famous coming-out letter, Frank Ocean describes the life-changing effects of his first love. An unnamed, unspecified soundtrack is crucial to this experience: “I reminisced about the sentimental songs I enjoyed when I was a teenager. The ones I played when I experienced a girlfriend for the first time. I realized they were written in a language I did not yet speak.” We all know this language, even if we, like Frank Ocean, don’t speak it yet: mundane, inane, relentless, at once unfulfillable and disappointingly true. “Morning” draws on some of these sentimental songs, their teenage repetitivity, their unspeakable bathos and unavoidable sincerity. Its title and structure are taken from another Frank — this one’s O’Hara: “I’ve got to tell you / how I love you always.” I wanted to write a text caught between being completely poignant and completely flattened. I wanted to write in a language I did not yet speak. I wanted a text whose retrospection and repetition would not slide into critical superiority and hauteur. I wanted a text that would be as machine-like as love, doing it over and over again.

local colour by derek beaulieu

local colour




derek beaulieu says:

local colour  engages with the graphic design of the information that we process, applying the tenets of concrete poetry to conceptual writing. Like logos and PR statements for the corporate sponsors of Jorge Luis Borge’s library, my poems use the particles of language to represent and promote goods and corporations just out of reach. These imaginary businesses, and the advertising campaigns that support them, promote a poetic dreamscape of alphabetic ostranenie.

29 Years of Days of Our Lives by Chris Alexander

from 29 Years of Days of Our Lives

In Salem, Julie’s son, David, had become engaged to a young troublemaker, Brooke. Julie discovered she was pregnant with Bob’s child. A stunned Julie decided to stay with Bob and keep the child. One day, overhearing Doug and Julie discussing the pregnancy, Brooke incorrectly assumed the baby was Doug’s and spread the rumor. This false claim caused a rift between Julie and her grandmother, as Alice believed Julie had continued to have an affair with Doug after his marriage to Addie. The story also caused a fight between David and Julie.
Afterward, David rushed out of the house, got into his car, and had an accident. David was taken in by the Grants, a black family with whom he found the love and support he had missed his whole life. His own family, believing David dead, held a memorial service. When the Grants discovered who David really was, the father, Paul, went to Julie with the truth. Julie, meanwhile, had fallen at the lake house and lost the baby.
Brooke soon discovered that she was pregnant with David’s baby, but now David was living with the Grants and falling in love with their daughter, Valerie. Brooke had other problems at home; her mother, Adele, was an alcoholic. In high school Adele had been involved with Bob, and Brooke soon discovered that she was Bob’s daughter. David finally decided to marry Brooke for the baby’s sake, but Brooke realized how unhappy the decision made him and arranged for an abortion. Brooke, too, now turned to the Grants for solace, and the mother, Helen, took Adele to a self-help group for alcoholics. Adele, however, continued to drink, which complicated her medical problems. When Brooke discovered how serious her mother’s condition was, she stole some blank checks from Anderson Manufacturing and planned a cruise for herself and her mother.
David and Paul, Bob’s bookkeeper, were the only two people with known access to the Anderson accounts, and both went under suspicion for embezzlement. Bob uncovered the truth before Brooke’s cruise ship sailed, and he flew to New York to confront her. There he found a dying Adele, who, on her deathbed, told Bob that he was Brooke’s biological father. Bob decided not to prosecute Brooke, understanding why she had taken the money, and agreed to give her a job and let her pay the money back. Brooke, however, was injured in a car accident and did not survive.
David finally realized his love for Valerie and proposed. Her parents opposed the interracial marriage, but after much agonizing Valerie agreed to the engagement. Their happiness was short-lived. Valerie was offered a four-year medical scholarship at Howard University. David persuaded Valerie to accept the scholarship and move to Washington, D.C., but he vowed to continue their relationship.
Maggie and Mickey adopted a sweet little girl named Janice. One day, a mystery woman came to town and struck up a friendship with Janice, but the woman turned out to be Joanne, Janice’s biological mother. It seemed that Joanne had given up Janice for adoption because Joanne believed herself to be terminally ill. When she discovered her daughter in Salem, Joanne wanted to see her one last time before she died. While in Salem, the Hortons discovered that Joanne could have an operation that would save her life. They agreed to pay for the operation (Joanne was poor) on the condition that she leave Salem after her recovery and never tell Janice the truth.
Joanne’s surgery was a complete success, but she did not leave Salem. Janice discovered the truth, and the confused child started to spend more and more time with Joanne. Maggie, unable to cope with the strain, began to drink. Joanne discovered Maggie’s drinking problem and decided to sue for custody of Janice. Joanne had a strong legal case because of Maggie’s drinking and Mickey’s history of mental instability. Janice loved both Joanne and Maggie, and the strain took its toll on the little girl, who began to have nightmares. Maggie began to feel like an unfit mother, which caused her to drink even more. A bitter custody battle ensued and Joanne won, even though Maggie by then had sworn off drinking. Joanne took Janice to San Francisco. Maggie and Mickey were devastated, but found comfort in each other’s arms.
Doug was slowly recovering from the death of his wife. Addie had been killed in a car accident, sacrificing her own life to save her baby daughter, Hope. Doug had given Hope’s care over to Tom and Alice while he grieved. But now he wanted Hope back, and he needed someone to care for her, so he hired Rebecca as his housekeeper. Rebecca’s husband and child had been killed in a car crash, and Rebecca desperately wanted another child. Doug, mourning for Addie, wanted a baby brother or sister for his little princess. Doug arranged for an artificial insemination with an unknown surrogate mother. He had no way of knowing that that woman was Rebecca.
Rebecca used the money to send her boyfriend, Johnny, to study art in Paris and told everyone that the baby was his and that she would give it up for adoption. Because the baby was Doug’s, Rebecca knew she would end up raising the child herself. However, Robert, Doug’s best friend, assistant manager and singer at Doug’s Place, knew none of this. He loved Rebecca and, thinking she would be forced to give up her child, contacted Johnny in Paris. Johnny returned to Salem and, believing the baby to be his, asked Rebecca to marry him. Rebecca was thrilled when her doctor, Neil, told her that Doug no longer wanted the child because of his increasing closeness to Julie and his hope that he and Julie would one day have their own children.
Neil also convinced Rebecca to tell Johnny the truth. She did, but Johnny could not handle it and left her at the altar, leaving behind a note of explanation in the apartment they planned to share. Robert stepped in and married Rebecca, hoping one day she would return his love. He even helped in the natural childbirth of little Dougie. Rebecca and Robert might have been happy, but Johnny returned. Torn between love and loyalty, Rebecca finally fled Salem with Johnny and the baby, leaving behind a heartbroken Robert.
Meanwhile, Greg and Susan’s marriage had fallen apart. Greg blamed it on Susan’s frigidity, but she blamed it on Greg’s growing involvement with the beautiful and wealthy Amanda. Amanda had been having a passionate love affair with Neil while her older, wealthy husband was still alive. After her husband’s death, a guilt-ridden Amanda broke off the relationship. However, she eventually realized she loved Neil and agreed to marry him. But, on the night before their wedding, she found him with another woman.
Neil was a compulsive gambler and, after losing Amanda, turned his charms on the well-to-do Phyllis because he needed money to pay his gambling debts. Neil and Phyllis married, but on that very night Amanda realized that she loved Neil unconditionally. She called Neil’s service and left a message saying she would marry him any time, any place. Knowing that Amanda loved him, the newlywed Neil was unable to consummate his marriage to Phyllis.
Phyllis tried to buy the new chief of staff position at University Hospital for Neil, and he was furious at her bribe attempt. But the night of the hospital dinner, to the surprise of Phyllis and the entire Horton clan, Tom was given a gold watch for 35 years of meritorious service and Greg was named new chief of staff. Tom was crushed, but tried to hide his disappointment from his family. Alone in the living room, he suffered a stroke. Tommy found Tom, who was rushed to University Hospital. Fearing his father would die, Tommy called Marie and asked her to leave the convent and return to Salem. Tom survived and eventually made a complete recovery due to the constant attention and devotion of his family, especially Marie.
Soon Amanda was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She refused surgery because her mother had died following a similar operation. Neil and Greg joined forces to convince Amanda to have the surgery and to fight for life. Amanda finally had the operation and made a full recovery, despite some initial confusion and memory loss.
Susan gave Greg a divorce so he would be free to marry Amanda. She then moved to California with Eric, whom she loved, and their daughter, Anne. Unaware of Amanda’s condition, Phyllis became increasingly jealous. Phyllis soon discovered that she was pregnant and, afraid that Neil was not happy, went to Chicago for an abortion. Unable to get one, Phyllis considered an overdose, but Neil arrived, assured her he was happy about the baby, and they returned to Salem. Neil was stunned when he then discovered that Amanda had accepted Greg’s proposal of marriage. He got drunk, was mean to Phyllis, propositioned her daughter, Mary, and passed out. Phyllis tried to move her drunken husband and went into premature labor. Despite all efforts, the premature infant, Nathan, died.
After Addie’s death, the grieving Doug had been cheered by the friendship of the new singer at Doug’s Place, Jeri. Jeri left town when her husband, Jack, told her daughter, Trish, that she had once been a prostitute. When her mother left, Trish had Don track down her father, James. But James wanted nothing to do with Trish. Jeri returned to Salem in an effort to reunite Trish and her father, but she too failed. Feeling unloved, a frustrated Trish turned to her platonic roommate, Mike. Their attempt at love-making was a disaster, and Mike fled the apartment in humiliation.
Linda, his “father’s” former lover, discovered that Mike’s failure with Trish had convinced him that he was a homosexual, so she took him to bed to “prove his manhood.” Linda was unprepared for Mike’s newborn obsession with her. Trish, upset by her encounter with Mike, found solace in David’s arms. David, who believed his relationship with Valerie to be over, welcomed Trish’s attentions.
Jack, Trish’s stepfather, had been lurking outside the apartment the night Trish and David spent together and became obsessed with finding out whether she was still a virgin. He began writing anonymous threatening notes to her. One night he broke into the apartment and attempted to rape Trish. A hysterical Trish hit him with an iron. Mike returned home to find Trish wearing only a slip, shaking and incoherent. Jack lay dead on the floor. When the police arrived, Mike claimed that he was the one who hit Jack. Unable to cope with the trauma, Trish developed multiple-personality disorder. During the trial and through therapy sessions with Laura, Trish remembered what really happened, and the truth was revealed. During the ordeal, Mike and Trish discovered how much they truly loved each other and vowed to spend the rest of their lives together.
Doug and Julie made yet another attempt at building a life together when their plans were destroyed by the return of Doug’s first wife, Kim. Julie did not even know that Doug had previously been married, and Kim’s claim that their divorce had never been finalized was too much for Julie. All the complications threw Julie into the arms of her lawyer Don, a widower who had lost his first wife and their daughter, Betsy, in a tragic automobile accident. When Julie accepted Don’s proposal, Doug retaliated by proposing to Kim.
The two mismatched couples constantly made clashing wedding plans. On the night before Julie’s wedding, Doug took Addie’s treasured clown pin to her; returning home, he had a car accident. Instead of going to her own wedding, Julie rushed to Doug’s side. Don, realizing Julie’s heart would always belong to Doug, told Julie to go to the man she truly loved. Doug and Julie were finally married in a beautiful ceremony. They recited their own vows, and Doug gave Addie’s pearls to Julie as a wedding present, knowing Addie would want them to be together.
Meanwhile, Don found consolation in the arms of Marlena, a local physician. When Marlena’s identical twin sister, Samantha, made a surprise visit to Salem, the sisters’ old rivalry was renewed. Samantha was a medical school dropout and an out-of-work actress. She blamed Marlena for the all ills of her life. By Machiavellian manipulations, the now mentally ill Samantha managed to get her sister, Marlena, committed to an institution as “Samantha,” while she passed herself off as Marlena. Samantha fooled everyone for a while, but was eventually discovered, and Marlena was rescued.
Marlena’s ordeal had repercussions for her close friends Bill and Laura. Marlena was so shaken by her terrifying incarceration that she needed extensive help. Laura devoted so much time to Marlena that she began to ignore her own husband. Bill turned to Kate, the head of anesthesiology at University Hospital, for friendly companionship.
Neil and Phyllis’ marriage crumbled after the death of their son, when Phyllis discovered Neil had had a brief affair with Mary. Phyllis divorced Neil and briefly left Salem on a world tour. Mary became involved with Chris, the foreman in her father’s construction firm. She was upset when her father, Bob, married the gold-digging Linda.
Meanwhile, Bob’s illegitimate daughter, Brooke, presumed dead in a car crash, returned to Salem with a new face—thanks to reconstructive surgery—and a new name: Stephanie. Linda and Stephanie tried to destroy Chris’ career at Anderson Manufacturing. Linda further betrayed Bob by sleeping with Neil. When Chris bought Mary an engagement ring without consulting her, they fought and Chris found comfort in the arms of Amanda, who was estranged from her husband, Greg. Their passionate affair finally ended, and Amanda returned to Greg.
Greg and Amanda left Salem, but not before Greg recommended that Tom replace him as chief of staff. The Hortons confronted new challenges as Alice was tentatively diagnosed with cancer. To the relief of all, exploratory surgery eventually proved that Alice was fine.
Doug and Julie faced problems as well when the liquor license on Doug’s Place was revoked. Business begin to suffer and a rival night club owner, Larry, lured away their best singers and their customers. Larry, a hoodlum, had arranged for the liquor license to be revoked, but promised to get it back if Julie would sleep with him. When she refused, he raped her. Traumatized, Julie pulled away from everyone, including Doug. When Doug received a letter from Jeri that accused Julie of having an affair with Larry, he believed it. Julie eventually told Doug about the rape, but the knowledge of the crime left Doug impotent. Soon after, Larry was found dead. Julie stood trial for his death, and during the trial her rape was made public. However, she was acquitted when Larry’s henchman, Arlo, confessed to the crime. With the pressure of the trial lifted, Doug regained his potency, and the couple celebrated Julie’s freedom by making love.
Doug and Julie travelled to Paris to put their troubles behind them. While there, they stopped to visit Julie’s brother, Steven, who ended up returning to Salem with them. Back home, Julie and Steven opened an antique shop called Chez Julie. However, the conniving Steven used the shop to scam customers by selling phony antiques. Doug confronted Steven, threatening to turn him in to the police. Steven pulled a gun on Doug and then fled Salem.
Meanwhile, Valerie called off her engagement to Julie’s son, David, and returned to Washington D.C. to bury herself in her studies. David hastily married the pregnant Trish, but even the birth of their son, Timmy, could not resolve their differences. Trish realized that she was really in love with Mike. Unable to cope with all her problems, Trish again developed multiple personality disorder. She finally left for Europe, hoping to find peace there. Trish later returned to Salem in the hope of reuniting with David and their son, now called Scotty. David was reticent at first, but eventually his love for Trish won out, and they began to live together as husband and wife. Mike, meanwhile, had fallen in love with Margo, a young woman in remission from leukemia, and they were married.
Don decided to run for the state Senate. During his campaign, a woman named Lorraine arrived in Salem, claiming that Don was the father of her child, Donna. Don lost the election because of the scandal, but Lorraine fled Salem, leaving Donna behind. Don, meanwhile, had proposed to Marlena, and she accepted. But on their wedding day, the wedding had to be stopped when Donna threatened to commit suicide by jumping off a ledge at the Salem Inn. Don rushed to Donna and helped to save her, but he fell off the ledge himself as he was hoisting her to safety. Bill’s brilliant surgical skill saved Don, who then took full responsibility for Donna as her legal father.
Donna became pregnant from a one-night stand with Pete, but miscarried the baby after a motorcycle accident. When Pete left her, she began stealing from the residents of Salem. Confronted by Don, Donna agreed to straighten up and travelled to Los Angeles for an extended visit with her step-aunt, Samantha. When she returned to Salem, she was determined to become a movie star. However, she got mixed up with Earl, a loan shark and leader of a pornographic photo ring. Earl promised to make her a star, but when she refused to pose nude, Earl had her face superimposed on nude photos of other women. Her father received one of the photos in the mail, and Donna showed him her portfolio. Don realized immediately that the nude was a fake. With the hope of a better life, Donna left town to go live with Don’s parents.
Bill and Laura’s marriage was threatened when Laura began behaving strangely. Her mother, who had been in a mental institution for years, committed suicide, and Laura blamed herself. The guilt began to consume her, and she started to have visions of her mother’s ghost, who told her what to do. Her behavior, both personal and professional, became erratic. She dangled her daughter Jennifer from a window and told her to reach for the moon, but Rosie grabbed the child before Laura could drop her. Then, on instructions from her mother, Laura put Jennifer alone on a bus headed to Dayton, Ohio. Luckily, the girl was found and returned unharmed. Laura was distraught over what she had done. This, coupled with the fact that she had become convinced that Bill was having an affair with Kate, persuaded Laura, again at her mothers instruction, to commit suicide. Laura took an overdose of pills and fashioned a noose to hang herself. Bill rushed in and saved her just in time, but now he knew that Laura was beyond his help. He reluctantly agreed to send her to Lakewood Sanitarium.
Doug and Julie were also suffering. First, Rebecca and Johnny were killed in a plane crash in Tokyo. Fortunately, little Dougie was not with them. In a letter that she left in case of her demise, Rebecca informed Doug that little Dougie was really his son by artificial insemination. Doug immediately set up a trust fund for his son. However, he didn’t know how to explain the situation to Robert, his best friend and Dougie’s adoptive father. Robert began suspect the contents of the letter, and Doug admitted that he was Dougie’s biological father. The news created conflict between them, since Robert had been planning on moving permanently back to France. Doug didn’t want to take custody of Dougie from Robert, but he wanted to be a part of the child’s life. In the end, Robert agreed to remain in Salem, and Doug allowed him to retain custody of the boy. However, Robert had Dougie’s name legally changed to Charles.
Meanwhile, one night at the farm while Maggie and Julie were preparing dinner, a grease fire erupted and Julie was badly burned on the throat, chest, and face. She required a tracheotomy due to smoke inhalation, as well as dialysis, hydrotherapy, and skin grafts for injuries sustained in the fire. Julie, feeling ugly and worthless, convinced herself that Doug remained married to her for pity’s sake, and she flew to Mexico for a divorce. After much counseling from her doctor, Jordan, and several reconstructive surgeries, Julie’s scars, both mental and physical, were finally lifted.
In the meantime, however, Doug married the scheming Lee. Lee had come to town when she discovered that Doug was the long-lost twin brother of her late husband, the wealthy Byron. When Byron died, Doug inherited all his money, and Lee wanted that money. Lee seduced Doug into marrying her. Doug believed he was helping his beloved Julie by letting her go. Lee soon realized that Doug would always love Julie and conspired to have them both murdered by Brent, a hitman. Julie was shot, but survived the attack.
When her plan failed, Lee decided to kill Julie herself. However, just as she was about to strike Julie from behind, Lee suffered a stroke and was paralyzed. Doug vowed never to leave her, believing he was the cause of her stroke, and told Julie that he would never divorce Lee as long as she was paralyzed. Doug and Julie agreed they would not talk about divorce until Lee recovered. Lee continued to use her condition as an excuse to hold onto Doug, even though Julie realized that her illness was a deliberate subterfuge.

Chris Alexander says:

In “29 Years of Days of Our Lives,” I use print publications, online forums, official and unofficial soap opera databases, and other typical fan resources to cobble together a plot summary of the first twenty-nine years of the long-running soap “Days of Our Lives.” Premiering on NBC in 1965, in an era when television studios typically re-used their expensive magnetic tapes day to day, the show’s earliest episodes exist primarily as a rumor among fans: an object of collective memory whose contradictions, wrinkles, and uncertainties parallel the never-ending serial format of the soap opera itself. “29 Years of Days of Our Lives” is a novelization of a rumor of a partially lost television show — which, incidentally, I’ve never seen.

Immortal Poets by Simon Wake

Immortal poets


The following is all of the first names of the poets included in the anthology “Immortal Poems”, in chronological order.

Geoffrey John Thomas Philip Walter
Edward Edmund George Samuel Michael
Christopher William Thomas Thomas Ben
John John Robert George James Thomas Edmund
John John William Richard Richard Abraham
Andrew Henry John Thomas William George
Berkeley John Alexander William Thomas
William Christopher Oliver William
Thomas William Robert William Samuel
Thomas Walter Thomas Leigh George Percy
William John Thomas Ralph Thomas, Elizabeth,
John Henry Edward Edgar Alfred
Oliver Robert Edward, Emily,
James Herman Walt Charles Arthur, Julia,
Matthew Dante George, Christina, Emily,
Lewis William Algernon Thomas Sidney
Gerard Robert William Francis John Alfred
George William Rudyard Ernest Edgar Edwin
William Walter Robert John, Sarah, Carl
Harold Vachel Wallace William, Elinor,
David Ezra Rupert Robinson Edwin,
Marianne, Thomas John Conrad, Edna,
John Archibald Wilfred Edward Robert
Francis Allen Hart Oscar Ogden Cecil
Richard Peter Esther William Vernon
Wystan Louis Stephen Alfred William,
Elizabeth, Lawrence Frank Delmore Karl
George Henry John Robert, Gene, Dylan

Simon Wake says:

Immortal Poets was constructed to demonstrate some simple patterns in the index of “Immortal Poems” edited by Oscar Willams. The first pattern that struck me was the repetition in the first names, particularly of William, John, and Thomas. After I read the entire index I realized that there were almost no women included in this anthology. 10 of the 111 poets involved (9%). There are 13 “William”s. There are 13 “Thomas”s. There are 14 “John”s.

To help demonstrate the relative absence of women I placed an emphasis on the women who are present in the text by separating them with a line break on either side of their names.

The patterns of this text also shows the non-linear nature of women’s place in the cannon. In the early history of the English literature there are few canonical women… the number rises around the later Victorian period, declines again in the early modernist period, to rise again during later modernism, and decline again during and following WWII.

While I am critiquing the male dominance of the canon invoked in this book I did not intend to degrade this anthology. I only investigated this anthology because I had enjoyed it. Many of the “William”s and “John”s are true geniuses and the poems selected are good examples of their work. The introduction to this book is deeply felt and well thought-out. The intent of this piece is to draw attention to the general system which allows many female geniuses whose names and works have become lost to time.