bracket bracket [17]
an irregular ezine by Paul Smedberg

I dreamed that William Shallert, the actor who played Patty Duke's father on the Patty Duke show, explained to me that "Patty Duke" was really a pun based on the french dance term "pas de deux."







  This Rock


I found this rock in a stream near my house.
I photographed it on both sides,
then cut up the image into little pieces 
which I've put back together differently. 
That's what you see here on this page. 

Doing all this reminded me that once during high school 
I had a Great Moment in Education. 
It was in Mr. McMahon's Humanities class. 
We had been studying the meaning behind 
and beneath the text of some novels. 
Basically variations on the theme of 
"What the great white whale means."

We had been examining metaphor.

A guy named Mark Rosenberg
rose his hand to ask a question. 

"Mr. McMahon, I've got this rock. 
And I've been thinking about this rock. 
And, you know, when I look at this rock 
I can see, like, metaphors for my own life. 
A crack might represent my relationship with my father. 
An indentation might be my missing my bicycle
which was stolen last month.
Some other part looks like
my relationship with my girlfriend. 
The shape of this rock is the shape of my life, 
the color -- the shade of my spirit. 

"But really, nobody shaped the rock to fit my life. 
I just looked at it and made this stuff up. 
Mr McMahon, how do we know that 
when we're reading these books, 
and figuring out what they really mean, 
we're not just making it all up?"



[Bracket Bracket] is Paul Smedberg's irregular ezine. Other timeless examples can be found amid the cobwebs in the [bracket bracket] archive.

You can subscribe to [bracket bracket] by typing your e-mail address in the box below. You will receive a cryptic message whenever a new issue appears. This happens roughly as often as a clear night with a full moon. Your email address will not be sold to people spamming the globe with offers of free 3-state bicameral oneness. Or anyone else for that matter.

Copyright 1998 by Paul Smedberg

"Try a thing you haven't done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not."
- Virgil Thomson