Mister Chu

Much luck to you if not at all impossible

He maintained, for example, at one time that all existential propositions are meaningless. This was in a lecture room, and I invited him to consider the proposition: ‘There is no hippopotamus in this room at present.’ When he refused to believe this, I looked under all the desks without finding one; but he remained unconvinced.

-Bertrand Russell on Ludwig Wittgenstein



Frying Trout While Drunk

Mother is drinking to forget a man
who could fill the woods with invitations:
come with me he whispered and she went
in his Nash Rambler, its dash
where her knees turned green
in the radium dials of the 50’s.
When I drink it is always 1953,
bacon wilting…



This is a far cry from my best work ever, I’m well aware. With the deleterious mental effects of chemotherapy coupled to the news of the past week, I’m amazed I still have any idea what harmony and dissonance even are, much less ways to arrange and play them against one another. This was really only a small exercise to distract myself, and a means of possibly bidding this blog and my followers farewell.

I’ll be going in for a surgery at 5am (Central Time zone) on 2 July, this coming Wednesday, that I’m told has a significantly larger than normal chance to end in fatality. I appreciate all the support you’ve given to me and my work the past several years, and perhaps there’s always a small chance I may yet be able to continue it in the future, but if not, thank you all for the kind words and messages, for showing an interest in my work, whether recorded or written. (For those of you following my Instagram—yaolvidado—I will try to make some simple post or other as soon as I’m able after the surgery, if I’m able, to indicate success; if it hasn’t been updated by the weekend or Monday next at the latest, then as I understand the odds, it’s unlikely to ever update again.)

Farewell, all of you.

Very beautiful. Thinking of you, Daniel.

The Marquis of Debris


Is the rocket
or simply coming in to land?
Is your fate
as yet unknown
or by birth forever damned?

Are genetics
but a program
pre-determined ping-pong balls
reaching out
across the days
until your darkness falls?

Can we translate
our future selves
and effect some sort of change
or is the truth
more circumscribed
within some finite range?

Free will? There is no choice,”
he said
and then lied about his age
avoided service
in the war
to live out on the page.

If ifs and and ands
were caused to turn
as if upon their head
the dying
would be still alive
and we would be the dead.

These arguments
have been made
repetitively by man
for if the heart
imagines it
these heads believe we can.


for Jeffrey Hamilton

In the equation of emotions, triumph rarely equals heartbreak.

-Nanny Chu

To the Princeton Privileged Kid


In response to this.

Do as you wish, but give a little.

-Nanny Chu

Seems about right.

There is an official date somewhere for the first day of summer, but the last day of school was when we knew it began really. Now it’s when we leave Austin and arrive in Maine. Last year this meant the end of May, this the middle of June, but it’s no different, Summer only begins when we rent a car in Portland and start crossing off the bridges. It doesn’t matter that I’m brown already, that the water I enjoyed swimming in for the last month in Texas was far warmer than the water I will swim in here next month in the Atlantic, all that counts is the release and then the arrival.


The bones of this house
lay still and cold
and all we leave each year
is also getting old
a thousand books rest
absurd, unread
nor will their spines get broken
before I’m long since dead.


There are families of squirrels
many yet unborn
who live here in the walls
and keep each other warm
while waiting for we three
to leave our food behind
those little pots of poison
like blue cheese upon the rind.
There are bats and untold insects
fierce cobwebs and then the mice
the garden full of mud
with its memory full of ice.


There’s no hot water
to shave we boil up kettles
but when all is said and done
I’m in the best of fettles.
Tired, unclean
mostly out of money
circumstances few
would find a morsel funny
but where the heart lies easiest
is the single place to be
and Maine in summertime
is that place for me.

Three is a good number:Once to tell you,twice to remind you,and the third timefor my own conscience,so that when you regretthat you forgot, I will notbut instead say softlyI told you so.

Three is a good number:
Once to tell you,
twice to remind you,
and the third time
for my own conscience,
so that when you regret
that you forgot, I will not
but instead say softly
I told you so.

About almost any ordinary war you can think of, or the people in it, or all of us if we were those people and in it also:



You should start at the start really, which is here:

but what I’m sending you to is a couple of minutes in which Billy Bragg very quietly says a few things about a few things that are probably true.


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): Net Neutrality (by LastWeekTonight)

This is so good

Fly my pretties….fly.

(via fred-wilson)

Forget not
all that has been forgotten.

-Nanny Chu

I went to Hollywood to make money. It’s very simple. The people are friendly and the food is good, but I’ve never been happy there, perhaps because I only went there to pick up a check. I do have the deepest respect for a dozen or so directors whose affairs are centered there and who, in spite of the overwhelming problems of financing films, continue to turn out brilliant and original films. But my principal feeling about Hollywood is suicide. If I could get out of bed and into the shower, I was all right. Since I never paid the bills, I’d reach for the phone and order the most elaborate breakfast I could think of, and then I’d try to make it to the shower before I hanged myself. 

-John Cheever