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The Readies, by Bob Brown

Module by: Craig Saper. E-mail the authorEdited By: Frederick Moody, Ben Allen

The Readies -- buy from Rice University Press.

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Chapter I An Eyeful

Chapter II A Two-Way Fish

Chapter III My Reading Machine

Chapter IV Eye-Lingo

Chapter V A Story to be Read on the Reading Machine

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Chapter I: AN EYEFUL

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The written word hasn’t kept up with the age. The movies have outmanoeuvered it. We have the talkies, but as yet no Readies.

I’m for new methods of reading and writing and I believe the up-to-date reader deserves an eye-ful when he buys something to read. I think the optical end of the written word has been hidden over a bushel too long. I’m out for a bloody revolution of the word.

I don’t mean maybe breakemup words I mean smashum (from the ancient Chinese ginseng root s a m s h u).

I Proustly rejoice in Jamesre.

I regurgitate with Gert.

I prefer E. E. Cummings word crumplets to R. L Stevenson’s crummy crawly Cummy scrawls. I say O.K. to Boyle. I like to read Hemingway, Carlos Williams, Sydney Hunt, Harry Crosby, K.T. Young, Links Gillespie, C.H. Ford, Herman Spector, Richard Johns, Norman MacLoed, Augustus Tiberius etc. I do not hiss in pronouncing Tzara’s name. t r a n s i t i o n is my transit. I bathe in Apollinaire.

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I’ll be end man in any Rabelasian rhetorical rabble.

As a youth I peeped through a knot hole at Stephen Crane’s ,,“Black Riders”, sniffed their jazzy inky blood as they read-raced by my bloodshot eye. I slaked word-thirstily in Blake. Grew rambunctious with Rimbaud. I Whitmanized.

From long gazing on the restful blank page for Poor Yorick in Tristram Shandy I began to get the idea. I learned to write m a r g i n a l i a without any text; I found myself flapping along quite happily without any words at all.

A dot and an angosturian dash with an hermaphroditic hypodermic hyphen is all that’s needed nowadays, with maybe a word here and a blind spot there to help the heavy-heads out of their frowsy mental beds. Here’s a poem, believe it not:

  • 00

(Explain yourself)

  • (Title)

(Bullet) — (Hyphen) 0 (Head)

(00 (Heads)


  • 00

Sure, break up the word and then throw all the broken bits away into a handy kaleidoscope. But keep a piece of each shattered statue, an arm of each Venus as a quarry specimen; preserve a hair of the dog you bit for publicity’s shrinking sake;

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dry a lee (now used only in the pl.), press it between the pages of a bibulous Bible, to serve as a shriveled club-footed langwich for future archeologists to munch upon in the finale of the Last Days of American Pumpeana.

Demosthenes was a long time training before he knew enough not to swallow the pebbles. It took thirty years for Whistler to learn to throw a pot of paint at a canvas. It took Joyce about the same to touch off a word into a sky-writing rocket. He is said to have Shakespeared his time, maybe he’s only skied it. It will take me all my little life to create a creation and my creation will be one word, many words, or simply more meaning and color of life, broadcasting with no words at all, and certainly reading done by machine in time with the age.

I operate on words. I gild ’em and then geld ’em (Ref. classical Quatre-arts Ball costume.) it’s my specialty. I’ve been at it twenty-five years and never lost an Upper Case. For 8,890 nights I have lugged bulky, bulgy bundles of words home to dissect by violet ray before I went to bed. I get out my micro and my scope, breathe mystically 26 Abracadabras, one for each letter in the alphabet, and go to it with nothing up my rolled sleeves.

In my laboratory I have found that long-winded maundering words like Pseudepigraphous just go Puff when pricked with a pin, and pompous, prolix, sesquipedalian, Johnsonian inflations like infundibuliform when lightly poked in the bladder instantly inspissate and whortle down the funnel.

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Nearly all clearly classical words fray easily, some wooly ones show undeniable traces of cotton and are a scant twenty-seven letters wide. Many make-believe altiloquential words merely shiver, shrivel up and subside when dropped into a specimen jar of alcohol, but most jolly ones expand slightly and agitate the liquor like little ivory-toothed nigger boys diving for pennies. Weevil words bore. Wassail ones make whoopee. The assembled or modernly compiled word which stood the acid test best was the familiar five-legged one OKMNX.

But even for the sake of weariness I will not recount more of my recondite research. I only wanted that you should carry away from this chatty reading tonight the picture of a serious little word-wonderer at work among his retorts and cabalistic paraphernalia (Ref. to Rodin’s The Tinker) dissecting words for you, TeeTerToTTering on Their T-bones, Playing PoPeep with sheePish PPPs, Oozing thrOugh adenOidal OOs, Zipping in Zig-Zags with the Zany Zeds.

Words and I are one. (Formula WW + I =1)

I have only to bend my finger in a beckon and words, birds of words, hop on it, chirping.

There are midwives of the word and word specialists. To perform a Caesarian, a specialist is required. To deliver a norm head-or-foot-first all that’s needed is a midwife.

Only savages and specialists bite off the umbilical cord, midwives invariably hack at it with dull rusty knives at so much the yard-hour.

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H o c h a c h t u n g s v o l l is a good Valkyrian German greeting, but it’s long on letters, sort of teratological, like a medieval turtle lubbering along with its hard case carved full of mossy initials. Skoll (Scandinavian) or Ole (Spanish) is preferable, or just Skolle: (Scanspan), quaint and friendly, Volapuckish.

The pidgin English rendering of Hamlet’s “To be or not to be, that is the question”, into “Can do no can do. How fashion?” short-suits me.

I’ll take RSVP at its face value. INRI, YMCA, SPQR, WCTU (deriv. W. C.) and other four-letter words I am willing to leave entirely alone, without any amplification whatsoever.

Shortening words I understand better than dragging them out. Eftsoons”: linking letters in festoons I abhor. Underslung German dachshund, blown-up bumpy blimp, sausage words may be salivary to the starving mind but they’re enough to shatter my meticulous monocle. Temptation to new word-bunglers is to make meaningless mouthings like “Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination…"”; the formula of officialdom used for years on French Railway conductor’s tickets reads: “Decomposition de la Perception par Tarif"”, which is undoubtedly the key to much modern subconscious writing or unconscious humor.

From actual laboratory tests I have proved that long drawn-out gutta-percha words when stretched to the limit of elasticity invariably snap back and hit the experimenter on the nose with unexpected violence.

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Cross-word puzzle fans blow the intellectual bellows of the time, fans with philological flares for flapping flaming fl-ashes back to ashes. They leave me cold; hearthless; cross. They’ve crossed my fingers for me. Crossed my eyes. Christ! how he must have suffered.

Making puns is as dangerous as making bombs. T.N.Tless, purely toothless, optical, gum-chewing puns as in opposition to the skull-grinning oral kind are not so risky, not so likely to go off in the hand. It is possible to turn out harmless eye-ticklers without undue hazard, though not without experience. Word-plays to fill the elegant eye more than to cram the merry mouth. Yet they may be judicially mixed while holding in a covered metallic receptacle at arm’s length, as:

Gants (Or, even) gants

Pants more Daring- pants

Louis Quince ly Experi- louisquince

Your (mental.) your

Gants Louey! Not pants! louey

Your For your

Pants Quince! (Neophytes) gants! cants

Amateur alchymists while trying to magnetize mystical oracular utterances into glowing rosicrutian word-formulas will find it convenient to hold their noses firmly pinched, owing to the noxious gases given off.

Fumblers for the Philosopher’s Stone or stones and Elixir Vitae chasers will always take the Precatalanian caution of drawing the gants firmly over the pants and topsy-turvically.

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Social experimenters in b e l l e s l e t t r e s will realize that a taste for acquired words is as exacting as a Bell Mare hostess who requires green gloves to be worn throughout the olive course. But don’t let that make you a modest literary wall-flower. Try all the new good forms; one at a time or in the altogether; Romp with the Rhomboids, take home a Hexagon to Give your Hetaera the Gapes.

Bull-fights are optical grand opera; but just because one Brooklyn boy has bit the sand of a bloody arena in the s o l and s o m b r a of Sevilla don’t let that tempt you out of your eye-teeth.

Word-weaving makes pleasing patterns refreshing to the patinaed retina, now that there’s not so much written oratory and reading aloud of literary lullabies, except by radio at bed-time.

I fear for my word only when egotistical hoarse bronchial word-busters forgetting their troches, ride out brandybreathed, brandishing branding irons at tropes, lassos writing around their hollow heads, screaming, “Write ’em, Cowboy, write ’m.”

Maiming words for some whets the appetite; for me, wets my throaty-apple pie-eye. These desperanto language-melangers spik English writers who threaten to internationalize the word horrify, scarify me, as the Bolshevik Bogy of socializing intent hobgoblined all virtuous kept women five years ago. I tremble lest the Rooseveltian Harangueoutanging Rough-riders of the Word bully us back to the Hog-Latin of our youth for full esoteric

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expression, or drop us into the inky pool of twinkling gypsy thieves jargon, or even invent for our punishment an international crook-word-code like the one uncovered in Brazil. The air about me becomes hazily thick with ,,“finifs"”, ,,“swell-mobs"”, ,,“gaycats"s”, and raucous uncouth racketeerings. I am stifflicated. Gagged by bushbeating wild word hunters, bound by a m b a g e s and bombastically flung into the see-thing alphabet soup.

I, who take my alphabet soup clear, daintily sipping it from the edge of the moon.

I, who had enough of Melanguages back in Milwaukee when I was a bleating kid.

Der cow hat over
Der fence gejumped
Und der cabbages

What is that alongside of the Halstead Street American lyrical purist speech of that pailer (ref. The unforgettable “Pail Period” in the U.S.A.) mauver, less decayed period (British: full stop)..:

Up through the alley
And over the fence
I got the can
Who’s got ten cents?

When I see words abused I volunteer, swear in instantly as an enforcement officer of the S. P. C. W. My word-sense shudders like a kicked sensitive plant at the sickening sight of over-

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worded loads struggling up slippery verbiaged hills. I quiver when their brave bandy-worded little furry legs tremble. I’m afraid they’ll slip back and suffocate in the green-whiskered Pond of Ezrasperanto Despond.

If it comes to words my heart is very tendrily. I cannot even bear to see them eaten. I weep long-bearded trickles from oystery eyes and turn from the slobbery sight as Lewis Carrol did and must do today over and over in his brillig grave.

As volunteer enforcement officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Words I arrest all word-offenders and pretenders. I firmly ask the lowing carnivorous judge to give them sixty days and seventy lashes with the dipthongs.

The Bible was once called the Word, and somehow I can’t come to care how much the evolutionists monkey with that. But when it comes to regular human seven-day-a-week uninspired words I find myself of two minds and both of them lipstickily made up.

My answer to a Revolution of the Word is emphatically Yes to the No, No to the Yes, a determined Yezno — — — Oyez, Oyez, Oyez — — — Noyez.

The world is again threatened by an Uncivil War, already it is breaking up into small exclusive modern Browning Societies, word-diggers, mutual sentence — (back and elsewhere) ­-- scratching cooteries. It isn’t so much Browning who’s to be feared, but the little Brownies who follow each other and yourself around.


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Wasteful war! The words that will be spilt! And these mad revolutionists mean business, for several years they have been snooping around decapitalizing the whole vocabulary, lowering its case.

Oh, the words that will be spoilt: German sausage-word atrocities. I quiver-shiver. I rake-shake. Think of all those happy playful lisping harebell-lipped Mother-tonguetied words dragged down by leech-sucking Revolutionary Redundunces tugging at their tender-tipped dugs. I shudder at the thought-sight of it. Words orphaned, siamese-twined ones torn apart and thrown to grinning Siamese cats.

I won’t have them exposed to the epidemic of onomatopeia, ravished by aneamic pernicious all-iteration germs. Snuffed out by Punditsters. Bitten by churlish word-lice. Punned over cloddishly by Pierglass Ploughboys. I simply can’t stand to see them honorificabilitainilatin-type-ized into humdrum bores. I prefer them exactly as they are, happy, hedonistic thoughtless drumhums.

And yet somehow I want words to be made free. I only shudder at the thought of their being made free with.

The right of the writer to have his will with words is obvious. Words have always been defenceless and never wholly virginal. But I fear rotting, tumorish bad words may be slipped in (again, I don’t mean curt, cute four-letter classics but fourteen-legged lecherridinous, centipedicular, ampapfibsimian enchondromatas) among my butter-cup-eyed innocents.

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In a word — — Oh, my word.

I have never felt cynical about the individual and collective helplessness of all m o t s. In my youth, ironing things out for myself I wrote ironically (following Carl Van Vechten’s advice that the word irony should be carefully underlined):

Always my soft heart has beat with adulation
For people who edit and criticize writing
Worthy folk, going about wiping the noses of croupy phrases;
Tucking exclamation points into strange beds
Picking moth webs out of warm, fur-bearing sentences
And on top of that splitting cords of infinitives
To get up an appetite for a book review
I hold my breath when I come into the presence of these people
I feel highly humble

I’m still holding my breath and being humiliated; fearing what will happen when writers are let looser.

I’m afraid I’ll lose my life-long companions, my play-mots of the dark glowering pause that is known as the laboratory hour; I fear something untoward will behap them:

I play with words
Tossing in the air an armful, as a child reveling in autumn leaves
Loving the crisp rustle as they cascade about my ears

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Again picking them up as wet pebbles, aglisten on a cool sea beach
Making patterns of them — pictures — filling spaces with words as artists do with paints
I pet and fondle a sentimental word until it purrs and clash with a rough one till it growls
I am as human with words as I am with you
Never exploiting them
Never giving them an inch of advantage over me
I know words
And they seek me out
We are together
Important, both of us
And entirely useless
Unless you need the thing we give.

I repeat (having been set the example by our recentest writers) that I love every lovable Dublintender word James Joyce ever wrote and I gurgle with delight in the joyous jugfuls of Gertrude Stein (As a Wife Has a Cow — a Love Story, is a brimming pitcherful title). I know words can do anything, become anything, all I hold out for is more and better reading of the words we’ve got. With more modern methods of reading, words would take care of themselves, the fittest would survive and bear fruity normal new ones, with velvety fuzz covering the soft spots in their heads and collicy didy smiles lighting up their heavenly blue faces.

Writing must become more optical, more eye-teasing, more eye-tasty, to give the word its due and tune-in on the age. Books are antiquated word containers. Quick-brown-fox-leaping-over-

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lazy-doggy, uptodate, modern word-conveyors are needed now, reading will have to be done by machine; microscopic type on a movable tape running beneath a slot equipped with a magnifying glass and brought up to life size before the reader’s birdlike eye, saving white space, making words more moving, out-distancing the flatulent winded ones and bringing the moment brightly to us.


Note: If there are sides to be taken on the question of Word Revolution I humbly ask to take both sides. Answering “Shall We Demand a Revolution of the Word?” I say Yezno! (from the Am. Fresno [a city], combined with Yes [a state of mind], and Zeno [Z as in Zebra and O as in naught.]). Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! NOYEZ! (from No as in Knowledge, with a left-handed but adriot allusion to the No in the French n o i s e t t e and the classical Japanese “No” plays.)

Note: If this by any of the odd chances of existence is printed in this modern era, the author humbly hopes that the proof-reading will be well looked to, as creeping mistakes cannot be detected with ease in such progressive writings as these, and said mistakes are certain to be taken seriously by some of the kind of Ouji-board readers one invokes in writing thusly. Typographical errors

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in modern publications have uselessly outworn many good and stoutly bound dictionaries.

Also, if a complicated corrected proof sheet to prove the author’s Aegean labor is required to illustrate and further illuminate the following story, one can be instantly provided. (Vide: Unconstitutionality of ink-footed chicken-fight on Tribune press paper, of Horace Greely, the impeccable.)

To continue: Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Knowyez!





A 2-way Fish is a Coney Island contraption used in a Prize Fish Pond; on one side it bears a winning number and on the other side a losing number, each concealed by a sliding tin tag painted fish color. The player of course is as unconscious of this as is the modern reader of other things.




A twiceweighed two-fister tooarmlong two-tooto and lovetoyou, two-toothy and two trouty underoverishway Fish.

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  1. (1) Thatcher: It has been ascertained that our author lived at 290 Thatcher Avenue, River Forest, Illinois, from 1890 to 1907. Hence the rich reference to his rollicking carefree boyhood in the crucial formative period of his genius.
  2. (2) Larry: Doubtless refers to the name of the grifter who operates the game and who reveals a winning number or a losing one at will, as we have learned. It seems miraculous yet Jonah couldn’t do it, as our author playfully infers.
  3. (3) Verbunions: Verb, into verbosity plus “I know my onions”, blooming into a fragrant word-flower suggesting the vervain — verbena.
  4. (4) bare fax: Beatrice Fairfax the writer, rendered in delicious jazz motif.
  5. (5) Pax: the disarmament note enters.

In Coney Catcher (1) Thatcher Cooney Canny Island glance eyebrowover the Lowenbrau highbrow twoway twisty fisty 290 — 092 twofaced fish in the poley roley Pond. One side wins tother looses. Warrah. Godown Jonah Miracle Playboy.

Turn the crank (2) Larry.

This lazy-lady authoress zin a hurdygurdy hurry.

Zat’s me. I nose my

(3) verbunions.

Cant makeup my catsup rouge-mind whats on it.

(4) bare fax an’ pock

an’ pecks o’ (5) Pax.

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  1. (1) Flopside: a variant of flotsam with pidgin English “topside”
  2. (2) Not Fate. Fake. Here Mr. Brown’s righteous indignation gets the better of him and he delivers a well-deserved tirade on the ethical mores of Coney Island grifters.
  3. (3) Ask Dad. He knows: Hiram Watha: The meaning of this delicious motif mingling the war cry of a well-known pipe tobacco with the majestic strophe of Longfellow’s “Hiawatha” cannot be missed. “Hiram” also refers to the green-horn taken in by such obviously fraudulent practices. “Watha” clearly refers to the Waltham watch.
  4. (4) Shellshallow: an echo of the Yankee shell game played with a

No choose. (6) Flopside wins Jetsam loses. Loose change. All just blows down one windy nosey nostril an dup the tooting tother.

(7) Not fate. Fake. Ask Dad who runs the game.

(8) He knows. Whatside topside bottomside scrapeside you inside outside upside downside furside Hiram Watha pipeside.

He wins both ways, ways that are deep and ways that are wary shocking (9) shellshallow shocked.

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dried pea and three walnut shells. The author righteously denounces its hollow mockery.

  1. (1) Tender Button: A gracious gesture calling attention to the title of a book by a contemporary modern.
  2. (2) Oddly-story: Here a learned reference to the Odyssey i.e. Oddisy of Me.
  3. (3) Newt Neuter, frigged Newton: Surely a portentious esoteric ref. of grave import to the initiated and recommende d for close study by all present-day Browning or Blueing Clubs. The stress seems to be laid on Newton’s prior discovery of the Law of Gravity certainly not the childish Fig Newton of school days as some B.C. circles have advanced erroneously.

Like my winsome mind parted down the middle my middle yours truly

(10) tender button

Out of the insane salutarium solarium solaring above the solar plexipluvius I see word-

Wise twoeye (11) oddly-story me see.

I’m Newt Neuter. I’m on both sides (12) frigged Newton applesas. I storyfence rubberny-neck stretched your nicked necking knuckly neck. Canook neck.

It’s as plain as why what’s that on your

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  1. (1) Yis sid yir. Occasional precious passages like this suggest spiritual inspiration, almost divinely-driven writing of Blake. Here we may assume that our erudite author is enrapport with some choice prankish spirits through the ouija board, who affect the adorable cant of nil fuit unquam sic impar sibi drug-store cow-boys.

§ Melbolongetangy: Ref. Madame Melba’s famous peaches. Mel, Portuguese for honey, deftly merged with melange and suggesting lingerie. Bolonge from Bologna, an Italian city. The word get plus angry. Eva Tanguey. The oolong tea tango. Tanzy tea of Madame Garfield’s time. Balloon, etc.

Face. Yis I sid yir (13) fice not chur fices.

A slangwich § melbolong etangy

With a lugoobrious lugged-in lugduni plot that grows (1) gravy toward the untoward end.

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  1. (1) Gravy: See Dr. Blair’s “The Grave”, or any Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation.
  2. (2) Tincked: a cryptic nut to crack; this is believed to be a reference to tincture of iodine needed for the bruises made by Maudemule.
  3. (3) Here the author bursts into high hyperbole.
  4. (4) Obviously an overt allusion to prevalent French practice of guttersniping cigarette butts.
  5. (5) References: Spoiled corned-beef fraudulently furnished by packers in Spanish American War. (See Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.) Also, last

Moredarn modearn Maudmulemad highbathatters of the Bank that Got Left — Leftover There, the mule-kicked farsided behindbank Leftypitched lightningfork Tincked (2)

Juicy Joiced jousting Proustling jayhayyalejail (3) beerbeliedbird in the blueing handbush. A swell flathangnail on your flaphead.

But me no butts but botty bats in your belly-free gutter. But you unbutton me. (4) Mummy!

Jock will beanwalk, Jock will beanstalk corned-licker talk wit hisern pisern ticklin Jock. (5)

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phrase, Harry Lauder’s inimitable Scotch Drinking Song.

  1. (1) Skookumlallies: Am. Indian word for good raspberries, also suggesting the Mexican “tamales”, best when taken hot.
  2. (2) Bloody: An ’orrible hoath unedible in England.
  3. (3) Allusion to the original Chevalier song “Knocked ’em in the Old Kent Road.”
  4. (4) Proverb from the Swedish.
  5. (5) Whora: An ingenious combination of what Babylon was reputed to be, and the Greek proper name “Cora”.
  6. (6) podgypetti: contrived from Whora’s pasty, pudgy body like spaghetti and the “Petit Pois” restaurant of lingering literary fame in N.Y.
  7. (7) tittette: from titter and oysterettes.

Can do. No can do. How fashion? English pigeon? Hot Skookumlallies. (6)

Toedfashion toad I said hot pigeonbreasted pieface. Wanta hear about and about the burning

(7) bloody bushwackers.

I’ll tell yer ear yer ear (8) d’y’ear? Svenska

Pika speilata naka. (9)

(10) Whora, great blon-

dette flapfat (11) podgypetty fogo’fat was in the current 1931 sixsex-

toetaptat (12) tittette, the Purple Floor and

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  1. (1) Here a high romantic note processionals in, reminiscent of “Beggars on Horseback”, the “Little Church Around the Corner”, and all to the appropriate strains of “Here Comes the Bride”.
  2. (2) Beanwalks: (see above) the wordartist recalls the droll character of Jock and repeats the flute-like bean-note in this virile coloratura with the haunting charm of the Nibelungen Ring.
  3. (3) Geo. Robey’s famous Scrubwoman’s Song.
  4. (4) Dickens, that old curiosity-shop, inventor of the immortal Scrooge and Marley.
  5. (5) Fryher: Now our learned language marvel, master of 34 tongues

Barn Door Gelett Burgess Saxaphonme 1391 tomorrow yet.

She tang a Tootsie Ittle Bideawee Bridetobe. Round corners (13) took telephoney poley catdog darknitey

Fiteyflitey kikikitey (14) beanwalks evacucauliforner cation cauterized walling wellering welking walks. Oh my Yass

us Gals (15) must have Ourfuns. Oh, Knight o’ Night Tales o’cats wit

To woo her mut to (16) Scrooge and Molly fie-on-her and fryher

(17) that policanyPpup; their pornification

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falls naturally into Plattdeutsch, a Low German tongue. How sonorously he slurs the familiar Freier, Ger, for suitor or wooer.

(18) Liberty Nation: America, of course.

(19) the chess term “stalemate” happily married to the first mate of Moby Dick with a trusty belaying pin in his rusty hand.

(20) The heroine is obviously a petite Mexican hairless so he uses Soya, greatest of the Spanish beans, with a subtly flung Soyanara across the continents to Japan, in pursuing his thematic sublimity.

(21) Ref: Brazilian poem by Gonçalves Dias, “Minha terra tem palmeiras Onde canta a sabia”.

(22) Mexicanonocandoodledo: Here in one

round Carrie (18) Liberty National lampoonification for justfukation of Work in Progress. He mit her wit a (19) stalebone-whalebone-mate in is hie there.

(20) Soyabean out wit dedede mutt minha herrless tempalm arr-

aas (21) Mexicanonoc-

andoodledo to you. (22)

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masterful Teocallian motifed word Mr. Brown sums up for us the action of the apologue thus far, the terminal eight letters reminding us vividly that the vigorous seat of action is still laid squarely like a Rhino’s egg in the enchanting Land of the Chanticleer.

(23) Godown: a word used for warehouse throughout the Far East. A rhythm for a popular “Blues” melody lurks here.

(24) Charicott: a fruity word smacking of the vegetable kingdom — cherry plus chariot plus carrot all merged into the French Haricot.

(25) Sprinish sappy: Bliss Carman’s “Make Me Over”. Mother Nature, when the sap begins to stir. Doubtless the author’s undying tribute to the greatest of Canada Dry poets.

Godown sweet cheeses on got-your-gat-gut-gungadding kneezes an’ du your biz your Lizzie biz on yur munny or your lifebouys.


Godown sweet (23)

(24) Charicott

Make me overnatured

(25) Springish sappy

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(26) Peppysdiarrhea: Pepy’s Diary plus Rhea, the offspring of Uranus.

(27) Pupsnoze: Reverent ref. to The Popes Nose.

(28) Boybowleggit: the Bow-boy ingeniously appropriately combined with Liggett’s drugstore.

§ We are utterly unable to trace the history of this regal tautological plum-pudding of words but it appears, to those of second sight who can read between the lines, to allude to the wellnigh insurmountable difficulty of eugenically mating an ordinary vulgar ad to a proper verb.

(69) o’: here the cato-o’ (Cato?) nine tales strain comes lilting back luminously through the Poet’s Subconscious, and again a militant measure strides in.

(26) Peppysdiarrhea Pups

(27) Pupsnozemizzling Muskbasketer


Blueing in

One Boybowleggit (28) Eye pugs puffed Maskeenot the numerality, solely leather save me a shaveme, maleless hoarless, frosty-biting

(§) one-legged-less twoless-legged

Polly put your leggin’s on an’ we’ll all take a Promenlemonaid.

Harry-legged hell o’ lonelymess o’ (69) on-loveliness

One at a timpepiece Boyhoys Hands Off and Up! Hands Off Feet! Hans off the Hams! Change fingers! Harch! Harch in Finger

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(70) Mindwarts: See” Watts, “On the Mind”.

(71) The ghost of Milt Gross walks.

(72) Japanese word “Harikari”.

(73) Panderangandam: Portuguese word for thunder.

LukeMamGluke: compounded of the Am. vaudeville character Luke Mc Gluke and Madame Gluck, the opera singer.

(74) Turneytables: Knights of the Round Table after a Tourney, and the well-known railroad mechanism for reversing engines.

(75) Choirded: cord, plus choir, plus dead. “March o' the Dead”? may we infer? (Author’s note: Why not?)

Ates! Reverse! Harch! Figure Hates! Mindwarts. (70) Motes in ze mind. Yours of the 6th Infant. received wit tinkletanks (71) drip-down downy leggish rungirl villainish pursuitful white o’ leg twinkles. Commet no Harry Kelly (72)

Panderangandamme (73) LukeMamGluke

It turneytables (74) out a umbiblicaul choirded

(75) chorus of mailmen

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(76) Storked: Symbol of a new birth.

(77) Adroit, masterful word-playing this! Munson Line boats run to the moonlit Southern Cross land of the Monsoon.

(78) Kipling’s classic “under the Deodars”.

(78) Kipling’s classic “under the Deodars”.

(79) Kloof: South African Dutch word for hill; scuppers added — (Loo suggesting lee) hence lee-scuppers, and Hatch, a winking reference with the eye thrust half into the cheek, to the little known but truly rollicking sailor’s chanty ending “that’s my main Hatch. No more I’ll go aroaming with you, Fair Maid, etc.”

the pstman storked (76) inwit all wet.

A moonshiny moonsson toosoon struckit the Munsonliner (77) Toot sweet: Toot soon: and dey all downdrownded wit der seadog buiscuits an’ gutterperching overunderchews-

Der deerMable draggedunder (78) der udders

underdragged (78)

meowishly in ze (79) kloof-scuppers Hatch!


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§§ Here the author falls into a slight but all too human error of judgment. Yes, his ears do deceive him. What he seems to hear is not the word “Applause”, but the more expressively modern inexplicable expletive:


§§ Author’s Note: What is that deafening sound I hear? Is it? Do my ears deceive me? Can it be:



The word “readies” suggests to me a moving type spectacle, reading at the speed – rate of the present day with the aid of a machine, a method of enjoying literature in a manner as up to date as the lively talkies. In selecting “The Readies” as a title for what I have to say about modern reading and writing I hope to catch the reader in a receptive progressive mood, I ask him to forget for the moment the existing medievalism of the BOOK [God bless it, it’s staggering on its last leg and about to fall] as a conveyor of reading matter. I request the reader to fix his mental eye for a moment on the ever-present future and contemplate a reading machine which will revitalize his interest in the Optical Art of Writing.

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In our aeroplane age radio is rushing in television, tomorrow it will be a commonplace. All the arts are having their faces lifted, painting, [Picasso], sculpture [Brancussi], music [Antheil], architecture [zoning law], drama [Strange Interlude], dancing [just look around you tonight] writing [Joyce, Stein, Cummings, Hemingway]. Only the reading half of Literature lags behind, stays old-fashioned, frumpish, beskirted. Present day reading methods are as cumbersome as they were in the time of Caxton and Jimmy the Ink. Though we have advanced from Gutenberg’s movable type through the linotype and monotype to photo-composing we still consult the book in its original archaic form as the only oracular means we know for carrying the word mystically to the eye. Writing has been bottled up in books since the start. It is time to pull out the stopper.

To continue reading at today’s speed I must have a machine. A simple reading machine which I can carry or move around, attach to any old electric light plug and read hundred thousand word novels in ten minutes if I want to, and I want to. A machine as handy as a portable phonograph, typewriter or radio, compact, minute, operated by electricity, the printing done microscopically by the new photographic process on a transparent tough tissue roll which carries the entire content of a book and yet is no bigger than a typewriter ribbon, a roll like a miniature serpentine that can be put in a pill box. This reading film unrolls beneath a narrow strip of strong magnifying glass five or six inches long set in a reading slit, the glass brings up the otherwise

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unreadable type to comfortable reading size, and the reader is rid at last of the cumbersome book, the inconvenience of holding its bulk, turning its pages, keeping them clean, jiggling his weary eyes back and forth in the awkward pursuit of words from the upper left hand corner to the lower right, all over the vast confusing reading surface of a columned page.

Extracting the dainty reading roll from its pill box container the reader slips it smoothly into its slot in the machine, sets the speed regulator, turns on the electric current and the whole 100 000 200 000; 300 000 or million words spills out before his eyes and rolls on restfully or restlessly as he wills, in one continuous line of type, its meaning accelerated by the natural celerity of the eye and mind, [both of which today are quicker than the clumsy hand] one moving line of type before the eye, not blurred by the presence of lines above and below as they are confusing placed on a columned page.

My machine is equipped with controls so the reading record can be turned back or shot ahead, a chapter reread or the happy ending anticipated. The magnifying glass is so set that it can be moved nearer to or farther from the type, so the reader may browse in 6 point, 8, 10, 12, 16 or any size that suits him. Many books remain unread today owing to the unsuitable size of type in which they are printed. Many readers cannot stand the strain of small type and other intellectual prowlers are offended by greater primer. My reading machine allows the reader free choice in type-point, type

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seen through a movable magnifying glass is not the arbitrarily fixed, bound object we see imprisoned in books, but an adaptable carrier of flexible, flowing reading matter. Master compositors have impressed upon apprentices for years that there is no rubber type. Well, now that the reading machine exists with a strong glass to expand or contract the size of letters, compositors can’t ding on that anymore. Type today can be pulled out and pushed in as easily as an accordion.

My machine for reading eye-adjustable type is equipped with all modern improvements. By pressing a button the reading roll slows down so an interesting part can be read leisurely, over and over again, if need be, or by speeding up a dozen books can be skimmed through in an afternoon without soiling the fingers, cutting a page or losing a dust wrapper. Taken at high gear ordinary literature may be optically absorbed at the rate of full length novels in half hours or at slow speed great pieces of writing may be reread and mused over in half life times if necessary. One so minded may continue to take his reading matter as slowly and dully as he does today in books. The underlying principle of reading remains unaffected, merely its scope is enlarged and its latent possibilities pointed.

To save the labor of changing rolls or records, a clip of a dozen assorted may be put in at one time and automatically fed to the machine as phonograph discs are changed at present. The Book of the Day or Book of the Hour Club could sell its output in clips of a dozen ready to slip into

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the reading machine. Maybe a bookclub offering a dozen new titles a day would result. Reading by machinery will be as simple and painless as shaving with a Schick razor and refills may be had at corner drug stores, cigar stores, or telephone booths from dawn to midnight.

With the present speeding up of publishing a machine is needed to handle the bulk and cut down the quantity of paper, ink, binding and manual labor now wasted in getting out twentieth century reading matter in fifteenth century book form.

The material advantages of my reading machine are obvious: paper saving by condensation and elimination of waste margin space, [which alone needlessly takes up a fifth or a sixth of the bulk of the present day book]; ink saving in proportion, a much smaller surface needs to be covered, the magnifying glass multiplies both paper and ink at no additional cost, the ratio is one part paper and ink to ten parts magnifier. Binding will become unnecessary, small paper pill boxes are produced at a fraction of the cost of large cloth covers; American publishers are discarding covers now to produce more and cheaper books, their next step will be to discard the Book itself in favor of the reading roll. Manual labor will be minimized. Reading will be less costly and may even become independent of advertising which today carries the cost of the cheap reading matter purveyed exclusively in the interests of the advertiser.

All that is needed to modernize reading is a little imagination and a high powered magnifying

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glass. The Lord’s Prayer has been printed in type an inch high with illuminated initials as long as your nose and bound in plush in elephant folio; also, it has been etched on the head of a pin. Personally I should have been better pleased if Anthony Trollope had etched his three volume classics on the head of a pin. Maybe no more trilogies will be written when Readies are in vogue. Anyway, if they are, they may be read at one sitting.

By photographic composition, which is rapidly taking the place of antiquated methods, type since 1925 has been turned out which is not readable without the aid of a magnifying glass. The English August-Hunter Camera Composing Machine fired the first gun in this revolution five years ago. Experiments with diamond type, like the old Chiswick PreB Shakespeare Complete in one and miniature books of the 64mo Clubs have already shown what a multitude of words can be printed in a minimum of space and yet be readable to the naked eye. Even Cicero mentions having seen a copy of the Iliad no bigger than his finger-nail. Publishers of our day have perfected Oxford Bibles and compressed all the short stories of De Maupassant, Balzac and other voluminous writers into single volumes by using thin paper. Dumb, inarticulate efforts have been made for centuries to squeeze more reading matter into less space, (the Germans since the war publish miniature Z e i t u n g s in eye-aching type to save paper and ink costs) but the only hint I have found of Moving Reading is in Stephen Crane’s title, “Black Riders”, which suggests the dash of inky words at

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full gallop across the plains of pure white pages. Roger Babson recently listed the needed invention of a Talking Book in a group of a score of ways to make a million. But he missed the point. What’s needed is a Bookless Book and certainly a silent one, because reading is for the eye and the INNER Ear. Literature is essentially Optical — — — not Vocal. Primarily, written words stand distinct from spoken ones as a colorful medium of Optical Art.

Reading is intrinsically for the eye, but not necessarily for the naked optic alone. Sight can be comfortable clothed in an enlarging lens and the light on a moving tape-line of words may be adjusted to personal taste in intensity and tint, so the eye may be soothed and civilized and eventually become ashamed of its former nakedness. Opticians have given many people additional reading comfort through lenses.

We are familiar with news and advertisements reeling off before our eyes in huge illuminated letters from the ops of corner buildings, and smaller propaganda machines tick off tales of commercial prowess before our eyes in shop windows. All that is needed is to bring these electric street signs down to the ground, move the show-window reading device into the library, living and bed-rooms by reducing the size of the letter photographically and refining it to the need of an intimate, handy portable, rapid reading conveyor.

In New York a retired Admiral by the name of Fiske has patents on a hand reading machine

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which sells for a dollar; it is used in reading microscopic type through a magnifier. Admiral Fiske states: “I find that it is entirely feasible, by suitable photographic or other process, to reduce a two and one-half inch column of typewritten or printed matter to a column one-quarter of an inch wide, so that by arranging five of such columns side by side and on both sides of a paper tape, which need not have a width greater than one and one-half inches, it becomes possible to present one hundred thousand words, the length of an average book, on a tape slightly longer than forty inches”.

Recently the publishers of the New York telephone book owing to the unwieldy increase in the ponderosity of its tomes, considered the idea of using the Fiske machine and printing its product, advertisements and all, in pages three inches tall, in type unreadable by the naked eye. The idea is excellent and eventually will force its way into universal acceptance because the present bulk of phone directories hardly can be expanded unless hotel rooms and booths are enlarged. The inconvenience of searching through the massive volumes of several boroughs has brought New York to the necessity of giving birth to an invention.

But book me no books! In the Fiske Machine we have still with us the preposterous page and the fixity of columns. It is stationary, static, antiquated already before its acceptance, merely a condensed unbound book.

The accumulating pressure of reading and writing alone will budge type into motion, force it to flow over the column, off the page, out of the book

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where it has snoozed in apathetic contentment for half a thousand years. The only apparent change the amateur reader may bemoan is that he might not fall asleep as promptly before a spinning reading roll as over a droning book in his lap, but again necessity may come to the rescue with a radio attachment which will shut off the current and automatically stop the type-flow on receipt of the first sensitive vibration of a literary snore.


Revolutionize reading and a Revolution of the Word will be inklessly achieved. There have been rumblings of word battles from the eras of Rabelais and Shakespeare through the inarticulate arm-waving time of Whitman down to the deafening present. Creative writers have searched for new forms of word communication, methods of greeting more mental and aesthetic than dogs continue to employ so unimaginatively. Bawling creative Babes in the Word continue their struggle to shatter the filmy caul they were born with and get at the rosy nourishing nipples of their mother, the Sphinxlike Reader. Manifestos have been broadcast in all tongues in all times, dating from the one God issued at the Tower of Babble, which carries on today in the Unknown Tongue by which Holy Rollers commune. Perhaps when we

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lift our creative writing heads too high again through the unexpected outlet of the Reading Machine God will come along and pie the type and we’ll have to begin all over once more. But until then lets be busy at our Tower.

My reading machine, by its very existence, makes a need for new words and demands the deletion of some worn-out ones. The typewriter key-test of “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party” can be expressed with more interesting optical effect “Nowtime goodmen comeaid theirparty”, or “Timegood mencome aidparty”. No educated reading eye of this age catches the little, useless, conventional conjunctions, articles, prefixes, suffices, etc. unless they are needed for emphasis. The up-to-date eye scarecely sees the “thes”, “ands”, “ofs”, “tos”, “as”, “ins”, “that’s”, “fromits”; it picks out the meaty nouns, verbs and qualifying words so placed as to assume importance; only essential words get over to the practiced reading eye, the bulky residue is overlooked. Useless, unimportant sentence-encumberers will be increasingly skipped and disregarded, until eventually they will not be missed at all by the eager eye in its excitement at witnessing a moving type spectacle, a READIE, performing before its Mind’s Vision and the sensitive Inner Ear.

Already there is a tendency to do away with quotes in the French fashion and useless capital letters at the beginning of columns of poetry. The paragraph sign passed out long ago. All modern movements toward more effective simplicity are in

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the same sure direction; even the poet laureate of wordbound England at the end of his life has done his bit to loosen up the Language in “The testament of Beauty”.

Let’s see words machinewise, let useless ones drop out and fresh Spring pansy winking ones pop up.

Without any whirr or splutter writing is readable at the speed of the day — 1930 — not 1450, without being broken by conventional columns confined to pages and pickled in books, a READIE runs on before the eye continuously — on forever.






















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The above is neither telegraphese nor a stab in the dark at writing modernly. It is but a crude attempt to convey the optical continuity of reading matter as it appears spinning past the eye out of a word-machine. It is hampered by the connecting hyphens and columns and lacks MOTION, the one essential of the new reading principle.

With written matter moving before the eyes new forms of expression will develop naturally and surely more expressive ones, at least a technical eye-lingo of the Readie will result. The eye refreshed will ask for more, bawl for occasional tickling, eye-bawl, even tinted paper could be used to help along the flow of words and thoughts; and surely colored lighting effects on the reading tape. One colored strand in the up-to-date binder’s stitching relieves the dull look of a book.

Useless words will go out for a long walk and never come back into the reading language again,

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they will just walk out, drop out, dim out, fade out — OUT. Writing will recover its earlier naïveté, its art quality; our reading vocabulary will be hygienically circumcised and circumscissiled. For the first time in the history of mental optics there will exist a visual Literary Language sharply separated from the Speaking Tongue. Literary language is Optical, speaking language Vocal, and the gap between them must spread till it becomes a gulf. My reading machine will serve as a wedge. Makers of words will be born; fresh, vital eye-words will wink out of dull, dismal, drooling type at startled smug readers here below. New methods crave new matter; conventional word-prejudices will be automatically overcome, from necessity reading-writing will spring full-blown into being. The Revolution of the Word will be all over but the shouting. Reading-writing will be produced not so much for its sonorific sleep-producing qualities as for its mental-eye provoking pleasures.

I have lived with five hundred years of printed books and have felt the same papyrus that Nebuchadnezzar might have touched, and all this time I have lived in loving wonder, a great want-to-know about words, their here and their there, their this and their that, and the most efficacious manner of administering the written word to the patient. The monks in the beginning didn’t do it so badly in their illuminated manuscripts, they retained a little of the healthy hieroglyphic, all Oriental books in ideogrammatic character are delights, early colophons splendid. But what have

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we got in this machine age, only Bruce Rogers and more glittering comely type to make into beautifully commonplace words which can’t tell us much more than the labored chisellings of the stone age, beautiful but dumb books as clumsy in their way as the Rozetti Stone.

Let’s let writing out of books, give it a chance and see what it does with its liberty. Maybe beside moths there are butterflies in the core of those cloth-cased cocoons stacked away in libraries. Let them out and have a look. With reading-words freely conveyed maybe books will become as rare as horses after the advent of the auto, perhaps they will be maintained only for personal pleasure or traditional show, as the gorgeously-trapped brewery steeds of Munich. Books may go out of style as pansy parlor paintings did after the camera came along.

Let’s look for literary renaissance through the Readie: a modern, moving, word spectacle. Let’s have a new reading medium in time with our day, so that industrious delvers in the Word-Pile may be rapidly read and quickly understood by their own generation at least.

The Readies are no more unusual than the Talkies, and not a scratch on television. As soon as my reading machine becomes a daily necessity certainly it will be out of date. Pocket reading machines will be the vogue then, reading matter will be radioed as it is today to newsies on shipboard and words perhaps eventually will be recorded directly on the palpitating ether. But the endless imaginative possibilities of the new med-

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ium need not lead us astray. The low-brows are presently revelling in their Movies and Talkies while almost extinct high-brow is content to sit at home sipping his thin alphabet soup out of archaic volumes of columns, mewling a little like a puling baby taking mush from the tip of an awkward wooden spoon too gross for his musical rose-buddy temperamental mouth.

Those Obfuscates who can’t make out the Readies on the dim literary horizon of the day will be the first to accept them as a commonplace tomorrow and they will be the loudest in grumbling if anything happens to the readie mechanism to interrupt the eager optical word flow for as much as a b i l l i m e t e r - a u g e n b l i c k.











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fugues-balmy-a r i e t t a s-tinkling-tarantellas----




















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dawns-.-Harry-a e t a t-eighteen-Father-asks:----


c a d e n z a-Maw-sobs-l a r g h e t t o-musical-----

interlude-d u o-Harry-nobly-rises-occasion-plays--

p i z z i c a t o!-Maws-savings-send-him-Milwaukee-





















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shakes-hoary-head:-Ach,-maybe-two-V e i l c h e n -

a b e r-Nix-Harry-jiggles-too-much-better-play---


























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romantic-just-like-Harry-just-right-serves-Harry- -

right.-Sends-postcard-from-beautiful-Bermuda- - -

showing-city-hall-gorgeous-rainbow-parrot-fish- - -

frieze-mentions-Bermudas-delights-reveals-his- - -

great-musical-success-two-encores-Mendelsohns- -

Spring-Song-three-encores-Pinafore-Medley-two- -


Maw-reports-great-news-Ladies-Aid-her-cheeks-- -

flushed,-like-Spring-Beauties-What-news-from-- -

Harry?-Surreptitious-proud-postcard-showings-- -

Great!-Just-like-Harry-remember-his-lovely-curls- -

Dear-Harry!-Unforgettable-first-Church-- -- -

performance-his-curls-posivitively-jigging- - -

metronomic-bow-time.-Blessed-boy-way-off- - - - -

Bermuda-fiddling-first-violin-Atlantic-liner-- - - -

renowned-international-music-master-already!- - - -

Herr-Prossor:-Ach-Bermuda-nicht-gut-dot-dam-- - -

Englishe-beer-sour-ass-swill-Harry-jiggles-chust-- -

like-gigolo!-Gigolo-Harry-aboard-ship-feels-- - -


bloody-English-didn’t-always-keep-Harrys-time.- -

Traps-too-vulgar-wore-loud-ties-thought-lady-- - -

passengers-stuckon-him-Harry-knew-better-they-- -



pinochle-poker-etcetera-had-chronic-catarrh-- - -

smelled-sour-picklish.-But-hadn’t-really-great-- - -

geniuses-crawled-up-stuckup-their-manes-their-- - -

lionized-heads-through-just-such-slime?-Harry-- - -

kept-aloof-like-back-home-his-nose-above-- - -- - -

barnyards-still-Maw’s-clinging-vine-clean-- - - - - -



straining-strained-art-impulses-After-successful- - -

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Burmuda-barmaid-season-Harry-could-play-M’s- - - - - -

Spring-Song-flawlessly-without-music-before-him- - - - -

but-continued-turning-sheets-effectively-Harry-- - - - - - -

stood-up-tall-poplar-tree-other-three-sat-down-- - - - - - - -

insignificantly;-Harry-shook-condescending-curls-- - - - -

replying-applause-when-any.-Lunch-time-playing- - - - - -

never-his-best-felt-puckish-slightly-seasick-but-- - - - - - - -

nighttime-always-Triumph-once-knocked-‘em-cold- - - - - -

putting-over-Pinafore-Medley-four-encores-aboard- - - - - -

specially-chartered-deluxe-Elks-Convention-family- - - - - -

plus-trip.-Lunch-failure-never-explained-probably- - - - - - -

artistic-temperament-morning-sickness-wobbly-sea-- - - - - -

legs-standingtoo-near-terribly-food-smelly-- - -- - - - -- - - - -



tremendously-scooting-fameward.-Next-year- - -

Buenos-Aires-run;-hotter-twenty-sea-days- - - - -


Marching-madly-around-deck-fiddling.-- - - - - - -

“Horses!-Horses!”-announcing-deck-horse-races- - - - -

miniature-wooden-horse-races-gambling-first-class-- - -

passengers-enjoyed-quite-beneath-Harry’s-- - -

skyward-nose;-accompanying-booming-drum- - - - -


playing-“Cheer!-Cheer!-Gang’s-all- - - - - -



Tramp-5-A.M.-Payjama-time!-Dodging- - - - - - -

some-shoes-shoes-from-irate-but-firstclass-- - - - -

passengers-bound-B.A.ward.-Always-honorably-- -

dodging-first-class-shoes-first-class-everything-- --

aboard-ship-treated-almost-like-passenger-only-- - -

once-weekly-Kosher-Kosarin’s-International-Pan-- -


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souls-conducting-low-kitchen-maidy-function-- - -

called-deck-dance;-Harry-hated-such-service-but-- -

gradually-forgot-horrors-thinking-what-pleasure-- -


music-hungry-second-class-souls-dim-half-souls-- -

thinking-steadily-upon-other-six-week-nights-amid-swell-first-class-passengers-pouting-cabaret-- - -

dancers-vacationists-carrying-dollies-doodahs-- - -

tickling-away-doldrums-dreardoms-tantalizingly-- - titillating-A-One-Boy-Harry!-From-Rio-de-Janeiro-

(accent-Rye-oh)-Harry-sent-Maw-colored-card-- - -


hand-writing,-“South-America’s-Paris-Playing-- - -

here-now.”-Truthful-Harry-James-they-were-- - -

playing-South-America’s-Paris-but-hardly-- - -

Municipal-Theatre-time-Maw-made-natural-- - -

mawish-mistake-told-Ladies-Aid-Harry-Opera-- - -

Housing-while-really-playing-back-room-sporty-- -

Praca-Tiradentes-restaurant-where-jovial-varnish-- - salesman-passenger-took-bunch-from-boat-- - -

celebrating-Birthday-varnishing-all-Ryeoh!-One-- -



ladies-intoned-“Harry’ll-adopt-Eyetalian-name-- - -

come-back-lead-Metropolitan-orchestra-little-old-- -


fine-Eyetalian-eye.-“Shouldn’t-wonder”-Maw-- - -

admitted.-“Ach!-Harry-Cauliflower-Head-playing-- -


Buenos-Aires-triumph-Harry’s-first-taste-- - -


Ysaye-Maw”;-boat’s-name-“Pan-America”-Harry-- - -neglected-informing-her.-Trip-back-Harry-played-roulette-Miramar-Beach-Hotel-Santos-realized-- - -

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sinfulness-excused-grounds-great-artists-must-- - - - -experience-everything-know-feel-imbibe-chance-- - -

etc.-Harry-progressing-won-twelve-dollars-- - - - - - -

intended-send-Maw-beautiful-soulful-butterfly- - - - -

tray-singing-like-Blue-Danube-Waltz-but-instead-- - -bought-blondine-passenger-mildly-cursing-parrot-- - - -

because-she-insisted-also-parrot’s-head-same-color- - - -

hers;-she-thanked-him-but-didn’t-meet-him-behind- - -

life-boat-after-midnight-supper-despite-promise.- - - - -

After-two-years-frothing-back-forth-North-South- - - - Atlantic-waves-waving-same-beat-Maw-suggested- - -

visit-home.-Harry-too-busy-replied-rehearsing-- - - - - -

Pirates-Penzance-Medley-all-new-hit-hard-hold- - - - - -

orchestra-up-highest-standards-all-weight-resting- - - - -

his-broad-shoulders-new-pianoplayer-unusually-- - - - - -

dumb-regretfully-must-sacrifice-personal-pleasure-considering-career-“Will-take-you-son-- - - - - - - - -




Aid-set-about-nervously-sewing-herself-- - - - - - - - -

bewitching-canary-colored-organdie-- - - - - - - - - - -

surreptitiously-thinking-bygone-days-sewing-- - -


living-virtuoso-bringing-him-joyously-into-canary- - -

colored-world-all-pink-dewy.-Harry-would-take-her- - -honeymooning-just-herself-her-artist-boy-Moon-Southern-Cross-Among-all-those-music-worshipping-first-class-passengers-mingling.-Maw-raised-higher-eyebrows-toward-uncouth-chirping-jigging-husband-not-her-very-own-creation.-Harry-hardened-into-professional classical player---


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soulfully-his-hot-corner-near-noisy-noisome-- - -- - annoying-kitchen-galley-never-missing-single-note-or-one-drop-sweat.-Harry-learned-lifting-arched-- -

eyebrows-half-inch-higher-whilst-rending-haunting-lurking-mystic-Bohemian-Girl.-Full-passenger-- - -

lists-thrilled-Harry-triumphant-exalted-but-measly-little-passenger-lists-thirty-wobbly-tourists-- - -- - -

dribbling-over-musty-meals-discouraged-artistic-- - endeavor-dispirited-downhearted-downcast-- - -- - -


put-whole-orchestra-outoftune.-Then-came-- - -- - -

Dorothy-trippingly-fittingly-love-fashioned-merely-nurse-made-chasing-two-pink-little-lucky-- - -- - -

offspring-shrewd-American-merchant-located-Rio-de-Janeiro-but-Dorothy-beautiful-dumb-blonde-- - -

pacing-decks-all-day-picking-her-charges-organs-- -

Teddy-Bears-from-lee-scuppers-dragging-about-- - endlessly-to-autos-trains-getting-ginger-snaps-deck-steward’s-pantry-too-often-wanted-play-violin-her-- admiration-alone-but-orchestra-didn’t-play-- - -- - -children’s-mealtimes-she-ate-kiddies-table-Only-- -


nights-when-she-hung-shadowy-outskirty-among-- - -




beautiful-virtuoso-locks-directly-her-direction-Dorothy-- - -



besides-ginger-snappy-deck-steward-showed-bold-preference-other-ladies-maids-aboard-Dorothy-- - -


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smoky-shadows-under-eyes.-Dorothy-met- - - - -


new-art-spirit-put-self-soul-into-his-playing.-Also-- - -

developed-business-technique-producing- - - - - - - - - -

more-better-tips-picked-moony-businessmen-gold-- - -

enmeshed-dowagers-big-wattles-bags-under-dead-bright-eyes-picking-daintily-true-born-violinist-- - - - - - - - - -

picking-his-divine-instrument-plus-plucking- - - - - - -

purse-strings.-Harry-became-star-picker-bowed-- - -- - -

profitably-Spring-Song-finales-warmly-thanked-- - dowagers-trip-ends-pressing-five-ten-even-twenty-dollar-bills-into-his-manly-six-foot-four-hand.- - - -

These-tips-Harry-gambled-pyramided-became-- - -

known-well-known-Casino-piker-Rio-Santos-- - -Montevideo-Buenos-Aires.-Harry-luck-love-- - -


sheltered-Rio-nursery-waiting-one-long-month-- - -

then-two-Harry-nights-twenty-days-wait-then-- - -

Harry-home-tripping-again.-Unlike-her-sailor-- - -

musician-having-one-love-one-port-Dorothy-had-- -

sailor-lovers-from-all-ports-but-their-Rio-visits-- - -

seldom-dovetailed-so-her-dovetailing-progressed-- -

without-undue-danger.-Once-after-miraculously-- -

winning-eight-hundred-dollars-roulette-Harry-- - -


musical-revel-local-cabarets.-But-nervous-Dorothy-poutingly-pointed-his-art-duty-her-new-dress-- - -

needs-hats-shoes-wherewithals-unmentionables.- - - Together-they-spent-one-joyous-afternoon-off-- - -

shopping-Harry-back-aboard-counting-twenty-six-- remaining-dollars-recalling-all-hazily-while-- - -


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remembering-too-his-firm-resolution-buying-Maw-much-awaited-present-beautiful-Blue-Danube-- - - - - - - - - - - --

Butterfly-tray-beautiful-blue-resolution-sadly-- - - - - - - - -

slipped-again.-When-they-laid-Maw-away-- - - - - - - - - - -

generation-later-she-insisted-being-buried-garbed-old- - - -fashioned-canary-colored-dress-she-had-never-worn-but- - -also-directed-town-orchestra-play-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Mendelsohn’s-Spring-Song-local-violinist-leading-looked- - like-Harry-who-couldn’t-get-back-from-- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

musical-Mediterranean-tour-Ach-said-lowly-- - - - - - - - - - -


(Note: The hyphenated form to suggest movement, continuity of words, word flow, is the only one I can think of. It is inadequate, but the imaginative reader may get the idea of a flow of type in spite of the awkward breaks at the line ends, unavoidable in linotype composition. Punctuation is a problem which can only resolve itself when the words are put in motion. Probably no commas or periods will be needed and any symbol, as /, may be adopted for a paragraph, or spaces of different length may satisfy the reader’s eye in place of punctuation.

The form of the Story To Be Read on A Reading Machine suggests the abbreviated dispatches sent by foreign newspaper correspondents to cut down cable expense, it is not offered as a new literary style, it is merely given as an experiment in writing prose that might be rapidly readable when passing before the intelligent, experienced eye. New forms, styles and condensations will suggest themselves. The twenty-five

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most used in English are left out entirely, sometimes to the loss and often to the gain of the text. Written in full present-day stationary reading prose this story would be 35 % longer, which would be ridiculous, it is long enough as it is; given its full quota of “Ofs” “Thes” and “Ands” Harry’s little life story would occupy 35 % more space, which would be hard on the paper-growing forests and utterly unnecessary.

Statisticians have found that in a novel of 80,000 printed words the following twenty-five are used the number of times indicated:

The 5,848

Of 3,198

And 2,624

To 2,339

A 1,696

In 1,693

That 1,076

It 973

Is 970

I 924

For 828

Be 677

Was 671

As 626

You 620

With 582

He 584

On 514

At 498

Have 494

By 480

Not 471

This 458

Are 434

We 423


Approximately 30,000 of the words used in a book, 3/8ths, or nearly one-half of its bulk, are repetitions of twenty-five little words one to four letters long, which the active modern mind skips, takes for granted, now that there is more reading and writing going on.

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