The Unknown: The Red Line.
Hard_Code, Scene III

After our reading at Moss Books in Moscow Idaho, there wasn’t much to do. Our fame apparently hadn’t spread to that region of the western midwest, and nobody offered us any drugs. We felt almost like normal people. We went to buy beer at a Safeway.

As we reached the cashier, and she began running our groceries across the barcode scanner, she frowned in puzzlement at the artichoke. “What the heck kind of fruit is this spiky thing?” she asked. Dirk had put the item in our shopping cart only because he was tripping and found it somehow indispensable, a glowing encryption of all the secrets of the universe, but none of us were really sure what it was. Now we know what an artichoke is, because of an embarrassing incident that happened at the Whitney Biennial, but that’s a different story.

The cashier left to get a price check and Dirk, continually fascinated with everything, leaned over the barcode reader and stared deep into its laserous interior.

There was a beep and the cash register displayed:

POET $0.25

Dirk blinked and stood up. Scott and I watched, kind of mortified at whatever Dirk was about to do, because we knew from experience there was no stopping him when he was in this condition. Dirk ran his finger over the glass window.

There was a beep and the cash register displayed:


“Wow, Dirk,” William sputtered, “in your retina you are still a poet but your fingerprints have mutated to become those of a hypertext novelist, for which you are worth considerably more...”

Scott pulled down his pants and sat on the glass.

There was a beep and the cash register displayed:


“Wow, Scott,” William chuckled, “I thought a fiction writer was worth more than that.”

Scott jumped down, dragged up his pants, and, clearly pissed, shoved William’s face down against the glass.

There was a beep and the cash register displayed




sickening decadent hypertext novel META fiction al bull shit sort of a doc ument ary corr e spond ence art is cool look at art live read ings