The Unknown: The Red Line.

I cott had that special way about him. Dirk was different, Dirk wrote poetry. Scott and William were both in awe and intensely suspicious of Dirk’s ability to do that.

“It’s about death,” Dirk would say, “and language. And most of all, it’s about itself, because poetry is about itself.”

William would look at Scott and Scott would look at William and then both would look at Dirk to see whether he was joking. Dirk was never joking and so William and Scott tried not to look like they thought he might be joking.

Then the subject might turn to Scott’s fiction—“it’s a voice that I heard in my head”—or William’s—“I tried to use every verb tense once per paragraph. It seems like it’s stream-of-consciousness but it really isn’t.” Some people thought the Unknown wasn’t really about the writing so much. And some followers—the sort who might read about their exploits in the New York Observer—even developed theories. “It was Rettberg’s outspokenness that eventually won the public over” or “A lot has been made about the Unknown’s relationship with drugs, but Dirk was really the only one who was a compulsive user.”

But Scott had that special way about him. “Make it bigger, goddamn it, that’s just a poem” he might say, “and to hell with the typos. The kids of today love reading our typos.”


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