Instructions: After Cortázar

On How to Knead Dough

After everything is all mixed up. After everything has the right texture. After one has dumped the flour, salt, sugar, olive oil into the drum. After one has measured and poured the water. Cut, weight, and work out the tension beginning in the crook of your arm, your “fishing muscles,” especially in a town like this. The ocean right there makes your joints ache. This always happens per half batch, 2 sizes per batch, 1 size per half. Fridge but rotate. Put the old on top. From top to bottom. Old small. Old Large. New Small. New Large. There are always few bins of small, but more smalls to a bin. Let phoenix in the chill.

On How to Look at the Water

Talk with the weather about yourself. It’s always at a downward angle. You are usually at least your height above it—standing, sitting, lying—never coming at it from underneath unless you’re in it. Ask: Is this a wishing well. If yes, empty your pockets. If no, throw stones. If it is daytime try to see under. If it is nighttime, look at the surface. The light moves the water. Sometimes there is something solid and silhouetted. Buoy, boat, etc.

On How to Order Coffee

Step up. Apologize. Did you or did you not bring your own mug. It is good to give them more money after or offer a trade. You’re wearing the right shirt that shows you can trade. I’ll give you a slice for a medium—do you like plain or? Don’t take it til you come back you’ll move faster. Sometimes the coffee people will answer your questions, asked directly or indirectly and sometimes they will provide.

On How to Talk to Dogs

There is a plea past an obstacle in life started off  at the onset of sentience. Agreeance. These are the beginning of steps past shush. To be in agreement. To make an effort Please I am just dropping this off. Excuse me puppy. It does not hear you. Non-heard. Or it doesn't not know what you mean. The dog’s been sounding before the doorbell. Open the glass faced screen door, the pneumatic door closer hisses. You still haven’t heard walking down the hall, the stairs, towards the door.

On How to Crab with Hot Dogs as Bait

Squid 15 years ago. Something else 5. Always best to go when the tide pushes towards you.  Throw it under the pier but no jumping! Wait til til it's high, wait til no one’s here. Bring gloves for skating. I’ll give you 4.62 for that 5-gallon. That’s you’re cooler? On wheels? Nice. What are you using, what do you have in there?

On How to be Pressed to Death

Always ask for more because then what? What have we learned then what? It’s fucked up here. I want to know if this is out of love.

On How to be Bored

Focus, unfocus. Osmosis into the changing light. Look at the bare trees. Less than something ago it was green and there was privacy. Make a list of things that you have to do and try to order it by least important to most important (list is bottom up) make another list from the most important to the least important (from the top down). It’ll feel great.

On How to be Late

Check one more thing. Do not look at the time because there is plenty. Subtract necessary steps from the plan but do them anyways because they are necessary. For example, brush teeth, socks. Look outside at the weather.

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Nathan Dragon