Quibble with electronic publishing, part 2:

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Who would have thought it?

Well, I guess quite a few people.  Yesterday, I posted a piece worrying about the future of writings “published” on the Internet and used as an example the disappearance of two particular stories of mine.

I said that I knew that nothing ever really disappears from cyberspace, but asked, “Would the common man have the tools necessary to recover those materials that are missing?”

Apparently he does.

Sure enough, someone a lot cleverer than I am went and found one of the stories I had cited. Three cheers for Gerry Bracken. He said the tool he used was the “Wayback Machine” (see picture above) and I know I definitely don’t have one of those.  Anyway, he found the “Dublin work-shopped” version of the story “Nadja and the Dream of Teeth.”  I don’t remember the difference between this and the final version, but it’s been a long while since I read it, so that was fun it itself.

Anyway,  I posted the first few paragraphs below.  If you’re interested, the rest of the story is at


Again, thank you Gerry Bracken. It’s been a good day all around.

from “Nadja and the Dream of Teeth”

At the time there are three distinct women. Two orbit around his person like meteors that arrive and disappear, pendulous and pending, with the rigidity and regularity of the calendar. They are dark and light, one and the other. The fair one is more than fair. Her skin is pellucid. Thin webs of capillaries and veins map her arms, her breasts, the small of her back. The other, the dark one, is Mediterranean, raven-haired, Homeric. She smells of cigarette smoke and has hands older than her age. There is a husband somewhere. Cruel. Oafish. He keeps her meanly and she stays. The third is Nadja, herself. She is his earth, past which the others streak.

“I have made you an appointment,” she tells him. “At half-nine tomorrow.”

He presses his fingers to his face, toward the eye socket. The pain is there, where he touches. Not in the tooth itself, but on his face. Always he has avoided dentistry. But now, she has made the appointment and, when the time comes, she will drive him there.

The two others, the dark and light ones, we shall call Mim and Mam.

Mim keeps exotic animals. Large brilliant birds, ataractic reptiles, silky-haired dogs. She walks a wolfhound, Erté-like, on a tartan leash, its dusky coat shimmering in the sunlight. She wears black always and walks with catlike grace, taut muscles rippling effortlessly and surely. On certain evenings she will stride into McLoughlin’s and the big dog will stay at her feet through two and sometimes three gin-and-tonics. The dog is said to be gentle.

The other one, the dark one, he calls “Calypso,” and when she kept him, the moment seemed infinite and timeless. She fusses about him yet, fusses about what he eats and drinks and thinks, pleasuring him with a maternal concern that he had long forgotten. To his soul, dusty and cretaceous by nature, she brings the mist of the sea, the juices and oils of the fields, the energy of the sun. She gives him hope and calls him her “Father Confessor,” for she too has her secrets, her venom, her lusts. He never touches her but for her hand and her crone-like fingers.

It is to Nadja however that he has decided to remain grounded, connected. For her, too, he has given up the drink, the three-o’clock whiskeys, the bottle of Beaujolais at dinner, the Armagnac before bed. Of course, he has lied. He is always aware of his duplicity, for he said, in a moment of self-incriminating fury, that she would never again see him with a drink in his hand. And he keeps that promise, to be sure. But he continues when she is not there, when he is alone, when she is away. …


2 thoughts on “Quibble with electronic publishing, part 2:

  1. Thank you for the info! Two years ago, I realized a poem I published with an online journal in 2003 had disappeared into the interwebs. But thanks to the Way Back Machine, I saved a screen shot of it.

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