The horror of the Twentieth Century was the size of each new event,
and the paucity if its reverberations.

--Norman Mailer, Of a Fire on the Moon

Magnificent desolation.

--Buzz Aldrin, 2nd man on the moon, July 20, 1969

I started taking notes for Vegetable Dreams after reading Jerry Mander's Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television while I wrote and studied poetry with Allen Ginsberg at Brooklyn College in 1993. After finishing my MFA I took my notes to Prague in September 1994 where I figured I could knock the book out in the eight months I would live there. That didn't happen. I housesat in Brooklyn and worked on nothing else for four humorless months between September 1995 and February 1996. Nearing nervous collapse, I shelved the project and took first a teaching job at the City University of New York, then in August '96 I moved to Baltimore where my college roommate John had gotten me a job. I resumed work in a tentative way in spring and summer 1997 but again grew frustrated. I thought I was close to completing work on it in February '98 after I moved to Manhattan, but the manuscript refused to become anything more than a pastiche of vignettes on a theme: the quest for connection in increasingly disconnected times. I am now in Seattle and realize that the book was trying to tell me something, that the dislocation my protagonist feels reflects the lack of stability in my life, and perhaps too the absurdity of straitjacketing a story about memory into a strictly linear form. To this end, I've decided to start publishing chapters here rather than let the book languish interminably. The sequence of these chapters is intuitive and subject to change. Like a poetry anthology, I think they can be read in no particular order and I encourage the use of the random chapter button below.

notify me when new chapters are added

I
First Things Last
St. Vitus I
St. Vitus II
Shoes
Jerry's First Visit
Babi Imprisoned
Dedi Paints In Exile
Jerry Writes Mesic
Eva's Sickness
Invasion
Emigration Debate
Flight
Bye Now
II
Ashes
Frank
Ashes 2 - A Toast!
Launch
Apollo 8
Snapshots
Apollo 11
Zenith
Do Not Attempt to Adjust Your Set
Voyage a la Lune
BBC
Black Skies in Daylight
Trickle
Pravda
Timebends
Chain
A Nervous, Very Nervous Lady
Keys
Neutral
Titanic
Crash
Gain
III
Night of the Bright Moon

© robert zverina 1994-2000