The gambler says:—Tell them I came, but no-one answered. Entranced, as the gambler is ever, by the lovely mathematics in softest lighting, the ballet of numbers, the chemin-de-fer, the vingt-et-un. Good evening, enchanté that you could join us tonight, When he enters, M’sieu, your usual. Rum and stunning fractured ice placed at the elbow, AContinue reading “Casino”

The Compendium of Degenerates – part 12

The cloth remained on the barkeep’s shoulder, ghostly of the casual and practised flick, ein Bund Idioten, the SPD guys are in the Niedrige Kneipe tonight, unruly and impossible. —Mierscheid will pay, he is in the john. The SPD make a run for it, scattering across Mulackstraße. They are anarchists really, the bastards. They’re soContinue reading “The Compendium of Degenerates – part 12”

The Compendium of Degenerates – part 13

How Florian and Pim had come to be acquainted: In 1918, having reached an age, Florian had gone to the Exemption Board. With a pacifist theme worked out, demeaning but safest. Somehow, during one of the interviews, a physician had got something else into his head — a nuance, or even a code, transmitted mistakenly,Continue reading “The Compendium of Degenerates – part 13”

The Compendium of Degenerates – part 11

Florian the pollster. Although he has made no such promise, scrupulously not, his subjects often gain the vague impression a verbal contract has been entered into. A free drink in return for their input. So after his survey, with its very few questions, has been completed, often there is a gap, a pause, pregnant: —Where’sContinue reading “The Compendium of Degenerates – part 11”

The Compendium of Degenerates – part 10

Otmar and Ottilie count out their money for the first month’s rent and other necessities. They have some over. —We should celebrate, she beams. So they allow themselves a day of seeing the sights. Art and culture, one of the big ways people raise themselves. The Museum, which is free, a stroll in the parkContinue reading “The Compendium of Degenerates – part 10”

The Compendium of Degenerates – part 9

Felix accosts the first person he meets, as he walks across the countryside: —Where are the runaways, have you seen them? The person reaches immediately to his pockets, drops all the coins he had to the road, scrambles, dives straight through a hedge and is away across the ploughed fields. He hadn’t properly explained whoContinue reading “The Compendium of Degenerates – part 9”

The Compendium of Degenerates – part 7

The Compendium is loose in the world. The Compendium: to suggest that it contains all human knowledge — on the subject of Degenerates, at least. But we know it only contains a Set, could only ever contain a set, by the work of Gödel, Possibly selected by those who wish to skew understanding towards certainContinue reading “The Compendium of Degenerates – part 7”

The Compendium of Degenerates – part 6

A jangle and disaster ongoing, what a whirlpool is Berlin, such bustle and so much zipping across one another’s path. Reformers, suffragists, agitators, peaceniks, warniks, everybody has a placard. Sometimes it seems as if there’s no one to show yours to. The Committee of Concerned Citizens, the Ruhrkampf Solidarity Knights, the Anti-Separiat, the Methodist BoardContinue reading “The Compendium of Degenerates – part 6”

The Compendium of Degenerates – part 5

So this was his life’s meaning. Felix the butcher, furious, blusters toward a burst blood vessel, no children left behind for him to care for, and be a martyr, with all the other villagers seeing and commenting on— Nothing to detain him in the village— And he decided the wayward couple were to be pursuedContinue reading “The Compendium of Degenerates – part 5”