Josh Cohen, Witz
I started Witz this afternoon while waiting the thunder out to see if we'd chance the pool. The lifeguards have but a single directive: everyone out for 15 minutes if the hear thunder, and if they hear thunder again, the clock starts over. I am not sure if this is in line with an incident of anyone ever being fried in a pool by lightning; I've seen them let the kids have at it in a torrential downpour - in fact they have a rule about that as well: swimming is allowed as long as you can still see the lines in the 4ft swim lanes through the rain. So, two directives, then. Any child or parent of one can recite that rule as quickly as a kid with a joint in his ashtray can the vehicle search ordinances. It's all rules and rights and recitations thereof in this life.
Anyway, I am ludicrously barely into Witz, page 23 of 817 pages of Judaica-drenched, Joyce/Pynchon/DFW poem prose and I think I dig it without being really sure what's happening. I suspect the book is like the candle carried at the barmitzvah where my optimistic bookmark rests: "...a long, thick, threewicked taper, thricebraided then those braids braided, its unified flame illuminating a knot that can only be undone through its melting; wax dribbles, scorching the hand."
We all got to swim and right before they shut down for the night, some of us might have walked on the water.