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Published: Tue Oct 15 1974
Salman Toor, Fag Puddle with Candle, Shoe, and Flag (detail), 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, N.Y. Photo: Farzad Owrang.
AGNI 3 Aging Mental Health Reading
The Recitation

A newspaper began to recite itself to an old man.

That’s nice, sighed the old man, but I want to sleep now.

But the newspaper continues its interesting recitation of the day’s events, the murders and gossip of the day.

Enough enough, cries the old man.

But the newspaper turns its pages and continues the lengthy discourse on the trends and fashions of the day, leaving no murder or disaster to chance.

Stop it, stop it, you are mad with lies, cries the old man, you only say these things to see me nightmare into screams and cries for mercy; fold yourself and let me sleep.

But the newspaper having finished itself begins itself again.

Please, I beg of you, cries the old man.

But the newspaper continues its recitation of itself.

The old man falls asleep at last and begins to scream, mercy God, mercy, there’s more here that suffers than even you can know!

The newspaper, even though the old man sleeps, continues its recitation.

See what's inside AGNI 3
Online 2016 Mental Health Reading Youth
Kittling Drug and Sundries
Online 2015 Aging Mental Health
Untitled #12, 1981
AGNI 95 Mental Health Gender Relationships

Russell Edson has books with Harper and Row, Wesleyan, and New Directions. (updated 1974)

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