Arlene Ang & Valerie Fox

In "There's a lot to do until you fall asleep," Valerie wrote the original standalone poems while Arlene played with the line order, inserting her own observations or creating the events that led to Valerie's ideas.

With "Underlined in the victim's copy...,"  Valerie used found material for the main text -- a kind of surface that would be intriguing and fun to manipulate -- that compelled Arlene to respond, in the form of footnotes, with her own found material from The Dictionary of Psychology. They are both particularly pleased to be the puppeteers of such authors as Lady Stearn Robinson, Tom Corbett and J.P. Chaplin Ph. D.

In general, most of their collaborations result from a kind of explorative dialogue between two people who are unnaturally fond of throwaway pets like oysters and hermit crabs.




Underlined in the victim’s copy of The Dreamer’s Dictionary From A to Z by Lady Stearn Robinson and Tom Corbett—with annotations by J.P. Chaplin Ph. D.

You are being warned [1]        any bright illumination [2]
These are a warning                  of your own making [3]
This is an omen of reverses [4]        opening oysters [5]
It signifies troubles [6]        whichever applies

Ice [7]        and/or secret fears [8]
Ice Cream                  and/or distance [9]
Shampoo [10]        and/or money luck [11]
Acorns [12]        and/or story-book type pirates [13]

Disturbing dilemmas                  Sabot (see Clogs) [14]
Incantation [15]        worries increase before the decrease
prepare for a period of hard plodding [16]


[1]  On the skin this temperature is normally 33°C.
[2]  Guidance of one individual by another such as occurs in hypnosis.
[3]  By analogy, a progressive loss of normal functioning in favor of psychotic behavior.
[4]  Visual purple.
[5]  To seek pleasure and avoid pain.
[6]  Pathological condition in vision in which objects look more distant than they are.
[7]  A memory that occurs without intent to remember.
[8]  Employed especially in reference to how an observer forms impressions of others.
[9]  An objective tone, or tone arising from paired comparisons. Sometimes called the outpatient.
[10]  The overlapping factor.
[11]  The most commonly repeated and consistent pattern of behavior during a given  period of life.
[12]  Traits possessed by an individual organism.
[13]  Available to the ego process for dealing with reality, as opposed to energy utilized in wasteful ways, such as drug dependence or in maintaining depression.
[14]  Circular thinking—“Shoe sales result from too much feet; too much feet is the result of shoe sales.”
[15]  A trancelike state in which the patient’s motor behavior may be deviated to any direction.
[16]  Storage structure or process that provides for the development of battle fatigue before the actual  battle begins.


There’s a lot to do until you fall asleep

The drive always takes longer than the fulfillment of thirst. This giant wall, for example, blocking my view. [1] Now that I’m home, I’m isolated from the world—a kind of jail term included in this contract for life support systems. Panoramas are out; minute pictures on small electronics are in. The phone is a study in static. The cable tv and internet, too. [2] On the mantel, I’ve stood up pictures of my dead parents in numbered shoes, but no clock. [3] This isn’t real-time narration. I’m missing out, evidently, on the six o’clock news—I imagine I can understand everyone, except maybe the elephants. [4] On the other hand, there’s the meatloaf that tastes better in the craving phase. If I had more houseplants, I’d consider a career change like wedding cake transport. [5] A tropical storm, like an itch, swirls and drenches the shed. The trees out here are getting balder and more jaundiced by the hour. The dogs grow further away from their bathday. [6]


[1] I hate not knowing what’s on the other side, even though I must have seen it a thousand times.

[2] Once there were three wires behind the wall. Now there are five. Only odd numbers are being mobilized in the service of communication. It’s political though, and arithmetic-sensitive. If you add 5 and 7 you come up with 12 dead soldiers from Ohio. That’s what they’re reporting, anyway. That’s two more than the ten little men you can count on two hands.

[3] It’s a hobby horse of mine, admittedly. In a case study involving throwaway pets, the hermit crab was flushed down the toilet alive for pretending to be dead.

[4] There’s a list to all this, and it includes some street names. I’m the flawed character in my own life; every day it’s taking more and more wine to get this body drunk.

[5] If I’d known you were coming, I’d have baked a real cake. All I have in my possession now is this fake one.

[6] In one Christmas party, the guests precipitated towards the sushi bar then hovered near the doors, waiting for escape. Their host sat alone on a bench made especially for him, little knowing that an arm chair may still be used by a man with no arms.


Arlene Ang and Valerie Fox are the authors of Bundles of Letters Including A, V and Epsilon (Texture Press, 2008). Their collaborative writings have appeared in admit2, Defenestration, Origami Condom, and qarrtsiluni. They are both editors of Press 1, with individual websites under