This entry is part 19 of 34 in the series Small World


To be small is to be distant
& vice versa.

The asterisk calls.
It leaves a message.

You turn it all the way up:
it sounds like a small fan.

In some parallel universe
all the stars look like this

& books with too many footnotes
collapse into black holes.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. Very evocative, Dave. Back in the days of very very old typewriters with sharp keys wedded uncomfortably to inferior paper a number of my ‘o’s would collapse into black holes. (grin)


  2. Hey, hey with the black holes. Fear not the footnote, as tis merely a properly-addressed parallel universe.

    I muchly love that fan. If overused, asterisks reverse spin to star-pellet sentences, pocking them like car roofs in a hail storm.


    1. Yikes. But what about the move away from asterisks, daggers, etc. to boring, numbered footnotes? Very disturbing, I think.


  3. To eradicate asterisks et al. absolutely would drain joy from the world. An asterisk is a daisy, which signals dessert.

    No one salivates at a footnote. But for those of us whose content/tangent ratios skew, numbers can at least restore the illusion of order and intention.


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