All the Useless Things Are Mine Cover

This is a book of seventeen-word sentences, of aphorisms and otherisms. The aphorisms are in the tradition of Porchia, Blake, The Tao Te Ching, and Wittgenstein. The otherisms find their ancestors in Gertrude Stein, cabaret, Hejinian, haiku, and noir pulp fiction. Arranged thematically to respond to various themes—politics, love and sex, parenthood, the afterlife, etc.—both what’s lofty and lowly are represented in these wildly imaginative and strangely intimate “seventeens.”

At times pithy, poetic, surreal or profane, each line is a concise world of wonder. Here is a collection of seventeen-word landscapes, snapshots and found bits of lint, learning and linden leaves that can be nibbled on, a few at a time, or binged in quick succession.

All the Useless Things Are Mine is illustrated with seventeen etchings and drawings by Douglas Miller, and includes an afterword by Elizabeth Cooperman.


“Lyrical, discerning, amusing; overflowing with Eros, blue skies and happy bees—all vibrating at high, poetic frequency.”

—Alex Stein, editor of Short Circuits: Aphorisms, Fragments and Literary Anomalies

“Though I despise and distrust pablumic book blurbs, these are so marvelous I wish I wrote them.”

Richard Kostelanetz, author of Deeper, Further & Beyond: More Critical Critical Essays

“Elegant and profound, whimsical to the point of daffy, a minesweeper of the mind’s oyster pearl harbor.”

Doug Nufer, author of Metamorphosis

“Bizarreries, poems seen in a flash of lightning, wisecracks, outbreaks of pure wonder—all shorter than this blurb.”

—James Richardson, author of Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-second Essays

“Sing, Muse! News, please: What’s Prime, but not Amazon? What’s aptly dizzily heptadecimal, but not Japanese? These.”

—Richard Kenney, author of Terminator

“Reader, prepare yourself for maximal minimalism—call it haiku plus—in these seventeen-word observations laced with humor.”

—Amaranth Borsuk, author of The Book

“Pessoan poetics and absurd humour permeate this collection of bucolic, melancholic blips of concision, precision, and elision.”

M.J. Nicholls, author of Scotland Before the Bomb