Saturday, March 6, 2021


There is an old joke about the number of readers of this blog. It is that there is always one less reader than the last time I checked.


There are 100 readers of this blog. Maybe even 200. But not right now.

That's my total of adding up all the dedicated readers who were ever once here as regulars and then slipped away into the other world. The other world is the vast anything that is not this blog and so definitionally beyond the purview of anything we could ever discuss.

By Internetland standards 200 is such a statistically small number as to be meaningless, like a lottery chance or the amount of an active ingredient in a homeopathic remedy, closer to zero than to something that will register or make a mark. But it's a number that nevertheless looks okay to me. It is just enough for me to remember everything here and everyone who has ever dropped by. We keep a catalog of everyone's footprint, their favorite drink, their cozy corner, their preferred subject, and when they mysteriously slip away we keep their spot, forever if need be, growing dusty and old in its undisturbed place.

I remember a passionate follower of the blog who once responded to some post, probably not so different than this one, many many years ago, to say he enjoyed my obscurity against all the other bloggers he followed who cashed in on their success and were ruined. 

Hey, I'm not ruined!

To that reader: your red leather chair you loved still awaits you. Have you been by? It looks covered in a deep layer of dust. Regardless, there it will sit, used or not.

Another time I wrote something that caused a reader to cry out "I am here. I read clerkmanifesto almost all the time!" And this reader enumerated the many things they liked about this blog, pointing only to the "Letters to the Publisher" posts as the ones they dreaded and did not enjoy. I thought of this reader during my very recent last two letters to publisher posts, eyeing their empty tea table in a favored spot in the sun, a cat sleeping under the chair, the tea long grown cold.

Maybe they're there, maybe they aren't. On February 6, 2015, at precisely 12:54 pm, under this post, a reader wrote: "You do have "fans". This fan chooses to remain anonymous yet loyal." I take them at their word then. There they are, right now, at their old study table deep in the great library, dark beer in hand, owl perched on the overwrought chandelier above them, reading along with us now, never forgotten. 



  1. I wanted the red leather chair!

    It makes me think of Nero Wolfe. But I am going to have some tea, and I'll pet the cat. Thanks!

    Your photos of graffiti in a more recent post were stunning. I asked a friend of mine to take some photos of graffiti here in the aqueduct and they were nice, but yours were fantastic. I'm a big fan of modern art and I could see those hanging in a museum. I know you didn't create them, but you kind of did.

    (Grape's friend)

    1. You have the leather chair. So there's that.

      I guess if it's Nero Wolfe's it was custom made to accommodate him.

      I'm glad you like the graffiti. There's more coming. Like I maybe said in a post, once I gave up on the documentarian thing I had more luck getting pictures I like. Their natural format isn't really friendly to the standard photographic formats.

      I'm Grape's friend too!

      Thanks for the nice comments!

  2. What I didn't say, because I thought I would be able to sign my name as I used to do (kiminorkey at live journal), is that I'm the one who wrote the detailed praise about your writing (which I still stand by) and then said I didn't like the Dear Publisher posts (which I still skip; they just make me feel bad). So that's why I said I wanted the red leather chair, which you set aside for someone else. The red leather chair is where the important clients would sit. Or Cramer, if he was the only one there. But I want the red leather chair AND the cat!

    Grape introduced me to your blog, so I know you're friends! Maybe I know A LOT about you.....nah.

    I'm not going to search for my other comments to see how you replied, so don't bother, if you haven't already. (I was doing my usual ninja binging, so I made some comments on older posts.)

    1. Oh, whoops.

      All leather chair talk aside, it now seems inevitable that my eeyorish predilection for assuming at any given moment that no one is reading clerkmanifesto anymore will come back to bite me. On the other hand I can get a little crafty sometimes in order to lure people out of the woodwork just to... see. For instance if it's ages since I've heard from grape all I have to do is just sort of mention him in a post, or quote Walt Whitman, and BAM, he appears. So in that sense my reference to the comment about not liking the publisher letters was a little bit of borderline conscious "hey kiminorkey, are you still there?" to which the answer was, um, yeah. Also now I understand your furniture references, so thanks. I guess in the magic world I got them mixed up, but red leather chair, cat, and tea works? And I'm sorry that got confused with the person who liked my not selling out (no one, as they say, was buying!). Clearly that person, who has not appeared from the woodwork, clearly gets the tea table, beer, and owl and they can be very dusty for allegorical purposes.

      Have you tried any of the publisher letters lately? They're really super good, way less depressing. I was going to find some really funny examples to show you and change your mind, ones that are relatively bright and upbeat, but apparently I've hidden this new variety super well on the blog, so you might want to hold off. But when I do find a couple of them I'll alert you with the code "red chair".

  3. Oh, good, I'm glad you remember kiminorkey. And I'll be sure to try the Dear Publisher ones again, since you have assured me they're good and I trust you.

    I thought it was like magic when I came back to your blog after an unforgivable prolonged absence and I found myself mentioned! I even told my husband about the coincidence and he was borderline interested!

    Would it be "bingeing?" Binging just doesn't look right.

    1. Yeah, I think bingeing should be right, binging is almost certainly when one overeats cherries.

      One does get to the point where "borderline interest" isn't too bad at all.


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.