by Richard S. Shaver

Editor's Notes: This was written by Richard Shaver just months before his death. What makes it interesting is that it's how Shaver viewed himself at the end of life, after a career spent as an upstream swimmer and key player in the Shaver Mystery, which, by 1975, was dead as a doornail. Readers had moved on. Shaver was relegated to living out his final days in poverty in a cottage in Summit, Arkansas, painting and photographing his beloved rock books. This is a reply to one of Shaver's correspondents...

April 17, 1975

hey you mug, youse are thinkin' of a book for real?

so here is a superior type of foreword if you don't read it and don't like it send it back and I will shove it up somebodies ass with more sense than yours; a sensible ass is one that can sit on the dictionary and absorb definitions and make fertilizer of them. it is also called an educated-ass... the mother set it on the dictionary when it was a baby.

my problem is when I as a baby crawling around, there was a big family Bible on the table bottom tray which I used to crawl over and some of it rubbed off on my hands and knees, and so I have an a urge to crawl over Bibles ever since... so I have trouble when I sit on a Bible getting all the wool just right. why dont I just shut up when I got nothing to say? enclosed is the FOREWORD FOR YOUR BOOK.

Shaver's Foreword to "Bliss Bibliolatridinousities" or "The Sap's Bible" or "A Story for Zombies"...

Writing a story for the dead mind of Mankind after the murder is a thankless task. There isnt anyone home to read the story.

However, maybe even zombies read.

In the multi-media welter of wool, to write anything that will stand out and say something that is heard, one really has to tower giant-like above it all...saying electric words of immense potency, injecting into each phrase some mystical vitamin of meaning that will penetrate the fog of fooh and register on the senses as ultra-sense.

How to accomplish this towering overpowering of tho welter of sound and published wordy endlessness is a feat worth noting when someone accomplishes it.

One really needs a dog-whistle sort of penetrativeness, heard above all the racket as a single lovely note of luring loveliness... which reminds me of the ugly squalk of the Bluejay. Once I pursued a lovely bell-note of liquid splash of sound in the forest... and the only bird I could find responsible was a Bluejay.

Remarkably enough I do believe the Bluejay possesses such a note which he releases in the deep forest in quest of a mate... and at that time and for that purpose only. Or so it seems...or else somewhere in the wilderness there is a little invisible bird with a mighty powerful throat.

So one needs such a note for the purpose of reaching the one most necessary..even though all one's other singings are raucous and rejected.

To that end I write... The Murder of the Mind of Man... was not accomplished ..there is still one somewhere.

The problem is to find it.

To that end one wants to overpower the welter of wool with sweet notes of sanity is the same end the mockinghird manages to sweeten the environment so one can live in it.

So I sing... forever aimlessly looking for the mind of man with one sweet note of sense more penetrating and more overpowering and more irresistible than any other of the endless variety of sounds of nonsense with which we are so endlessly smothered in today's world of wool.

Mankind today is lost in a maze of nonsense and worthless thoughts masquerading as sense. To be of any use to mankind one must show the way out of the maze and into sweet sanity.

Where is this wonderful exit from the maze of noisy nonsense? How do you re-order your environment to make it livable and perhaps even pleasant?

The exit is in the rainbow bands of vibrance now ignored as microwaves. Certain of them are as necessary to the mind as water is necessary to a plant. Find them, isolate them, augment them... and you will find in them your environment livable and lovely and even immensely pleasant, as water to a man dying of thirst.

Water is needed for the mind of man which thirsts forever for a way to be a mind, rather than a zombie plodding aimlessly toward immobility.

Water is needed, but not water as we need it and say it. . .water of life is needed... a liquid beauty of growth potential curative and nourishing to the better essences of life ... that will make of the dull zombie man the real mental marvel of sanity he was meant to be.

Once such a miracle existed, distilled potential of curativity and a supplier of the most needed essences of life. Once it existed...and it went about the world by many names, in flasks and barrels and vials. Men fought over it, and in the fighting, lost the formula and the way of life. (Editor's Note: see Shaver's Aegir and the Everlasting Vi-Mech here in Shavertron).

So today we look for other things, and the water of life goes begging as another wonderful miasma of meaningless splendor in the past of mankind.

The water of life trickles as a brook out of the maze of wandering men forever circling in futility... a... and to follow it will lead the feet of men out the exit of the maze in which they circle toward the center of all madness and the end-product of all folly -- war and extermination of man.

There is a way for the stupid to become intelligent, and for the retarded to catch up with the other wandering zombies of mindless plodding toward the center of ail futility.

But to my mind one is apt to find in the retarded and the childlike simplicity of some so-called simple souls, that actual distillation of sense called common sense... and in the virgin purity of the ignorant: and untutored minds one often finds a simplicity of sanity not found in the so-called educated man.

So, not to be deceived by educated insanity and elevated moronic profundity, I seek always for the simple soul of sanity rather than the glittering profundities of educated insanity.

Like the single liquid note in the forest, I seek the soul of man, and even that word soul reminds that it, too, is a distillation of nonsense, for to have a soul a man must be schizoid and split into two people.... so let us say that I seek the mind of man and ignore the split-off silly profundity called the soul.

(I dedicate the phrase "silly profundity to Marvin Grosswirth, and mention that in fact they do exist. A profundity is a falsehood wrapped round with words and enshrined forever in the endless plodding falsities absorbed by man's dead mind as "truth").

To speak to the mind of man, one is confined to the use of words. And words are as often as not polluted remnants of meanings once valid but no longer so.

For instance, the word soul is accepted as a meaning but it is such an obvious collection of ancient falsehoods one can't touch it and convey any real meaning except more of the same falsehood it has gathred into itself over the centuries.

For instance, the word God or gods has gathred into itself all the ancient profundities such as "soul" and ''mystical insubstantiality of real-unreal existance without existance of all the mystic handlers ofcontradicting phrases and meaniagless profundities.

The very word "contradiction" has become so accepted as a meaning that people speak in contradictions not even noticing, as Marvin Grosswirth pointed out so ably.

Once, long ago.."contra-diction meant just that: Counter-diction or a way of speaking with contradictory phrases canceling each other.

It was the Diction used by people who suffered from the disease called Contra...which was an affliction of the mind caused by a certain virus.

Today people speak in contra-dictions without even realizing they have left sense behind when they put contradictory phrases into speech.

To this end of pointing out that words are so decayed from their original meanings I invite some contemplation of the root-meanings in the seall ignored sound-meanings w1~ich we join together in making the large words we use so profoundly.

People who speak in contradictions habitually are in fact suffering from a mind disorder. This mind disorder is everywhere apparent, and reaches into every avenue of government, as the scoffers at governmental jargon have noted.

lt is a symptom of mental disorder which should be noted in all governmental efforts, and those suffering from it should be isolated and treated as are the people suffering from more obvious diseases.

But in today's world of wool and endless repetitious squalking of the "media" calling as the captive audience as they drive us into a state of mental callousness oblivious of all real sensitivity and sanity.

In today's world of nonsense accepted as sense so generally as we listen to the endless exhortations of the evangelists and the pitch men selling their wares over our air waves...

What is one to do with one's innate urge toward sanity in mental exchange? What is one to do with the Dictionary, as Grosswirth asks?

To put words together into sentences is just as inviolable a pattern of meaning as a column of figures or a formula of symbols.

Yet, we are exhorted daily by all sorts of people who never in their lives noticed or refused a contradiction.

There may be a system of reason and logic which is valid which includes the use of words in a proper order and sequence of meaning. But I have never encountered it, except in the pages of a few ignored philosophers who possessed the innate faculty of saying meanings in the proper order to reach a sensible sum of meanings.

The mind of man needs something it's not it the Water of Life or the Vitamin of is a rare commodity.

In all the desert of communications it is never mentioned, and one seeks forever through the endless wordy mouthings and printings with little of the life-giving sustenance to reward the search.

I think we have to leave the wordy wool of today's customized and verbalized and talkalized houses of men...and go into the shop and put together a gadget that will TRUE up the vibrating center of the mind so that it emits sensible sounds in the right order and toward the correct goal of all life...

Such a gadget would emit a single potent NOTE of music, like a pitchpipe emits a sound by which one can true up a piano or a voice.

Or..such a gadget would emit a magnetic field of force which would affect the compass of the mind beneficently and true it up so that it pointed much more directly toward the pole of sanity.

I think that men plod unthinkingly in the circle of nonsense we eall living because their compasses of mind have been magnetized adversely and that the compasses MUST be de-magnetized and treated

I think mankind suffers from a pollution affecting it in the same way that Gibberellin affects a plant..and that we will never be a successful healthy life form until we learn how to correct this particular pollution.

Until that inventor comes along, the only solution to living sensibly is NO solution... like playing possum; pretending to be a zombie. For, if one points out the falsities and nonsense words and endless dissertations councilling nonsense solutions to one's problems, one is pointed out as a trouble maker and a heretic.