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The basic categories of everything,” Chris informs Bernie, in Matthew Sharpe’s The Sleeping Father, are, “Time, Space, Living Things, Nonliving Things, Real Things, Fake Things, Concrete Things, Abstract Things, The Relations Between Things, The Movement of Things, The Quality of Things, The Quantity of Things, The Power of Things, Heat and Coldness, Sports, Jobs and Occupations, Crafts, Religion, Food, History, Science, Psychology, Health and Sickness, Aeronautics, Periodicals, Advice, Color and Colorlessness, Noises, Meteorology and Climatology, Sex, Death.” The arbitrary list recalls Borges’s famous citation of “a certain Chinese encyclopedia” that posits 14 kinds of beasts, from “(a) those that belong to the emperor” to “(n) those that at a distance resemble flies.” My notes on Hulbert’s History of Korea (1905) reveal that a certain king “named nine kinds of men who would make good prefects”; the final entry is “Good authors.”

In the new Fears of Your Life (Manic D Press), Michael Bernard Loggins, an “adult with developmental disabilities,” lists what scares him. Top slot goes to “Fear of Hospitals and Needles,” while “Fear of Death” clocks in at 42; closing the list proper, at 138, is, “Fear of Jumping off the Bridge way up high going down real deep splash in that Deepest water and take your own Life away From yourself. You’ll Jump from top ledge.” The book’s more impressionistic second half ends with the truly chilling Fear #45: “Afraid this is the Last Thing that ever occur to me.”

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