Richard Kostelanetz


For the composer Terry Riley (known since 1966)


As an initial performer begins speaking the first aphorism slowly, clearly enunciating each word, a second performer recites the second, a third does the third, etc., for as many performers agreeing to participate. Each performer repeats his or her aphorism until tiring of it, at which point he or she moves ahead to the next. Whenever a speaker hears his or her current words spoken by someone else, that should prompt the former speaker to move ahead. Once all speakers finish the final aphorism, the performance ends. This text may be abridged and reordered by the performers. It may also be printed in a printed program or projected onto a screen. If MINIMALS opens a concert program, consider repeating this entire piece at the end with an entirely different group of people.

Enunciate clearly and slowly.

Skyward infinitely extend yourself.

Never lose real money.

Thoughtfully initiate considerate seduction.

Wash yourself, good luck.

Beneficence breeds bountiful booty.

Be a skeptical student.

Excellence everyone ultimately respects.

Cleanse out your mouth.

Accurate arithmetic never lies.

Aspire to invisible humility.

Love whoever lacks lovers.

Reward beggars, rob crooks.

Leap into freezing lakes.

Stand tall for truth.

Rush not to judgments.

Appear impregnable to foes.

Ostentatiously whirl your wigs.

For wagers race Chihuahuas.

Inflate your sagging ego.

Defaults don’t count.

Only tanks defeat tanks.

Environment eventually overrules heredity.

Lying expedites successful loving.

Let's advocate 100% unemployment.

More friendly friends befriend.

Repeal poisons with palliatives.

Only mistakes generate wisdom.

Expand your mind voluminously.

Admire inferiors, exploit superiors.

Be awash with cash.

Relish your lover's loving.

Atop a ladder perch.

Disturb not hornets' nests.

Ring ropes enclose boxing.

Sexual intercourse facilitates acquaintance.

None of your business.

Unexpected opportunities don’t dismiss.

Strong writing isn't forgotten.

Fighters get knocked down.

Swim until you sink.

Imagine yourself pleasurably seduced.

Through hoops basketballs go.

Don't inspire anyone's revenge.

Insanity’s nobody’s pleasure.

Jump until you can’t.

Love surfaces as surprise.

Don’t eat what’s inedible.

Before violence lie down.

Unravel obscure conundrums.

Promptly arrest all plagiarism.

Sympathize with erotic insufficiency.

Remove belly-button lint assiduously.

Imagine only lofty fantasies.

Arise self-purposed daily.

No secret’s secret forever.

Speak with classiest diction.

Aim for lofty recognitions.

Lose gamblers eventually do.

Soap eviscerates body filth.

Loving keeps you young.

You can’t hide forever.

Aspire to be unbelievable.

Rest assured of nothing.

Exhale foul emotions.

Awake to generous surprises.

Cultivate cunning diplomatic skills.

Shower several times daily.

Differently do lovers love.

Nuggets of wisdom digest.

Imagine high and wide.

Build a counterclockwise clock.

Alabaster outlasts plywood.

Run up extravagant debts.

Lost souls never engage.

Spin in a circle.

Multiply more than rabbits.

Support saints among us.

Master life’s musical instruments.

Read books over newspapers.

Manage your resources skillfully.

Pick up stray pennies.

Classify your lovers’ sentiments.

Time’s your only “money.”

Focus everyone’s attention.

Creeps creep creepily.

Believe in generous gods.

Epitomize excellence wherever possible.

Excavate life’s residues.

The wisest fool wins.

Regurgitate flattery from others.

Sprint away from fire.

Kisses sweeter than wine.

Understandably misunderstand conundrums.

Fantasize about move stars.

Duck, run for cover.

Food fattens, alcohol kills.

Dive only into water.

Enjoy sitting on toilets.

Love yourself before others.

Never mispronounce “February.”

If confused, solicit advice.

Acknowledge constraints in advance.

Practice “night-life” by day.

Sell your possessions.

Read only sagacious literature.

Swim with sharks.

Distribute one’s affections evenly.

Sexual abstinence teaches nothing.

Shoot the moon.

Seduction obviates quarreling.

Rewire your brain’s circuits.

Allow yourself chocolate

Sex is rarely bad.

Invest in yourself initially.

Fly exclusively in airplanes.

Wave all patriotic flags.

Crash through thin walls.

Confessed sins require absolution.

Only misfortune inspires wisdom.

Fruits make better cakes.

Retire early while alive.

Befuddle one’s antagonists.

Don’t enrage your family.

Reveal your secrets reluctantly.

Eschew questionable explanations.

Bells get everyone’s attention.

Empty pockets before crime.

Get potential benefactors inebriated.

Effervescent lectures stupefy.

Repel poisons with pests.

Watch yourself piss forever.

Make love, not war.

Identify paths through mazes.

Don’t build “dream houses.”

Much less is more.

Eat healthy, live longer.

Trap mice with cats.

Rent a retired fire-engine.

Bestow beneficence on others.

Discipline your lousy lovers.

Be lovely before “beautiful.”

Run with the swiftest.

Wrangle horses, not men.

Thrilling surprises await you.

Discontents inspire higher ambitions.

Cure ills with sunshine.

Avoid perverse entanglements.

Recognize your deepest faults.

Don’t peddle your integrity.

Sleep all you need.

Truths eventually defeat lies.

Money can’t buy love.

Individual entries on Richard Kostelanetz appear in Contemporary Poets, Contemporary Novelists, Postmodern Fiction, Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, A Reader’s Guide to Twentieth-Century Writers, the Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature, Webster’s Dictionary of American Authors, The HarperCollins Reader’s Encyclopedia of American Literature, NNDB.com, and the Encyclopedia Britannica, among other distinguished directories. distinguished directories. Otherwise, he survives unemployed in New York, where he was born, from time to time applying for an appropriate university position.
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