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The Ontolog


A building was going up across the street. It was driving me nuts. I couldn't get any work done, so I wrote a poem. Towards the end of its writing (8 years after the building's completion, I'm slow), I saw more of the "alt-right" than I wanted to, got scared, wrote some letters-never-sent that I threshed into this poem.

THE ONTOLOG is a crucible—but unlike Arthur Miller's play, it contains no witches and very little hysteria. If you turn the book sideways, in the direction of the circle, you'll see a skyline.   —Marek Waldorf

"In this unillusioned but enraptured ode to the thirty-story condo rising outside his window, Marek Waldorf limns equally the absurdities and metaphysics of the constructions that define our destiny. As the building ascends by fits and starts, like 'an island of conscious / Redress writ big,' he records also the poetry that stitches it together with unexpected grace. The Ontolog—beyond allegory, analogy, or prose—becomes the site for a fusion of subject-and-object that seems initially local but proves instead to be a harbinger of Being. Stay with it and you won't see poetry or the skyline the same again."  —Douglas Crase, author of The Revisionist and The Astropastorals


Marek Waldorf is the author of a novel, The Short Fall, and a collection of stories, Widow's Dozen. The Ontolog was begun in 2006 in Brooklyn, NY and completed in 2016 in Astoria, NY, where the author currently lives with Helen and Luna. Born in Washington DC, Waldorf grew up in various places: Idi Amin's Uganda, coup-wracked Thailand, punk-era England, and apartheid-encircled Lesotho, but primarily Binghamton, NY. He studied Philosophy at Harvard, started a PhD in American Literature at UCLA and left after a year, moving to San Francisco, where he co-starred in Jon Moritsugu's Hippy Porn. Waldorf's grandfather, Darwin Teilhet, wrote more than 25 novels, many with his wife Hildegarde—most popular mysteries of the 1930s and 1940s—including the series, The Adventures of the Brave Baron von Kaz in the Northern States of America (1935-40) and The Fearmakers, a conspiracy thriller, the film of which was directed by Jacques Tourneur.