Appealing insanity from pamphleteer and retired spy Jesse Ball. Here's what I'm talking about:
ANYONE desiring the presence of JESSE BALL in the office of poet can solicit it elegantly by email.
AS REGARDS the COMPLICATED BUSINESS of COMMISSIONS, Ball eagerly consents to be commissioned in various possibilities.
These are as follows: Ball will undertake an artistic commission (that is, a commission involving the creation of a work of theoretical or actual art, verse or prose) and deliver himself of that commission within an agreed upon period of time. Ball will undertake a physical commission (that is, a commission involving the physical doing of a deed, ie. the delivery of a turnip to nebraska on motorcycle in three days time). Such commissions may or may not be costly. The cost varies with the task involved, its difficulty, and its appealing or unappealing nature. Generally the stranger or the farther afield, the better. A commission to photograph Cape Horn with a pinhole camera, for instance, would be seriously entertained.
The schedule is as follows:
1. You are to write to Jesse Ball, either by e-mail or physical-post.
2. In this letter, you specify the type of commission, and amount of money that is to be paid. In the case of certain commissions, Ball charges only traveling costs, and a small purse with which to sustain those small appetites that occur to the spirited traveler when pleased by the moment.
3. The abovementioned specification should take the form of an itinerary, listing in particular, the places to which Ball will be required to go, the actions that he will be required to take in those places, the goods or documents he is to transport, and the obstacles, be they man, beast or the unknown.
4. As well, it is crucial that the chronology be precise. Ball must know the exact day upon which the task ought to be completed. In the case of tasks where such a day cannot be surmised, that date will necessarily and acceptably be absent.
5. Payment schedule -- payment is to be made promptly by cash, check, money order, or trade. Trade can be made with goods, services, or pieces of art (as in the Holland of old).
6. Once the letter reaches Ball, the proposal will be either rejected, accepted, or put into consideration. In the third situation, the proposer may find his or herself the recipient of a counterproposal. Such a counterproposal may then be in turn be met with another counter-proposal. At this point, the negotiations move into a different realm, and a physical meeting is even possible, in order to alleviate the difficulties of bartering.
7. In the proposal, the proposer or querent should write what category the proposal falls under. These are as follows: a. construction of a situation or spectacle; b. delivery of goods; c. chronicling of an event; d. transmission of news; e. the writing of a work; f. the taking of an animal or human being from one place to another.
8. In the latter case, the animal or human being in question will be screened by Jesse Ball or an associate of Jesse Ball that a decision regarding suitability can be reached prior to the definitive signing of a contract.
9. All contracts will be legally binding and will be made in the presence of a witness, and on a Tuesday between the hours of 8 and 9 o'clock. Other times are patently unacceptable and can only be tolerated in the direst need.
10. It should be specified in the proposal whether or not Ball will be traveling under a true or assumed name. Should the latter prove the case, it will generally fall to Jesse Ball to determine what that name will be. The client will or will not be appraised of that information prior to Ball's acting upon the commission. Should the client be informed, he or she may be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.