Hey! I have a poem in the new issue of Tinderbox. It’s called “Poem Written After Reading a Poem With a Boat in It.” This is a poem that started with the title, and is kind of a poke at myself for liking poems with long titles. It’s also a homage to the Chinese. And an ode to motherhood, and an observation about a statue, and a nod to Weltschmerz. It’s anything you want.
Watched: Das Weisse Band (The White Ribbon). #great
Discarded: A blouse I loved but didn’t suit me. I would have continued to let it hang in the closet as if I might someday wear it, but apparently I wore it enough to get a stain on it. Saved the buttons and threw it away.
Received: A letter from Sardegna with a small seashell from my Italian daughter.
Waiting is a weed that promises blossoms. It endures the worst conditions, growing even near the end of the road.
In the bookstore, there’s one customer who regularly reads the last page before deciding on a book, then finds the experience spoiled: The vines are thwacked. The step-mother dies. Making his rounds, the hunter comes. Or doesn’t.
But life’s not a peephole.
Most of the time you are the little man hunched in the snowglobe waiting for a shake.
Here goes nothing, you say, angling into an anticipated wind.
Outside the warehouse, the bus stop bench sits in a tangle of mayweed. You lean back. If not for the search lights, these clouds wouldn’t be lit like this, from underneath.
The fields fill, and the trees and the housetops, and the chimneys choke. And the bricks turn red and there’s a heady scent of something that is not smoke.
It’s the slow city you built in a bottle that makes these blossoms possible.
Q. is on p. 33 of 640 of The Bone Clocks: "I feel the vibe when I pick it up. I feel the heat - this is going to be a mind-bending, memorable journey of a book. I want to remember this moment, the whole book ahead of me. Because when it is over, I will want this moment again, when the whole book awaited me."
A. is on p. 59 of 640 of The Bone Clocks: "An easy read, but (as I was warned), not yet an enticing one. Well, not until page 58. It may be about to take off…"
J. is on p. 170 of 640 of The Bone Clocks: "Hugo is a horrible douchebag. I hope he dies sooner rather than later. Or changes. Or something. "
J. is on p. 187 of 640 of The Bone Clocks: "Charming, but not convincing. Not bad, but well below my expectations. Maybe things will change. That happened with Ender's Game, where a decent book was crowned by an incredible ending. There's still hope . . . "
F. is on p. 254 of 640 of The Bone Clocks: "This middle bit is quite good. Iraq. Shades of The Yellow Birds, though not so poetic. This section might have made a great standalone novella.”
F. is on p. 292 of 640: "The last section was great. But now Mitchell is trying too hard to make his characters hip. Also, is he trying to inoculate himself against bad reviews through self-deprecation? I appreciate the "meta" of it all, but it seems like trying too hard. I'm probably going to be lynched by Mitchell fans."
C. is on p. 321 of 640: "I don't know whether the metafictional aspects, like the entry of characters from his other works, is fun or a bit too self-consciously clever. I'm also irritated by the gratuitous use of names with a variety of accents, presumably because it's easy to typeset. Nevertheless, I keep turning the pages…"
F. is on p. 374 of 632 of The Bone Clocks: "NOW it's getting interesting. Good thing I plowed through the poorly-written part, i.e., THE FIRST 350 OR SO PAGES!"
A. is on p. 403 of 640 of The Bone Clocks: "A magnificent mix of brilliance and bombast so far. Also, a fantasy waiting (waiting, waiting, waiting...) to happen."
Q. is on p. 516 of The Bone Clocks: "Had to slow wayyyy down. This last third gets more and more sci-fi as we go."
U. is finished with The Bone Clocks: “like hitting a home run and stopping at 3rd base.”
Read: About a German soldier in WWII who forged documents for Dutch jews. “Klemke, whose artwork made him a consummate storyteller, never talked about that stage of his life. A cartoonist who knew Klemke said that aspect of the story might not make sense in an age when people log on to social media to boast about minor accomplishments.” Recommended read.
Listened to: Langley School Music Project, fun, and a tearjerker
Discarded: Unread newspapers
Received: A rejection after 10 months. Gets kind of annoying, that.
Saw: Got on a bus stuffed with senior citizens, strollers and a guy with a loudly wheezing bulldog. After 4 minutes on the road, the driver pulls over and gets out to inspect the bus. He looks up and down and behind, and finally opens the middle door, where he sees the rhythmically rasping animal. OH, IT’S THE DOG! he says.
Decided: Old German drunks are among the funniest (from afar, of course) because of German, which in some mouths makes you sound drunk already.
Failed: Mismanaged time left and right.
Dreamed: My daughter told me she dreamed I was a fascist concocting an elaborate plan to poison her. I said my dream was more exciting: I dreamed I broke three mugs in our kitchen and had to replace them.
Laughed: Found a tweep whose shtick is to implant “your mom” in CNN headlines, as in “Your Mom Drenches Mexico,” and “Boy Bands Are Now Doing Your Mom.” Gets more mileage than you’d expect.
Word of the week: Liebeskummer, German for ‘love troubles’ or ‘lovesickness.’
Pithiness of the week: O useless soulmate of my tedium. (Pessoa)