Sunday, August 27, 2017

Not even someday

You know how there are couple of books in your to-read stack that turn you off every time you look for a new read, despite their long-standing membership there?

As in, every time you see them you think not now, as if it were a mood issue or a simple case of subject, or you wanted a woman writer this time, or something shorter, or something not set in New York or about WWII, so you snub the book again and after a few years of its languishing on the stack you realize it’s more deep-seated than that. 

All the worse when you’ve sampled 5-10 pages of it and then put it back on the pile, pretty much guaranteeing you’re never going to commit. 

These days it seems like my whole to-read stack consists of such books.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Itch

Two more of my Misery poems are up at The Collapsar, "The Itch" and "Past Life." 

"The Itch" reads:
If you turned the thing over 
to take a look at the works, 
you saw the itch let herself in 
dragging something heavy, 
a cross of soft skin.

"Past Life"
O maddening serene thing
in a previous life
such a rain began to fall

A couple more from this series are due out shortly, and at some point I'll make a linked index of them and post it here.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Back from a vacation in France today, and glad to have tomorrow free before returning to Spain for work on Wednesday.

Like last year in Bourges, we saw a number of WWI sites in the Champagne region. One day we went out to visit the ruins of an abbey and found ourselves just a few kilometers from the site where Guillaume Apollinaire was wounded in 1916. Someone erected a stone marker there with an excerpt from the poem “The Seasons.” I picked up these leaves and such as a souvenir.

We are not big champagne drinkers, alas, but we went to a tasting and bought a bottle for the fall birthday of a friend.

I regretted not taking enough books — usually I lug too many. But early on the day before we left I finished Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. It was a good read and I was especially sorry to see it end with no other fiction or non-fiction at hand. I was stuck with a poetry book I was not enjoying and another I’ve read many times. Plus two copies of Misery that I didn’t even look at. Our Airbnb host had two English-language novels on her shelf but one I’d read and the other didn’t interest me, plus I would have felt guilty absconding with one anyway.

So I’m glad to be home with a few unread books to choose from. I’d really like to read the fat book I have about the French revolution but recall I’ve left Kershaw’s big biography of Hitler in my desk at work in Barcelona, which dissuades me from cracking open anything too heavy.
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