1. Suddenly, a Knock on the Door, Etgar Keret. Every decade or so, it seems someone reinvents the short story – there was Donald Barthelme, Raymond Carver, Lydia Davis, and now Etgar Keret. Even though his stories are only a few pages long, I limit myself to one per day because I want this book to last as long as possible.
2. Here Comes the Sun: the Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison, Joshua M. Greene. A fascinating portrait that takes George’s devotional side seriously. When was the last time a rock star bio made you want to be a better person? This one will.
3. George Oppen: New Collected Poems edited by Michael Davidson. These poems are challenging, but not because they’re impenetrable or obscure. In fact, what’s most provocative is their clarity and candor.
4. The Gastronomical Me, MFK Fisher. When I tire of watching Iron Chef, I return to these feather light essays that capture not just appetite but also the manners, customs and rituals that surround it. MFK Fisher is the Jane Austen of food writers.
5. The Autobiography of William Carlos Williams. I love hearing about the early days of modernism from such a reliable source. Whether he’s delivering a baby, hanging out with Ezra Pound, or writing a poem, Doc Williams calls it as he sees it.
This month I’ve been reading Geoffrey G. O’Brien’s new poems, especially “People on Sunday (1930),” re-reading giovanni singleton’s Ascension from Counterpath, and David Graeber – a printout of a piece on nonviolent direct action. I’m also trying again with Swann’s Way. In the past, his hyper-slow meditations on bourgeois life made me grumpy when I was working so hard to earn a living and write. My women’s reading group decided to read Proust (we chose the Moncrieff/Kilmartin/Enright version), I was nervous, having been a shameful Proust drop-out Now I have fallen in love with Proust: delicious sentences you can wrap around yourself, each a whole universe. I can’t wait to get into bed at night and read Swann’s Way. Eric Karpeles’ excellent Paintings in Proust helps track the paintings and is gorgeous. As Proust’s perceptions unfold, each has intensity, grammatical fascination and surprise. His sentences have been even helpful for thinking about the future of Occupy, paving the way for a new kind of time, indeterminate and flexible.
2012 Chapbook Festival and Mixer’s Five-year Anniversary Reading
Sometimes I don’t fit the form of a poem.
Sometimes I just want to stare directly without demanding metaphor or make something solid with my hands or I want to be inside a place that feels like the inside of my head.
These posts see the style stories that travel our literary circles–this week’s post has shots of fashioned folks traipsing about and enjoying the 2012 Chapbook Festival and Mixer’s Fifth Anniversary Reading before I accosted them with my camera and growl-sneered, Lemmelookatyou…And surprisingly, they let me! And you can look at them, too.
Future posts will include some literary leaning craft projects and style/inspiration boards ala literary figures.
Questions? Comments? Flower bombs? Email me: email@example.com.
2012 Chapbook Festival, CUNY Graduate Center, NYC
Sally Wen Mao, Honey Badger
Alyssa Morhardt-Goldstein and Nicholas Adamski of The Poetry Brothel
Amy from Greying Ghost Press
This braided bead necklace was made by poet Paige Taggart and worn by a lovely woman whose named I did not get.
Lynne Desilva-Johnson of The Trouble with Bartleby and Exit Strata.
Cindy Jordan, poet, from UpSet Press, rocking cobalt.
Mixer’s Five-year Anniversary Reading
Trent Morse of ArtNEWS