I’m afraid that it is now that time of the academic year when my reading life is just a relic of earlier hopes, and all here is in one state of disrepair or another, but here are the books that I have bookmarks in: Lyn Hejinian’s The Book of a Thousand Eyes; a new collection simply titled Three Poets from Minus A Press that includes new work from John Ashbery, Timothy Donnelly, and Geoffrey G. O’Brien; Maurice Blanchot’s The Writing of the Disaster; Kenneth Cox’s Collected Studies in the Use of English; Spenser’s Mutability Cantos; and for a bit of escape at night, Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall.
Congratulations to Shira Dentz, whose poem “a woman all about love yesterday.” was selected by the Academy of American Poets, as part of their Poem-A-Day project (on December 13). Shira is Drunken Boat’s Reviews Editor; her books include black seeds on a white dish and Leaf Weather.
At the moment I am reading or rather as user interacting on screen with Illya Szilak’s multi-media digital novel: Reconstructing Mayakovsky. (See her Huff-Post blog: “The Death of the Novel: How E-Lit Revolutionizes Fiction”). I am reading & rereading the PDF of Sarah Gridley’s Loom (Omnidawn, April 2013), a gorgeous book-length pastoral meditation/postmodern allegory — “rouging silver and wildly cold.” I stare at the photographs, illustrations & text of Tan Lin’s uncanny memoir Insomnia and the Aunt (Kenning Editions) — “As any mathematician can tell you, lovers like drapes are feeble signs of a light that can’t come in, for the minute a TV show or a person becomes memorized (the worst form of recognition), it or she ceases to exist in any meaningful way. A dumb TV show is the most beautiful TV show.” I am also rereading three books: John Stilgoe’s elegant & profound essay Shallow Water Dictionary: A Grounding in Estuary English — “In the shallows the oarsman pulls precisely.” Kafka’s Blue Octavo Notebooks – “Evil is the starry sky of Good.” & Wittgenstein’s On Certainty — “If a blind man were to ask me ‘Have you got two hands?’ I should not make sure by looking.”