Friday, January 27, 2012
best of times
:: Tonight, I am reading and re-reading stacks and stacks of poetry books by Minnesota poets; Saturday is first-round judging for the MN Book Awards. I've finally come upon one I would stand behind in nomination, though I've got more to read, and I admit, I did reverse-order the reading in suspicion of ones I'd like--because of publisher, because of the poet, because of paging through. We're getting to the better ones the longer the night goes on.
:: I just took a break from reading to write a poem I've called, in its wet-ink stages, "Offal." Earlier, I watched an episode of Top Chef in which the contestants were to cook with offal, though none used the organ I write of in the poem. I'm prodding at the middle second of my manuscript, where it sags a bit with the weight of sorrowful-medical poems. Oh woe! Oh woe are my sad little ovaries! Oh zing! Oh move. Oh stop with the willowing and wallowing and get into the woods. So I did. Have I mentioned I might have a title? I very well might.
:: This is the saddest news of all: Our beloved independent bookstore, just ten blocks away from my own house, so close that I walked the holiday season I worked there, back and forth, tromping in the lovely December snow, is closing its doors forever this Saturday. I've been invited to the wine-and-cheese honoring event, but it bumps up against the judging, so I will have to say farewell with books jutting under my arms, wave from the sidelines and hope once the economy balloons back up, we'll have a bookstore in town again, though with the e-revolution, it might not be so. Meanwhile, I make sure to bring my daughter to story hour at the library and every time she stumbles toward me with a chewed-over book in her spitty little hands, I read as far as she'll let me and a few minutes later, read as far as she'll let me in the next one she offers up in her adorable slouch-shouldered kind of way. Our house is fat with books as a bookstore is, I tell you, but it's been marred by the smells of cooking and dog-breath and the furnace-heat and damp slippers. When I worked at a bookstore, I'd come home, and my husband would lean in and tell me I smelled the smell of new books. Mmmm.