Monday, July 25, 2011

Humanity is a thing that crawls under yr skin



Last week I went to Montreal with Miss Elizabeth, and it was a holiday designed primarily to give myself a fresh perspective on things. It is sometimes very difficult when you are in the mud of a situation, to see clearly what needs to be done, and flitting off to another country always seems to do the trick for me. Mini holidays force me to break out of any routine/rut, whether it be mental or physical, and I always return with a purer focus, a more energized heart and an aggressive to-do list. My Elizabeth proved to be the most wonderful friend, dropped everything and met me in Montreal, and we talked, laughed, swam, spent ungodly money on food, and listened to jazz. I'm not quite sure why I deserved the world bringing me a friend like her, but I absolutely will not give her back.


[She took this photo of me which is one of my most lovely/happy in the world]

Also, we found that hugs are a form of currency there, and paid for part of our steak dinner with hugs to the waitstaff. Canada is too adorable to be a real country.

Yesterday Nick took me upstate to Ochs Farm where we were able to pick our own fruit.



We also went to Sugar Loaf, this small and friendly town, and through the hot rain we dodged into various artsy shops. I saw so many beautiful photographs of trees, and a lot of spiritual gifts. When we were driving away he surprised me with this most beautiful perfume decanter that I had fallen in love with in one shop.



So tonight I spent the evening syringing my most expensive perfume into it, and am now in the middle of making an apple galette with the apples we bought. It is a terribly french way to spend the evening, or at least this is what I imagine the happiest, most darling French women do on Monday nights.



It is not too pretty, but I'm sure it's tasty. My life is too lovely for me or anyone...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A most perfect unpetalling



[jasmine tea and vanilla-lemon cupcakes with my sister at a dessert tapas cafe in the East Village]

I am in the middle of a very difficult journey. It's a spiritual, emotional and practical one, that requires more strength than I thought existed in my little soul. Basically what happened, is I found the man of my dreams. His name is Nick. I realized that all the men I dated before were because I was hunting in them, to find that tiny little fraction, and now I have found the man that is the summation of all those fractions. I may have dated one man because he had the perfect sense of humor I was looking for, another because of the physical attraction, another because his intellect was beautiful to me. I found that one quality in each man, and it sustained me for a short while, but now I realize what I was doing all these years. I was collecting pieces because I could be temporarily happy with a small piece of my perfect heaven. Now that I have found the man who is composed of all perfect pieces, it's a little overwhelming, something my brain has trouble processing. How could I have found this person, it almost seems like he is something I manifested? How can someone fit so ideally into what I want? I've ended up sabotaging things tremendously, and am no longer with him. I refuse to sit around crying about that though, because I've realized that the world sometimes throws hurdles at me to make me prove that I really want something. I can be such a passive person, and don't fight for things, and take a different road often when the road is unbearable. But this time, for the first time, I'm going to fight.

The most beautiful splendors are for the most beautiful of fighters. Wartime is just another way. When the blood is outside of our bodies we realize with a shock that we are human. And sometimes at that point, after the knife wound, it is already too late. And we can only have a few minutes of watching our life pooling at our feet. But sometimes instead: we heal and recover, and continue on, finally human. I think that true living happens only once we have almost lost it. And that must be the same with loving.

I never really believed in past lives, but I have the strangest sensation that I've loved him in a past life. And I know that I love him in my present life. And suspect I will love him in all my future lives. To know that I have found my soul mate is at least comforting a little. If I cannot be with him in this life time, at least I know I've found him. And at the very least, in one of my future lives, I will have him completely, and he will have me completely. I'm learning slowly, to be patient with things.

I went to see a very interesting, old jewish woman last night. She is able to read souls, and she sat across from me, stared into my eyes. After saying a number of startlingly true things she said "Okay, let's get to your love life now", looked into my eyes again, and then said: "Nicholas."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Finding a way out of the ocean




This is a photo of a man kissing his girlfriend during a riot in Vancouver. She had been knocked down by the armed men storming in, and he bent down to comfort her, and all he could think of was to kiss her.

Sometimes, when we are very lucky, love is a thing of instinct.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Boxes filled with various, precious things

I spent much of yesterday in the ER, though not for my own ailments. Now, I know. No one is a fan of hospitals. But I, due to many years of being a delicate child and young adult, have gone to the ER several times a year for as long as I can remember. I got used to and started to enjoy the system-- i'd bring books and magazines, apple juice always, a change of clothes and anything else I might need should they ask me to stay the night. It was always interesting for me to be in an environment with such intense experiences going on all around me. People on the verge of death, people in dark places, or people just like me. This time however, the moment I walked into where people were being treated, I felt overstimulated with all their pain-- their moaning and the limp way their bodies stagnated in the cheap hospital carts. Half of them were drunk or delirious, most of them were catatonic. There were police scattered all about to keep watch over certain patients, which I found unsettling, as they obviously must pose some danger. And perhaps I did not enjoy it because I was worrying about someone else for a change. But, since I am a creature of water, I adapted to the environment after a few minutes, and was fine from there.

So in the supermarket today I had an interesting idea for a new cupcake, and this is inspired by my darling E since she drinks these, and I am always thinking of ways to make things that would delight her. I found this beautiful bottle of grenadine syrup, and thought to make Shirley Temple Cupcakes: A poundcake as the main cake, with grenadine cream frosting and filled with a maraschino cherry filling. Charming, no?

In other cupcake endeavors, I've realized how much I enjoy sculpting fondant into pretty particulars to place atop baked goods. It is such a relaxing art form-- I spent hours last week making a single key: tinting it to the perfect shade of rusty brown, kneading it smooth, indenting grooved marks and etc. It is very satisfying for me to create digestible art, i've realized. By that I mean, poetry is easily 'digestible'-- you can read it in a few minutes and get some pleasure from it. And cupcake art is the most literally digestible, as it is consumed and goes through the body and becomes, in small part, a part of the body.

I watched Gattaca again this evening, and it's interesting how this world is likely going to become like that pretty soon. When I was in Disney World a few months ago they had you scan your fingerprint to gain entry into the park, and it was a big problem because my fingerprint wouldn't scan. After trying several fingers we found one that worked finally. I was very embarrassed, but I've known for a long time that my fingerprints have been disappearing. I feel I am slowly leaving the world: the realistic goals, the 9-5 working hours, the cut throat business agendas, taxes, rational ideas of romance, networking and appropriate social etiquette. It is gone from me and I am almost gone. I have a few fingerprints left before I become a ghost, and when that happens no one would be able to find me. Then perhaps I could finally go off and live in a cottage in the woods and write poems and bake pies all day, and count stars and play records all evening. And no one would bother me or ask me to be "sensible" or "rational". And I would not have to worry about people I have hurt because they would be very far away, and I would not have to worry about looking beautiful for anyone but myself, so my beauty would become a pure and honest thing.

The other day I broke down, swallowed my pride, and asked my mother if I could live in our old home, which is currently abandoned, growing weeds and collecting chinese food menus. I want to disappear, and where better to than the house of my childhood. I love that house because there is a sunny porch room where I would sit and write poems in, and a big backyard with a hammock that I would sunbathe in some days, and sleep in some cold and distraught nights. There were so many places to go to in that house. But she told me that I couldn't move there. She wanted to sell it because when she goes back there to maintain it, she hears a ghost hollering my fathers name, constantly.

When Buddy came home tonight we got into a long talk, as usual, and decided to do tarot card readings, which we haven't done in ages. I asked the cards about my love life and this was the solution card:

"A dead end. Stagnation. Hidden undermining forces are at work. Something is desperately 'kept under a lid'".

After discussing things a bit, Buddy told me about how much she had to rely on her gut instinct to keep me around. She said that when we were younger, I hurt her on many deep levels, and constantly frustrated her and treated her badly. But, after the 'divorce' she said it was as though I were the pheonix rising from the ashes, and was given to her as this precious "prize" for her responsibility to take care of. And she has not flinched from the responsibility since.

I was re-reading "Ordinary Genius" by Kim Addonizio this morning. and came across this passage from "Letters to a Young Poet" by Rainer Maria Rilke:

"Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is the question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even realizing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day."

And then Addonizio goes on to talk about this idea of "living the question": and mentions about how Keats called the ability to 'live the question': when a man is capable of being in uncertainties. Mystery, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.

So perhaps we oughtn't be so terrified of what is on the other side of the ocean, after we have done our laboring swim across. Or of what is on the bottom of the ocean floor, or in the bellies of the fish, or back at shore, or anything at all.

Also today I cleaned the top of my desktop, eradicating about 80% of knick knacks. I'm not a fan of them, as I think the more precious something is, the less abundance there is of them. And so I am in one of those moods to get rid of all excess, and only hang on to the things that are terrifyingly important to me. So because of that I throw away a lot of momentos and letters and etc. but I keep a trunk filled with every article worthy of being saved from every romantic relationship. And it is kept locked up and things only go into it once the relationship is completely, 100% over. And I thought something today: I have a trunk filled with all of you, boxes filled with some of you, a heart filled with only one of you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

"We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness."

[Title of post from 1984 by George Orwell, said by O'Brien to Winston in a dream]

When I open a particularly fizzy bottle of sparkling water, I like to watch it effervesce. It is like looking at a window during a rainstorm, but instead the rain is upside down.

I spent the majority of the day running errands in my car, and went to one of my favorite places in New York, my Hideaway. I'll not name it by name because I go there to be a ghost, and as much as I adore everyone who reads my blog, I do not like running into people, especially not there. I sat in the bookstore and read the current issue of Poets & Writers, because mine has not yet come in the mail, (which defeats the purpose of having a subscription, quel dommage!). Among others, I read an article by Joyce Thomas, one of the Why We Write articles, entitled “The Word in the World”:

“I like to tell my students that only the letter “l”--that bare alphabetic Maypole-- separates word from world.”

As I was reading the magazine I noticed my reading habits: there were several articles or excerpts that I half-read and then moved on. Sometimes I would not even finish the paragraph, or even the sentence I was reading. I feel ravenous for beauty, or brilliance sometimes, and like I am a raccoon digging through trashcans. I'll tear the lid off some things, chew through others, give some a sniff, but if I do not spy any magic in the writing, or any promise for it, I move on quickly. There is so much to read out there, overwhelmingly so, that I do not understand why anyone would waste a second on something just for the sake of “finishing the article”.

My screening process for novels is two-fold: 1. I will read the first page of the book, and decide at that point if I'd like to continue to the second step. Then, after purchasing/borrowing/etc. 2. I will read up to page 60, even if I have to trudge through. Even I, who is among those who crave immediate gratification, can understand that a novel takes a bit of time to set up before we are invested in the story and characters. The page number is a bit arbitrary, as I originally chose it when I was in high school. I was reading 1984 and my reading of it was labor until page 60, when I became enraptured. So now, if I reach page 60, I know whether to continue on or abandon the book to the sad stack I exile to the hidden corners of the bookshelf, to grow a skin of dust and my disdain. If I decide on the other hand, to continue on, then I'll carry it with me everywhere I go and sleep with it under my pillow or tangled in my blankets.

I've met a few people in my life who tell me that if they start a book they always finish it to the last page, even if they are not enjoying it in the least, and this makes me terribly sad. But I have a bit of respect for that behavior too: it sounds to me like going to the funeral of a person you were not too fond of, just to pay your respects.

Also, I want to check out this book: “The Chameleon Couch” by Yusef Komunyakaa. Here are the opening lines:

“Because I mistrust my head & hands, because I know salt/tinctures my songs, I tried not to touch you/ even as I pulled you into my arms.”

This evening I made basil-infused olive oil, and it is the loveliest, liveliest color, and made the kitchen smell like summer. I tend to go a bit mad in the summertime, it is always a difficult time for me, and I'm sure this year will be no different. But that does not mean I don't delight in its traditions and the wondrous little gifts it brings.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"Come live in my heart and pay no rent"

Summation of my day, in color form:

Blue: lights from the empire state building that I could see from my rooftop
Grey: puppy paw prints embedded in the staircase between 4th and 5th floor of my building
Green: juice I fixed for breakfast
Pink: highlighter used to mark up to-do list
Red: my cheeks after a solid jog
Yellow: notebook I wrote in
Black: bottomed feet from running around barefoot
White: wine I had leftover from my BBQ that I indulged in a glass of. Just one! My doctor will be delighted.
Leopard: print broom from sweeping up.
Polka dot: sunglasses to shield my eyes from the sun

The words I've spoken aloud today:
1. thank-you's (for doors held open, cashiers ringing me up)
2. a 5 minute conversation with my father about impending travel
3. a few lines sung along to depeche mode

N brought me back a book of Russian poetry her relative wrote. I've been asking for this for over a year, and she finally went to visit them in her old country. Every time I would appear excited about receiving this book she would remind me that I do not speak russian and would not be able to understand it. What she does not understand is that poetry is not like other forms of written text. You can drag your tongue through a completely foreign poem's text and find rhythm and meaning in sound. You can look at how the words fall down the page and understand whether the poet is expressing anger or delight. A love poem is obvious, it is usually very small or cannot stop from going on and on. It has soft syllables and urgency in cadence. Or at least it should. All love should be urgent, irrepressible, something with too many words to fit inside your mouth all at once. No love should be expressed too easily.

The majority of America dislikes poetry because they don't "get it". What I think everyone's issue is, is that they are trying too hard. It should be a very simple act. Of course you can spend hours, days, decades deciphering certain poetry, but the most important interpretation is the one you get from the first instant you meet a poem. This is why I like reading foreign poems of a language I don't speak, because: language will not distract me from the meaning of it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"If I had a boat I would sail to you"

For the past three years I've been in a very difficult place, a highly dysfunctional place that I've kept a secret from essentially everyone in my life until recently. It was very lonely there, and I had nearly resigned myself to it, but in the past few months I have clawed my way out. I am very happy now, and just returned from holiday in Paris. I stayed in an apartment that was slightly up the hill to the Sacre Coeur, my favorite place in Paris, and there were birds singing everywhere and abandoned cats and fake and real flowers potted in the courtyard. I woke early to revise poems from my manuscript and realized I have much, much more revising to do before my book is completed.

Things I acquired on my holiday:
1. an antique spoon: a tiny silver thing with a rose at the handle
2. postcards that I must hand deliver
3. foreign chocolates with fruit and flower petals inside
4. a love note
5. a pebble that was thrown through my window
6. a music box that churns this song.
7. a couple dozen polaroids
8. a calm heart
9. a system for revision of poems
10. a few extra pounds from excessive frite consumption

In other exciting news, I have been nominated for the 50 best new poets in the US, and I believe I will win and get in because the prospective cover of the anthology features a tree that bears eery resemblance to the tree I have up on my wall. I think that must be a good sign.

My former professor Martha has proven to be such a supportive and lovely figure in my life. She is constantly looking for ways to throw me work, or help my various endeavors. She has hired me to make cupcakes for the poetry salon in June, and sent over many fantastic recipe ideas she came up with. I attempted one such, a Sacher Torte cupcake, but the cake was unbearably dry and I made the apricot jam from scratch which was a big mistake. I like the idea of making things from scratch, mainly because it is so satisfying, like a magic trick, but I need much more trial runs before I can present these cupcakes to her. There are certain women around whom I feel like an orphan, which is strange because I have a very close knit and supportive family, but she is turning out to be one of them.

I completed the 30 poems in 30 days project this April, finished with 7 minutes to spare. I pushed myself a lot emotionally during the month, and finally started writing poems from an honest and vulnerable place, as opposed to writing from the point of view of fictional, detached characters with made up story lines. It seems to be the beginning of my second book, but now all I need to do is finish my first.

Today I went jogging with both of my sisters in Central Park. It took 3 hours, because we jogged extensively, explored peculiar things and got lost often. Afterwards I went to lunch with A, we ate at a very girly outdoor place on the UES and caught up with each other. Sometimes I forget how much I adore this girl, until I see her in person. She has a very calming effect on me.

Here is my fortune that I ripped out of a french newspaper (translated poorly I'm sure):
"Love: Your future is declining slightly in matters of the heart. You are, truly, too demanding in this area. Show more modesty.
Career: A tendency to indulge. Be careful not to rest too much on your laurels.

My god, french fortunes are depressingly astute.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Doll Hospitals + Fun With Fondant

My workshop with Martha started last week. She was my first workshop professor at Sarah Lawrence, and it's lovely to get to work with her again after many years. It's a private workshop, held in her loft in Tribeca, and from what I've read so far the other poets are pretty amazing, so it will be good to have such a solid group of writers to help and to be helped by. When we got around to workshopping my poem, it started hailing outside, very loudly. The bits of hail pounded against her sky windows and it became slightly frightening and slightly romantic. I like that my poem had such an atmospheric response. I brought in the poem I had posted last week, but severely revised. I brought her these cupcakes as a thank-you:


[they are a spring trio, but it perhaps is not yet time]

Also, I catered my first baby shower, so spent much of Saturday baking and decorating 6 dozen mini cupcakes. The theme was arctic animals, so I went with a family of penguins (and their pet seal):



I had to make some last minute surgical procedures to attend to some limbs that had fallen off/askewed themselves. This reminded me of when I was a little girl, and would play doll hospital with my sisters. We would make ambulance noises and rush our dolls and teddybears to each other, begging for sutures. When none of my dolls were injured I still sometimes wanted to play, and would sometimes have to snip off an ear or finger in order to have something to fix. I don't think that is too different from how many of us act now, 20 years later as adults.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"isn't it time to admit/we are more machinery than gods"

I hosted my poetry group at my place tonight. They all showed up hungover, since last night was Saturday, but they still managed to give me very helpful feedback on a poem I wrote this afternoon. That is one thing you can count on with a poet-- our brains still function beautifully despite illness or intoxication.

So, one of the many good reasons why I made my blog private, was to be able to post my poems on here again. The poem below is what I wrote earlier today, and it has a ton of work to be done still, as my sweet poet friends helped me outline. For those of you who are unfamiliar with my work, my book is from the point of view of a man named Nick, who's girlfriend Alice dies and he is left with the grieving of it all.

[original replaced with draft #3]:
Super Perigee Moon, March 19, 2011

People blame tonight's moon for natural disasters,
for the radiation leaking into the Japanese Chrysanthemums,
their rain, their dust. I imagine their cities to be filled
with people terrified to eat, walking through a rain storm,
as their black umbrellas burn and disappear,
still digging through, still looking for the buried people.

What is it about the buried that makes us
unable to stop looking?

The explosion is over. But what they really have
to worry about is the fallout, when the haunting bits
of radiation sink down through the sky.
When they no longer expect it, it'll cover them,
an invisible ghost skin. It will make them sick.

Many things in life act this way. You think the worst
is over, then things resurface: a snapshot of Alice
as a little girl, her red hair ribbons behind the couch,
the moon, the difficult air.  

***

I do not read the news or keep up with the world unless I need to write a poem. It is all too large and too much sadness to take in on such a regular schedule. But I will use it for my own selfish, artistic agendas.

I've decided to do the 30 poems in 30 days event this April. I did my own makeshift version of it last October, it is an intense ride, but extremely productive. I hope to find more poets who are doing it. V had a great idea-- to make a blog where we all post up our poems for it, so I will be doing that.

I went to my first wrestling match last night in MSG. It was an interesting crowd-- the kind that tends to throw block parties outside my window and curses at their children. But still, much fun, and very exciting to have experienced this. How interesting to witness a fight where the winner has already been determined beforehand.

I baked my father his favorite cupcakes for his birthday on Thursday. I managed to burn a hole in my dress from lighting the candles, and we got into a long discussion about 'political correctness', and it is refreshing to see that he is on my side of things.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Medicine of Sunlight

"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing... To find the place where all beauty came from."
-C.S. Lewis

I woke up at 9 a.m. today, abnormally early, considering I had the day off from work, and even more so because I had only a few hours of sleep. But I couldn't help it. The sun was bursting in its little sunny ways, into my bedroom, I have an entire wall of windows that it welcomes it's way through. I cannot stand the thought of squandering my day sleeping when it is lovely weather outside.

So, my parents were borrowing my car this morning because they are driving my older sister to a performance in Philadelphia. I thought it would be nice to wash and clean the car for them, since that would make a long road trip much more pleasant. I've never washed a car in my life, but I've always thought it was kind of a charming, summery, sexy thing to do. So I bathed Emp, and she looked very sparkly and content afterwards. It was fun, though I have no idea how she got so dirty, as she leads a very sheltered life and doesn't get driven that often.

After my meeting today I went for a long, leisurely stroll through Central Park. I ended up breaking many blood vessels on my neck/shoulder because my purse was too heavy, and I feel self conscious now because I look like an abuse victim or just naughty in general. I don't know why I need to carry so much stuff around. I really am a snail. I just like to be prepared, I think it's probably all that girl scouts training when I was a little one.

I went to Vespa for dinner tonight, and got to sit out in the garden which was full of life and adorned with strung lights. I had a glass of champagne and the freshest tasting ricotta cheese and tomato salad.

Since it is, basically, spring, I have begun my spring cleaning, and splurged on a few items for the apartment. Mainly it was replacing things that needed replacement. New champagne flutes, because somehow all three of the flutes I bought last year have mysteriously disappeared. I also got new towels with my initial monogrammed on it. They gave me the option at checkout to have a gift message included with the purchase, and so I chose "wishing you a lifetime of happiness". I know this technically constitutes 'talking to myself', but I DO wish myself that, so why not. I ought to do more nice things for myself like this.

Please listen to this song: Gymnopedia No. 3 by Erik Satie. And then, try to act as though there are any hurtful things in the world, that there is any cruelty or awkwardness or evil. You won't be able to.

I cannot help it, springtime drives me to happy, happy madness.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"maybe our bodies are no more than jars..."

"... meant to hold what we name everything

airplane photograph leash glove & song
it all pours in with each breath"

-from 'the captain asks for a show of hands'
by Nick Flynn

I have neglected this poor, sweet blog so terribly. There is too much to catch up on, it overwhelms me, so I will just have to leave many important gaps.

I am 26 now. I celebrated my birthday at Juliette, a French restaurant in Williamsburg. Dinner was delicious, and at the end they brought me a petite chocolate volcano cake that had luscious things gushing out of it and a candle perched on top-- my very own flickering, 26 years of living, hot white birthday candle. Afterwards we went to drink and talk the night away, and spent the night primarily sitting in an old-fashioned bus. I was so touched by everybody who came to my party, all of my favorite people, some of which I hadn't seen in years. It was the best birthday gift I could of asked for.

For the past several months I have been involved with a small group of poets, we meet 1-2 times a month at each others apartments and read poetry and workshop. It is something I look forward to so much each time, and is something I desperately need, to keep me writing consistently. I wish I could be so self-disciplined as to write independently without any exterior constraints, but that's not how it works for me.

Speaking of workshops, I finished up the chapbook class over the winter and now have much more inspiration and interest in making chapbooks. During the class I completed one major project: a choose your own adventure style mini-book of poems where the reader must find a missing lover. I had so much fun writing it and making it: I equipped myself with an awl and sturdy thread and rose-colored linen paper. I don't know if it's quite good enough to be published, but am playing with the idea of giving it away as gifts to my friends.

I participated in a very special and beautiful event for the New Year, it was a private situation so I won't talk all about it on here, but it is something that I will have in my heart for the rest of my years. Hands down the most precious thing I've done for a New Year. Connected to that somewhat, I've been trying to grow a small strawberry plant, which is contained inside this egg:


I'm very frustrated because it has been over 2 months and there are zero signs of life. This makes no sense to me, because I've been watering it with special water. I keep a bottle of water with the words happiness/love written on it, after hearing about the experiments that the scientist Masaru Emoto did on water [here]. I thought this would be the best food possible for an amateur strawberry. I even wrote it tiny notes of encouragement that I buried into the soil. This strawberry is disappointing. I thought it would blossom and be red and plump and full of seeds and make me feel like everything was going to be okay, I thought it would do a lot of things (brighten up the room, be delicious), but mainly I thought it would at least sprout one measly green sprout.

Over the week-end I went into Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene and was happy to have stumbled upon a new, lovely place to get my alphabet fix. I came across "The Lover's Dictionary" by David Levithan which looked very interesting: it was a novel told in dictionary form. Extremely poetic, almost prose-poems, but it was hardcover and I limit myself strictly to only a few hardcover books a year. I had pretty much given up on wanting to buy any books and was about to leave when I caught sight of Nick Flynn's new book of poetry, quoted at the start of this post. Unexpectedly seeing a new book by your favorite poet is likely the best feeling on earth: I was short of breath and faint and filled with adrenaline, as though I had just fallen in love. It's his first book of poetry in about a decade, so I have to parcel it out to my hungry mind in tiny, frustrating bits. It is much like how I would imagine being stranded on an island: my only nourishment being milky coconut, the rare salty fish, unrelenting sun and loneliness, and it is enough and more than enough, but it does need to be parceled out carefully so I do not starve.