The Rather Daunting Pile of Books
I’m rather daunted with the massive pile of books I have across my desk and little table and window sill. It’s going to take a long time to make my way through this pile, which also includes several books I got this summer, before the BIG BUY began. And I have more on the way. MORE ON THE WAY. Oh my.
Well, I’ve finished the Padgett, and enjoyed it so much I ordered two more books from him, along with some Marjorie Welish and a book on the “second Generation New York School” that Kevin Killian recommended on amazon.com. I’ve found I like most everything Killian recommends.
I’ve gotten a little way into Bernadette Mayer’s Poetry State Forest. I’m quite envious of her ability, along with Padgett’s, of such an easeful voice. They make me want to relax. Maybe they even make me relax. Or help. Anyway, I’m feeling relaxed, even in the face of this daunting pile of books (and of course my usual work—why can’t people just give me a pass on all this work, so I can get to my reading?).
I’m also reading the current, MFA issue, of Poets & Writers. The only thing that’s really struck me so far is the little essay from Dean Young, from a forthcoming book of essays on poetry. That’s some interesting news of which I wasn’t aware.
Here’s another poem from Ron Padgett’s How to Be Perfect:
Elegy for No One
Time passes slowly when you’re lost in paradise,
then gradually slows down to a disappearance
but only for a moment, as if inside a footstep
that pauses on the stair to wait for its shadow
to catch up, for it had not yet vanished as
the other had, and you have the idea you
wanted to have had when
the candlelight took away the distance,
leaving only the residue of dimness and fading
falling to one side and off. Time goes past or you
go past time, the outcome is the same if you think
of it that way, but if you don’t think at all
the footstep will have existed on the stair
without you, as it always has, and perfectly so.