Saturday, May 29, 2010

1, 2, 3, and 4 of 5

Taking some time to myself, I went to Powell's Bookstore (Hawthorne) to obtain credit for some objects which were useless to me. Such as three weighty volumes of the this-and-that of Dieter Roth, dragged into the piddling craft of my existence, when all I had were whims for hope and clarity.

Those, and Hemingway's A Movable Feast, which I have read and enjoyed countless times. Too many countless times. I have became all at once very tired of Hemingway, his decisionings and opinions of people - their faults and sadnesses, being very much ours too, after all. So I suggest, read AMF for the descriptions of Paris which I think are quite true, but read it only once or twice. Try not to fall into line with Hemingway's decisions and conversation.

In the mean time, while the books were being evaluated I scanned the shelves for something interesting. My habit is to look for older 20th Cent. editions, or someone French perhaps - or nice older New Directions books. I found a book of ee cummings' erotic poems, F. O'Hara's Lunch Poems, and a truly nutso and delightful book by K. Patchen. And what I say is this. I have not enjoyed looking for books in this manner in years. Putting a number to it, I would say 20 or so, since college. I say I have been struggling and doubting and numbing. It got to the point of distrusting bookstores, which is to say I distrusted myself and others like myself. How odd and sad and odd. How glad I was to recover my old habit and find it useful to me!

Happy with these books of others, I came back to my place and turned to a question that has been troubling me very much, which is the question of whether my books, my self-published books, make me happy. After all, no one will ever stumble upon my work at Powell's. Not unless I end up being someone who is really something, which I don't think I will. What should I do? I took copies of my books and laid them out on the carpet, then took my newly purchased books and others I like (Follain, Bory, Ponge, Apollinaire, Prevert (Dude. What's with all these French guys.), J. Beer, G.G. O'Brien, E. Hartigan, Thoreau) and mixed them all up and stood back and thought.

I thought, Well Patrick, these books of yours are pretty odd, but they are not a joke. I am certain about that. And they make a kind of sense, and how do you feel? And I felt pretty good.

And now I can really get to work finishing up my fourteenth book called how we are home, being poems from 2003/2004 when I lived alone for a period of several months.

....These episodes, they have been clear in my mind for months or years, as if fated, written into the air I breathe. And then I live them, at the cost of pain to others, for which I am truly sorry. Still, I can't take over-seriously something I know must happen, which happens as it must. I am too happy, or is that relieved, to take myself too seriously just now even as I feel closely the pain of others.

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