Friday night I was at Barnes & Noble, waiting for a call from a friend I was to meet with later, and needing some time outside the house. This is Southern California. It’s February. The night air was almost balmy. I’d heard that Mercury retrograde had ended recently, a relief to those that subscribe to its edict that all things, especially electronic, shall malfunction under its effect. But it seems to me that Mercury is always retrograde – what is up with that? The moon was full, too, but I don’t recall seeing it that night. Up on the second floor of Barnes & Noble I was looking at the poetry books. A couple of times the floor trembled, I mean literally shook, and I was, for a second, afraid. At first I thought it was an earthquake and that we might fall through the center of the floor which seemed to be lacking the proper supports (well, in my mind, it did if it was shaking.) But the third time this lady with very large hips walked by and coincidentally, the floor trembled, I figured it out. It wasn’t even that she was that heavy. Imagine walking with that much force coming through your legs as you walked normally from one side of the room to the next: boom, boom, boom, and the floor shakes. Like the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk. Wow, that’s some kind of power.
Anyway, the poetry section is, as you would guess, rather small. Not even covering the full length of shelf, just one or two rows. But I’m not complaining. I’m glad there even is a poetry section. And all the books are new! No poets sporting 70’s style leisure suits on any of these covers. Ovid, Rilke, Whitman. The usual suspects. And two new ones I discovered that night – Mary Oliver’s most recent book of poems: Blue Horses which came out last fall and Sarah Kay’s No Matter the Wreckage. I love the prospect of finding a new book to love and get excited about.
Here is another collage I did in the last year. There are two big sets I’m showcasing lately – one I completed last summer and one this winter. This one features some ephemera I got at a Paris flea market and at the Torrance swap meet right behind where I grew up and some paper that is made from strawberries (that someone else makes). Prior to moving last fall I did a massive decluttering in which I had my hands on every single item I own and decided whether it should stay or go. The Ezra Pound quote, typed on this little strip of paper, was amongst my papers and old letters. It was a very, very long time ago that I came across that quote. This collage is available as a print in my new online shop, which you can visit: here.