Will Self on What to Read: Canons to the Left, Canons to the Right, and Everything in Between

Even if—as per my last essay for Lit Hub—we know how to read, there remains the equally vexed question of what we should read. If the 21st century is…

Will Self on What to Read: Canons to the Left, Canons to the Right, and Everything in Between

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“I is Another” (or pronouns as shifters; after Jon Fosse)

Like the first,

the every new

dependent of change;

agent of again,

now this

.

the starting

that continues

into while

.

its struck

and tumbled

and keeps rumbling

a murmured name

.

an other, again,

an I, again,

iota, (the smallest mark),

now this

Promptings

Now we scrape away the hair.

this is the act of remembering;

new growth.

Next we explore the beauty –

of women, of plants, of men,

and other things;

of rocks, of beasts, and everything.

This is called rejoicing –

often emitting in sighs, and songs,

and pain –

And so we slice our flesh –

joining the inside with out

through searing and drowning,

the fluids, the ashes –

This is how we mourn.

.

And morning still comes,

the seeds, sperm, germs,

and dawn all continue

their leakage and drift,

And thus we are released –

like tears,

like dust,

And something absorbs

it all:

the hair, the blood,

the love, the screams,

the differences and repetitions

of traumas and loss

such awesome gains

each beauty its’ evening,

And so we reach –

receiving

Snow Showers

Snow has a love of detail

like the aged obsessed

with the young

.

every crevice,

nook and cranny,

limb or leaf,

even planted veins

.

all are surface

to snow

which goes to show

about trained attention

.

you get to try

and decide

what is love

and what desire

.

what comes

together

to keep

snow falling