Friends to Fall

Elf says “ripe.”

Martin responds, wondering.  Curious as to that which it applies, or whom, or what.  Contemplating reference.  Filled with questions.  Martin says, “yes,” almost under his breath.

Elf shrugs.  Elf walks on.

Martin follows, thinking, looking at leaves falling into blades of grass, alerted by the shushing and darting of squirrels, saddened at the amplified pffft of cars passing by.  Wishing for silence.  Wondering if Elf will speak a further word or two.  Sensing like a dowsing rod for meanings.

Walks on.  Shuffles.  Walks on.

Martin, too.

There’s a relative silence from the two of them – these humans wandering across a concreted trail.  Sure there’s the sound of their footfalls, scuffles, even some noise in the pause of it.  Or the noise of the absence of noise.  But you’d have to be different to hear the breathing, the heart pulse, the slide of muscles and blood.  As far as humans-in-environs go, the pair presents retraction.

Hard to say for soil.  The squares composing sidewalk must suffer pressure, absorbed by the earth beneath and shared out through verberations for miles.  Hard to say for air.  Full-grown males, plodding forth like prows along a rickety line-of-motion has to be pushing particles around, making waves.  Nothing gives report.

Elf stops and sighs.

Martin responds, slowing, looking out, looking forward, looking round.  Lets his hands limp his sides.

Elf crouches down.

Martin scans the street, examines bark, follows trunks and branches, admires leaves and colors and movements.  Birds.

Elf.

Martin.

it might be Autumn

It might be Autumn.  It takes awhile to know (here).  In any case, the confusion is enormous, is bewildering, is sometimes stultifying.

Multiple persons – some who know me and some who seem like they do – all seem confident about it.  About the book.  About that “there is a book in me” just waiting to be born or written, composed or transcribed – however a “book” comes to be.  I am certain of none of it, excepting that I love books, in fact I crave well-connected letters as much as (although differently from) my desire for love, for intimacy (or “satisfaction” – itself a kind of surprise and delighted exhaustion), for meaningful connections (being understood, acknowledged, beloved, and so on).  Strange beasts, we.  I.  I-we.

The “I” is “we” if you take into account all the variance – the inconsistencies and variety and contextual divergences.  “Bewildering” is the word I most usually apply to this business or blessing of living… of being alive.

Maybe that’s what this is about, like birthdays.  The strange pivoting celebration of another year undergone or accomplished, simultaneous with its absence and cessation.  Living, dying – same thing?  The introduction that serves as farewell.  A tightly romance.

Does “paradox” indicate two apparently incompatible things being the case at once?  These are not flip-sides of a coin, but two things on the same surface, depending.  Living/dying, suffering/joy, love.  Now as before and after in the same instant, so to speak.  I will always be battling the incapacity of words as the only things capable.  Communicative paradox – language as, at once, in the same sphere/realm/scale/reality – that which reveals and conceals, says and does not say, speaks and remains silent, clarifies and obfuscates, signals and misleads…fails and succeeds.

So that every effort of greeting also grieves, and each introduction is yet another form of farewell.

 

I loved her.

Seasonal Survival: Autumn Reading

Survival Supplies – Seasonal Semester

 

The way I go about selecting what I “need” to be reading ends up functioning by the time the list competes its way out to also be a “Recommended Reading” list, as if the titles that capture my attention withstand engagement and require careful full attention clearly I’ve decided (for me) that these books are worth adding to my internal world.  So the purpose of periodically posting the books I spend time in each week (usually for a few months), is both a bibliography to the thought that comes out in my writings, as well as an “I think these books are worth anyone’s time” should you share some of my interests.  That being said, it is August, and I’m in a full week of graduate school (full-time) after over 15 years of private personal schooling within my home and 16 years of marriages, parenting and retail employment.  Reentry is daunting, particularly as technologies of education have changed radically, so all my moments are being rearranged and reallotted, but I need books and literary languages for so many things in my life (indeed, for quality of life itself), that my body demands I make moments for all it craves throughout every process.  The following is what lines my desk as “essential” as I enter this Fall semester (many are repeats – not quite finished from the busy Summer):

This time, from left to right around the perimeter:

Christoph Niemann: Abstract City

Jonathan Safran Foer: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Michael Chorost: World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the     Internet

Gerald Edelman: second nature: brain science and human knowledge

Antonio Damasio: Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain

Norman Doidge: The Brain that Changes Itself

Mengert & Wilkinson, eds.: 12×12: Conversations in 21st Century Poetry and Poetics

Michael Holquist: Dialogism: Bakhtin and His World

Michael Chabon: Manhood for Amateurs

Viktor Shklovsky: Bowstring: On the Dissimilarity of the Similar

Lyn Hejinian: The Language of Inquiry

Octavio Paz: Convergences: Essays on Art & Literature

Ronald Sukenick: narralogues

 

Fiction:

Ben Marcus: The Flame Alphabet

Lance Olsen: Girl Imagined by Chance

G. Gospodinov: And Other Stories

John Gardner: The Wreckage of Agathon

Lynne Tillman: This is Not It

David Foster Wallace: The Pale King

 

Poetry:

Wallace Stevens: Opus Posthumous

William Bronk: Life Supports

Larry Levis: The Selected Levis

William Stafford: The Way It Is

Edmond Jabes: From the Book to the Book

Arkadii Dragomoschenko: Xenia

Rosmarie Waldrop: Curves to the Apple

 

Miscellaneous:
Edward Sapir: Language

J.R. Firth: Speech

Ann Smock: What is There to Say?

V.N. Volosinov: Marxism and the Philosophy of Language

H.L. Hix: Spirits Hovering Over the Ashes

M.M. Bakhtin: The Dialogic Imagination

Maurice Blanchot: The Infinite Conversation

Richard Rubin: Foundations of Library and Information Science

Cassell / Hiremath: Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century

Carol Kuhlthau: Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library & Information Services