Monday, October 12, 2009

pile of reading

Dark Banquet: blood and the curious lives of blood-feeding creatures, by Bill Schutt
Did you know that there are three kinds of vampire bat? One feeds on chickens. It crawls up to a hen and nuzzles at the breast. Apparently this is sufficiently chick-like behavior that the hen feels reassured, even comforted and settles down over the bat while it sups at her breast.

Neighbor, poetry by Rachel Levitsky
I don’t remember where I got this exactly – the Friends of the Library book sale shelf at the library? I can’t recall having heard of Levitsky before but I like to read a totally random poet of whom I know nothing, once in awhile. Plus I was curious about what sort of stuff Ugly Duckling Presse publishes. “You can use most of this / though none of it is necessary”

The Mooring of Starting Out: the first five books of poetry, by John Ashbery
I bought this a few years ago and read most of it then stalled. Lately I came across it again and am pressing forward. As with Emily Dickinson I set myself the goal of reading two pages, just enough to get past the pages that are open in front of me. “They told this throughout all time, in all cities. The shape-filled foreground: what distractions for the imagination, incitements to the copyist, yet nobody had the leisure to examine it closely.”

My Vocabulary Did This to Me: the collected poetry of Jack Spicer, edited by Peter Gizzi and Kevin Killian
Jack Spicer seems to have a towering reputation, especially surprising considering he died early and his work was published only by tiny presses. I was curious about him. “Deep in the mind there is an ocean / I would fall within it, find my sources in it. Yield to tide / And find my sources in it.”

Angkor: the hidden glories, by Michael Freeman and Roger Warner
I tried to think what would be an exotic locale, where would I want to go that I never thought I’d ever really be able to get to? Angkor! Angkor is in Cambodia. Poor Cambodia seems to be doing okay these days. The era of the Killing Fields is over. I haven’t started reading the book yet. I’ve just looked at the pictures. The book looks like it will help me imagine myself there. When I can imagine myself somewhere it seems easier to get myself there.

Cahokia: ancient America’s great city on the Mississippi, by Timothy R. Pauketat
Another old ruin I would like to visit. Much less well preserved than Angkor – much of Cahokia has been leveled for modern city and superhighway.

Monkey Food: the complete “I was Seven in ‘75” collection, by Ellen Forney
I read another collection by Forney so when I saw this for a dollar at Half Price Books I picked it up. It just entered the reading pile. So far all I’ve done is flip through it.

Mindwalking: New and Selected Poems, 1937-2007, by Edward Mycue
Edward Mycue is an SF poet who I’ve known casually for years. He handed me a copy of his newest book at the last Poetry & Pizza. “what we experience we are / much passes through us / we leave nothing behind” Ed has a chapbook available for online reading at

Tristes Tropiques, by Claude Levi-Strauss
I’ve been reading this one off & on for ages.

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