This poem was inspired by the book The Man Who Watched Trains Go By by Georges Simenon
to pretend with all your might
for fear that one slip
& you’ll find yourself carried
like so much dead wood on the waves
to stop pretending
yanking at the door of life
till it bursts open & the light
spills over your face
you make a pledge of fealty
death its only end
as if the human soul were
a bright unchanging diamond
rather than a sand castle
with the tide approaching
the little architect long since gone
leaving a half-buried plastic shovel
/ / /
19 January 2018
State College, PA
I thoroughly enjoyed my April reading. I finally caught up on back issues of The Sun, Barrelhouse and The Baffler. I also finally read Edward Abbey’s brilliant Desert Solitaire. I’m a big fan of Sparrow, so I was excited to get to read his new book ahead of its release in May. I’m still reading the wonderful manga series Lone Wolf & Cub. And finally I read (and was underwhelmed by) a couple new comics. How about you?
March was nothing if not eclectic. I read a book about how the Pittsburgh Pirates used data analysis to turn around the team’s fortunes; a collection of samurai manga; and a book about Dogen’s Shobogenzo, one of the seminal texts of Zen Buddhist philosophy.
I started reading the Harry Potter series for the second time in January. Finished it in the middle of February. I also read a bunch of stuff about Unitarian Universalism because my partner and I are getting involved in our local UU fellowship. Scott Meyer’s The Authorities is a charming whodunnit, and A Tale Of The I Ching is a lyrical and fictional account of that famous book’s origins.
Not much. With the start of my new morning show job and the resultant early nights, coupled with my marathon to finish the 26 years of classic Doctor Who, my reading slowed waaaaaay down in August and September. I read and enjoyed a book about film editing (recommended by Mark Kermode); finished two books about various aspects of Doctor Who that I’d begun earlier in the year; read Neil Perryman’s charming book about watching classic Who with his wife; and read a wonderful biography of Syd Barrett, one of the founding members of Pink Floyd.
My reading slowed down in July, at least partly because I started working 60-hour weeks. I really enjoyed what I read, though. It was fun to read Dune for the second time, and I think I got even more out of it this time. My acquaintance Jessica Smith’s excellent book of poetry Life-list was both a challenge and a joy to read. As The World Burns is a funny and terrifying graphic novel. Thomas Merton’s selection of Gandhi’s writing is inspiring. And Letters From Yellowstone is a very engaging epistolary novel. I started, and subsequently gave up on, The Watchman’s Rattle. And I’m partway through about five other books.