Sunday, May 03, 2009

trip to london

without anything else pressing for today anna suggested a quick road trip. our destination: placerville, aka old hangtown, in the historic fields of california gold. the town is about 45 miles or so east of sac and is also on the way toward lake tahoe. placerville is also, i shit you not, the hometown of thomas kincaide, the self-styled 'painter of light', and should i make a comparison of u.s. art to food then kincaide would be a twinkie.

it's been raining all weekend. and as we headed into the hills the downpour got heavier. it's not unusal for it to rain in may but every year we tend to forget that fact. still, it was warm and by the time we parked the car on main st the rain let up and finally stopped completely giving us an overcast but beautiful day.

what can i say. our neck of california is filled with historic gold rush towns. placerville got its nickname, old hangtown, because locals were quick back in the gold rush era to summarily execute folks from an old tree. that tree's long been cut down but there is a marker attached to the building where it once stood.

even more exciting is a little used bookstore located on main st called the bookery. a maze of shelves and stacks of books i went in and found i could lose myself within its midst for hrs. instead, since we have an energetic 4-year-old i confined myself to the poetry section and left with two books, storm over hackensack by august kleinzahler, and dreaming close by by rick london.

it was the london that got me once i picked up the book. a quick search on the web tonight revealed that london is a sf based poet. the book i bought today was published by o books in 1986 and was designed partly by leslie scalapino. i read it this evening and the collection made me happy. a system of fragments collected as suites london is an experimental writer who appears unafraid of lyricism. the texts are minimal in scope yet large in meaning. i need to give this book several more reads to really get into it. but like a good film its lines and images are now looped in my noggin. i'll have to find more of london's work. i'll also need to perhaps write a bit more fully about this book after another reading. but for now i'll end by stating again that london's texts make me happy. in my estimation there is no higher measure.


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