like a punch to the head
but in a good way. i mean that. sorta. i'll get back to the title of this post in a moment. but first i spent a long saturday at the birthday party of a classmate of nicholas's who just turned 4. i need a witness, baby, cuz anyone with a young kid knows that these children know how to party. the motor is on full-blast and doesn't turn off. it was exhausting just watching the kids. fuck! i needed a nap afterwards and i'll i did was sit on my booty in pleasant conversation with the other parents there.
i didn't nap afterward but headed to the nearest bookstore, the avid reader, located in the same building tower video once occupied. tower records/video/books went belly-up a couple of years back and goddamn do i miss it. there was no where else that you could hang, browse and bum around til midnight and the magazine section of tower books was unbelievable. name any obscure rag and it was most likely stocked there. now the three buildings on broadway where tower used to be are now the avid reader, r5 [the record store russ solomon, former owner of tower, opened after tower closed its doors] and another indie record store i've yet to check out.
now, i went to the avid reader for a purpose. i was looking for a particular tome to get for anna. the store is smallish in size but with a pretty good collection of non-fiction. the poetry section sucked. any one need a book by mary oliver or sharon olds or pablo neruda? i know where to get one or several. not to knock these eminent poets just that if your an indie bookstore stock a few titles of poetry that can't be got easily anywhere else, okay. as for the book i was looking for, no go. recall i just spent several hours at a birthday party and the medium age of the kids was around 5 and 6. nicholas is still amped and high from all the cake and ice cream and now he's gotta pee. so i ask the kindly proprietor if there's a bathroom and he promptly shows us to the back of the store.
cool. fine. nicholas does his business and on the way out i see stacked on a table a new book by andrei codrescu, poet/novelist/npr commentator and editor of exquisite corpse
. i like codrescu, have a few of his books including his first collection of poetry license to carry a gun
, that i found for a couple of bucks at a second-hand bookstore. i like that collection very much. i pick up the new book, an irregular shaped treatise titled the posthuman dada guide: tzara & lenin play chess
[the public square book series, princeton university press; 2009]. i decide to buy it because it is a university press and other than looking for it online i'll probably not see it in another bookstore.
lo! codrescu was there that afternoon reading from the book. i don't fucking believe it. believe it, said the proprietor and changes my copy for a signed copy. get a load of that! somehow that makes me happy even if i missed hearing/seeing codrescu read. not the signed copy but, oh i dunno, the near-miss at the chance to meet, perhaps.
i spent sunday with the book, after reading the newest new yorker
where there was a damn good article on james murphy the leader of the electro-pop band lcd soundsystem [where i discovered murphy is 40, close to my own age, and somehow, oh i dunno, that made me happy too]. the book was rather dry but did spend a few pages on mina loy and arthur cravan. still very readable examination of both the avant-gardes in politics and art of the early 20th century. tzara is a much more attractive figure to me now than when i was a brooding young man when i thought art should be pain and a wallow in misery. being anti- anything is always refreshing and we need to be continuously reminded of the importance of play and chance in life and art.
i didn't put the book down until i was done. if that's not a recommendation i don't know what is, even if the study was not as funny as codrescu's essays for the radio. it's probably not meant to be that funny. what, the world ain't a sit-com?!
now, back to the title of this rant. yesterday clicking around the latest otoliths
i read these poems
by michael steven and i'm knocked out. love them. admire how steven channels catullus and wonder how he does it and makes it seem so effortless. steven used to blog but i can't find a link or reference to any blog of his now. okay, but here are his poems. fucking rad.