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in a web of glass, pinned to the edges of vision

Friday Five

I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

mucha mosaic

Friday Five

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1. What is your favorite type of literature to read (magazine, newspaper, novels, nonfiction, poetry, etc.)? Fiction

2. What is your favorite novel? This is a really cruel thing to ask someone who owns 5 bookshelf units, 4 of which are oversized. What is my favorite novel? Today? Currently that would appear to be 'Views From the Oldest House' by Richard Grant. It has also been 'Pale Fire' by Vladimir Nabokov; 'Perdido Street Station' by China Mieville; 'Last Call' by Tim Powers; 'The Magician's Nephew' by C.S. Lewis; Each of Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles books in turn; John Crowley's 'Little, Big', 'AEgypt', 'Love & Sleep', 'Daemonomania'; Jonathan Carroll's 'Bones of the Moon' and 'Outside the Dog Museum', and...
...see what I mean? STUPID question.

3. Do you have a favorite poem? (Share it!) There are competitors:

For My Lover, On Returning To His Wife, by Anne Sexton

She is all there.
She was melted carefully down for you
and cast up from your childhood,
cast up from your one hundred favorite aggies.

She has always been there, my darling.
She is, in fact, exquisite.
Fireworks in the dull middle of February
and as real as a cast-iron pot.

Let's face it, I have been momentary.
vA luxury. A bright red sloop in the harbor.
My hair rising like smoke from the car window.
Littleneck clams out of season.

She is more than that. She is your have to have,
has grown you your practical your tropical growth.
This is not an experiment. She is all harmony.
She sees to oars and oarlocks for the dinghy,

has placed wild flowers at the window at breakfast,
sat by the potter's wheel at midday,
set forth three children under the moon,
three cherubs drawn by Michelangelo,

done this with her legs spread out
in the terrible months in the chapel.
If you glance up, the children are there
like delicate balloons resting on the ceiling.

She has also carried each one down the hall
after supper, their heads privately bent,
two legs protesting, person to person,
her face flushed with a song and their little sleep.

I give you back your heart.
I give you permission --

for the fuse inside her, throbbing
angrily in the dirt, for the bitch in her
and the burying of her wound --
for the burying of her small red wound alive --

for the pale flickering flare under her ribs,
for the drunken sailor who waits in her left pulse,
for the mother's knee, for the stocking,
for the garter belt, for the call --

the curious call
when you will burrow in arms and breasts
and tug at the orange ribbon in her hair
and answer the call, the curious call.

She is so naked and singular
She is the sum of yourself and your dream.
Climb her like a monument, step after step.
She is solid.

As for me, I am a watercolor.
I wash off.

I've always liked that one, just for the sheer glibness of it.
Shakespeare's sonnet #57

Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor services to do, till you require;
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu.
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But like a sad slave stay and think of nought
Save, where you are, how happy you make those.
So true a fool is love that in your will,
Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.

I'm going to refrain from analyzing what's going on in my mind that these two lept to the front as 'ooh pick me!': you, probably, ought to as well.

4. What is one thing you've always wanted to read, or wish you had more time to read?
the 12-volume Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe from 1912 that I've never finished reading all of (and indeed, that has never even been /cut/, for 9 of 12 volumes).

5. What are you currently reading? Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji, & M. John Harrison's Viriconium anthology.
  • I love you, you're my favorite. As always, when hanging around with you, I get more insight to lovely books and poems. I love the Anne Sexton one. I shall have to read more of her.

    And I'll note that you might want to fix your answer to question #4. :)

    And since we're discussing books, you once gave me the name of a book about a basketball player who got married and reminded you of Augustine. Do you remember the title because I can't. Dang it.
  • When you've been asked to pick out your favorite novel, or song, or album, or work of art in general, it's important to remember that in general artworks are struggling with each other in mortal combat, and when you pick one, it actually KILLS all its rivals. So, when you're trying to pick a novel, just think about which one is clearly SUPREMOR TRIUMPHANT, and imagine all its rivals laying dead, bleeding in the dust in front of the Tombstone Saloon.

    Because that's how art works.
    • *giggle*

      A very good suggestion; unfortunately, it's also a suggestion that's been true of every book in the list of 'is or was favorite novel'.
  • Dorothy Dunnett

    Do you have Elspeth Morrison's Dorothy Dunnett Companion? A must-have!! And there's a second volume now! :) (Ringed Castle, surprisingly enough, was the hardest book of them all for me to get into... though the Blackfriars section makes all that endless time in Russia worthwhile.:)
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