Monday, September 06, 2004

Just some of what I’m currently (if slowly) reading (my internet habits are seriously affecting my reading habits; I am going to have to lose the “multiple windows open” technique soon, though, because I’m moving on to my Milton incomplete): Columbarium by Susan Stewart (“The ear is a drum and cavern/that will not close against the world,/and so we build our houses/where the wind cannot enter at will.”); Alone with America by Richard Howard (not easily excerptible); the most recent New Yorker, the food issue (I’ll attend to the poems in the next few days; somehow, it’s Snyder & Gilbert again, as well as Yehuda Amichai), specifically momently this from the back page by Gabrielle Hamilton, an essay titled “Killing Dinner (“In my own way, not like a machine at all, I laid it down on a tree stump, and while it was trying to recover I clutched the hatchet and came down on its neck. This first blow made a vague dent, barely breaking the skin . . . The chicken began to thrash, its eyes open, as if chastising me for my false promises of a merciful death. My dad yelled, “Kill it! Kill it! Aw, Gabs, kill the fucking thing!” from his bloodless perch. I kept coming down on the bird’s throat—which was now broken but still issuing terrible clucks—stroke after stroke, until I finally got its head off. I was blubbering through my clenched teeth. . . . As I released the bird, finally, and it ran around the yard, bloody and ragged but at least now silent, he screamed, “What kind of person are you?”); Invisible Bride by Tony Tost (“That’s me, tongue placed firmly in the subconscious.”). & the new Harper's, some where in which, I think, though I've lost track of where, is a quote from a seventh-century proto-sufi woman, who reputedly says, when asked what she thinks of the devil, “I’m to busy thinking of god to think of the devil.” Maybe it wasn’t Harper’s, I’m not sure where I read that actually.

Also on my open shelf: the 1st issue of N+1; the Zinn People’s History; Being and Time by Heidegger as well as an introduction to his philosophy (my brother, who was a philosophy major, said he had a few native german-speakers in his Heidegger class who preferred their Heidegger in English. Go figure); Jack Spicer’s 3rd Vancouver lecture (which is highly excerptable yet sadly upstairs); and god knows what else underneath that. Oh yeah, Milton, by way of Stanley Fish.

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