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Showing posts from September, 2016

A. M. Homes' autograph (Jack)

I love A. M. Homes.

I love her for her novels, yes.  Try reading The End of Alice someday (unless you're chickenshit) and you'll never be the same.  I do not condone, but can understand, why The End of Alice, a virtual hi-def cracked mirror of victimization and depravity — was occasionally banned.  It was banned because it was too damn honest, too damn real.  Positive traits that made it too damn dangerous for some book stores to sell.  The books of A. M. Homes are never safe, and that is another reason why I love her.  Her stories are like razor blades.  I remember having to explain to my clueless ex-shrink one session why my hands were bleeding:  "I've been reading The Safety of Objects by A. M. Homes!"

I love A. M. Homes for her autographs, too.  So far, I have acquired two.  The first A. M. Homes autograph I ever found was several years ago, at a thrift shop, in a first edition of her second short story collection, 2002's Things You Should Know, posted o…

I Left My Grandfather's House by Denton Welch

Over the weekend, I finished I Left My Grandfather's House by Denton Welch. I spent two weeks with this slender book's eighty-seven pages, reading from a handsome edition published by Enitharmon Press, which is about the same amount of time it took Welch to ramble from his grandfather's house in Henfield of western Sussex County, a village about thirty miles south of London, to the county of Devonshire, 200 meandering miles away.  (And, yes, in the 1940s, when Welch wrote this sensitive, exquisite remembrance of his 1933 summer trek afoot and afield over the southern countryside of England, in which he roughly paralleled a course a short distance from the coastline of the English Channel, he indeed referred to the distances he travelled as "miles").

Welch's walk would nearly be the mileage if not the pastoral equivalent of tramping from Boston to The Bronx.  En route, he crossed the River Adur on a ferry, into the village of Steyning.  He visited Jane Austen…

Rick Harsch's autograph (Arjun & the Good Snake...)

Being that Rick Harsch's Arjun & the Good Snake: Being an Ophidiological Account of Six Weeks in India without Alcohol . . .*

. . . bears the lengthiest, most cryptic, most interesting inscription I have, I'm puzzled that I had not posted it sooner, and so correct my oversight now.

And since the image of the inscription above isn't entirely clear, I've quoted it below.  Occasional words or letters I couldn't make out I've underscored instead.

"Dear Brent / DM/ eF/ HEF/ under-

I am younger than my crippled 
writing hand is.

Thanks for buying the book,
of course, but also for your enthusiasm
in general, which led me to and
stuck me to LT.***

Please enjoy this quirky,
Slovene __ i_ V___, the strangely
located yet perfectly placed
dedication.  The tr___ 'ofi_____'
Etc.  And, judge me multifuriously

Uživaj, Rick"

* "Ophidiological" ... Scientific study of snakes.

** "DM" ... Dick Misanthropic.
"eF" ... Enrique Freeque.

The Adept by Michael McClure

I was initially drawn to The Adept by its psychedelic dust jacket.  Even after a friend pointed out that each "e" of the title on the cover looked like a Pac-Man — albeit striped Pac-Mans — I didn't care. I didn't care even though I was strictly a Galaga kid back when Pac-Man was all the rage.  I had to have it; that cover called to me; I was transfixed by its meditative, out of body experience, in the cover art and design.  Thankfully, Lorne Bair Rare Books, self-described "specialists in the history, art and literature of American social movements" (Woodstock's generation, for instance) was there for me when I was jonesing hard for it and needed this amazing fix fast.

The Adept was Michael McClure's second novel, published by Delacorte Press forty-five years ago, and so far, it has been his last. After safariing deep underneath its alluring surface cover, I polished the novel off last night.

Sure wish McClure had written another novel (or would wri…