Friday, July 01, 2011

The Return of the Spaniard

If I had moustaches, they would be wilting and drooping. Where are the rains?! Is this any way to greet a returning heroine? This afternoon a few drops of rain rearranged the dust on the leaves. Where's the malhar? where're the kale megha? where are the peacocks dancing for joy? Where's all the exotica that's I have grown used to? ([vegetarian] Haggis. Highland sheep [to look at]. Deep-fried Mars bars.)

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There is loot. There is nothing but loot, since I left all the warm clothes behind in London in order to make place for other, more important things. If you pressed me, I couldn't tell you why these other things occupied all the space in my baggage (or even what they were), seeing as I'd posted nearly every book I bought. I suppose you could say that I just never learned and kept buying more. I could name some folk who would be happy at my evident lack of control.

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So the loot. I can't possibly name every book I bought. Among them are the books of friends I met/made, including Kathleen Jamie, Kona Macphee and Rob Mackenzie. Some were given to me and I wouldn't dream of refusing. Others were like a keeda in my head until I had acquired them. A couple were bought based purely on how amazing the poets reading their own work were.

In no particular order:

The Tree House and Findings  Kathleen Jamie

Perfect Blue  Kona Macphee

The Opposite of Cabbage  Rob Mackenzie.

Taller When Prone  Les Murray

Selected Poems, Revised and Expanded Charles Simic

The Heavy Petting Zoo and Changeling  Clare Pollard

Terrific Melancholy  Roddy Lumsden

Poems J.H.Prynne

And that's just the poems. Other stuff includes Creeley's The Gold Diggers, that Perec (which everyone seems to think I must already have), The Periodic Table and assorted other fiction and non-fiction of varying degrees of seriousness.

But wait for the next part.

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I came back home to find that two friends of mine had sent on a belated birthday gift chosen from a  rather extravagant wishlist I'd sent out before I left. I had assumed - as any sensible person would who doesn't expect to see bookobssession in others - that they would choose one, maybe two books from that list.

They chose five.

Which five, you ask?

Pale Fire

Words in Air

Versed

The Emperor of Icecream and Other Poems

Poems J.H.Prynne.

Yes.

Two copies of Prynne. Anyone who wants to buy one off me may mail me.

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Speaking of Prynne, I was sitting at the window of a cafe in Cambridge, chatting with a friend, when she said, 'There's Prynne.'

And indeed, there he was, walking past, looking right then left before crossing the road. I felt fangirly in a way that I can't explain. Rather like a film student with a rapt look on her face who in a hushed, reverent voice says, 'There's Svankmajer!' to a general film-going audience that looks on with indulgent bemusement.

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Anyway. Too lazy, too wilted to italicise and provide links to the books, poets etc. They're windmills and you're welcome to tilt at them if you wish.

How have you all been?


6 comments:

km said...

Scotland has deep-fried Mars bars?

Disappointed.

(And vegetarian Haggis? I can't even.)

Banno said...

Welcome back. :)

Cheshire Cat said...

"Deep-fried Mars bars."

Just to look at, I hope? Also, I think peacocks dance for a different reason...

You seem to have Prynne on your mind, and I can't blame you. But by conferring on you two copies of his Poems, I think the universe was trying to tell you something. Perhaps there's someone out there, someone bankrupted by books, who has nothing now but his dreams... And what does this cloaked, mysterious figure dream of? Of Poems by J.H.Prynne.

Space Bar said...

km: be happy some large us-based franchise hasn't thought of mass producing it yet.

banno: it's good to be back!

cat: I think the universe was telling me nothing beyond what I already know, if I can but remember it: that I have a lousy memory and oughtn't to buy myself books I know other people might get me.

Monica Mody said...

Welcome back. I was just thinking that you've been MIA for long!

Space Bar said...

I never went away from the blog, ya. Are you in desh?