Friday, March 23, 2007


The evolution of this particular booklover

How did I end up in this mess? Here's a brief history, with a few explanatory pictures. I was surrounded by books for much of my early life. No small wonder, then, that I've ended up spending much of my adult life thus far with books, and in fact still feel most at home and most comfortable when I'm somewhere in the vicinity of large numbers of books. It began here:

In school and after, I had - as they say - a difficult time, and tended to focus on the external world to better cloak my internal world. I still hung out at the library an awful lot, though, and managed to fit a good amount of books in my dorm rooms and early apartments. Goodness, I wish my college town had had a used bookshop. If it had, I might have found my future home much sooner than I did, instead of flailing for a few years. Here's a college shot, make of it what you will, and you'll be entirely correct, I'm sure. Really, go ahead, fill in the blank:

Something completely unexpected happened next. I seem to have grown up (though I am still not absolutely sure on this point). I do know that these days, I've learned to integrate both the inner life and the outer, or bring them into more of a parallel, at least, and am happier by far:

What's next, I wonder? Here's something I never thought I'd do - post poems of my own on this blog. The thought of it always made me think of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and its Vogon poetry torture (Nooooo, not Vogon poetry!!! Aaaaaaah!), but hey, it's my blog. Besides, these two are short, and are about books. Naturally. Here's the first:

(Fire Poem)

By the dying fire I wonder
about poetry, the words and
their patterns, sparks of light
and hot coals, quick flashes
and the long slow burn. Poetry
works for me when I’ve had it
with prose: just as I think this
the fire blazes up again, the last
of the dry spruce and a quick
graceful flame that reminds me of
northern lights and sunsets
and other mysterious beauties.
That’s what poetry is, the mystery,
the beauty, the fire: undefinable,
warm, comforting. Burning.

And here's the second:

(My Books)

The print of a book on my palm:
familiar marks, dents from
the base of a spine dark red
on my open hand, from
hours of reading – gripped
by a sad old tale – are there
ever any others? – known,
read, re-read, belovéd.
Printed on my skin, my soul.

Holy crap, that brings back memories!
Hey there, Big Matt! Doesn't it though... ah, good times. Sort of. Some days it's hard having evolved from being a geek to being cool then back to being a geek again. But, as my pal Mike reminds me, courtesy of Devo: We're Through Being Cool. Thank god.
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