Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Across the Oonaverse: Bath, England

Dear (r),

Jane Austen lived here slash didn't like it.

But, as I hope we've established by now, I'm not Jane Austen.

I picked up Carrie Etter's The Tethers (Seren Books, 2009) & a self-published chapbook by James Anderson called Zebra Skin (ephemera & Rimbaudelairianism being among my many weaknesses).

Perfectly curated Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights, my new favorite bookshop 
(the cozy chairs tell you everything you need to know)

Can somebody tell me what "glocal" means?

I liked Anderson's pamphlet/chapbook most for its postcard-like qualities ("I tied a lock to the bridge and writ J & Bath" & "Bath is a dream from which I never wake") & for its cross-genre staging of textual encounters ("The stranger had a single espresso and rested a selection of books on the table [...] she understood herself at a wholly new angle, which would not have happened had she been with someone familiar").

Speaking of, I was so glad to encounter Carrie Etter's book, which articulates its own timid, reluctant, almost logistical faith:

                               [...] Poseidon, the presumably
not arbitrary god who saved them.


                     [...] so I listened 
with dismissive boredom

and watched the girl who spoke
of souls in all creatures
breaking pencils in her lap one by one
through a once inexhaustible supply.


bank to bank: there is no universal
for what keeps us aloft, but O
I cherish it.


All day, each day, the world was at dusk,
the change of light incidental.
When at last I walked to the postbox, afternoon
was everywhere.  I had decades to live.

Dear (r), skepticism can be pretty gorgeous, no?

I read Anderson & Etter (& also Austen (The Watsons)) on the lawn in front of the Royal Crescent.  There was a guy with an aggressively loud boom box, so I also listened to some classic reggae hits.  

Did the Romans read in the bath?

& then I left on a train.  That's pretty much it.  Tell me where you're headed next.

Yours always,