finding dog-ears

So You Say

It is all in the mind, you say, and has
nothing to do with happiness. The coming of cold,
the coming of heat, the mind has all the time in the world.
You take my arm and say something will happen,
something unusual for which we were always prepared,
like the sun arriving after a day in Asia,
like the moon departing after a night with us.

—Mark Strand


So these are the books that made it aboard the boat. One shelf’s worth exactly as planned. I am surprised I can’t remember why some made the cut. Some are collections I picked up to consolidate and some I included just for variety. About a third make up the start of a requisite cruising library. Altogether, they don’t exactly strike me as the list of books I would have packed for life on a deserted island. Then again, that wasn’t the objective. No matter, they are the ones I kept and along with them loose pages of poetry torn from those left behind.

made the cutpile of poems

I remember the reservations I had tearing out the first couple of poems but it was such a simple solution that I carried on. I must have torn up fifty or more books and with great delight. How convenient, I thought, that poems are compact. How clever of me to use this to my advantage.  I hadn’t even anticipated my amusement months later flipping through for an old favorite and instead being distracted by what’s printed on the reverse or why the folded corners. I certainly didn’t expect the games I could play for hours trying to figure out the names of the poets with only page numbers and vague recollections of book covers  for context.

A different me would have never destroyed books without abandon.  A different me would have noticed the missing names and felt compelled to note them in the margins. A different me showed up that night to pack the books without much design and a different me is here tonight dog-earing pages for reasons I will eventually forget.

songs   Everyday I Write the Book —Elvis Costello

      Everyday I write the Book - Elvis Costello