|So You Say
It is all in the mind, you say, and has
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.
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.
Everyday I Write the Book —Elvis Costello