Still Life with Book

#StillLifeWithBook is a little corner of our blog where GS contributors and staff share a snippet and a snapshot of their current reads.

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Sarah Shields | 8.1 Art Contributor 

Reading: Child of the Dark: The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus (translated from the Portuguese by David St. Clair)—originally titled Quarto de Despejo: Diário de uma Favelada + Sun and Moon written & illustrated by Lindsey Yankey | Currently on page: 45 | Favorite lines so far: “I don’t look for defects in children. Neither in mine nor in others. I know that a child is not born with sense. When I speak with a child I use pleasant words. What infuriates me is that the parents come to my door to disrupt my rare moments of inner tranquility. But when they upset me, I write. I know how to dominate my impulses. I only had two years of schooling, but I got enough to form my character. The only thing that does not exist in the favela is friendship.” / “The sparrows have just begun their morning symphony. The birds must be happier than we are. Perhaps happiness and equality reigns among them. The world of the birds must be better than that of the favelados, who lie down but don’t sleep because they go to bed hungry.” + (pictured) “As the night went on, he saw the flowers of a baobab tree blossom.” When I looked up what a baobab tree is, I was delighted to discover one of its common names is “dead-rat tree” (its fruit looks like rats hanging stiffly by their long tails). | Books’ origins: Child of the Dark: acquired mysteriously. Sun and Moon: borrowed from the Huntington Beach (Central) Public Library.

 

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meg willing | Art & Design Editor  

Reading: There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker | Currently on page: 49 | Favorite lines so far: “Should I answer the phone / Who is it / Who want the world like it is / Spoke Baraka can you hear him now / Do you understand / Are calories and sitcoms / Here to make me sad / Am I a moon no one sees / Does my lipstick look okay / Am I growing tired / Of my alternative lifestyle / Or would I like a fresh glass / Is there something spectacular / In fallen trees ancient hieroglyphs / Hippie towns twentysomethings will they / Save us / Is it possible to disappear / What’s it like to be the first anything” (from “The President’s Wife”) | Book’s origin: Arrived in the mail one afternoon, an unexpected gift from my friend Alana.

Still Life with Book

#StillLifeWithBook is a little corner of our blog where GS contributors and staff share a snippet and a snapshot of their current reads.

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Carly Mayer | 6.1 Art Contributor 

Reading: Zappa: A Biography by Barry Miles | Currently on page: 105 | Favorite lines so far: “He sat there, powerless, seething with anger at the American ‘justice’ system and playing an imaginary guitar. He dreamed up power chords so loud and ugly that they’d tear the bars right out of the walls, so they could all escape to freedom” (87). | Book’s origin: A gift from a friend.

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meg willing | Art & Design Editor  

Reading: [INSERT] BOY by Danez Smith | Currently on page: 81 | Favorite lines so far: “& on the ninth day, God said Bitch, werk & Adam learned to duck walk, dip, pose, death drop, Eve became the fruit herself, stared lions in the eye & dared to bite // & on the tenth day, God wore a blood red sequin body suit, dropped it low, named it Sunset // & on the eleventh day God said guuuurrrrrl & trees leaned in for gossip, water went wild for the tea, & the airtight with shade // & on the twelfth day, Jesus wept at the mirror, mourning the day his sons would shame his sons for walking a daughter’s stride, for the way his children would learn to hate the kids” (from “GENESISSY”) | Book’s origin: YesYes Books.

Still Life With Book

#StillLifeWithBook is a little corner of our blog where contributors and staff share a snippet and a snapshot of their current reads.

16009888_10158008221175587_361750258_oKamden Hilliard | 7.2 Poetry Contributor and current GS Reader 

Reading: IMAGINATIONS by Williams Carlos Williams | Currently on page: 181 | Favorite lines so far: “The brutal Lord of All will rip us from each other– leave the one to suffer here alone.” (55) | Book’s origin: The now, sadly deceased REVOLUTION BOOKS in Honolulu 😞

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meg willing | Assistant Production Editor / Designer  

Reading: Work by Bloodlight by Julia Bouwsma | Currently on page: 45 | Favorite lines so far: “how snow drops its fast blanket on this / woodlot night: black-bellied night: smell it: how want bends the mouth / so low you nearly kiss the ground.” | Book’s origin: A gift from the author.

Still Life With Book

#StillLifeWithBook is a little corner of our blog where contributors and staff share a snippet and a snapshot of their current reads. 

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Leesa Cross-Smith | 4.2 Fiction Contributor 

Reading: DRUMS OF AUTUMN by DIANA GABALDON | Currently on page: 227 | Favorite lines so far: Gabaldon’s writing is so detailed and feely, it’s hard to say! But I love her descriptions of clothes and smells so much. She writes re: Jamie, “He smelt of wine and candlewax, of herbs and Highland wool.” And earlier, describing Jamie’s clothes she writes “The coat and waistcoat were not spectacular, but quite acceptable, courtesy of Cousin Edwin; a quiet gray broadcloth with a good hand and an excellent fit, buttons not silver, but not of wood or bone either—a sober pewter, like a prosperous Quaker…and the missing button on the waistcoat was hidden by the graceful fall of his lace jabot, the sole extravagance he had permitted himself in the way of wardrobe.” I get happily immersed so quickly in her world and with descriptions like these, she keeps me there and I never want to leave.| Books’ origins: I got into Outlander because I asked my dear friend Sarah what she was reading and she got this dreamy look in her eyes when she told me. Not long after that, I went to the used bookstore and prepared myself to read the entire series because I fell in love. My husband helped me carry all of the books out because that’s how huge and heavy they are. Years later, I’m forever listening to Outlander podcasts, rewatching the show when it’s Droughtlander waiting for the new season, just got an Outlander cookbook in the mail, I’ve knit more than four Outlander cowls for my girlfriends, etc.

 

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meg willing | Assistant Production Editor / Designer  

Reading: Little Boat by Jean Valentine | Currently on page: 14 | Favorite lines so far: The poem “Photographs at her Wake” takes my breath away (pictured above in full). It ends with the lines, “Can you feel / a hair under a page of the telephone book? / under two pages? / under three?” | Book’s origin: On loan from my local college library. I love walking to the library on rainy days and filling my bag so full of books it almost breaks. But I hate not being able to underline and write in the margins, so I photocopy the poems that pop and tape them to my studio wall. The due date is a friendly push to finish reading whatever I check out.

Still Life with Book

#StillLifeWithBook is a little corner of our blog where contributors and staff share a snippet and a snapshot of their current reads.

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Carrie Lorig | 3rd Annual Poetry Contest Winner, Issue 6.1

ReadingPoet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance, Lewis Ellingham and Kevin Killian (Wesleyan University Press)  + Motherlover, Ginger Ko (Bloof Books) | Currently on page: Pg. 106 of Spicer (This page has a photo on it which is always a delight. Was Spicer actually ugly? I don’t think so.) + Pg. 71 of Ginger’s Book (There is a picture of a new moon on this page!) | Favorite line so far: “The search for the perfect poem had been meaningless, because ‘there is no single poem.’ Poems belong together, in a book; inside a book they talk to each other, make love with each other, interact as words do inside the syntax of a sentence. ‘Poems should echo and reecho against each other. They should create resonances. They cannot live alone any more than we can.'” -“The Whole Boon of His Fertility” + “I have felt so much with these crusts.” -“Treespeak”| Books’ origins: Ginger very kindly gave me her book at a reading she did in ATL. This is the second time I’ve read it and have been thinking of how I can write about it. She’s just a really lovely / powerful / feeling person. Did you read her essay at The Offing? That + these poems in Motherlover have been churning in mind / building a cave + a crystal. I like Spicer and do read him often, but the Jack Spicer biography is something I’m reading more by chance. I read it on my lunch breaks while walking and before I go on an evening run after work (I hurt my wrist and can only run at the moment and ugh, sort of hate it). My husband was reading it on the plane to Ohio and sometimes I like to choose to read whatever he / or someone else is reading. As a reader, I’ve never been very interested in loyalty / lineage / following time or the dots. I do often let books come to me / I study it all / I’m always reading many things when I’m in the midst of writing. Gathering books to you / gathering poetry to you seems physically impossible. I would rather be surrounded by voices than try to gather them? So, I go another way. Books are impossibly wild beings. My friend Jared just sent me a manuscript that has a scroll named Jenny inside of it! I’ve also been thinking, while holding this Spicer pumpkin, I will read v. intensely for a year or two after I finish my second book. I would like to lay down in the Boiling Forest.

 

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meg willing | Assistant Production Editor / Designer  

(re)Reading: Madness, Rack, and Honey by Mary Ruefle | Currently on page: 91 | Favorite lines so far: “The origins of poetry are clearly rooted in obscurity, in secretiveness, in incantation, in spells that must at once invoke and protect, tell the secret and keep it.” | Book’s origin: I can’t for the life of me remember how this book arrived in my life—but it arrived and keeps arriving / I return and keep returning.

#StillLifeWithBook

#StillLifeWithBook is a little corner of our blog where contributors and staff share a snippet and a snapshot of their current reads.

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Greg Allendorf | 6.2 Poetry Contributor 

Reading: The Silver Eye: Unlocking the Pyramid Texts by Susan Brind Morrow | Currently on page: 140 | Favorite lines so far: “O by the foreleg in the reeds, / Are they deaf to the truth of the voice in his eye?” / “He loves to go out in the tall grass / of the field in the heart of the starry sky.” | Book’s origin: Amazon.

 

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meg willing | Assistant Production Editor / Designer  

Reading: The Kingdom of Ordinary Time by Marie Howe | Currently on page: 39 | Favorite lines so far: “Sometimes the moon sat in the well at night. / And when I stirred it with a stick it broke.” | Book’s origin: The Massachusetts Poetry Festival book sale table, after silently weeping in a church pew through Marie Howe’s reading.

#StillLifeWithBook

#StillLifeWithBook is a little corner of our blog where contributors and staff share a snippet and a snapshot of their current reads.

 

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Yelena Moskovich | 2.2 Fiction Contributor (and author of the The Natashas)

Reading:The Black Curve by Rut Hillarp, translated from Swedish by Saskia Vogel | Currently on page: 31 | Favorite lines so far: “I am cultivating the world’s largest jealousy for you.” / “What is more enticing than our own destiny.” / “The horizon bent itself over me, turned black, and swung.” | Book’s origin: The book just showed up in my mailbox one day. I opened the package and started reading. Some pages in, I began to suspect that it was I who had ordered this book.

 

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meg willing | Assistant Production Editor / Designer

Reading: POEMLAND by Chelsey Minnis | Currently on page: 53 | Favorite lines so far: “Poetry is like waking up drunk in a lemon yellow room… // It is a print-pattern of overblown flowers and pudendas… // It is like tearing off your bandages in your sleep…” | Book’s origin: On a freezing February weekend, in a lake house named Loon Song, my dear friend Emma pulled this bright book from her suitcase and placed it in my open hand.