Then I read Wandering Ghost, one of the best biographies of Lafcadio Hearn ever written. I'll quote Dave Brinks in his essay from Art Voices: Vivant Dans La Ville Fatale (Summer 09) "It's a wildly engrossing tome about a half-blind, Greek-Irish, eccentric vagabond journeying across 19th century Earth from bohemian New Orleans to New York to the Caribbean, and then later to Japan." Brinks goes on in the essay to excerpt selections from Cott's book to illustrate Hearn's time in New Orleans and how this influenced his Hearn's writing and thinking.
Beyond the Looking Glass is one of my favorites as I adore fairy tales. It's a compendium of novels, stories and poems from the Victorian Era with delightful images and pictures to accompany the stories.
Dave is currently reading Thirteen, looking into his upcoming poetry book on complex mathematical theories that I hear about on a daily basis but really don't understand.
I've been reading the complete Dylan interviews edited by Cott for my own work on a long poem about Wuthering Heights in conversation with Dylan lyrics; a topic which confounds Dave as much as his hexagrams confuse me. Coincidentally, Dylan refers to his music as mathematical.
Jonathan Cott is probably best know for his Rolling Stone interviews with Dylan and John Lennon. But he is also a poet; his book of poems City of Earthly Love (Stonehill Publishing, 1975) is filled with beautiful lyrics such as "He Dreams What is Going on Inside His Head." This poem opens with the line: "Angel Hair sleeps with a boy in my head," which Anne Waldman and Lewis Warsh named their magazine and press after; The Angel Hair Anthology (Granary Books, 2001) has Cott's poem in the opening.
Here's a poem from the collection:
I write you in small print
Waking up in little moments
Round like d's or sleeping fingers
Slipping through the intervals
As deck chairs turn in themselves
A wind blowing through
As a sun fan lifts
Birds float to dawn shadows
Rolling in dark grass to your hand
There's an interesting article at Slate about Cott's experience with ECT and his memory loss. It's a subject he explores in his book On the Sea of Memory: A Journey from Forgetting to Remembering.
Dave and I are checking into a hotel later for some more childless adventures, and this means that we have to pack our books.
Here's my list:
Exilee/ Temps Morts by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
Justifying the Margins by Pierre Joris
Cast A Cold Eye by Mary McCarthy
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (reread)
Here's Dave's List:
Chita by Lafcadio Hearn
Osiris with a trombone across the seam of substance by Julian Similian
Transgender and Grinder by J. Semilian
Thirteen by Cott
Dear Sandy, Hello by Berrigan
Harry Partch, a biography by Bob Gilmore
Keep in mind we are going to be there a whole 24 hours, so we have to be prepared.