Friday, December 05, 2003

Got a cold, but I'm here at the Bookery anyway. Enjoying the slightly surreal experience of sitting behind copies of my own book, on display in the impulse-buy zone at the back register here. A middle-aged man buying a card picks up a copy, starts browsing. Do I tell him? Do I don't tell him? I tell him. "You must be very excited," he says. "Yes!" I say. He's still browsing. He puts it back. "Maybe I'll come back for it," he says. I don't want to put the poor guy on the spot. "We'd be delighted," I blurt. We. Well, we would, wouldn't we?

My sickness seems to discharge me of my usual obligation to do some serious work while I'm here: Adorno or whatever. There are some new books I've ordered for the shelves to browse through instead. Silliman's Tjanting has arrived (and I'm so intrigued by his anointment of Lisa Jarnot today. I'm a Jarnot fan myself, but what has she got that, say, Jennifer Moxley hasn't got? Her fearless ear, perhaps—while I've found Moxley's The Sense Record to be one of the most involving and provocative books I've read this year, I'm not going to that work for her sense of melopoeia. What a long parenthetical), as has the correspondence of Levertov and Duncan. Right now I'm leafing through Joe Sacco's new graphic novel about Sarajevo, The Fixer. And drinking lots of Gypsy Cold Care tea.

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