OK, so here I am again to write in my blog, again for no particular reason, which seems silly because blogs are supposed to have reason and they are on the internet so they are publicly available, in a way, so nobody really wants to read it if you have nothing to say, but maybe I want a place on the internet to go and read what I had to write on the internet. Its not going to be a meta-blog, though. Maybe it will be about the books I read this year. I read 25 last year and kept a list of them on my computer but I didn't really write much about them.
I'm still trying to finish the Book of Dave. I admire what Will Self is doing but the story has yet to pick up some momentum. And I found Dave's relationship with his child's mother to be a bit of a stretch.
I finished the McGuane stories and the Wilbur book. I found Wilbur to be a little too formal for my taste. I wanted more violence. I did thoroughly enjoy the poem dealing with a friend's hike into the woods whereupon he discovers an old mill, no longer used and in disrepair, though the wheel still turned. There was something very real and visual and pleasurable in that image, which, to state the obvious, is what Wilbur's poetry is about. Y'know - "The Things of This World". I like concrete things. I like realism. This might just be a statement of self.
The McGuane stories were good in an old-timer, leather-faced cowboy way. I can't quite crack the short story code, it seems like, other than to know when a story is good and when it is not. I am just in awe of good short stories. I have been trying for the past five to eight years to write one. I have been considering returning to poetry. Not that it is any easier. But I am reminded at different points in my "writing career" of something a professor told me: "I think you may just find out that you're really a poet." Or not. I am reading more poetry now.
Right now, I've got two poetry books going. Michael Palmer's First Figure and Frederick Seidel's Ooga-Booga. They are great, though I'm only one third of the way into each. So, without saying anything more, here is an especially delicious line from Seidel's "From Nijinsky's Diary":
"I flee in terror to my tranquilizer the Sahara."