Spoiler alert: it was drinking and reading scary short stories on the couch.
Suffer The Little Children, Stephen King
The Boogeyman, Stephen King
There Will Come Soft Rains, Ray Brabury
The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Stetson
Army of One, Junji Ito
The Jaunt, Stephen King*
Wendigo – Pt. One & Two
I hate poetry. This is not an amazing revelation: as far back as I remember, I have always hated poetry. I’ve read a lot of it, written some of my own (my 1999 classic Cereal deserves its own matting and frame) but never, ever took a liking to it. I have a very smart friend, Drew, my only writer friend. He introduced me to Abuelito rum, Ernest Hemingway’s short stories, and a cute little bar in Denton, TX with a bathroom made up as a library. I love him, but not his poetry. I will admit to liking parts of poems – I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears of all my life! – but only the parts, not the sum.
Poetry is heavy on suggestion, but light on content. You don’t get a whole story, only bits of feelings and things, with the rest up for interpretation. I hate it.
I like books.
There is one exception, however. The Hollow Men, written in 1925 by T.S. Eliot. It was meant to be primarily a comment on the War, Guy Fawkes and other political matters, but I don’t read it that way. My reading of it is the disillusion in mundane life and the constant seeking that is our nature, never satisfied, together yet alone. First impressions are hard to shake. (Fun fact: On The Beach by Nevil Shute, the single most powerful novel I’ve ever read, borrows from that poem for its title.) Every time I read it, I get chills.
I wish I knew why, and what it is about it that moves me so much, so that I can find more like it and fall in love with poetry. I’ve been looking and waiting, but so far there’s just the one. I hope I get lucky again, and find more of it that speaks to me. I like feelings and things, generally.
Cora had believed that living built a cumulative bank of memories, thickening and deepening as time went on, shoring you against emptiness.
The present was always paramount, in a way that thrust you forward: empty, but also free. Whatever stories you told over to yourself and others, you were in truth exposed and naked in the present, a prow cleaving new waters; your past was insubstantial behind it, it fell away, it grew into desuetude, its forms grew obsolete.
The problem was, you were always still alive, until the end. You had to do something.
I’m 93% finished with London Train, a little gem I picked up on my Kindle last month and am just now getting around to reading. It’s so wonderful, sweet and sad – and full of lovely imagery, like that.