27 August 2012

Dark Mountain 3 & the Paradox of Civilization

The new Dark Mountain, Issue 3, is loaded with interesting ideas, writers, and art & I'm excited to have 3 poems in it. The art of holding conflicting ideas in the mind: unfortunately civilization is headed for a crack-up of epic proportions, but on the other hand, poems in print!

In Chicago last week I walked around the Armitage-Fullerton-Lincoln Park triangle taking pictures and admiring the beautiful houses and growing garden culture. The sedums and sages in the formal garden by the conservatory have honey bees all over them -- who's keeping bees? I want to talk to them!

The "blue angels" military air show raged overhead, burning jet fuel, making a huge noise, causing dogs to howl and babies to burst into tears. How can you not love this civilization of fountains, conservatories, gardens, diverse people taking picnics to the park? How not be horrified by our wastefulness -- wasting jet fuel, enticing young people to the military, and creating sonic booms -- as entertainment?

22 August 2012

Bookman's Alley

Bookman's Alley in Evanston was the greatest bookstore around Chicago... on trips to the midwest I always made a trip up there to browse the vast stacks and inhale the special aroma of literature, local history, printing press, wool blanket, and bison skull that permeated the place. The owner had announced that he was selling off his inventory and closing up shop in the spring, and it seemed the time to visit had passed. When I was in Evanston on Monday for lunch we stopped by Bookman's Alley and found it locked up, but the young woman working in the frame shop opposite told us that he had been open over the weekend. It seems like it's still possible to visit, though I don't know how much of the inventory is left. Well worth a trip, last chance to see, carpe diem!

My best find there was an old copy of H.L. Mencken's The American Language. A treasure.