Showing posts from September, 2014

Late September Odds and Ends

I've been wearing grooves in the Jersey Turnpike lately, running back and forth to book-related events.  And the misadventuring continues: this coming Friday (October 3) I'm Lawn Guyland bound.  I'll be reading a mix of poetry and prose at 7 p.m. at a coffee shop called Sip This.   The location is 64 Rockaway Avenue, Valley Stream, NY.  

After that I'll be heading in the general direction of home to sign books the very next day (Saturday, October 4) at the Cumberland Mall in Vineland, New Jersey.  I'll be at the Books-a-Million from 2-4, and I'd love to see you there, Jersey friends!

An Amuse-Bouche

This Thursday (September 25), I'll be joining a panel of fabulously talented writers at NewYork University (Fales Library and Special Collections, 70 Washington Square South, 6 p.m.).  We'll celebrate the relationship between literature and food, and the release of Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal. If you happen to be in the big city, please drop by for some gustatory and literary delights.

In the meantime, to whet your appetite, here is a selection from Books That Cook by poet/photographer Howard Dinin.  If you follow its instructions, you too may enjoy the perfect fried egg sandwich.

Making the Perfect Fried Egg Sandwich

dedicated to (n-1)

One egg. The mammoth chicken gamete. Primary color: yellow. Unary. Pre-packaged, Ingenious. And biodegradable.

Dust to dust. A sustainer. Life itself and contained in that a death. Not a paradox: a meal, even for the dying. Indeed, a preferred repast.

It may be the simplicity.

"To Own an Eland!": Antiques and Poetry in Columbia, Pennsylvania

At Burning Bridge Antiques in Columbia, Pennsylvania, Andre and I ran smack dab into this larger-than life fellow:
When I read his tag and realized he was an eland--the world's largest and slowest antelope--my heart skipped a beat.  I've long been fascinated by Randall Jarrell's "Seele Im Raum,"--German for "soul in space"--a moving and mysterious poem in which an eland stands for how what we imagine can feel far truer than any literal truth.  
For those who haven't had the pleasure, here it is: Seele im Raum
It sat between my husband and my children.
A place was set for it—a plate of greens.
It had been there: I had seen it
But not somehow—but this was like a dream—
Not seen it so that I knew I saw it.
It was as if I could not know I saw it
Because I had never once in all my life
Not seen it. It was an eland.
An eland! That is why the children
Would ask my husband, for a joke, at Christmas:
“Father, is it Donner?” He would say, “No, Blitzen.”…

Lost In the Stacks: A Tour of Mullen Books, Inc.

After yesterday's book signing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Andre and I set off a little adventure with our son Eli and his girlfriend Samantha.  Our first stop was Mullen Books, Inc., in Columbia, Pennsylvania, a homey river town not far from Lancaster.

Mullen Books is owned by Kevin Mullen, the brother of an old college friend of ours, the brilliant representational painter James Mullen:

Though our visit was an impromptu one, Kevin welcomed us warmly and gave us a tour of his storefront and all that lies behind it.  Like Jim, Kevin is drawn to beautiful things.  His warehouse is full of surprises, like this antique safe:

And this wax cylinder phonograph, which he demonstrated for us:

But the main attraction at Mullen Books, Inc., is, of course, the books.  Kevin's stock is varied, but at its heart is the most enormous, enticing collection of art books imaginable.

 Naturally, I couldn't help wandering off into the stacks to do a little browsing.

And just as naturally, we couldn&…