Thursday, August 17, 2006

Philly has books

Yes, Philly has books. And plenty of them. You can tell a little something about the place you're in by the books in a given number of used book stores. The shelves in Mollys Books in the Italian Market offer some great poetry. You've got your CK Williams and your Rumi (though I didn't notice any Mary Oliver and she's usually a staple...), but you'll also find Zukovsky, Pound, Williams, Bernstein, Silliman, Waldman, Welish, Olson, Howe, more Olson, and poetics, lots and lots of poetics. I found a copy of Rae Armantrout's Made to Seem. Here is a snippet from "Next":

Dreamed I doubted what I heard.

Dreamed what was called
mannish, wasn't.

Dreamed there was trouble,
about a drawer, about understanding
its contents.

Dreamed I was rummaging
through the top drawer
of Maonna's bureau,
searching for a claim check.

Hey, everybody needs somewhere
in which to present
the drama of their limitation.

Is it upcoming?

Is it collapsing?

Will something
double for it?

Philly, it seems, has everything a girl needs and more. As for Armantrout, just when I was beginning to doubt the use of line breaks, here she is with chisel in hand going down the page, notch, notch, notch.

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