06 July 2005

In my mailbox

A couple of interesting things came in the mail this week:

1) A tartan yarmulke, sent to me, I believe, by Jack David, with a note saying "Your dream yarmulke." What a thoughtful guy!

2) A wonderful package from debby florence in missoula, montana. It contains two issues of her amazing zine Search Engine; her reprint of her chapbook My Defense For Why I Talk So Much, which I originally published through my Proper Tales Press; a prose chapbook called Planet X, by her friend Madeline Ffitch. This is great stuff, all of it. I love how different the formats of the two Search Engines are. More on debby and by debby at umbrellatooth.com and slumgullion.org. she's one of those Americans I just wish would defect to Canada.

I was trying to recall how I met debby. I believe it began with a Minneapolis visit to Joe, who I met in Guatemala in 1989. jwcurry told me to look up Michael Mann, a poet and sometime creative-writing teacher at a free school in St. Paul. Michael invited me to come read at his school, and I sat out on the lawn while the students talked about poetry, listened to me reading, and wove little hippie crowns for each other out of flowers, grass, and vines. One of those students was debby.

A few years later, debby and some of her friends came to Toronto to visit and to sell their zine Bomb Threat Checklist at the Small Press Book Fair. They stayed at the home of my friend Charles, an artist who at the time made voodoo dolls and who now co-owns a dumpling shop in Manhattan. I met Charles through my friend Anne, who used to work at Book City, outside of which I once sold my books on the street. Anne and I had a brief thing and I followed her down to Central America (the thing ceased, but Central America was life-changing), where I met Joe. That's not exactly a full circle, but it just goes to show how intricate is this thing called life.

A couple of days ago, someone I knew a little and quite liked decided to exit this intricate thing called life. Suddenly that person's exhalations are no longer mingling with mine and yours in this smoggy city, and that is terribly sad. Terribly sad that life can become so painful that absence of everything seems a desirable alternative.

Over and out.


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