Thursday, February 09, 2012

Titles of collections of short stories or collections of poems tend to evoke a mood, rather than trying to accurately lable what is within.

Two books that are different are "The Names of Birds" by Tom Crawford and "Women and Ghosts" by Alison Lurie.

Every poem in "The Names of Birds" is about birds. Every short story in "Women and Ghosts" is about a women encountering and having to deal with an other wordly being, an entity that by the rules of physics and modernness shouldn't exist, but, in these stories, does.

Birds are funny. Birds are beauty. There they are an are. The poet finds them so beutiful that sometimes he avoids looking right at them, because seeing them is such an intense experience. But there they are and are.

"The sun is/in the window/The birds are already up/Get outside/me is such a heavy/coat to wear." --from "Half a Buddha" by Tom Crawford

One of the women in "Women and Ghosts" wears her me heavily. She can pretty much attract men at will, her will. She chooses one, attracts him, enjoys the sex, and dumps him after not long, and enjoys his discomfort with that. And then on to the next man of her choice for the same cycle.

Then one of the rejected dies. Not because of her, and he's young to die, but he dies.

After his death, when she connects with a new man, and they get to the part where they are going to have sex, the dead man is present in the room, very strongly to her. The new guy in the room doesn't seem to notice, she does. It cramps her style to the point of paralysis in terms of having sex. She can't have sex because the dead guy is always there.

That's the way it is for her. Neither she nor the reader knows for how long.

She could, what the heck, pass the different time before her with the beauty of birds, but she doesn't seem like the type.

"The angel that might/knock you off your horse/on the way into the noisy city/ is no match for the tanager landing on the suet/You'll look in vain/ to find him anywhere/ in the Gospels. Not one/parable about the necessity/for beauty,/if we are to go on."
--from"For Certain Dark Days" by Tom Crawford.