Books devoured & delighted

A bounty of books has left me, once again, scattered and satisifed. Rain, shine, winter, spring, I've always an excuse to curl up and read. This week I've devoured an unusual mix:

Killshot, by Elmore Leonard

Murder with a side of wry (a shout-out to Fred for suggesting this book)

A Changed Man, by Francine Prose

A clever novel about a white supremacist turnabout.

I've recently discovered Prose (author of Golden Grove, Blue Angel) and am steadily making my way through all her fiction.

Night of a Thousand Blossoms by Frank Gaspar

Lush, smart, prose-like poetry.

He's got great titles and beautifully orchestrated searches for truth. I love the opening line of this poem:

There Were Footsteps in the Garden

I can’t figure out the earth, everything saying yes and no

at the same time, everything shedding its hair and licking

its teeth and waiting to be eaten. And then there are the

great wings of the galaxies I’m looking at as they shudder

through the wilderness like spirits until they stoop through

my garden of lenses and mirrors. What is the loneliness

of all those shattered islands, what is so lofty, so hungry,

so intelligent, so needy about them? I’m reading in a holy

book about how the color red shifts and retreats in this

sidereal world, as though the stars are trying to hide

their forms from one another, as though they are afraid

of their nakedness─they all race away, and only the distance

grows, only the distraction, as if that were the point. Now

the yard is so quiet I can hear the snails being pulled

through the long grass by some reckless force beyond their

snail imagination. There are sayings now that would help me.

They would be nothing by daylight. The words try to avoid

embarrassment too. How can you blame them? But in

these pure hungers of the night it is another story. Precisely

another story, and then another and another. Oh, there were

footsteps in the Garden, all right. There was a firmament

hung with lights. But that was then. This is now. That’s what

makes me ask for the next story. That’s what makes me curl

in the blanket on the shivering grass and stare outward. That’s

what makes tonight so safe for this one thing I’m trying to say.

— Frank Gaspar, from Night of a Thousand Blossoms