The post is on something that fascinates me: his reading habits.
Mark, you see, is a reader of poetry. A real reader: upwards of..well, let him do the numbers:
He also evidently re-reads books: 2, 3, 4, 5, dozens of times.I was always astonished by the statement I read somewhere by some recent MFA grad who was gushingly thankful for having been required to read 50 books of poetry during the course of his two or three years in the program. Wow – fifty whole books! (Read that with heavy irony, okay?) Sorry, fella, but it's a really slow year when I don't read at least half again more than that, & lately I've been trying to keep up a pace of at least 100 volumes (counting chapbooks, of course, but also counting big things like The Prelude & "A" & JH Prynne's Poems) every calendar year. And that's not counting magazines, journals, & miscellaneous stuff online....as poet & lover of poetry (not necessarily identical subject-positions, we all know) I simply want to know as much of the stuff as possible, to hoover down as much of that sweet word-work as I can. The Doritos effect.
Now, I'm not a list-keeper, the way Mark and my other friend Lazaraspaste seem to be, so I don't know how many books of poetry, or novels, or anything else I read in a year. I tried to keep a list like that last January, and gave up after about a half-dozen entries, bored with the enterprise. But I doubt I read anything close to 75 books of poetry in a year, and I fear I don't read close to that even if I add in the romance novels. Maybe I'll try to keep track this year, just to see, here on the blog.
Dispiriting, but I'm not going to give myself grief over it.
And I wonder what the critics who pathologize constant romance reading would make of Mark's steady consumption of poetry. What unspoken desires and psychic conflicts are superficially assuaged by each new chapbook, but truly (that is, unconsciously) exacerbated, demanding yet another dose?
Currently reading (although I'll start the list officially on the 1st) Sherry Thomas's romance novel Delicious, and re-reading The Ringworld Throne, by Larry Niven (SF). No poetry on the table at the moment, although that will change, soon enough.
This morning's music: Lasairfhiona, a wonderful singer from the Aran Islands, discovered on our last trip to Ireland. Enjoy!