Thursday, September 06, 2007

Re: The Maxiumus Poems

"the diadem of the Dog
which is morning
rattles again"

-Charles Olson

The enormity of The Maximus Poems used to make me anxious as I sat with it on my lap with other books and guides strewn about to help me decipher it. Now I find it comforting to thumb through it--diving in randomly & finding old notes I'd made, scraps of paper marking pages from an Iowa City newspaper, from an old magazine, a faded green piece of paper with a caterpillar printed on it--every mark is a reminder of the places the book and I have been; the various pieces of tape holding the cover together, the crispy brown & brittle corner of the cover where I left it too close to a desk lamp on 6th Street during the summer of '87, the water damage on the spine from the Monitor Street fire in '03 (I cried when I found the book again amid the rubble), the rips & rubbings, & the stains from careless cups of coffee and bottles of beer. To think of all the places I've read from it--if only the spine had eyes facing out in all the rooms I've lived in with this great book--if only there were a camera facing out on Dubuque Street, 1st Avenue, Grove Street, 6th Street, 83rd Street, Union Street, St. Mark's Place, 3rd Street, Monitor Street, Baltic Street...


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