Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stirring the Mirror Signing at Katonah Fall Festival

For those of you in the area, please join me for a book signing at Awakenings during the Katonah Fall Festival and Street Fair this Saturday, September 29th. I'll be there, pen in hand, with copies of my new book, Stirring the Mirror, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, possibly later if the crowds are promising. Awakenings is at 215 Katonah Avenue. I'll have copies of my first book, Teaching Bones to Fly, also from Bitter Oleander Press, available as well. Scroll down to the August 13th entry for a photo of the cover and blurbs for Stirring the Mirror.

Here's an excerpt from "Giving Away Bones," a prose poem in Stirring the Mirror:


I stood at the corner giving away my bones. My ribs went to the little girl who needed a cage for her ferret. My toe bones went to a gambler to replace his unlucky dice. My spine went home coiled around the neck of a snake charmer. As I plucked out each one, I felt delightfully emptier, translucent as breath. I simply stepped out of my ivory corset.

The only piece I had trouble leaving was my skull. It stared at me with cavernous sockets like twin black wells. I appreciated the way it had cradled my brain, holding my thoughts in its bowl. But at last I kissed its brow, placing it on the desk of an artist, something to hold her bouquet of paintbrushes.

You might think my organs were left lonely and cold, but they were already gone by then -- untangled, shriveled by sun, then pinkish-gray dust blown away on the wind. Inhaled by passing clouds. All that remained of me was something like a peeled mirror, a human image without dimension, distilled to particles of light. Like a paper doll, I turned sideways and disappeared....

(This piece first appeared in The Bitter Oleander, then in No Boundaries: Prose Poems by 24 American Poets, an anthology from Tupelo Press edited by Ray Gonzalez, 2003.)

I look forward to seeing you at the Fall Festival!

Monday, September 3, 2007

BookCrossing Adventure

Intrigued by the 8/31/07 posting about BookCrossing on the Newpages Blog, I thought it would be fun to release "into the wild" a copy of my new book, Stirring the Mirror. The idea of bookcrossing is to share books with the world, tracking their journeys on the Web site. You first register the book, receiving a BCID number, then label the book and leave it somewhere for an interested reader to discover and take home. Hopefully the finder will go to BookCrossing and note that she/he found the book, along with her/his home location. Later the finder can leave a journal entry about the book (if read), then pass it on by releasing it again. Book on an adventure around the world...I love this idea!

Yesterday was a glorious, clear Sunday. The exact place I wanted to go to release the book popped into my mind. I printed out and attached labels from BookCrossing inside the cover, hand wrote a note to "Dear Reader" on the title page, popped it in a freezer bag, and gussied it up with a lime green ribbon and a neon orange Post-It marking it as a FREE BOOK. Another BookCrossing label with their yellow walking book symbol was the finishing touch. (It shouts "Howdy! Hola! Bonjour! Guten Tag!") We picked up my mother-in-law and drove to Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, NY. I remembered a particular nest-like sculpture from past visits and pictured the book contentedly resting there, waiting for someone to find it. I stealthily slipped Stirring the Mirror into the hollow of "Momo Taro," a granite sculpture by Isamu Noguchi. (#52 on the walking map, as pictured above.)

After strolling and admiring some of the towering sculptures gracing the green, green rolling landscape for about ten minutes, I couldn't control my curiosity. I circled back to sneak a peek into the hilltop hiding place. The book was GONE.