Very little changes. And yet everything keeps going forward. Your presence is not necessary. That’s the way of the world. Be happy.
Back in Austin! It’s like I’ve never left, well, except that I live in an RV now. Finding places to park at night is going to be an issue for a few weeks, until I can afford to anchor the Rollin Chateau at an RV park. In the mean time, I am working on a feature article (to be published this spring), and I’m reading a lot. I’m really itching to work on my book of poems… soon!
By next month, my little bohemian life should be somewhat stabilized, as long as I can find somewhere to park my rig with at least one electrical outlet… you know, enough to brew some coffee, heat up a can of soup, and keep the beer cold…
Tuesday, I stopped in at my favorite bookstore. Malvern Books on 29th street. I tell you what, I’ve travelled close to 6500 miles just recently—don’t know if you’ve heard—and I stopped at every book peddler I could find along the way. Malvern Books is, as far as I can tell, the best bookstore this side of the Mississippi. I bought their last copy of Vale Hale, by H.D. It’s part of a cool new series of chap-books by New Direction Publishing (read up on them here in The New Yorker… great article that proves the bottom line shouldn’t be the only worry of great publishers, publishing great works of literature should be the number one goal of ANY publishing company… anyway…).
I do go back and clutch my precious book
and warm it at my breast,
it is the child I lost;
O infinite grace—my uncle granted me
this blessing and this peace,
here is a great sun, set between the trees
of Paradise, those same trees
with names of God, the same God
and yet other, some seventy names or more,
inscribed in the circumference of this Flower;
I dare not read them, printed on the page,
later, I’ll light my candle, kneel and seek
the number and the names upon the chart,
divided round the circle of the year,
so one can find the special Angel
and God’s special name
that guides the soul from birth;
I know his birthday and the day he died,
and my name on the chart lies not so far from his;
Azriel who saw him die, now let me live
to honor and to serve the names of God.
(page 28, Vale Have, by H.D. New Direction Books 2013)
The reason I love Malvern Books is because they have an incredible poetry selection. I’ve never seen anything like it; they specialize only in books published by small presses, and they also carry lots of books in translation. Thank you for specializing in books that don’t normally get much attention in other bookstores. I appreciate this.
We certainly don’t have as many bookstores in Austin as we once had. It’s too bad. Bookstores serve an important purpose in our communities. And no, electronic bookstores do not replace brick & mortar bookstores completely, though I certainly buy lots of books both online and in brick & mortar businesses.
It’s rare that I buy “blind” online. Usually, when I shop online I know exactly what I want. When I enter a bookstore, I want to be guided and aided; I want the bookseller to tell me what’s new, what’s cool, what’s funny, and what’s being talked about… to me shopping for books in a small independent bookstore is the same reason I’ll go shop for wine in a small independent wineshop, it’s because I want the guidance of the experts behind the counter: what’s available here and now in this particular establishment? The reason I go back a second time, a third and so on, is the same reasons I go back to independent wineshops, it’s because of the people and the choices they make when they curate their inventory.
When you cannot have everything, you pay much closer attention to what you put on your shelves, and that choice is what makes small stores either amazing or so so.
My book Beer Songs for the Lonely is available at both Malvern Books and Book People here in Austin, Texas. Book People, also a great Austin bookstore, just ordered another eight copies that I dropped off this morning. Thank you so much for shopping locally, and for buying my book. You rock!
Peace & Love,
***VISIT MY STORE***
Thank you for buying my books. Good things will happen to you. Soon after. And possibly while you read them. Amazing things will happen to you as well if you review my books after you read them. I can almost guarantee it. I might even drive to your house and give you a bear hug. That’s right. That’s the kind of shit that happens to people who read and review my books.