weekend reading

flying books

Ocean Songs, by Ethan Rutherford is likely my favorite thing from Covered with Fur so far. The language is startlingly beautiful and highly Melville-esque. I mean, the first chapter is: “Before we were swimmers we were men. In the Morning and cramped it were our hunger that turned, and before us the Quaker laid the sea and we took as we knew how. The sea turned wide and of the whole it could be said empty of end.” Read it; there’s no disappointment in sight for reading this mariner’s tale.

I recently finished Bluets by Maggie Nelson, which is a truly incredible book–like, I found it hard to believe how beautiful it was. I haven’t met anyone who didn’t like it, instead, those who are familiar with the book, their eyes brighten as they exclaim, “oh my god I loved that book!” Maggie Nelson’s work tends to lead to a special kind of love-gushing. In honor of that, here’s An Interview with Maggie Nelson, by Genevieve Hudson for Bookslut. It’s mostly about her writing process, but in Nelson’s inherent style of being deeply personal, philosophical, and beautiful. (Also, please be aware of Nelson’s forthcoming novel, The Argonauts.)

Here’s a list of Songs from a Johnny Cash Album Where the Law is Just and Your Loved Ones Can be Trusted by Michael Whitney from The Toast. I also recommend reading the comments, as they are pure gold.

From McSweeney’s Internet TendencyKate Chopin’s The Awakening is Making Me Reevaluate My Casual Three-month Relationshipby Emily Axford, is about surviving the casual, early twenties, heteronormative relationship as informed by a modern, third-wave-feminist perspective. It is pretty dang funny. Here’s a taste: “Here I am, three months into a casual, undefined relationship and only now do I realize how blind I have been to the subtle oppression I have had to endure. It was only through the enlightened prose of Ms. Chopin that I finally understood the truth: I am a slave, bound by one Lucas Singleton, who is currently on tour with his underground emo band Soul Touch and is too poor to own a cell phone.”

The Itch, by Kate Colby, is a collection of 7 short (150 word) poetic essays about dead animals, atypical beauty products, severed fingers, a woman scratching a hole in her skull due to an imaginary itch, and all kinds of other wonderful things. It’s from The Rumpus. 

Eileen Myles (punk/poet/god and author of many titles, including, but certainly not limited to: Snowflake, The Importance of Being Iceland, Sorry, Tree,  and The Inferno: A Poet’s Novel) wrote an essay/review titled In Gray There is Multiplicityon It is Almost That: A Collection of Image + Text Work by Women Artists & Writersby Lisa Pearson. Eileen Myles is smart, and reading her work transmutes knowledge through elaboration and speculation and transfers this new thought unto the reader. In this essay, she states: “So many women live so much of their lives in this other language. Is this fact known? The hands are indeed the major organ. Hands are the truest organ of exchange. The morning in my life I knew had grown up was when I woke up from a dream and sat in bed looking at mine. What will I do. My hands tell me all that I know.” Read this essay and impress your friends with your newfound knowledge on the creative work of women.

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