Why the iPad isn’t working for me but Brenda Shaugnessy’s Our Andromeda is

kkk 007 NY Times building has trees inside

Why I don’t take the iPad anywhere

Because I already have two things. I have my phone and my laptop and I don’t want a third device. What I want is something smaller than the iPad that I can read manuscripts on, and I am on the search for that tool. What the staff like about the iPad is that they can use it as a calculator with square and they can line up all the books on it and it makes selling books super easy at events.

Now I’m done with what we like about the iPad. The big problem is that once you are in a document it is too hard to get back out of it. You put your fingers all over the screen trying to figure out an exit strategy and more often than not I have to power down the device to get back out. Eventually, I want to have just two things. The phone and the thing I read, write and play on. I know it’s a joke to think of me actually playing. I played once back in the Eighties but no one had phones then so there is no documentation. I consider blogging and my monthly check of FB to be “playing.” I can’t write on the iPad keypad because I type too quickly for its awkward little keys. I think of the equivalent in the lovemaking world and I shudder.

And as for reading books? What I do is I read the actual book. To each his own, but I’m also a fan of real men, not vibrators. But this is not me dissing vibrators or Kindles or Nooks. We live in a big world with a lot of people. To each his or her own.

My son is in Fiji reading Brave New World, my daughter’s reading feminist criticism for her thesis. Mark’s doubtless reading about particle and wave about math and physics. I think he needs to think about becoming a quantum magician. I’m reading Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam and Gregory Orr’s Concerning the Book that is the Body of the Beloved. Orr’s poetry asks you to enter another country, and in that country, you are loved as you surf the swells of life and as you dive into dark water. You are well and loved and you love. I got the Orr book from Copper Canyon at AWP.

And I’m reading Brenda Shaugnessy’s Our Andromeda which is a book of poetry everyone on the planet should read. I can’t really say why in the right words but let me give it a try here. You could walk around your whole life and never encounter a big love or you could on the other hand, enter it largely and fully and then you could have the language and story telling possibility to write about love in its galactic possibilities and you could thicken that language with elegance the rest of us can only aspire to and even then you wouldn’t quite be describing, Our Andromeda. When I am eighty, I will still be reading this book. When I am one hundred, I will read this book and Shakespeare and Silverchest by Carl Phillips and I’ll read Anne Carson and then I will get up and dance.

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Published in: on March 22, 2014 at 5:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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