Here's yet another tale of lovers Who drank each other under the covers Melted til they felt it Then poured a couple more Or, did they meet in the street? Make eye contact, then weep? Infatuation at first sight Perhaps... that first night? Is naught truly amiss? With a tempestuous kiss Can theatrics from 80's movies Actually behoove ye? How about instead of beers? It was letters sent over years Outpourings of two souls Tribulations, joys, and goals But, the idea of a person Is better, then it worsens Will things work out fine? With the litmus test of time? What's more mature and natural? An approach: cold and factual? Checklists and algorithms Mathematical driven My favourite is the path of laughs Such arts kickstart the heart Giggles turned to snuggles Laughter... to happily ever after All of the above Are potential paths to love We should learn from the past Even if the coupling didn't last Hopefully, these lessons lessen Growth, with another is the blessing
Such a place of amazement, imagination and possibilities, new and old friends.
I think I usually seek out the old friends first to get the lay of the land so to speak. Figure out just how comprehensive the back catalogue is, whether there’s oodles of extra copies or does it seem like a carefully curated private library begrudgingly opened to the public?
Then it’s a breeze through the classifications / categories. Depends on the type of bookstore really. One of those slick big box stores with dark wood to provide the illusion of history in a space renovated 3 years ago from a clothing store, or was it sporting goods? Maybe a restaurant? I’m sure there’s a tree ring level of investigative possibility beneath the layers of paint coating the structural walls.
Don’t worry, you won’t get lost in one of ‘those’ stores, they’ll all cut from the same cloth with simple wayfinding and numerous non-booky impulse buys. Likely an adjoining brand name coffee place to fill another addiction at the same time. Sheeeit I sound bitter. Wait’ll I rant about online bookstores! (Dirty secret – I spent waaaaay too much online buying comic books, ahem, graphic novels during the Year-du-COVID. Escape, my excuse!)
Okay let’s get back to the communities though. Those special bookstores that carve a niche and foster loyalty despite lower prices (see mini-rant above) at big box or online retailers.
Those are labours of love. Shit, they really are. Some owner just wants to read, share, they’ll gladly order you in any manner of literature you need. Displays linked together thematically, maybe a hot author has a display with some older works for a refreshing deep dive. (To be fair the box stores / online folks have all the appropriate prompting/queuing, etc.) No those places are great and, well, I hope they survive. I suppose I can help that, dammit. Best get on it.
Last though, is my favourite – the used bookstore. Old books, sorted by size, (or priced that way), multi-book deals. Old classics with the covers barely hanging on with yellowed pages. Books stacked to the rafters and remnants of organizational schemes falling to the wayside in the back where the extra discounted ones are. I love exploring them, looking through them, petting the store cat (there’s always a cat). There’s always someone who knows exactly where everything is if you ask.
When I go to a new town and am wandering about it’s a nice respite for me to go spend time in a quiet, unassuming place searching for the perfect book to remember the trip by. (Whitehorse’s Well-Read Books and Jack London’s ‘The Iron Heel’, Edmonton’s Wee Book Inn and “Don Quixote”, Victoria’s Russell Books and… well err a shitload of Batman, and I’ve never actually been there, but justified my online pandemic shopping spree behind the pretense of supporting local(ish) companies online. I will eventually make a pilgrimage whenever I get back to the Island.)
Yep, can’t wait for my next sojourn to find me another bookstore to skulk about awhile. Right up there with museums as a great way to spend an afternoon in a strange city. Then off to a trendy pub with the new prize book to flip through and enjoy!
PS. Gotta pimp a couple more great stores, Whitehorse – Mac’s Fireweed Books (A tiny book of poetry called “A Little Robert Service”). Oh, and it’s not a used store, but…. Wait, there’s used stuff in the back! Err okay it’s Vancouver’s Golden Age Collectibles and I think I got some GI Joe comics there first, hard to say as it’s been a lot of trips back haha. Speaking of Vancouver, I also managed to pick up a pretty cool book about the history of pirates for $2 from a guy having a yard sale from his front step in the Alma neighbourhood as my brother and I followed a path reclaimed from an old railway as we roamed the streets on a sunny Sunday in June looking for an open patio to have brunch at. That counts as a bookstore too cause I think there were 8 laid out on a table.
It's so very cont-a-rary When I eat a strawberry It's practically absurd In case you hadn't heard I stare in wonder Near Arctic Tundra At this strange red fruit Marveling at its route Here we are So freaking far The end of the road With a produce load Amidst ice and snow Taste the rainbow
Will the world uplift? When we lose The Grift Any chance it'll heal the rift? Between the right and the left I'm a little biased Hoping for a better us Like seriously dude It's terribly skewed I used to think I was apolitical Until we reached situation, critical So from here on out Without a doubt I'll make sure I speak When Fascism leaks
Last thing remembered: lending parent's friend's kid red and black BMX, getting on Dad's old blue ten speed with red saddlebags Lowering seat to reach pedals Pretty cool, grown-up Nothing after tho Probably cruised around hood, doing jumps off curbs, popping wheelies Woke up in the ER Couldn't move. Head pain. Down side too. Funny little stainless steel kidney shaped bowl Light hurt. Harsh fluorescent iridescent irritation Limbs, slowly starting to work Reaching up, touching temple Fingers, drawn back sticky Mom was there. Crying? Maybe a happy gasp? Tried to sit up WoOzy Puked on self Kidney bowl pushed under chin Mom's hand on head Soft murmurs "Mom, where are your shoes?" She laughed. No time she said No time. Straight into the ambulance Went home that day Nothing broken (Except brain) Trip to the Kootenies next 8 hour drive Slept in bed, back of van Grandparent's cabin Repeatedly ran into furniture Joked about my clumsiness Heard about The Crash then Hit car going 80 on 80th ave Frantically pedaling backwards No brakes No brakes. Bounced off hood Caterwauling: ARooOooA, ArOoooA Mom ran 4 blocks in socks Dad's bike, badly bent Me too ~~ Summer ended Changed schools French immersion Missed my friends Hated it Went on strike Failed everything except math (Couldn't do that to math) Detention desk at principal's office Spurned Bescherelle transcription task One hour sentence, then, phone call from Mom Big trouble waiting at home Didn't go Rode shiny new silver ten speed down road Next suburb over Slept in shed with bike while lighting crashed Three days in library reading Charlie Brown Only ate gum Upgraded bedroom to newspaper bin Flat tire Walking past police station "Shouldn't you be in school?" Then, recognized Questions So many questions Just wanted to go home On the news Mom and brother crying Hugs Joked she had shoes this time Laughter ~~ Dented noggin demarcated entry to teens Explains terrible baseball skills Looking back now, can better see long shadow cast by The Crash Can't rub dirt on it, but can understand, and, forgive.
Okay now seriously, which one of you said “Thank God 2020’s over, 2021 couldn’t be any worse!”
Well, I’ve tried the 2021 seven day trial and I’d like to return it. Anyone know how?
I think that’s the simplest form of superstition. The “Don’t mention the goalie has a shutout or the other team will score kind.” Baseball players are famous for the vodoo-esque lengths the go through to either keep their luck going, or, change their luck, players even going so far as to sacrifice chickens!
For me though, I don’t give a cluck. I’m just not what I’d consider a superstitious person. I mean, yes, I’ve seen a few eerie coincidences in my life, but I just chalk that up to the nature of probability without attributing causality to it.
It's starting to brighten Sol's altitude does heighten So very delighting Wait, I mispoke That last line broke It's not de-lighting at all Not until the fall 😛
Once upon a time, things were just fine. Before man's terror, Species extinction fervor Mega-fauna all gone-a Pointy sticks and fire Meat to our heart's desire Agriculture and language came With more of the same A dearth of mirth As bodies hit the earth The inception of religion Caused even more division But lo and behold a glint of shiny gold Some precepts and beliefs gave relief A few vegetarians Were murder contrarian Animal husbandry Was telling, you see Flocks and herds Of domesticated animals and birds We could conserve, With a certain amount of verve If they were tasty, we wouldn't wasty That's more or less where we are Killing the planet with fossil fueled cars The real secret, (And I hope you don't keep it) Well it's those industry titans For who nature's bones whiten The rich are a bitch, A plague with death as a wage. Of course we're not blameless With our consumption so shameless Once upon a time, things were just fine. What are YOU gonna do about it?
I’ve got unfinished business with 2020. I fell off the writing wagon after the
Longest Night (who wouldn’t blame me, it was dark!) so I’ve decided this particular prompt best captures the zeitgeist of this liminal time/space continuum. Or roughly put, some minor reflection with some New Year’s resolutions (Goals, woot!)
TL;DR Past - Take the lessons, but leave the bad after addressing what is solve-able. Present - Exist, enjoy. Seek balance in all. Accept the unexpected. Future - Keep on eye on it, but don't get lost in what might be's.
Actually now that I see that I’m pretty happy with it and feel it’ll set a nice course for the new year. Yaay 2021!