Lets be clear. I’m not even close to “done with the semester.” I have approximately forty-two 8-10 page research papers to grade; twenty short essay exams; twenty 4-6 page literary analysis papers; and twenty poetry portfolios to evaluate and, yes, grade. Nonetheless, I can’t help but look towards next weekend when all of this will feel like the memory of a fever-dream, a persistently runny nose, or a water blister on a heavy walking day.
So, on to the summer reading list. I’m a serial monogamist when it comes to fiction. I’ve read Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays every May since 2005, I think. Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives was incorporated into the May ritual circa de 2008. When it comes to poetry, I’m more promiscuous. Here’s my so-far-this-summer lineup so far: Eileen Myles’ Snowflake, Matt Hart’s Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (I like it when a book title tells you what you’re in for), Emmanuel Hocquard’s The Invention of Glass (trans. from the French by Cole Swensen and Rod Smith), Eduardo Corral’s Slow Lightning, Beth Bachmann’s Temper, and Anthony Madrid’s I’m Your Slave, Now Do What I Say. I’m also going to read Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild, this summer, because her July 2011 reading at the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference blew me away.
There’s this police station scene in the film The Long Goodbye when detective Philip Marlowe smears his face with fingerprint ink and makes absurd faces at the cops on the other side of the glass. I think I’m going to fantasize about drinking an ink cartridge now (Cyan!), and making absurd faces at someone FaceTime.
Later today, if I don’t drink the Cyan, I’m going to post the videos of my reading from the UW-Platteville Creative Writing Festival.