grand street

Glorify me!
For me the great are no match.
Upon every achievement
I stamp nihil.

I never want
to read anything.
What are books!

Formerly I believed
books were made like this:
a poet came,
lightly opened his lips,
and the inspired fool burst into song—
if you please!
But it seems,
before they can launch a song,
poets must tramp for days with callused feet,
and the sluggish fish of the imagination
flounders softly in the slush of the heart.
And while, with twittering rhymes, they boil a broth
of loves and nightingales,
the tongueless street merely writhes
for lack of something to shout or say.

(vladimir mayakovsky, from "the cloud in trousers" [max hayward and george reavey trans.])
the "list 10 books that have stayed with you" meme that's been bouncing around facebook for the last year or so made its way to me via my friend sarah just a few days before someone published a statistical analysis of said meme that's been bouncing around the internet this week (harry potter crushed everyone, including jesus, even though the average meme-participant's age was 37, which would have made them about 21 when harry potter and the sorcerer's stone first sank its claws into popular culture). as for me? this site is my list, maybe; it's about more (and less?) than books, but it's certainly about the ones that have stayed with me. either way, i don't know that i'm interested in making a list of 10; i'd have to talk about the goldfinch, which was so sensationally meh that i think and get angry about it least once a week, and i'd probably have to talk about gravity's rainbow, which i still haven't been able to begin in any significant way even though i know i need to complete all of pynchon's novels before declaring once and for all that he can suck it. i do love lists, though, and i like tag. i've been thinking about all of that as i've walked to and from the subway on the way to work this week—i've been thinking about transit and daily routines a lot as well, as joe just started a new job up in the bronx and we're trying to figure out how to get him there and back via some combination of actions that won't drive him nuts—and i think i'd like to tag people and ask them where they go. boil some broth on those tongueless streets, would you? in other words:

take/share 6 photographs of things you see every day. one batch, that is, of 6 photos. the sun coming up over the buildings across the street? excellent. a rusty-but-stately old manhole cover on the sidewalk outside your apartment (above, an everyday sight of mine)? delicious. your own feet in the shower? sure, if you want to take things in that direction.

i tag you 6: baby jo, dave, erin, lisa (east), lisa (west), and sarah.

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