Greetings from the fortress of solitude, a tiny room on the roof of a building in Brooklyn. Much like the character Blanche DuBois (my arch enemy), I am alone with my thoughts... a misunderstood artist sitting in a room alone pretending to be angry at my mother. However, unlike Blanche DuBois, I don't have shitloads of "stuff" that follows me around in dusty, unwieldy trunks. Come to think of it, I do indeed have a lot of clothing that I must donate to Goodwill, but because I'm markedly not a disgraced woman of the night, I uh...I uh... well this extended metaphor thing is getting really bad. Moving on...
So now that Cyber Monday and his ugly older stepsister Black Friday are shrinking in the rear view mirror of my calendar....I can skip to the favored younger child: LAST-MINUTE SHOPPING! Sure it's not even December yet, but Ye Ol' Organized Freaks out there are already completely finished with their shopping. The rest of December is a mere daymare filled with a blank expression-filled pressure cooker of crowds -- or in the pursuit of the avoidance of these crowds. Oh it's almost too late!.....(I lift my lifeless wrist to my forehead and arch my neck back.)
I'm here for you: for you friendly poets and friends of poetry and poets out there like me who haven't begun your shopping and are looking to shop for the poet in your household. Please check out these poet inspired gift ideas. In other words, these are all things that I, Amy Lawless, want and I was inspired to write about. You can backchannel me for the mailing address of my fortress of solitude. (Just kidding!)
Here's what I look like without the following presents (note: completely asleep, perfect bangs, and delicate spectacles):
So let's get right to the recommendations!
1. Augury Books has set up an "Indie Gogo" account. I'm pretty sure Indie Gogo is Kickstarter for the people who...haven't heard of Kickstarter before. But more importantly, Augury Books are raising money for their line of cool books and chapbooks. If you click here, you'll view a cute video as well as a list of the books that Augury is going to put out this year:
B.C. Edwards' chapbook, Paige Lipari's chapbook, and Patrick Moran's book.
These are books that I'm excited to read and (therefore) you should be excited about these pieces too.
2. The latest and last issue of Supermachine! Here is a link to buy it here. I'm thinking your cool younger cousin might like this. It's cutting edge poetry. I fell out of a train station one day and ended up at the release party and I heard really rad readings from the content of the magazine from Sampson Starkweather, Dan Hoy, Bianca Stone, Dan Magers, Ryan Doyle May, and Jackqueline Frost. I wish I could lift my arms from being lazy. Then I could copy lines from Jackqueline's poem which I laughed a lot during because it was the funniest and darkest poem about OK Cupid (a shitty dating site) I've ever heard.
3. If idealism is your thing, and you believe you can make a difference in the world, you should donate to a cause that floats your boat. Here are a few that are new and interesting (to me). Donate to Occupy Wall Street, or Amnesty International . There are plenty of other beautiful causes. Poets LOVE ideas and are often thrilled with a donation in their name being made to an organization they believe in. This year has been a weird one politically. The U.S. killed an innocent man this year. If you care, then give a little bit to that kind of cause. But if you don't, I'm sure there's something you believe in. If you don't see injustice in this world, you're not reading enough.
4. Maybe you're someone who wants a break from poetry. You're terrified that the world is coming to an end or is broken and you need to prepare for endtimes? (LOL) Well, how about Thermal Night Vision Goggles? We all purchased expensive night vision goggles last year for Christmas, but this year, we need to be able to sense the heat of others as they approach our compound. Wait you didn't know that the world was coming to an end? Oh well, I mean well... maybe it isn't. Maybe you're just feeling that "nagging feeling" that you can't put into words? Well there are 2 avenues to take to calm that feeling: snorts or coughs.
5. Snorts: A Mini Potbelly Pig. Listen sometimes dogs aren't cute enough for those of us who are dying to cuddle something. Thing is: pigs are way cuter. Shhhhhh package of bacon in my fridge! SHHHHHHH!
I know i said I didn't want any of these gifts. I know i said I in fact owned most of these things, however I was lying. I want a baby pig. I want you to give it to me. This one on the left is a cute adorable baby. I think it would look amazing curled at my feet right now and would make me drink less wine.
6. Coughs: I don't know about you, but in my perfect reality, I am sitting on my couch with a potbelly pig curled at my feet and I'm reading Keats' letters. So you should buy the young burgeoning poetry lover in your house a copy of Keats' letters.
Here's a letter to Fanny that makes my Gchats transcripts look like nutritional contents of a baking powder canister!:
25 College Street
My dearest Girl,
This moment I have set myself to copy some verses out fair. I cannot proceed with any degree of content. I must write you a line or two and see if that will assist in dismissing you from my Mind for ever so short a time. Upon my Soul I can think of nothing else - The time is passed when I had power to advise and warn you again[s]t the unpromising morning of my Life - My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you - I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again - my Life seems to stop there - I see no further. You have absorb'd me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving - I should be exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you. I should be afraid to separate myself far from you. My sweet Fanny, will your heart never change? My love, will it? I have no limit now to my love - You note came in just here - I cannot be happier away from you - 'T is richer than an Argosy of Pearles. Do not threat me even in jest. I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion - I have shudder'd at it - I shudder no more - I could be martyr'd for my Religion - Love is my religion - I could die for that - I could die for you. My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet - You have ravish'd me away by a Power I cannot resist: and yet I could resist till I saw you; and even since I have seen you I have endeavoured often "to reason against the reasons of my Love." I can do that no more - the pain would be too great - My Love is selfish - I cannot breathe without you.
Yours for ever
Mmmm.... Now I'm jealous of a dead girl and a little lonely like Blanche again. This isn't good. I really want that potbelly pig. Well....(rubbing toe in the sand).... guess I'll have to see if I'm on Santa's nice list. You don't want to see me look like this all year, do you? (look below) Well, short of being alone without a pig, I guess I might continue to breathe another year with just books. Books are my friends, eh? (cute loud, almost artificial sounding *sob*) Here is a list some books that I've made friends with this year. Maybe you should read them too because well...some angel must have gotten its wings in order for you to have continued reading this far: "Negro League Baseball" by Harmony Holiday, "Glass Is Really a Liquid" by Bruce Covey. When I next descend from my turret, a copy of Paul Violi's In Baltic Circles will surely be in the Fortress' mailbox.
7. But there's other stuff I want. No one gave me a copy of Anne Carson's Nox last year, so I must toil away without it. And I can't seem to reserve any of my wine money to buy "This Can't Be Life" by Dana Ward. I loved Ward's chapbook "Typing Wild Speech" and much like the Mini Pig, this would also be one that i'm "not kidding" about wanting under my Christmas tree this year.
8. Are you still curious about the necklace I'm wearing in the 2nd picture? It's a piece of jewelry made by a wonderful poet Paige Taggart, as a matter of fact. Click here if you'd like to look at her wares. Her necklaces make excellent presents. I have given my family members many of her necklaces and they always love her pieces! Always!
9. Oh well now... I guess there's nothing else that I could ask for in the whole wide world if these presents sit under the tree on Christmas mornin'. In gratitude I wish I could give you something of my own to repay you. If only......
Well.... the doctor is here.... I better open my eyes and see what he wants.... See you all next year! Happy Holidays! <wink>