Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Prowadź Swój Pług Przez Kości Umarłych

Finished Olga Tokarczuk's *Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead.* I picked it up on whim when found on the Interlibrary Loan return shelf. I had just finished Ishiguro's *Klara and the Sun* and, assuming I would be unable to read another novel so close to having finished *Klara,* I test drove the Tokarczuk anticipating a quick no - first, still processing *Klara,* my plan was not to fail the next novel until I noticed I had stopped processing *Klara,* second, Tokarczuk's the buzz since her Nobel - this is true: my next read was to be Vollmann's *Fathers and Crows,* re-read four, and I lost my first paperback - not lost, it was left by accident on a rock on Signal Knob on the hike Earthgirl busted her knees - and the replacement paperback has the black stamp of Gah, by the winner of the National Book Award for *Europe Central,* it drives me nuts, I'm vain (the copy *Drive Your Plow...* I'm reading published before the award, good thing I'm not a book-stealer), third, *Klara* was the first novel I finished in 2021 and I can't tell what the last novel I finished was but I'm fairly certain it was in 2020. I didn't give it a chance, the fuck it'd hurt to try - and no, no no, quick or otherwise.

I never met a first person me more than Janina Duszejko with the slapping distinction she does what I daydream but wonder if driven to where she is when she does if I would. That's a millionth of it. Boxes in boxes. Private faith systems built on poetry and distrust and hate of institutional faith systems the private faith system opposes in belief but mirrors in structure. And then there are the animals and the hunters and...

I can't say more without spoiling in case you read, but I double vouch and I'm glad we've got hikes planned Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, *Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead* (*Prowadź swój pług przez kości umarłych,* in Polish, no *ofs* and *thes* for them) still much to process (and Earthgirl is reading *Klara* so much talk there too). Will be reread, though if I buy my own copy it will have a shitty Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature brand, which Janina would despise

Lene Lovich is seventy-two today




Anthony Hecht

Night, the fat serpent, slipped among the plants,
Intent upon the apples of his eyes;
A heavy bandoleer hung like a prize
Around his neck, and tropical red ants
Mounted his body, and he heard advance,
Little by little, the thin female cries
Of mortar shells. He thought of Paradise.
Such is the vision that extremity grants.

In the clean brightness of magnesium
Flares, there were seven angels by a tree.
Their hair flashed diamonds, and they made him doubt
They were not really from Elysium.
And his flesh opened like a peony,
Red at the heart, white petals furling out.

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