For the first Independence Day weekend in the last decade, our block was not blown up by the obnoxious neighbor lighting off a thousand dollars of professional-grade fireworks in the middle of the street. I realize I may be jinxing the neighborhood by writing this in the early afternoon of July 4. After all, the day ain’t over yet.
To make up for the uninterrupted and quiet night, I had a bout of serious insomnia which had me sitting at the dining room table until 04:00, blearily browsing the internet in an attempt to get my head to quiet down. I was tired but not sleepy, which is a miserable state in which to find one’s self when there are no pressing issues the next morning and sleep should be abundantly available.
Two new bundles of words arrived in the past week. On the left is the latest issue of Poetry Magazine. On the right is the new delivery from And Other Stories, Keeping the House by Tice Cin, which according to the back cover blurb offers “…a fresh and funny take on the machinery of the North London Heroin Trade…” which I can only assume will create for me a sense of deja vu which will lead back to Trainspotting.
(Yes, I know, Keeping the House is set in London, England and Trainspotting is set in Edinburgh, Scotland.)
In reading news, I finished Jim Harrison‘s Dalva, and it was every bit as beautiful as the previous half-dozen times I have read it over the past 25 years. Harrison’s follow-up novel The Road Home is now sitting next to my bed, awaiting my attention. I picked up my copy of Dalva back around 1996 and it is falling apart. I think I will need to replace it before I read it again, and I don’t think it will be so easy to find another copy with a Russell Chatham cover which is in any sort of good condition.
I have just started Francesco Verso’s long novella or short novel Nexhuman, and so far it is really good! This was published by Apex Book Company and arrived a few months ago as part of my subscription to Apex’s catalog.
I also just started Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor by Virginia Eubanks, and only made it about five pages in before I was overcome with an incandescent rage at the state of the world. I have often said that sadism is the national pastime of the USA, and Eubanks is showing how sadism and racism, manifested as carceral capitalism and managed democracy, are actively embedded into the national psyche at a level not much removed from that of the weather or gravity. Currently I am about fifty pages in, and my mood has not improved.
In writing news, now that we are in July, and I have some time off, I plan to get serious about my writing practice. Then again I have planned that every week since the beginning of the year and have only been partially successful.
A few walks in the woods and a few evenings on the Lake Michigan beaches may be what I need to clear space in my head.