Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Ongoing Poem Series About the Summer of 2006 Continues Today on Poetry Thursday

August 10, 2006
Today at work I saw two men

There was a man in the kitchen
one of numerous new people
I recognize vaguely but don’t really know
rinsing a bunch of big pieces
of green bell pepper and bright orange carrot
under the running water in the sink
Like he’d taken one or two peppers
and one or two carrots
cut them roughly into thirds or quarters
and was holding three or four chunks in each hand under the faucet

Then there was another man
sitting in a meeting
whose skinny little Tintin arm was visible silhouetted
through the thin pale green sleeve of his shirt
as he reached out to type
while sitting in front of a window
It was an almost impossibly touching sight
melancholy and vulnerable and endearing

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Leanne Shapton Book Covers

I am so utterly enamored with the book cover designs of Leanne Shapton. Well, and also with her work in general, if it comes to that. But today let's talk abut the book covers in particular. There are two kinds. One are actual covers she designs and/or illustrates that come on actual published books. And, honestly, they are just so much better--to my eye at least--than most of the rest of what else is out there. I swoon. Most of the images in this post are those. But she also does an ongoing project of painting imagined covers for classic books on wood. You can see that project here, and I've ganged up a bunch of them at the bottom of this post--not because I don't love them, because in fact I do totally love them, but because if I didn't this post would be unconscionably long, and also really more of an Art post than a Publishing post (or so I tell myself anyway). Occasionally when I come across one--like the H.G. Wells or Zadie Smith covers below--I'm not sure which of the two categories it falls into, but I can usually pretty much figure it out (both of those are from the Wooden Block Books project, I feel relatively certain).

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Third Year of Pies

2015 was the third year that Bill made a pie each month (the pies of 2013 and 2014 are also visible for viewing). I adore that he does this project, and not only because I get to eat the results (though that's certainly part of it!) but also because I just love the concept of people making it a point to make the time to do the things they care about that make them happy. So, without further ado, last year's pies were--

January (above): Coconut Cream Pie (my favorite pie) for my birthday

February: Rum Raisin Pie

March: Grasshopper Pie

April: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

May: Blueberry Pie With Lime

June: Peaches and Cream Pie

July: Pluots and Cream Pie

August: Lemon Cream Pie with a Saltine Crust (and a side of Star Wars) for Bill's birthday

September: Apple Cream Pie with a Pecan Crust

October: Chocolate Pecan Pie

November: Pecan Pie with a Cornmeal Crust

December: Apple Pie

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Too Excited to Hold Still

One of the great and perpetual lessons of my life is learning how, not only to tolerate but, actively to embrace imperfection. Very few things have taught me as much in this regard as taking polaroid pictures. Although having a kid might be one of those few.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Svenja Deininger

I first discovered the work of Svenja Deininger at Marianne Boesky Gallery when I was in New York last fall. And have since become pretty much entirely enamored of it. Her use of shape and color, her mix of flat and textured areas, her technical virtuosity (for instance, you might think that gold stripe in the painting just below is metallic paint reflecting the light--but nope! it's just regular old paint, mixed and shaded and gradiented to look like a shiny reflective surface) all just fit perfectly into the art receptors inside my brain. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Long-Running Poem Series About the Summer of 2006 Enters Its Final Month

August 9, 2006
I’ve been gone a long time

to Lake Tahoe
and then unexpectedly
to Raleigh
for Bill’s grandfather’s funeral

There are of course
a thousand impressions
from the last dozen days
but here
for now
is just a brief sampling

It rained one afternoon in Tahoe
when only Bill and I were home in the cabin
out reading on the deck
We moved inside
sat on the couch and watched
through the big A-frame windows
as it came down in a fine silver mist
and smelled the ozone rain smell
and the wet green plant smell

In Point Arena there was
the cutest bakery in the world
at which we bought a tiny pie
in a yellow ceramic dish we got to keep
And it was one of the best pies
that we have ever tasted
peach rhubarb with a lattice top 

Today there was
a tiny dark gray slug
in the planter of herbs
outside the overpriced salad place
crawling along
quite quickly actually
on some thyme

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Advice From My 80-Year-Old Self

A year ago I wrote about the tragic loss of artist, author, amazing human being, and friend Susan O'Malley. Yesterday her posthumous book Advice From My 80-Year-Old Self, which I edited, came out from Chronicle Books. We invited people to post their favorite pages from the book on Instagram and other social media, using the hashtag #susanomalley. The response was overwhelming, and overwhelmingly beautiful. Here's just a glimpse of the wonderfulness people contributed to this amazing and important day. This truly inspiring book is now available wherever books are sold, and if you choose to buy a copy I'm very pleased to be able to say that Chronicle Books will donate a portion of the proceeds from every book sold to the Susan O'Malley Memorial Fund for the Arts which supports both permanent installations of Susan's own artwork and emerging artists. I am proud to work at a place that does things like that.