I find great, suggestive things in books. The inscriptions are the private face one person shows another, almost always written in some private language, referring to events and people about which we can only guess. Sometimes there are items left behind in books that are as fascinating as the book–love letters, a $7,000 check, a 4-leaf clover.
Here are three things.
#1. Inscription from Gloria Steinem’s Revolution from Within
It takes forever
When you read one page
A night. I’m going
Back to the other book
Now. Hope I live
Long enough to finish.
Talk to you soon—
As I typed this inscription, the computer automatically capitalized the first word in each line, formatting it into a found, prosaic poem.
#2. In a book of religious quotes entitled Thorns and Thrones I found a torn corner of a photograph of a man’s face leaning into the corner. In the background is the top of a horse’s head and trees. The man is half-smiling and wearing a gray t-shirt and a Philadelphia Eagles base ball cap.
He was obviously removed from some other picture, but why? Was he cast out from the picture, or was the rest of the picture thrown away and he the only face worth saving?
#3. In the western, Legend of a Badman by Ray Hogan
I love you, you old shit.
Read slow. You’ve got 49 days.