Tuesday, August 19, 2003


several years ago i was visiting friends in London, had the day to myself, and went to Foyle's, said to be the largest bookstore in the world. turns out what they really mean is that they have the largest number of books, while a Barnes & Noble in New York City has the largest bookstore by square feet. the books in the Barnes & Noble are pretty standard, and they really shouldn't brag when a place like Foyle's exists. hell, Gotham Bookmart is still far more interesting than that Goliath B&N.

but in Foyle's i decided that i was going to look at every single book in the poetry section, one of the largest poetry sections i've ever seen in a store. to be honest, for whatever reason, most of the poetry in ANY bookstore in London was a disappointment. i mean, HOW can a country have poets like Tom Raworth and Simon Cutts, and have such a dismal selection on the shelves?

but i came across the book MASKER by Paul Brown, and it was quite a find! "hmm, this has been here awhile," the clerk said, ringing me up. it was only $4.95, but had been on the shelf since 1982. amazingly, there were only 250 copies printed, and i found the last retail copy. there're so many poets in the world who write things we would love to read, and the Internet has come to save our lives with that, but there are still all these thousands of poets who wrote long before the net, poets like Paul Brown, who could change our sight and hearing, if only we could HAVE the opportunity.

think of all the poets before paper and pens were mass-produced. now i'm beginning to sound like a child who is terrified of his therapist dying.

but if any of you out there are familiar with Paul Brown (guess he was in London in the early 80s) i'd appreciate contact with him. my hope is that he continued writing his poems and is somewhere writing them right now. that is to say, that i hope he isn't one of those poets (i keep meeting them lately) who decide that it's time to "grow up" and put aside the pen and paper: living death.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?