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Showing posts from August, 2009

a little Pound for your day's commute

“In a Station of the Metro”

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Alas, I’m not in Paris; I’m not in Washington DC. I’m not in a large city or even near one with underground transit for the masses. Or for today’s DC version, the rich (see a recent Harper’s index for the $109K median wage for DC subway riders). I grew up with Philadelphia’s North-South Broad Street Line, its East-West elevated line, and a small web of subway-surface cars (“trolleys”) surfacing in University City and extending into Southwest Philadelphia. So I can’t say I ever lived permanently in a city whose mass transit is dominated by an entire web of underground trains like New York City or Paris. I have visited New York a bunch of times, and I’ve been lucky enough to live for a summer in both Paris and Seoul, South Korea. I’ve experienced the thrill of navigating a complex web of subways in a language extremely foreign to one’s native tongue. I’ve lost my way.

Pound’s poem suggests …

I've got the page 56, 5th sentence down blues...

It's been a long, hot summer and my anxiety over the facebook page 56, 5th sentence down thing has made me sweat even more. I saw facebook "friends" post their witty sentences and I grew jealous of their reading selections. Each time another posted and recommended the same, I would check not only the closest one but numerous books nearby; the ones that weren't board books (these went to page 24 tops) had nothing to offer. No wit. Nothing literary but pornographic all at once. No tidbit to reveal the soul of me or at least my reading habits.

I fell upon a literary novelist, an import from Europe, and although I'd be posting in translation, I knew there was promise. But his fifth sentence on page 56 included an obvious comma splice; I flipped through another of his novels and found a long-winding snake that was nevertheless a sentence fragment. I am almost certain this non-standard text was the author's attempt to philosophize on time passing or the fragmented n…