I visited the local Barnes and his friend, Noble, this past weekend for the express purpose of visiting the periodicals section to buy copies of the July issue of Gray’s Sporting Journal, which includes my poem, “Hemingway Fishing.” It didn’t go down that way. Not quite.
“While I’m here in the shady Tree of Knowledge,” I figured, “I might as well leaf through a few books. You know, just to browse. Nothing dangerous to my budget or my library-only resolution.”
The next thing you know, a clutch of Gray’s in my hand, I’m in the poetry section–akin to a recovering alcoholic visiting the open bar “just for the ambiance.”
Now I know how Adam & Eve felt. I had no chance. None. Before I knew it, I was starting a little book stash, rationalizing to myself that it was “just” a little pile for summer reading, that I can’t really access my home library when I am away at the summer camp, anyway, that I have a teacher-discount card from both Barnes AND Noble gathering dust in my wallet, so what the Hades.
Before you knew it, I had To the Left of Time (Thomas Lux), Stag’s Leap (Sharon Olds), and Poems (Elizabeth Bishop) poetically piggy-backed on the bookstore floor. Before you knew it, my conscience had been banished, and I didn’t give a fig.
Temptation, thy name is Summer Books Before Summer (officially starts the 21st in the northern hemisphere). To compound my sin? When I got home, I put these books aside for the summer and then, two nights later, when the novel I was reading did its molasses uphill imitation, turned to the Lux and started reading it early. Before summer, that is.
As Charlie Brown would put it: Arghhh!
Fear not, however. I immediately consoled myself. I said, “Hey, it’s over 90 degrees today. Close enough!”
Now you know where the adjective “Adamic” comes from.