December 18, 2015

Loss and surprises

My beloved email address (erin (at) ibiblio dot org) is sending spam. Having this happen feels to me like a great loss — a disaster. So I'm thinking often of One Art by Elizabeth Bishop, a villanelle you've definitely heard in some form. It's that one that starts "The art of losing isn't hard to master."

The stanza I love is the third one:
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

And the final two lines get me in a devastating and perfect way: the stutter of "like (Write it!) like" feels so real. It's lit, as the kids say.

Anything lost may look like disaster. Write it anyway. I'm coping with other losses I'm not ready to write.

In the meantime, I'm down to my last dozen copies of No Experiences. There are four copies left at Quimby's. Then it'll be available only at Uncharted Books

And the surprise promised to the first 4 people who replied to the last letter is now available for sale! It's a zine collection of five of my favorite letters with covers I designed and made, and loving footnotes to all the links, called Poems Like Hands Can Be Useful. It's limited to just eight copies, though.

Deliveries will be delayed over the holidays, but they'll get there. I'm proud of 'em. And I'm proud of my wonderful partner for typesetting this awesome zine, and for his great recent work on a book he wrote with several colleagues. That book is for you if you're interested in running an independent business.

I wish you well in the new year. Practice losing farther, losing faster. Practice time away from email.