a love poem to my books

a copy of rimbaud’s poésies that was given to me

on my birthday by the french lover who made me crazy

with the realization i was a woman

a long overdue book checked out in the library in berck, france

of a french translation of bukowski’s ham on rye

that the title translates literally to memories of no big deal

which quite illustrates the entire point

a well loved copy of journey to the end of the night

by that racist céline that i found on a bookshelf

in a room in west philly which i pillaged

on a night i was shaking with junk

and then carried 1200 miles and read

in my confusion of being a displaced person

the bell jar still not finished that was presented to me

with a post it note on the inside reading

once we begin to want, we fall under the jurisdiction of demons

given to me after a night in a bar in the st. pauli section of hamburg

when i must have been pontificating and said quite proudly

i have no influences, i’ve never even read plath

the stranger in its original french

the first book i read in that romantic language

when i crystallized nihilism and 20th century literature

and helped me prove to myself that

yes, i was capable of understanding lingual complexities

an anthology of artaud that was given to me

on a cold autumn night in exchange for a book of verse by sappho

with the artist that would photograph me on an important day

and there i saw that it was ok to be mad, careening through paris

after a night of drinking and pretending it is 1935

while pleading with the gendarmerie that he is merely tired

a copy of living in style by roger horchow sent to me by my mother

when i moved into a room by myself for the first time

that she had once given me when the first and i found a beautiful space

a book i equate to a room of one’s own by my woolf

at 20 it gave me inspiration and direction

at 30 it reminded me that

you should surround yourself with beauty

something i had long since forgotten while under

the influence of other people’s spaces

anais nin a novel and her diary

which made it ok for me to be a sexual being

childless, married twice at thirty, and a writer

she showed me that whatever i have done it is not too bad

that it is normal to want to fuck and to have your

own brand of madness for life, love, and freedom

the version of tsunami of love by eddie woods

signed july 1, 2013 with an inscription of how awesome i am

my mentor, my believer, my friend

who took the time to read a fan’s letter and accompanying poems

and took the chance to stroke her ego and urge her to publish

then opened worlds and circles and inducted her

into the sacred tribe of shamans kicking it around europe

and this, my holy grail, put into my hands

the day i got on a plane and left for the old world

tropic of cancer by henry miller

a small gesture by a dear one who

put up with the psychobabble of those last days in the usa

stolen from the penn bookstore and read immediately on that flight

highlighted, dog eared, underlined

the first lover to make the husband jealous

this robust, vulgar henry

who hit me in my soul and my groin

and shattered illusions and showed me the paris i would come to love

i see you my beauties in front of me

and lament your loss to those who will listen

but tomorrow you will be in a true gypsy’s hand

the ones who speak romanian who will sell you

or burn you for kindling

and my darlings isn’t that a better fate than to follow me

in my madness, my pursuit of pleasure, my chaos

never again will i throw you against the wall next to my lover’s head

or tattoo you with a black pen whenever i see the word freedom

this european affair has been as beautiful as i imagined it

and i know it continues in a different direction

a new language, a new love, a new experience

i carry you in my heart always

and this farewell is merely a pause

we’ll find each other again in pride and peril

and i will welcome you with open arms and an open mind

my secret loves

blossom under the feel of strangers’ fingers

and think of me as i am curled in his arms thinking of you

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