February 18, 2014
A new book spine poem (aka bookmash):
Skating to Antarctica,
Desolation island –
A place apart where
The wasteland ends;
Soul on ice into
The silent land
The other side of you.
I planned to include The White South but didn’t find a satisfying spot for it. Thanks to the authors: Jenny Diski, Patrick O’Brian, Dervla Murphy, Theodore Roszak, Eldridge Cleaver, Paul Broks, and Salley Vickers; and to Nina Katchadourian for the idea.
Many more in the bookmash archive: have a browse, or make your own.
November 23, 2012
[click to enlarge]
Don’t sleep –
There are snakes, bugs,
Creatures of the earth
In the shadow of man:
Mythmakers and lawbreakers
Defining the world.
With thanks to the authors: Daniel Everett, Theodore Roszak, John McGahern, Jane Goodall, Margaret Killjoy, and Henry Hitchings; and special thanks to Nina Katchadourian for her Sorted Books project.
Lots more of these in the bookmash archive, along with links to other people’s. Let me know if you join in, and I’ll update accordingly.
Martha Barnette did me the honour of reading this bookmash aloud on A Way With Words, the public-radio language show she co-hosts with Grant Barrett.
Adrian of The Outer Hoard had the marvellous idea of rearranging my older bookmashes to make two “stanmashes”.
Laura E. (aka @Soulclaphands) made a lovely bookmash beginning with the line “All these voices.”
Olivia (@peeriepics) shared her first bookmash, evoking a nature walk in winter.
Debbie Bambridge’s (@caret_top) first bookmash is very funny: “This charming man…“
July 20, 2010
There was a minor avalanche here last weekend. I removed a book from its tower, which reacted by toppling unstoppably against its neighbour, and so on, with results that need hardly be described at length. Luckily there were no casualties: no toes were crushed or bodies buried beneath the tumbling piles, and the books suffered no broken spines or other lasting damage, apart from a torn cover getting torn a little more.
I took the hint and arranged them more stably than before. (And yes, I need a new bookshelf, or a dozen.)
The incident prompted me to carry out a modest plan that had just taken seed. Shortly beforehand I had come across Nina Katchadourian’s Sorted Books project. Although I was unable to pick a favourite, I immediately knew it was something I had to try. The tangling of titles, the limitless possibilities of ‘found form’ and cut-up wordplay — as a game it was irresistible. I took photos of a few, and have written them as mini-poems for ease of reading and to see how they appear in verse:
How it is
How it is, the way that I went
Into the wild ancient world
Where the wasteland ends.
Chew on this moondust –
Good enough to eat.
Click for more book spine mashups