Monday, October 12, 2009
2nd Hand Books and All their Blood & Violence
I used to be fine with second hand books. But now I'm terrified of them. Is this just me? They haunt me like the eyeballed roll of money in those annoying Geico ads. The roll that's able to text as well as just sit there staring like the dog in Frasier.
In fact I wasn't just fine with 2nd hand books I was fascinated by them. Wonder who owned this before me? I'd wonder dreamily and glowingly. And was so interested in any notes made in the book. Any underlinings. Was mesmerized by the handwriting. And more often than not I just didn't care. Skipped over the scribblings and markings. Didn't give a damn at all about who'd come before me.
But now a 2nd book's a loaded gun for me. A carcass. An eye into death, rape, suffering. And love. Love with its violence and its Gods. Barbaric and carnivorous. Sad apes. Cold fisted. Death in an icebox. Or a rainforest. Drums and dribbling ritual blood. Heart in fist. Etc. Etc. The everyday blacks and whites of the human animal.
Think of all the violence these books have sat through. Violence in the history and potentialities of its readers. Its readers holding it with vicious or gentle fingers.
Violence in the room around it. Think of all the fornicating and meanness perpetrated around this book! This sweet looking lamb of a 2nd hand book. What has it heard? Witnessed? What blood smelt?
And think of the love, the violence of that love. Yeah, sure, there are so many ordinary, quiet, exhausted moments. But the book's untouched by these. Undulled. It perks under Love and Violence. Those hunting dogs. Those barking gods.
(p.s. the "image" i've used with this post doesn't really have much to do with the price of 2nd hand book apples. O, well,.... damnit!!)