Thursday, May 12, 2005

Is there Life after Brad and Angelina?

So there I was in the grocery store, and almost every magazine cover is about Them. Having experienced a moment of genuine merriment watching the usually snide and unlaughable Bill Maher, when he said, over their picture, "The two best-looking people in the world should be allowed to fuck," I determined to get on with my life, and try not to be caught by movie mags, or, indeed, US and PEOPLE. Having recently, as close friends know,become a Blogger, my new adventure as a blogger debuting the same night The Daily Show featured blogging, so I felt once again that my timing might be quite correct, I then decided to further expand my horizons by overcoming my fear of the internet. My blog had been set up by a friend who understands those things, so tiptoeing in for a narcissistic view of myself, I decided to try and go beyond my blog and find out where else I might be in this techie paradise, where I am a stranger(Music UP: Borodin.)
To my astonishment, like Alice, which happened to be my real first name at birth, but all around me knew from the getgo I was no Alice, so skipped to the middle name, Gwen, I fell into a hole, not made by rabbits, but by modern technology, And there I was, looming up before myself, with the headline Alibris, a site that claimed they could get all my books used,
As all who know me know, I have allowed myself to be used, badly sometimes but well others, so it did not surprise me that I could be found used, though I doubted their assertion that they could get all my books. So I Googled Alibris and me, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but not only all 17 novels, but also my poems, Changes, Happy at the Bel-Air, a little whimsy I wrote and a wonderful photographer, Sonia Moskowitz lensed gloriously, a book of meditations(How to Survive in Suburbia when your Heart's in the Himalayas, all of them available, used, for $2.95 EXCEPT (I underline for a reason) a book of poetry American Woman Loose in the UK that I wrote when I was at Oxford the summer Jamie was making 'A Fish Called Wanda' to give you some sense of the timing. That book is listed at $47.27. I must confess to a certain astonishment, as it was never really placed on the market, having been published by a small printer in Eynsham, Oxfordshire, with, I think, perhaps a hundred copies, most of which I gave away to friends. It is,-- I appraise myself dispassionately, distance and time making it seem no longer really mine,-- as someone once wrote about Touching , "a slender book but not thin." In fact, those poems may be the best thing I ever wrote, because they came from a place of complete vulnerability, as I let go of Don, who had died not that long before, all the while exploring the English countryside.

Oh, Love, if I could bid you
Come and stay with me
To lift my heart again
And take me in your arms, and be
If we could look into
Each other's eyes once more
With all we understand now of mortality
How much we'd see
If we could seize the moment
Knowing what comes after
We'd waste no time, or lose a beat
Of temporary laughter
For nothing stays the same except the truth
And only you will always have your youth.

Lest you think I could not be merry while coming to my senses:

The dish I ordered
Like the young Englishman I loved once
Sounded delicious
But had very little taste
And no character.

No more of this! But where did they get the book, I ask you? It is like the time I got on a plane when there was still a Pan Am, and I was holding a novel of mine, back cover photo out, hoping for an upgrade, and the stewardess(they were still called then) said "Oh, you're Gwen Davis! I love your poetry." She was a pretty young thing, and I had published Changes some years before, which few had access to also, most copies having been bought by my mother . "Thank you, " I said, "I'm so glad you read poetry. But you must have me mixed up with someone else," thinking she of course meant Erica Jong, or someone else flagrantly visible. "Don't tell me," said Valeria, which was her name, as she gently pushed me against the cabin door, and started reciting. "Reality is life with the shit kicked into it," she said, quoting quite accurately She had bought the book in Paris, where it had never been, so it was clearly a miracle. Naturally we became best friends, and I flew Pan Am whenever I could until its extinction.
Amazingly, Alibris has 22 of my books, my God, 22, count 'em, 22. And under "more books like this" they list The Prophet and The Bell Jar. My very Goodness. Perhaps I have underestimated who I was.
Do not rush to buy it though at that price. I will send you a pome from time to time, some from that book, some from my soul, now that I know my spirit shares shelf space in that great library in the sky with The Prophet and Her. Another poem from Oxford that summer:

Sylvia Plath
Walked this path

I must be careful. So must we all. xx

No comments: