It's that dark time of year when I settle into writing and don't think about the outside world, and when I revisit books I love. Over Thanksgiving I found myself once again flipping through my favorite anthology, which I blogged about here 

And also discovered new books, like Dante di Stefano's Love is a Stone Endlessly in Flight, which I loved so much, I had to interview him. And Claire Bateman's Scape, which totally blew me away. 

I don’t even know how to describe Claire except to say that I remember a review (which I can't find right now) in which she was called a modern day Hopkins. Like Hopkins, she really does seem to come from another world. She loves to play with your mind, or simply illuminate it for you, as in her poem, “A Few Things to Know about Reading,” which begins:

I. If a book hasn’t shaken you up even a little after three chapters, you must lay it aside since the very purpose of reading is to set all your pervious clarities resonating at incompatible frequencies.

II. Do not mistake reading for actual life, which suffers from lack of both compression and dynamic focus; not the prolonged mundane stretches no editor would stand for, the proliferation of character and incidents that apparently do nothing to advance the plot.  Also, as you may have notices, the protagonist comes across as muddles, inept, though neither in the comedic for in the ironically reflexive post=tragic sense. The main problem with reality is that you aren’t allowed to skim it.

III. Do not mistake actual life for reading. Inside your brain, there is no homunculus waxing lyric on the events of your day, so you must quit feeding him truffles, and shoo away his attendants with their ostrich-feather fans. 

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