Paperback Books and Scattered Dreams

qrtny flower poems.jpg

What are dreams except for elaborate lies.

I can fly because I tell myself I can.

When awake, if I tell myself I can fly I will fall flat to the ground.

Why? Gravity.

But why, really? Truth.

But how can I exceed the truth?

By dream, by day and by night, by writing and reading great works of fiction.

There’s something about holding a book in your hand. You have the key to a whole other world. The crinkly pages of an old book, and the crisp of the new; they’re irreplaceable.

When reading a paperback book, I like its wear and tear. I like how I can tell how many times I’ve read it and how much I enjoyed it, turning each page in anticipation. I like seeing my pen’s notes in the margins, and my scattered highlights. I like being able to pass off my old books to friends or begotten strangers, especially the homeless poet who usually sits in the subway platform at Broadway-Lafayette writing as the day goes on.

I was sitting on the train over a year ago and a man in his 70s or 80s interrupted my reading of the newspaper. In a raspy New York accent he said, “heeey, you’s got a smudge of today’s paypuh on ya cheek”. I smiled and thanked him for helping me out. He had a sort of radiant light in his eyes because of my youth and that I looked to have slept with that day’s paper, vivaciously reading, slowly fighting the phrase, “print is dead”. Print was alive and well, at least that day, gleaming through my grubby, smudgy fingers.

In a dreamlike state, I once wrote, “And in eternity my mind will disintegrate, but my words will last on paper.”

And I believe that phrase more and more each day when I take in another deep inhale of the crisp New York City air, even from the confinement of my apartment, staring at all the books and possibilities of literature all around me.