The autumn night
is long only in name —
We’ve done no more
than gaze at each other
and it’s already dawn.
Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as an escape.
Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave
your house or apartment. Go out into the world.
It’s all right to carry a notebook but a cheap
one is best, with pages the color of weak tea
and on the front a kitten or a space ship.
Avoid any enclosed space where more than
three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware
any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks
across the muffled tennis courts.
Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write.
And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle
where a child a year or two old is playing as his
mother browses the ranks of the dead.
Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.
The title, the author’s name, the brooding photo
on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray
book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher
it gets, the wider he grins.
You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower
falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody
in the world frowns and says, “Shhhh.”
Then start again.
Digital literacy…has the potential to give birth to new forms of readings that, while reminiscent of earlier practices, are also likely to produce new forms of creativity at the expense of some of the older ones. The book as an object is not likely to disappear anytime soon, but it is also clear that it is no longer the sole or even the primary object for the production of knowledge and its exchange and transmission.