12/23/06

Poetry’s Comfort Zone

People have been writing incipient poems while commoding for millennia. Here I sit broken hearted, etc. Más macho Hemingway wrote standing up, but he often read sitting down, on a commode, next to which he had installed a bookcase. I’ve always found this practice of ingesting literature while digesting stuff rather peculiar. Hardly universal, it’s de rigueur in the USA, where one could scan a commody poem or two in the New Yorker, New Republic or Nation, while being tucked away in a tiny room or stall of one’s own, shielded from workplace bullshit or domestic mayhem. A wise, productive use of one’s down time, uplifting and more cultured than a glory hole, it’s also a way to repudiate the very act of commoding. Vallejo, “Doubt your feces for a moment.” It’s not a problem, César, since we never believed it in the first place. Reading while commoding doesn’t just ruin the reading experience, it debases commoding.

2 comments:

Murat said...

Linh,

What is "to commode," sitting on the toilet?

Ciao,

Murat

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Murat,

Yes. To avoid filthy, disgusting words, I'm using "commode" as a verb.

Linh