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Penelope - Lexington, Kentucky (USA):
April 13, 2001:
This book didn't bleed this month but still checks every hour, crosses
her fingers hoping to find pink or red ink in her pages.
This book eats fritos for breakfast, smokes cigarettes, can't pay the rent,
wishes she had asked for his autograph, does not own a car.
Flaubert? Hawthorne? Dostoevsky? Emile Zola wrote a song about her once.
But which bar, which party, which railroad station? This book thinks she
might be just a little bit lonely.
This book dog ears the corners of her own pages, lays wide
open on tables, was left in a bathroom and was not owned
by Kafka. This book is praying for rain.
This book has torn off her own cover (did I say lonely?).
This book feels long overdue.
April 14, 2001:
This book worries about the poor, the disheveled, the disenfranchised. It
worries about your mother and all the children starving in India, Africa.
It worries about the girl next door. It wishes she would
wear a more supportive bra.
This book knows a little something about compromise. Even now, it
is moving words left and right across the page trying to tell
a happy story. We watch mesmerized.
This book would never let you walk home alone at night; would
rest quietly in your hand. This book does not mind if
you are required to use it as a weapon or a form
of birth control. This book will comply.
This book -- it hates to admit it -- slips under your
bed at night. It listens in on telephone conversations, knows what
you really did last Saturday evening. Not that it would ever
tell, but, well, the truth is so hard to come by.
This book stays awake at night concerned about the illustrations. Too
many? Too few? Perhaps watercolor or sepia would have been
nice. This book is just a little uncomfortable with its graphic
nature. This book is not the paperback edition. this book
April 16, 2001:
This book is getting far too big -- more pages each day
from cover to cover, one day soon this book will need yet
another new jacket
and a sturdier spine, something more substantial, well bound, to contain the
loose letters. Spilling off the pages, across the smooth of shelving,
onto the floor -- we canít have this book
making messes where they donít belong. We canít have this book falling
over knocking good books on their sides and over the floor, an
orgy of words and punctuation gathering the wet rings of condensation from
other peopleís shoes and glasses, licking the
thumbs of unsuspecting readers. In this library, we always keep the lights
on, lest there be mischief, the rattling of paper, co-mingling with paperbacks,
slick magazines and trifolded newsletters. This book doesnít know when to
stop, so rarely does its
NO FOOD OR DRINK ALLOWED! This book is always telling secrets, does
not circulate. That would not be allowed. Still, we have found
this book flung, open face down by open windows, lying as close
to the edge as it thought we wouldnít notice. This book
April 17, 2001:
This book was written by a woman too tired to give a
This book was written by a woman no one would listen to.
Less of a book, narrow and easily bent, it is best described
as a pamphlet.
This book was written by someoneís mother the day after he died
and she was left with the job of sorting his mail and
returning his overdue books, for instance, the thin one over there.
This book was written by a young girl, in crayon, bound with
yarn and backed by the cardboard of cast off boxes. This book
says little as she could hardly spell and the words are off
kilter. Still if you look closely, you can see what she means.
This book is all leather cover,red satin placemark and gold trim pages.Unfortunately
when they opened this book and found nothing they thought it was
just a typical womanís book but if you knew the author and
her history of sleepless nights and broken win
April 21, 2001:
This book sat up all night in the Emergency Room waiting area
-- no smoking -- no food -- no drink -- only two
family members at a time. This book didn't know the right
questions to ask
or if it did, I couldn't find them in the table of
contents, the index, the long pages of footnotes in miniscule print.
This book served no purpose at all, except to mind my seat
while I went to the restroom to wash my face and to
give my hand a place to rest
although one this book did start a conversation with the man in
the seat across from me. It seems he too once read
this book and found it had nothing to offer those who wait
in silence in uncomfortable seats for uncomfortable answers.
April 26, 2001:
This book has never been owned by a man and would never
Although it occasionally finds itself pressed against the bare chest of a
sleeping man, these are always one night stands;
they rarely renew. She has grown accustomed to never missing the low
belly growls or snores.
This book knows that no matter how closely they appear to be
paying attention, their minds eventually wander
from her letters and spaces (lending library). It is always something else
these boys have on their minds.