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Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

Winter's Tales
Karen Blixen, Isak Dinesen
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Penguin Classics)
Rebecca West, Christopher Hitchens
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Already Dead
Charlie Huston
The Rings of Saturn
W.G. Sebald, Michael Hulse
Lady Audley's Secret
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, David Skilton
Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" - And How You Can Fight Back
Thom Hartmann
The City, Not Long After
Pat Murphy
You Can Sketch: A Step-by-Step Guide for Absolute Beginners
Jackie Simmonds
Lonely Werewolf Girl
Martin Millar
After Nature - W.G. Sebald, Michael Hamburger

I read this in translation,
so I can't say for certain
maybe there is some metric by which it is poetry.
Maybe the lines are not merely
broken because Sebald felt like it.
Perhaps in German this is not prosaic --
by which I am not calling Sebald's writing
by any means quotidian but
I saw no reason it could not be
arranged in full text lines.
It would sound just the same,
it would be easier to follow,
it would save space and the lives of trees.
Did the trees do something to you,
morbid walker of Suffolk,
moor-mournful Sebaldus?
I like your prose, I do.
The Rings of Saturn was great.
This is like Rings watered down.
It even covers several of the same
subjects (Suffolk, sadness, Edward Fitzgerald)
and reads much the same, half
travel guide half thought-piece.
But less. Less than Saturn.
And I want more.
Line breaks are not more.


Matthias Grünewald
last great medieval artist,
rejector of Renaissance classicism.
Married to a convert Jew,
although Sebald insists the man
was gay for Neithart.


No portrait is known to exist of
Georg Wilhelm Steller
botanist, zoologist, physician, explorer,
drawer of this sea-cow.
Named after him, the species outlived
him by only twenty-five years.
Except his Jay all other
creatures named for him are now
extinct or in danger of it.


W.G. is not a bit hubristic
to include yourself among these greats?
Well, let it slide.
The past is another country,
and anyway,
the man is dead.