The Clowns kickstarter is drawing to a close. 36 hours left until I can stop doing the NPR pledge drive thing. Please consider helping us in our clown cultivation project, and get a book and possibly other fabulous prizes. There are story critiques and limited edition clown limericks by Mari Ness. Artwork by Linda Saboe and Bryan Prindiville. Limited edition Microfictions by Sara K McNeilly. Or maybe you'd prefer to get your very own snarky review of a movie of your choice by Carlie St. George?
Now is the time to act.
Today's mini-excerpt from The Flesh Made Word (forthcoming from Circlet Press in early May) is from Intrinsic Pleasures, or Twilight in the Bookstore, by Andrea Zanin.
I should be writing.
Instead I am sitting on the floor in the bookstore office, stacks of old tomes towering, teetering around me. My knees are dusty, my nose tingles. The books don’t speak; they wait, bindings crackling quietly, pages settled, covers yellowing. Cheap pulp novels about cops and farmhands and hustlers placidly share the floor with transsexual memoirs, shiny queer theory textbooks and hefty histories—HIV in Africa, lesbians in film, Harvey Milk in late November 1978.
I should be writing but instead I am sorting and analyzing. Recent publications versus out of date ones. Double copies versus rare finds. Occasionally my hand whispers over or under the covers, peeling them open carefully to unearth a copyright date. The sound is a subtle tearing, a protest; I am not supposed to be here, this information is not mine, these books do not belong to me. My friend Sophie, the manager, thought I would be a good person to help out with the huge number of second-hand books they’d received as a donation from the GLBT community centre. She invited me to come in during office hours. I declined. I work best alone.
I was supposed to be finished this task long ago, and be back at home tapping away at my keyboard. But these books are absorbing, distracting, and I can’t quite seem to speed up my pace. I linger on unusual titles, stroke the textures of embossed covers, read a paragraph or a chapter heading here and there. Something’s keeping me here. I feel a glimmer of understanding, but it flits away, leaving a pinch of wordless, formless arousal.