Thursday, February 12, 2009

Aimless Reading: The B's, Part 35.1 (Taylor Brady)


Yesterday's News
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Brady, Taylor
Yesterday's News


One of the constraints I am working under with this project is the use of the iSight camera on my MacBookPro to shoot photos of all my books. This creates some challenges in terms of taking photos in which the text on the book covers is legible. The iSight uses the LCD screen to create a flash when you take a photo, which has the effect of bleaching out many of the book covers. This is especially true of books with glossy cover stock. One solution I have employed with moderate success is to tilt the book toward the screen or away from it, depending on the time of day. Another has been pulling the book away from the screen (or, conversely, to press it very close.)  Yesterday's News forced me to discover another, possibly more permanent solution. It has glossy cover stock and the text is close to the same color of the background and Taylor's name is very small. I took about ten photos before this, each of which had either an illegible title or an illegible name or both. For this shot, I turned my desk lamp up and faced it towards me and the book cover. Somehow the light from the lamp and the light from the flash had the effect of canceling each other out, which gave me about as clear an image as I could expect given the product and the constraints under which I am operating. Not sure why this solution worked, but it did.

Which is, I think, I fine way of introducing the following poem from Taylor's second book.

Image Capture

Proving the delayed fraction of a bad end
like a dog, i.e., well-maintained and open
at the mouth to humiliations our own

flesh endures without a script,
sloughed off in wobbly piles of onionskin,

we trace the course of false events
across your tongue. "Prove it" was doomed

to be precisely wrong, the sort of challenge
three-quarters of a million dollars and a head

like Simon on his pillar could have stamped into the lie

of a republic that would post its notice
under no such mark. Now obsolesce.

*

In the infinite cinema,

every Cretan liar is this one
baggy monster reading his poems
in a hole as knots along a rope

that is a novel where unknown unknowns
yield to the sharp dart of longing love

floating to fluorescent lighting round the clock
that flickers on the clouded surface

of a postwar fog. The intercession of
his negative avowal saves coherence

in a theological quandary for consciousness
that tracks its moves across a field excluding it.
Public domain pulp toils back into print,
off the payroll. He is thus employed.

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