Sunday, August 7, 2011

Aimless Reading: The O's, Part 5.2 (Charles Olson)

Olson, Charles
Olson: The Journal of the Charles Olson Archives, Number 1

This is the first entry from the new abode. I am writing in from my new library and office on the second floor. It feels a little strange. I have all of my books out, yet nothing on the walls to make it feel like home. I've taken a few days off from lifting and housework in order to let my sore elbow and back recover a little. Both have been aching from carrying book boxes and various other heavy items around the house.

The library occupies a narrow room in the front of the house. I think this room might have once been a staircase, as it sits over what used to be the foyer for a front porch entrance. You now enter on the side of the house and the main staircase is in the center.

My desk sits next to a window overlooking the street. It blocks a door that leads directly into the master bedroom. No door currently obstructs the entryway leading in from the hallway. A vertically contoured paper keeps the plaster of the walls intact. Everything is painted white, except the floor, which is painted black over pine boards.

We have a couple of built-in bookcases downstairs, but they don't hold very much.

Three cheap, pressboard bookcases bought from Matt Chambers before moving in to the last house, but which were never needed for books there, as well as a wide bookcase purchased at a garage sale my first year in Buffalo, were commandeered from Lori's studio, where they'd been used to store paint and glass for the past few years, in order to house my books.

I also bought a used bookcase from a local office furniture place and a new, cube-storage bookcase from Office Dept. All are full, except for a shelf and a half in the built-ins. which are going to serve as a downstairs office space for Lori or for guests on the sleeper sofa. I am sure it will not be full for long.

My office chair rolls around on a plastic office mat to protect the floor, and much of the rest of the room is now covered with the same sisal rug my desk sat on at the old library. I put a black, mid-century modern wicker chair in the corner underneath a cheap work light clipped to a bookcase. For reading. My guitar sits quietly in the corner. Both the chair and the light were left behind by the previous owner, as was the open-shelf Ikea storage unit behind me.

The new house feels good. The right size and shape, the right location, the right amount of privacy with just the right amount of nearness to things like stores and parks and book stores. We're both happy to be here, as are the animals and, we hope, our little Emily, due in about a month, if not sooner. We hope not too soon!

Lots of Olson and Olson-related books to move through for the next 35 or so entries. I am going to have to get inventive here! As to todays title -- the whole set of ten issues of this journal was given to me by Rutherford B. Withus, formerly the curator of the poetry archive at Storrs, where I spent a week going through Olson's papers in 2001 or 2.


Anonymous said...

your new house sounds zen

congratulations on your imminent daughter

i guess olson was right about what was happening to gloucester - it's pretty much become a tourist industry i hear - the fish industry was going down when i lived there - and the moonies were buying up east gloucester (also connecticut coast)- they eyed us suspiciously at the post office, bringing in their packages.

Ron said...

Congrats on the new home, Mike

Michael Kelleher, Buffalo, NY said...

Thanks, Nido and Ron!