What Poet-Librarians do on Vacation

I think I took Patty Tokahuta-Kelsey’s message at the 8:15 service on Sunday a bit too literally.

She talked about how we clear space in our lives for God, the need for rest, for retreating to our own personal desert.

So, I spent Sunday afternoon clearing space.

I started with a project that I’ve been longing to do for a while: consolidating and alphabetizing all my poetry books onto one bookcase.  Before, I had the books I have not read downstairs on a high shelf (every time I read one poem or get a recommendation for a new poet, I’d buy a book; poetry books are savored as much as read, often need to be read in bites, a poem at a time, hence, many remain unread), and the rest scattered between several shelves on various bookcases (I have a total of 6 bookcases in my studio), so that when I thought of a poet and want to find their book, it took time.  I want to be able to quickly find the poet I am looking in one place easily, just like in the library (well, if my students would master the dewey decimal system).  Now they are all here:

Yes, these are all my poetry books, except for anthologies (what?  poetry comes in something other than an anthology!) and critical work about poetry/writing.   Those are mostly here (along with the graphic novels, which are another kind of poetry):

This led to a complete re-organization of everything from my other bookshelves — — and closet (no, not putting those pictures up … trust me, it is immaculate).  Resulting in a pile to give to GoodWill  or other charities:

And the fortuitous recovery of my vintage phone:


Fortuitous because my cordless phone can no longer hold a charge (not that many call on the landline).  Still, this lovely, non-electronic phone works like a charm.  Better than most cell phones.  And if some natural disaster occurs, when electricity is out (but not phone lines –is that possible these days?) and your cell has died, I will let you all come use my phone.

I would find a picture, evidence of its vintage status, of it in my college dorm room, but I have to go pick-up another bookcase.

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