The LA Times weighs in on the Amazon Mess

Amazon as a Destructive Monopoly, or Monopsony

The headline here is a bit alarmist but the article is to the point. Remember all the ‘new business model’ nonsense  the media swallowed whole during the first internet bubble?  Right up until the very moment they went belly up? That was noihing compared to this stuff.

Ask any veteran bookseller how it feels to have an entire industry taken over by megalomaniacal predators. Who’s next?

Great New Idea from Daniel Handler

The ever-reliable Lemony Snicket has an idea here with great potential:

New Poem by Peter Sherburn-Zimmer

one’s unity is solitude

oh, lord,
protect children
from their parents’
…chief fatality
generation to generation

as hidden
non-contextual variables

to celebrate, in the present
the darkness we obscure
with memory and italics

& non-locality, or
a way to unwind the ball,
threads on the floor, conveniences
she gave, instead of his presence…

& the leaf of the table
never quite fit, for twelve or thirteen,
room for a visitor, or who else
might not be there that night, but

the world
has imposed on me
the luxury
of living in the present.

Brian Eno’s Top 20 Reading List

Just for fun:

How a Great Bookstore Thrives

Our friends at Green Apple on thriving in the Amazon era:

New Poem from Yahia Labididi

We live, love and create

as best as we can

but, sometimes, in haste

- lest we succumb

to the siren call

of self-destruction.

Glass, a new poem by Neeli Cherkovski


a glass vase with flowers
pleasing to the eye
like the music of Vivaldi
sits on the edge of a glass tabletop
in a quaint living room
far up north where the musk oxen gather
and people are made of glass
by skilled craftsmen
who learned from their fathers

there is no word for “glass”

men in the villages
gnash the flesh of time
whilst the Muezzin praises
a distant belt of stars
in a strong plaintive voice

a crack in the glass
looks as if the cosmos had come
down on the vase
and split our poor lives
into fragments

enough afternoon light
enters without permission
through long and narrow windows

take a shard of glass
up the mountain when you go and celebrate
the dead men who wrote
on the land late at night
songs of love
until the minarets shattered
and pieces of glass infected the soil

men went around with blood on their lips
every day the old man
polished wood frames and spoke
to the aspen

ask for a glass jar
filled with Great Northern Beans

you are built partially of sand

mirrors serve as a means
to look on your echo brows, you are
transparent, and though fragile
you prove durable for at least seven
or eight decades

there are eyeglasses
and shopkeepers
who show you how to
make a fragile unicorn

embrace glass arms at dawn
odd green goblets with deep pock marks
and smooth glass surfaces
fit your mind

or do you give a damn
for anything resembling joy?
dust settles

the district manager
is killing eucalyptus trees
and nobody cares

do you care if the world sinks?
you’ll be dead anyway

you are clear-headed and
you know many things
but do you experience humility
when the mirror cracks?

will you come for a dry martini?
do you care to walk alongside me
in the gloom garden behind the house

keep your hands
at your side and have no fear

row after row of toys
people herded into pens
people pissed on
and melted in ovens

public beheadings
and a cow on the loose

I regret having
left you alone
by the molten river

I love those rose- colored glass beads
hung round your mind
in honor of those travelers
who will not abandon the road

October 2014

Librarians are Watching Out for Your Rights (Even if You’re Not)

2014 National Book Award Finalists