Friday, March 28, 2014

Lunch In Lowell


Lunch In Lowell


            Leaving Maine early to arrive in North Andover and Andover ‘in’ the nine o’clock hour by intention to ...nothing anticipated... forage... for antiques, fine art and rare books we... this... “our morning”.  That, to us, is like the ‘going to the beach’ ‘for a walk’ (no dog, no Frisbee).  Fine villages such as these may be ‘nothing anticipated’ and ‘yield’.  After several hours of very traditional antiquarian rummaging-around, we had gathered ‘some’ ‘yield’ and:
            “Lunch?”
            “In Andover?”
            “No thank you”:  Wait to be seen... wait to be seated... wait to be served... wait to be “the check please” for... “that kind of food”.  No... you DO KNOW what ‘that kind of food’ is.
            At the bottom of the hill... then slightly back uphill, we ...jumped... on “four-ninety-five” “west”.  I HATE HIGHWAYS.  They are bad (antiquarian) judgment.
            For... how is I... or anyone... going to ‘buy’ great antiques ‘cheap’ going... ‘seventy-five’ in ‘an outside lane’?
            One is NOT going to... so... I
            STAY AWAY;
            STAY ‘OFF OF’
            Them; ‘highways’.
            BUT I MUST... be the ‘utilize them well’ for... time management ‘during the business day.  SOOOO:


            We ‘boarded’ the ‘interstate’ west and.... therefore... drove by one million antiques being sold ‘too cheap’ at... seventy...five in ‘an outside lane’... to get off the stranglehold artery “NEXT EXIT” at ...very old New England... Chelmsford (exit 34).  From the off ramp turn LEFT to next ‘right there’ first light LEFT on to Stedman.  To the END of that (about five miles?)... while always noting the ‘type of home’s’ and streets.  LEFT on to Westford.  Left at the next light continuing on Westford two tenths of a mile to LEFT into a crummy looking strip mall BUILDING harboring “OUR LUNCH” at (1270 Westford) Pho 88 – “Vietnamese Cuisine”.  Pho is pronounced “pha”.
            This restaurant... is the king... queen... jack and ACE of Pho dining in Lowell and ... in the region (Boston metroplex north... north east and west).  It’s ‘well known local’ and ‘local lunch’ with... in addition to the fine and ample portions served... a ‘quick’, clean, affordable, attentive and ‘easy in – easy out’... TOO.  Clean spacious bathrooms too.  Twenty-five to thirty dollars with tip ‘back in the car quick’ full cost TOO.  She had a Pho.  I had a bun.  That’s no special order and we’ve eaten all over the ...very extensive... menu but...



            LUNCH
            IS LUNCH.
            And we go.
            BACK down Westford to ...drive past the return-to-the-highway intersection with Stedman to go straight by and ‘drive into Lowell’ on Westford
            TO GET MORE FOOD.
            “What are you CRAZY?”


            “HEY:  When your there; your THERE; don’t mess it up”.  So... starting at Pho 88 and going EAST into downtown Lowell... WE... travel Westford, a very old MAIN ROAD that is NOT congested or known about or used other than by locals... nor even looks like a “MAIN ROAD” through... PAY ATTENTION ANTIQUARIANS... a... side streets, side streets, side streets ...dense... labyrinth... warren... of SIDE STREETS of... ‘pretty old, older, older-older and ‘actually early’...homes.  (Right off of west Westford back at Pho 88 ... in the MUCK of strip mall dentists and car dealership... lands... IS a seventeenth century ‘oldest house’.  For real.)
            ANYWAY:  we keep going.  And going.  And going along this street of ‘old’ with ...it becomes increasingly obvious that the Asian immigrant community has made very extensive inroads into ‘taking over’ the ...ever more dense as one travels ‘downtown’ little ...charming... vividly REAL... single proprietor storefronts, homes, houses and ...et al.
            And no one is there.  It is all very gentrified-by-Asian... and wonderful and... there is no one else there.  It’s a five mile drive into a wonderland of an urban-in-old New England-mill-town... decay ... NOW SAVED by... gentrified-by-Asian.  So we get almost-almost to the end of that where it turns into “DOWNTOWN LOWELL” and ‘at last minute’ TURN LEFT on to “Grand Street” with that being a tiny one lane ‘two way’ street with packed-in-there parked cars so ‘two-way’ driving is ‘impossible’ but since the whole street is ONE BLOCK LONG ‘going down hill’ one can ‘get through that’ (especially since it is ‘only local’ coming the other way and they’re driving two miles per hour TOO).  ON THE LEFT at the bottom of the hill (11 Grand St) IS the Hong Cuc (Vietnamese) Sandwich Shop “JUST OPENED” at this location.  (They used to be ‘across the river’ on Dutton).




            THIS is our destination... ‘to get sandwiches’ TO GO... home with us to ...Maine... “for dinner”.  Aside from ‘making the best Vietnamese sandwiches (called ‘Banh Mi”) (“Bon Mi”) “locally”... this... ‘new location’ is squeaky new spacious, lighted, crisp, shiny, finger print free CLEAN with... a novel almost franchise look AND... having spacious, new, crisp super-super clean ‘restrooms’...that will roll any Maine Bon Me sandwich eater back onto the heels of their Bean Boots...:  THAT CLEAN... and for veterans of ‘the Vietnamese sandwich’ THIS IS ‘almost too much to take’ but:  “WOW” because I remind you that just outside the door you ARE in “WHERE AM I?” backstreet almost downtown LOWELL:  “No one is ever going to find this place”.
            They do and we waited in line while two fashion forward young women ‘get theirs’ and some ‘serve yourself ‘– put ‘em in the tiny brown paper bags yourself - egg rolls too.  They ate those while their sandwiches were ‘being made’... made in front of everyone at the counter.  Then the kid in front of us gets some egg rolls too... along with his “I’ll warm that up for you” steamed ‘meat bun’.  Gulping a ...not of antiquarian color palette ... soft drink (energy drink?) he... and he with his lunch... seems fully pleased.
            WE ordered “two number ones (the anchor classic Banh Mi) and two number six (Viet BBQ beef Banh Mi) ‘to go please’ and they (the two young woman-at-work) “like” MADE THEM... right before the EYES of ... ‘us’ including another young women in the Asian fashion forward BLACK with the heels too... who was now behind us in line with a “HE’S IN LINE TOO” behind her.  The sandwiches... “obviously super fresh” with tissue around the outside and rubber banded AS a Banh Mi SHOULD BE... and into the brown paper bag “TAKE AWAY” and:



            We were outside in the car “with the sandwiches” and ...back tracking the exact route in reverse to ‘get on the highway’ at Chelmsford and...
            “NO.”
            “NOT SO FAST, Buckwheat”.
            We’s ah in “where are we?” Lowell.  We drove in... through... one of the most dense WEB of old houses on old side streets ‘undisturbed’ and NOT urban renewal destroyed (bulldozed) in... New England?
            We just don’t ‘leave the area’.
            Lowell, here ‘on Westford’ is a large triangle of ‘that’; the ramshackle side street with the packed with ramshackle cars parked before old-older-oldest ramshackle houses with ramshackle old outbuildings... ‘out back’.  The word is triangle.  That is the aerial view shape.  Lowell is actually a circle of overlapping-each-other of old ‘out from the center’ ‘residential’... triangles.  Triangle means ‘not square’; not a square grid as villages are ...usually ‘laid out’.  What that means... furthered in intensity by the compressed repetitive sameness of the ramshackle narrow residential packing... is that one accustomed to a SQUARE GRID quickly becomes hopelessly ‘turned around’ (in the lost in the Maine forest sense) LOST if one... ‘takes off  into that’ (the ramshackle).  “Deal with it” best by ...being prepared to ‘get lost’ by knowing that in this Lowell triangle... one will get lost... like one in a Bermuda triangle.  Cannot deal with that?  DO NOT GO THERE.
            “Not going there” is the ‘normal’ there anyway.  LEAVE the TRASH PICKING to ...did I just say “TRASH PICKING”?
            What did you think... I was writing about take away food?



            No.  I am writing about... TAKE AWAY TRASH:  The... in the antiquarian trade... picker’s pursuit of finding great antiques FREE by PICKING THE TRASH.
            First... one has to go to a ‘good place’.  I just describe a superior old New England good place.  I like Maine towns but... few offer ‘density’ like here in Lowell.  There are just not that many ramshackle streets and ramshackle houses in, for example... Mechanic Falls or... West Minot.  Portland... “was burned”.  Opportunity for lush ‘throwing out’ there... is not... dense enough... combined with ...not... OLD ENOUGH.  Remember that for throwing out antiques dense needs to be MERGED with OLD.  Suburban cul-de-sac ramshackle... such as one finds ‘further out’ of Lowell... are ...not old enough so... the they-there do not throw out ‘much’ that is ‘old’.  Use the deduction capacities of one’s antiquarian brain to ...go where the good stuff... can be thrown out... and... pick the trash... “there”.





            So... WE veer off of Westford into the triangular spider web labyrinth warren WEAVE of DENSE... (are these even ‘streets’?) and start the street-side-piled-mound SCANS for... not just trash but OLD trash... from a ‘cleaning out’ and sure enough THAT in modest mounds of ‘done this; put out – clean out’... that... sort of, as a pile, tend to be done at a rate that cause that pile to ‘sit there’ as opposed to raw garbage from the house that is ‘more quickly removed’.  Yeah... the ‘cleaning out’ of the... old shed attached to the old but later garage... last WEEKEND is still ‘as put out’ Sunday afternoon on TUESDAY after lunch.   Just pull up next to the pile and... peer at it... ‘to SEE’ if.... here is the crucial part... YOUR antiquarian eye.  Again:  YOUR ANTIQUARIAN (trained) EYE... ‘sees something’... “GOOD”.  No need to hurry or fluster:  “IT’S JUST THE TRASH”.  And don’t just jump out and grab “EVERYTHING” because your ...car... will get full with CRAP very, very, very fast.  It’s what one does NOT take... so one truly “CHERRY PICKS” the piles for the “GOOD STUFF” (real antiques that are good that one can really sell for a good price and NOT ‘the rest of it’ that... “YOU LEAVE THERE”).  THAT ...professional judgment calling... IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of this and... opens with the criteria that ...if you do not know antiquarian art (antiques), fine art and rare books “GOOD” from “BAD” ...and... the gray areas of “MAYBE”... best ...leave this to ‘others’.  If one does not ‘know it’ on the pile... one is going to have a
            Pile of CRAP
            At one’s home... after taking it out of the ...CAR.




            Car is not a truck.  TRUCK does not maneuver well in ‘the good places’.  Truck also ‘confuse people’.  A small NOT EXPENSIVE AND not PERFECTLY CLEAN ‘car’ attracts NO ONE ...CARES.  Ok; don’t believe me.  You’ll find out.





            So... the  discrimination of choices... chosen... ON the PILE is then ‘put’ in the CAR.  And we drive to a ‘next pile’... in the spider weave web of triangular residential density.  “BINGO” is used to denote the selection of the one piece of Victorian pattern glass (“sprig” pattern today but once was titled in old New England “Indian Tree” pattern) from the “BOX” of “recycle?” ‘glassware’.  “OH.” is the TAKES BREATH AWAY of the old... framed***... English... (Charles Hunt after F. C. Turner, THE YOUNG ENGLISH FOX HUNTER  THE DESERT) fox hunting print (aquatint)... dated 1841... “MUST HAVE BEEN LEANING UP in the shed’s CRAWL SPACE to be so dirty and water stained (“but I like it that way”).  “ISN’T THAT NICE” is said as the ‘it’s fair game’ on the TRASH PILE when first... an old porcelain sugar bowl... is found.  Hand painted upon a mold cast blank it is... the shape of an inverted blossom or perhaps a covered squash?  In either case the pink above yellow flower (?) with brown stem leafage and gilt gold highlighting... “take away” ‘delicate’... as the only word to represent that this... made it to the street side trash pile without ‘being smashed’.  “YES!” and... WHY... BELOW THAT in the same... wet cardboard box... is spied an old plate with a flag at its center.  On back a blind stamped full registry mark squeal out an 1873 date above the all English made maker’s marks.  “WHOSE YACHT?” did this plate be TOSSED OFF FROM.  Was it sailing from New York to Newport?  Or it is from ‘just’ an old ‘burned flat’ hotel along the ‘North Shore’?  Did a guest run off with it?  Or was this purloined by ‘the maid’.  “It has to be good” we know... as it SLIPS from trash pile to ...treasure pile... in the back of our car.











*** :  EVERY pile with ‘frames’ on it MUST be inspected for... “IT’S AN OIL ON CANVAS”... although this old print here found... ‘framed’... is ‘just fine thank you.  Frames on a pile... is a ‘good sign’ of a ‘clean out’.  Go to the door and ask for more?  They’re probably ‘at work’.









Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Coy - Appendix - "The Library" - "Good Question"


Coy

Appendix

"The Library"

"Good Question"




            “Good Question”.
            I hate that; that verbal tennised ball tunk of a...
Line of REASON.
            My reason?
            NOT YOUR REASON.
            Patronizing.
            Greedy?
            “Equipment failure?”
            “Stand back behind the... red velvet cables please”.
            Put out the orange cones.
            Settle back in your grandfather’s ...mangy old armchair
            After selecting an ‘old volume’; an ‘odd volume’... to
            “Peruse you say?”
            Your damn finger prints are the only DUST SMUDGE on
            The top spine end edge of the
            NOT BEEN OFF THE SHELF SINCE
            Great grandpa...
            “Yeah”.
            That right....:  He didn’t read the damn book EITHER.
            It... was ‘too dull’ “after a few pages”
            “I nodded off”
            “I think”.


            The Savage Estate “Library” (Part Twenty-Two at the very end and Part Twenty-Three [A]); the room... lined with floor to ceiling bookshelves ‘filled’ with “OLD BOOKS” and... desks “FULL” of “OLD PAPERS” and... “BOXES OF OLD LETTERS” and... an old mirror hanging on the wall with a cloth over it to “HIDE” the “old sea captain’s” FACE that’s “your SUPPOSE to be able to  SEE IT (his face) THEY SAY”.
            “Jesus... Christ” and they; the local outsiders (insiders?)... DO ASK
            About it (“THAT LIBRARY”)
            “IN THERE”.
            For the first five years... ‘or so’... they “PRETTY GOOD LIBRARY (of rare books) IN THERE I HEAR”... to me.  The last decade... after the first five years... the same THEY... figures I already “GOT IT” ‘in boxes’ so’s I’s ah gonna ....HAVE ‘em ALL OVER TO THE BARN and let ‘em have a
            “RARE BOOK PICK” “I just was ah hope that I’s ah COULD... LOOK... around?”
            “Good Question.
            You miserable old duck scrotum.”
            “BRING YOUR (old) BOOK BAG; WE’RE gonna have a (rare) BOOK HUNT”
            “Can I just get in a little EARLY because I don’t DO WELL in the CROWDS”.
            “Good Question.”


            That room; the “library”, Helen keeps... had keeped... had kept... has kept... IS KEEPING... LOCKED (“you out”) WITH... the key locking the door to the room STILL IN THE  KEY hole where it has always been.  SHE... unlocks it and ...LOCKS IT... when ever she what ever.  THE KEY... ‘stays put’ and NO ONE
            ELSE
            EVER goes in there that I know of ...except ME... on odd occasion ...with Helen... for a few minutes.
            NO RARE BOOKS ...or ANY old book or... ANY BOOK.  “PAPERS”, OLD PAPERS, LETTERS, old photographs... OR... OR... .OR... have “EVER” “LEFT” that room (THE LIBRARY).
            AND I DON’T CARE
            TOO.
            And I told you why.
            Way back when;
            “That Savage Estate
             IS DRY”. (Part Twenty-Two)
            What that means ‘in the library’... and starting with the ‘old books’... is that ALL of them “OLD BOOKS”... not only are not worth any money but are also of ZERO interest to “ANYONE” other than their ‘decorative value’... because NO ONE... ever, will ever, wants to ever, is going to ever and “EVER”, etc.,... ‘gonna read ‘em’.
            EXCEPT FOR YOU, of course, whose MORAL hygiene mantras “WILL MAKE YOU (me?)”... READ... every damn book ‘in there’?


            BOSTON... in, for example, 1867... was a New England book publishing hub (Hartford CT was too) with MANY... published books; ‘enough to go around no problem’.  AND old (‘Captain’) One John... being ‘stiff collared’ and ‘in town’ (in Boston) ALWAYS ...gentlemaned HIMSELF ‘a reader’ so would ‘always’ ‘the book store’... and “I’m IN A HURRY” “NO PROBLEM CAPTAIN SAVAGE SIR I’LL PUT A (big) BOX TOGETHER FOR YOU IT’LL BE ON THE TRAIN”.
            “Thank you William.  And here’s something for the wife:  Let her get herself...” (an Easter bonnet).  (Or what ever)  (and oh was THAT a pinched nickel).
            That “BOX” of ‘the latest published’ ‘hot off the shelf’ “WENT NORTH” on the train and... then by wagon... to the Savage Mansion’s “LIBRARY ROOM”.  One John never read ONE book.  Ever.  The women unpacked the box, put the books on the shelves and “READ THEM” meaning in actual fact:  “POKED AT THEM” by their choice... until the NEXT BOX... repeated that process.  Eventually the “LIBRARY” was “FULL”.  THAT’S WHY we (Hiram and I)... keep finding “BOXES FULL OF OLD BOOKS” in ... like... “THE BARN”.
            Aunt Winnie “bought books too.” said Helen after even she got “sick of” “all these old books”... that “no one ever read and is ever going to read.  Ever”.  Too.
            GET THE PICTURE?
            Or better:  “GOOD QUESTION”.


            Old One John could... probably... barely read.  The ...womens... “read” the
            SPICEY
            READ.
            RIGHT?
            “YEP THEM SOME READERS IN ... the Savage mansion’s front parlor” “of evening”.
            EVEN today most people with most books, or some books or... the “THEIR” books... do not read them.  NO:  THEY DO NOT READ THEM.  THEY... ‘have them’.  Actually “READ” them is ...as rare as an actually RARE book.
            After forty to fifty years of ‘viewing’ ‘home libraries’ I... need but a FLICK (as opposed to a RAKE) of my eyes from a ‘safe distance’ (across the room) to ‘appraise’ a ‘home library’.  A FLICK:  “I can tell by the spine ends” AT A SAFE DISTANCE... ‘if I’m going to have to... go there’ and actually ‘look’.  NOT TOUCH... just ‘look’.
            A nasty hardball truth to one?  No sugar on your medicine spoon?  I am a dealer.  I am a rare book dealer.  I am a rare book scout.  I know ‘safe distance’
            COLD.
            I know the Savage Mansion’s library room
            COLD.
            “It’s dry”.
            “Good question:  You can KEEP the OLD BOOKS”.
            Same for the... old papers... about, like... NOTHING; hay in the barn, pocket watch at the ‘fix it’.  A boat at a dock.  A horse in the barn.  A train to Boston... and back.  A church.  Many schools.  More many ‘receipts’ “PAID”
            IN FULL and
            SAVED
            FOREVER.
            “YOU CAN TELL WHAT THEY WERE DOING FROM READING THEM”:
            They were doing NOTHING.


            The letters record that doing NOTHING in insipid perfect pen craft ink over and over again for decades including ‘today’s weather’ too... neatly tied “TO SAVE” in little stupid bundles.  Emily Dickerson did the exact same thing and ‘hid’ the bundles in the bottom draw but... BUT:  SHE WROTE ABOUT HOW insipid and insufferable “THAT” and those people... “WAS” (IS: it is still being done... ‘oh my email’ SAVE FILE ...titled “Delete folder are you sure?”
            Delete it.
            Please.
            ONE of the old desks is LOCKED and “I cannot find the KEY”.  It’s “FULL OF”.  I cannot wait... to ‘get in there’ and READ the OLD LETTERS... each night
            One
            Before
            I go to bed.
            Forever
            And ever:
            “WE SHOULD WRITE (RIGHT?) A BOOK!”
            “Two members of the Savage family
            DROWNED in their own PUKE” is the opening line
            Of the book “WE SHOULD; RIGHT”
            “Right?”
            “GOOD QUESTION.”


            And “...so like...” the cast characters Mr. (Dump) and Crap Pile are, to no surprise... STILL ‘sniffing around’ THIS (the Savage Estate Mansion’s “LIBRARY” “ROOM”).  I can’t sleep at night for they are ‘so good’ at...
            GOOD QUESTION.
            But I bet you can FIGURE that out TOO.  WHY DON’T YOU LET... both of them ...on separate appointments... come view YOUR LIBRARY ROOM.  WHO...will drown in their own puke THEN.  THERE... IN THERE... with YOUR ‘old books and papers”.
            YOUR old letters that
            You wrote and
            DIDN’T BURN.
            BONFIRE?
            “Good question” on that.
            IF ...your gonna ...talk... (expostulate) about... home libraries, books, rare books, ‘manuscripts’, ‘archives’, ‘old letters’, ‘old documents’... “PLEASE”:
            “Yes, yes, yes, yes... and yes, yes and yes” one COULD drown in one’s own puke “in there”; the home library.
            Best keep up the ...coy fa├žade of fabricated myth... of old New England DRY (and modestly desperate... but never “hang myself in the barn” desperate; only “suffer” evenings in the ...front parlor... of an ‘old sea captain’s mansion... on the coast of old New England... desperate).
            “But what WILL HAPPEN to THE LIBRARY?”
            “Good Question”.
(“I JUST LOVE THE OLD PHOTOGRAPHS”).











Do You Have Springer?



Do You Have Springer***?


            I have been, as I have for decades, cutting in the woods this winter.  I am confident you have heard of it; cutting trees in the Maine woods in the deep snow and below zero weather through the winter months.  Cutting alone after walking far into the forest, we are told we are crazy.  We are not crazy but we are mad.  It is a singular madness; a mature, traditional madness of particular beauty.
            I go out with the chain saw, a tool pack of axes, wedges and maintenance tackle and a snow shovel into about two feet of snow.  I go out “to the end” on the little foot paths I made packed down to “where I’m cutting”.  No one but “recent track” forest life is out there.  I edit each of those tracks.  Once out there I shovel the “holes around the trees I’m gonna drop”.  Then I make the cuts & drop.  Then I saw ‘em up, stack ‘em up, pile the slash and… “I’m done”.  An average cut is two hours.  By the time I’m done I’m soaked with sweat and soaked with melted snow.  When I’m doing this there is always a moment, particularly with “a big one”; a big ole White Pine, where one crosses the line.  I don’t know if you know this moment but it’s pretty hard to miss if one has been there.
            When I am making the drop cut, right at the end, the big ole frozen water sucking butt above the cut pauses a second and then, very slowly, moves across and twists on the stump as it starts it’s fall.  Its about 4 or 6 seconds with all quiet excepting the chirping of the saw by my waist as I watch.  Then that butt twists off that stump and kicks the full ton of weight of the whole tree backward about 15 feet through the snow going by me at about a foot distance while limbs and Hell brake loose above and fall in smashes down through the other standing trees carrying off more limbs and this fury combines with a whiteout blanket of thumping falling snow engulfing the all of everything in a white wet swirl to form a Force of Nature so profound and of such stunning majesty… that no man can stand in that and not find the very basic oblivion of their self in the hand of the eternal rage that is life.  That is about 4 to 6 seconds.  Then I’m standing there with only the chirping saw again and… “back to work”.


            That force; that display of the shear power of nature; a force so displacing of the arrogant self of a single man... is a madness; a mad man alone with this blind rage against the nothingness of Nature.  It is not a clinical madness one finds with a social pattern of a “mad man” “in society”; it is an eternal madness addressed timelessly and alone by a man, alone for himself to appreciate, embrace or… flee from.  I am the embrace; I reach to this fury.  I suppose it is the moment that Melville sought to portray in Moby Dick or what is found, for example, in J. Conrad’s nigger trapped in the hold of the turned down ship.  That one is mad is beyond refute.  The proximity of the sudden force negates a verbal warning to self to “beat it”; one should “not be there” “in the first place”.  That this madness is salvation… will rarely be embraced by one’s fellows.  It is better for most to “get a good parking space” “at the mall of life” and… stay there thank you for doing this.  For myself, the absolute force of this fury is and that is an “IS”.  To be assured that this integrity may be always released to remind that there is absolute nothingness to a man as he faces Nature in his life is an… opportunity of salvation.  It is a stunning way to live.  One stands in the actual roar of oblivion for a few seconds.  Can there be a more refreshing expression of man’s existence?


            The curiosity... of this moth and the flame six second introspective awe… is found recreated in the thematic play of every cut with each second of absolute sameness combined with equal... absolute difference.  The other day I had made the cut and as the four seconds of the butt twist began the old giant “turned into me” on the butt meaning, in short, the tree is going to come down on me as I stood.  Anticipating the seconds remaining I cut the saw and tossed it off and back while stepping backward in the frozen footage of snow.  My eyes do not leave the motions of the twisting butt… but I … fall straight back into the snow for my boot catches.  There my eyes see the branches above, against the winter sky, continue the turn and I correct on my back to command to “ROLL” (for one cannot; does not have time, to get up; stand back up and run away) but, as is proper, I have to wait for the fall to begin so as not to “roll into the fall”.  The danger and the “life is end” or worse, the “still alive” is as full as a second may be crammed yet just as quick my eye denotes the slight “back twist” as the butt turns BACK and away in it’s “begins the fall” and travels as it was originally directed to thunder through it’s cascade interval and land in whole a requisite twelve feet “away”.  The touch of the billow of the whispering, falling snow upon my face clouds the open blue sky above... and melts, wetting my face and warm body.  I get up and go back to work.










*** John S. Springer, FOREST LIFE AND FOREST TREES; COMPRISING WINTER CAMP-LIFE AMOUNG THE LOGGERS, AND WILD-WOOD ADVENTURE WITH DESCRIPTIONS OF LUMBERING OPERATIONS ON THE VARIOUS RIVERS OF MAINE AND NEW BRUNSWICK, Harper Brothers, New York, 1851.  Annotated references:  Sprague, L. F., editor, THE MIRROR OF MAINE, University of Maine Press and The Baxter Society, Orono/Portland, 2000, pgs. 48-49, # 22 and Thompson, E. V., IMPORTANT MAINE MAPS, BOOKS, PRINTS AND EPHEMERA, Stillwater Press, Orono, 2003, pg. 431-432, numbers 340 and 341.  A rare Maine book.  A Maine classic.  A true epistle from the forest; a tome of American forest philosophy.  Used by Thoreau as primary reference while in Maine and purchased directly from the publisher by Herman Melville (by written request).  Francis O’Brien, the Portland rare bookman, gives us “Do you have Springer?” as a query exchanged between Maine rare book collectors.  I take his query into the wild-wood as Thoreau did:  When in the forest... “do you have Springer”?