November in Its Own Words

"In November" Front cover

“In November”
Front cover

Earlier, I wrote about an artist book I made called “In November”, emphasizing how it looked as a series of visual images. When I do an artist book, I create the images first, no planning or attempting to have them cohere as a group – and then I let them inspire the words. Given this process, I am always interested in how the text somehow ends up as a unified whole.

November is my favorite month, for a lot of reasons. I wrote this book in November, too. So this book is special to me. All about November.

Here is the text of the book. And here are the images, if you’d like to see them.

Page 1

I am a shadow
standing before this pale solid house
under the moon.
If I knock at the door
will you let me in?

Page 2

I am sorry
my overheated words
have hurt your feelings.

Page 3

Strong and hearty as I am today
I will not be here
when this little tree grows tall
A long time from now.

Page 4

I have remembered this calm landscape
ever since I left it.

Page 5

I have so much on my mind
my head can’t hold it all
And it’s all spilled out
Here. And here. And here.
I’ll sort things out later.
Until then, you can look around.
See if you can use anything.

Page 6

I am grateful
someone planted these trees
so I could walk among them
in a purple night like this one.

Page 7

I showed my sister the zinnias
They survived
the first frost we had last night.
We will have them here with us
for another day!

Page 8

I stood
hard-edged
at the front door.
Run away now if you like, I said,
You’ll be back.
I won’t be happy about it,
but I’ll let you in.

Page 9

I would be a leaf myself,
skittering along in this wind,
if I weren’t a fat old lady,
a bit slow, a little out of breath,
slowly walking
along this path in the woods.

Page 10

I washed the dinner dishes
Put away the pots and pans
Lined up the forks and spoons
in their drawer for the night.
Everyone else
sits in the living room
half-asleep in front of the television.
I step out the back door
without my coat. I shiver
and stand in the grass
thinking of something
and then of something else
under the cold white moon.

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