Reading: 10-16 November 2013

By Ana Maria Caballero, Zeteo Contributor

[One in an ongoing series of posts. For the full series see Zeteo is Reading.]

boss_world_in_pencil10 November 2013

The Poetry Foundation broadcasts a great public service announcement via its “Poem of the Day”. When you sign up, they send you a daily poem, just like it sounds.

The selection is melt-in-your-mouth good. Back in August, I received this gem written by Todd Boss –

 The World Is in Pencil
—not pen. It’s got

that same silken
dust about it, doesn’t it,

that same sense of
having been roughed

onto paper even
as it was planned.

It had to be a labor
of love. It must’ve

taken its author some
time, some shove.

I’ll bet it felt good
in the hand—the o

of the ocean, and
the and and the and

of the land.

12 November 2013

I read a fun book last summer written by Jeffrey Eugenides. It is called The Marriage Plot and is basically a love story between really smart people. One of those involved is a Divinity Studies major, so his love is very transcendent. Prominent among all the forms of prayer he tried was the Jesus Prayer, the same prayer that Franny Glass becomes obsessed with in J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey.

Taking this as a sign, I decided to reread Franny and Zooey and was delighted by the humility of Salinger’s introduction to the text:

As nearly as possible in the spirit of Matthew Salinger, age one, urging a luncheon companion to accept a cool lima bean, I urge my editor, mentor and (heaven help him) closest friend, William Shawn, genius domus of The New Yorker, lover of the long shot, protector of the unprolific, defender of the hopelessly flamboyant, most unreasonably modest of born great artist-editors, to accept this pretty skimpy-looking book.

13 November 2013

I am trying to pay homage to my gender and read all the female Nobel Laureates. Right now it’s Herta Muller’s turn with her novel The Appointment. It’s a spooky read about oppression and paranoia in Communist Romania.

What makes it so creepy is that the language is innocent and childlike but the subject matter is sinister.

Below is a good example of this:








14 November 2013

A writer/friend recently shared some translations of contemporary Japanese haiku that appeared in a book titled Haiku Love. Their efficiency is silencing:

quarrel abates
the one who looks in the mirror
is the woman



choosing a swimsuit
when did I start seeing
through his eyes

—Mayuzumi Madoka

15 November 2013

I am a big believer in the power of words. Not only spoken words but words you say in your head. Several years ago I bought a book called Healing Mantras, written by Thomas Ashley-Farrand, in a bookstore in Bombay.

I’ve revisited it several times, selecting mantras that I thought would help my then-current situations. As I am currently in a detox/health kick, I decided to add a mantra to the mix.

Part of the mantra process involves writing down the mantra you select and making a written promise to carry out the necessary repetitions. So here is my mantra promise –

I promise to say the following mantra at least 40 times a day for 40 days with the purpose of bringing more health to my home: “Om Ram Ramaya Namaha Swaha.”















  1. Pingback: And the and of the land | The Drugstore Notebook

  2. Pingback: Health by mantra | The Drugstore Notebook

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