25 June 2008

Where's the strangest place you've ever...

Do you find yourself reading poetry books in places where other people aren't reading poetry books? And then all of a sudden you feel like you're back in the jr high cafeteria again, until you remember that now you're the cool one?

Or something like that?

I got my oil changed today. The Toyota dealership is pretty new and swanky, the kind of place you'd expect to have stacks of poetry books on the art deco tables, scattered issues of Barn Owl Review for customers to peruse, etc. A classy joint.

Amazingly, I was the only one reading a poetry book. Or a book, for that matter. A highly-tattered copy of Ladies Home Journal was available (is that plural and possessive? Ladies'?). CNN was on. A guy was shouting into his cell phone about Home Dee-Pot and Burt Reynolds. All the perfect backdrop for Modern Life.

So what are the strange places where you engage in the tawdry act of poetry book (or litmag) reading?

12 comments:

Jay Robinson said...

When I was at Sarah Lawrence, it was about a two-mile walk to school from where I lived. I didn't have a car, so I always went to school on foot. I used the time to read-and-walk. After awhile, I got pretty good at it and didn't run into things or people, or get honked at anymore. Well, at least I didn't honked at for reading and walking. People still like to honk at me.

Karen J. Weyant said...

Laundromats. I always get really weird looks at laundromats when I am reading poetry.

Accidental Admin. said...

1. the city bus in Boston (and the T)--always reading poetry!
2. the laundromat
3. restaurants...I have a bad habit of eating out alone with a book as my date.
4. the cafeteria at work

Tobin F. Terry said...

When I worked at the auto salvage place I would disappear into the junk yard for hours at a time, find a decent enough wrecked car, and climb in with a book. The best part was that nobody noticed.

Frank (the Colt) said...

I enjoy reading Edson while walking around department stores.

Penultimatina said...

I once read Alice Fulton's SENSUAL MATH on a plane next to a businessman from Japan, who was quite puzzled by the title...

Justin Evans said...

Mary:

Everywhere I read a poetry book is a place where nobody else is reading a poetry book.

This may shock you but I get strange looks from other teachers for reading poetry at school. I wish I was making a joke, but I have even had other English teachers look at me funny during district meetings for having a poetry book handy for down-time.

When I started teaching I thought at least other teachers would understand reading and reading poetry, but I was wrong.

Leslie said...

Airplanes and airports.

And speaking of (viewing pic of) Matthea Harvey, I got really weird looks when I was reading her Pity the Bathtub its Forced Embrace of the Human Form in public. No matter where I was.

greg rappleye said...

On New Year's Eve, December 31, 1999, when I was required to work in our Emergency Operations Center until 1 a.m., in case the much-feared Y2K bug brought civil unrest to the Great Lakes State.

In the interests of the coming Apocalypse, I read Dante.

Sara Kearns said...

Mary, I love this post.

The experience of the everyday.

Hmmm... Doctors' offices and waiting rooms, auto mechanic shops, bus stops, bars, planes-trains-&automobiles, in line at the grocery store...

And you're right -- we are the cool ones now!

dick said...

I read the whole of Leaves of Grass over two days whilst spinning very slowly down the Chusavya River in the Ural Mountains in a leaking inflatable life raft. Five minutes bailing out, ten minutes reading, five minutes bailing out...

Julie said...

The doctor's office. My daughter's dance class. But I never get weird looks-- or maybe I don't see them because I rarely look up from my reading.