A review of the book (in the voice of the book)*


The Book of Things, Ilhan Berk (Salt, 2009), trs. George Messo


Open me anywhere



Pilot Hi V5, extra fine pens

safety pins



The Sparrow


Most of all I want not to be bored


[I have been waiting for this book my entire life]


or should that be ‘voices’?


I wish he were still here/

to document/



One thing is for certain, the ants always return in warm weather


‘There is no escape from tables’


Things that count things that don’t


‘A writer sometimes needs to be able to just stand and gape at this or that thing -a sunset or an old shoe- in absolute and simple amazement.’ Raymond Carver






The letter ‘F’

list poems

101 ways of reading the poem



Why did it take me so long?



* and footnotes on footnotes


Someone who knew how to have fun (you know what to do)





  1. no, doesn’t do it for me. No i don’t understand it. No I haven’t given it enough attention and maybe I might understand it later. Or not. We can’t all like the same things.


  2. Hi Anthony,
    I thought this post was so real and so manic!
    Just like writing and reading and rereading and then stopping and being distracted and wanting to include something and then being distracted,
    (Ref from post way back. Fish, Stanley. “How to Recognize a Poem When You See One.” Is There a Text in this Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980.)


  3. There is so much of this writing about, so much so that most magazines have taken to it and thrown everything else out. No one ever learns anything.
    Maybe that’s what the fad, trendy style is saying.
    Says nothing to little to me, or for me.

    But I wish the writer well.


    1. Hi there. Sorry this one does nothing for you.
      I’m not sure Berk’s style was a fad, though.
      I think his modernism was the product of a deeply felt engagement with the world, not a desire to be trendy or whatever.
      He’s been dead a while now.
      As ever with best wishes


  4. Leaves me feeling exhausted… in a good way… leafing through three books at once. Wanting to gobble them all up. Not wanting to miss a word. Wanting more!


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