Monday, September 11, 2006


Just because I just read someone's words about the books they read as a child, I remembered some of my favorite books from childhood. Several years ago I wrote this poem to celebrate The Book of Marvels.

Richard Halburton's Book of Marvels

these marvels surpassed Superman
flying over Gotham, hands stretched out,
catching thermals, staring down --
eyes drilling through reinforced concrete
these marvels required a flying carpet,
a passport beyond the fire escape
a bus beyond the last stop where the city--exhausted stops
beyond the red yo yo going around the world on a twisted Egyptian string
and over the last tree on one hundred seventy-sixth street
At night I dreamed of Tibet before I found Tibet on a map
I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge on foot
the year before I lay on Jones Beach and my ears burned till they bled
While walking to the end of my street I visualized Mongolia
and Sphinx burning up in the desert
On Saturday the movie theatre showed a double feature
Even an afternoon of two features and two serials
where the heroine is about to die until the following week
couldn't compare to the Great Wall
When the heat sent people outside
and fire hydrants turned into spouting whales
I traveled on a donkey down Bright Angel trail and bathed in the Colorado
No one I knew went farther than the mountains for the summer
Ellen's father took his family to another state and I envied her
I lay my hand on the Book of Marvels, inhaled the footsteps
and vowed to walk up Mt Fuji
vowed to be intrepid



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