My Book Finds Precious Real Estate

So your book is listed on amazon. Ho-hum. The same is true for 4,609,398,623,211 other books. Where the rubber really hits the road is when your book sits on a bookstore shelf. We’re talking prime real estate, many dots beyond com, between Barnes and his distinguished brother, Noble, say, or between some Mom and some Pop in an independent bookstore, maybe.

Such was my treat Wednesday night when I ran into the University of Connecticut’s Barnes & Noble bookstore before taking in the basketball game at Gampel Pavilion. There it was, into the blue and on the poetry section shelves, standing between Billy Collins (nice to meet you, William) and Rita Dove (peace out, sister)–The Indifferent World, looking anything but indifferent with its gaudy red “Local Author” sticker.

I had one-quarter a mind to autograph it on the spot, but no. Probably out of line without management’s blessing. So I just said hello, because you know what? This particular copy of the now-familiar book looked different. A prince among the paupers waiting to be adopted at amazon. An august leader among the plebes sitting in my to-be-signed-at-readings bag at home.

Despite the watery cover, it had definite airs. And why not? I say. Seize the moment, kid. Carpe your diem while the sun shines, because the sun also sets, as Hemingway almost told us.

In parting, I whispered these words to it: “I hope you find a good home–but maybe not just yet. Maybe after a few weeks, enjoying the view.”




  1. cool. below Blake i see too. i’ve never really cared for self publishing through Amazon, i decided before i ever even published in a journal that i would never self-publish & rather wait for momentum & hope i can influence through the literary channels. some interesting stuff on your blog Ken, found you through Okaji, who is a sterling poet. i wish your books the happiest of homes.


    • Thanks, ELR. The book is divided into four parts: “Woods & Lake,” “Homebodies,” “Mysteries,” and “The Indifferent World.” The first is a set of poems inspired by the Maine lakes and woods I visit each summer. Lots of nature here. Section two has a lot of poems centered around the concept of “home” — both as refuge and prison. “Mysteries” is just that. Either the topic is mysterious or the speaker of the poem is mystified, even if dramatic irony means the reader is not. Finally, in the last section (also the book’s title), I write mostly about the world’s innocent indifference. It doesn’t care, even about me (and we all consider ourselves, hilariously enough, special exceptions to the rules).

      All poems are free verse, so if you’re a formalist or like rhyme schemes, you probably won’t be interested. Otherwise, I hope you take a look-see. Be gentle, though. It’s a first book, and I’m neither William nor Butler nor Yeats. Not yet, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, well, but my last two books are also moldering on the shelf at a very busy local independent bookstore. The real pleasure is checking on them and seeing one or more have been adopted and taken home.


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