Basta

by Walser, Robert

Here’s a nice short one to make up for yesterday’s nice long one. From Robert Walser, a master of the short-short story, and the closest anyone’s come to Swift since Kipling. Basta is one of those fine Italian words that the Germans have managed to appropriate (read: swipe), and I’ve long wished we would adopt it. We, English speakers, you know, not savages.

Gods

by Nabokov, Vladimir

This is both perhaps just-too-long and read by a just-too-tired head; maybe just assume the intent is to separate the yolks from the hen’s asses… or something. Kudos to you if you make it…

Despite not wanting to overwhelm the Internet(s) with too many Russians in too short a time, Vlad is really a nomad, as we all know, no more or less a Russian than I am a humvee. And yes, I can refer to him as Vlad,

Nadja

by Breton, Andre

I had wanted today to read Philip Lamantia (what was I thinking?), because he understood living more than I (and probably you, Internet, but that might be presumptuous) ever will, and because he’s now dead, so a tribute seems fitting. But, that said, I don’t think I can read his poetry, because I don’t think it will convey anything at all as it’s supposed to, and besides, Miette’s Bedtime Poetry Hour PodCAST is another project, isn’t it?

At Night

by Kavan, Anna

A personal secret: I, like many, have long succumbed to seemingly endless bouts of insomnia. It’s not clinical, and I love sleep very much, but I often have a difficult time performing when called on to do so. Bedtime stories don’t help much, because once I find one I’m particularly fond of, I will read all night. Another personal secret: I, Miette, am a bit compulsive with the reading. This could well be clinical, but I’ve never been fond of DSM labels, as we all know.

Bookshop Memories

by Orwell, George

Some days, especially those in which my lack of tolerance for this city is only matched by my impatience with the job, I suffer the wildest joyriding fantasies of working at a used bookshop. To elucidate, the fantasy usually involves moving to smalltown Americana and opening up one next to a Wal-Mart, grabbing curiosity-seekers on their way out, and making recommendations based on their blue-light purchases. If they were frumpy housewives whose impulse buy was the latest People magazine to go with their two cartons of Virginia Slim 100s and sale-rack throw pillows, I’d toss a Flan O’Connor their way.