About the Bookish Dark

Eating Poetry
by Mark Strand

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.

The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.

Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.

She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
she screams.

I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

Bookish Dark began as a collaboration between two book-loving best friends who lived on opposite sides of the U.S. It was a book club and playground where they could meet up and natter for ages about the books they were reading, and invite others into the conversation. In 2008, CountessZ relocated to the pretty Northwestern city where Kaizerin lived. Suddenly, the two best friends didn’t need to meet online: they could see each other as often as they wanted, in person! They could sit on the same couch for hours, sipping tea and discussing books, and it was even better than they imagined it would be. Still, they were sentimental about Bookish Dark and its role in keeping them together, and all continued as before, more or less.

The thing about a book blog, though, is it can have a funny way of getting between a blogger and her books, and CountessZ found this increasingly true for her. As the calendar rolled into 2010, she had a heart-to-heart with Kaizerin about her desire to end her role as co-owner/operator/blogger of Bookish Dark. Understanding the motivation entirely, and unwilling to let go of the little corner of the internet they’d cleared and built up together, Kaizerin took on sole responsibility for the upkeep of Bookish Dark.

Kaizerin found it unexpectedly invigorating to have a blog of her own. In the beginning, it was only having CountessZ with her that helped her overcome her reticence about blogging: the buddy system is helpful for any number of ventures in life! By the time CountessZ was ready to move on, however, Kaizerin was ready to go it alone and see what she could make of Bookish Dark, all on her own.

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All of which is to say, if you read through the archives, you’ll see how Bookish Dark has evolved as we felt our way forward, found our voices, and followed calls in different directions. You’ll see early notions about formatting and structure giving way to easier, looser styles. Gardens and vacations and recipes begin to creep in between books, just like in real life! You may as well expect the changes to keep on coming, too; life is change, after all. I’m so glad you’ve stopped by to share a bit of it with me!