"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The pages of February

Watching gentle, large flake snowfall out my window this morning, sipping coffee, thinking of travels past and future, I journeyed in other worlds this month, in the pages of eight books, five of them completed, one sampled, one mostly read, and one underway.

Five of the books came from friend Jeanetta Calhoun Mish's Mongrel Empire Press in Norman, poems, short stories and a fictional novel, all with strong Oklahoma roots and subjects. 
The other included Longmire creator Craig Johnson's "Wait for Signs," a collection of short stories, purchased from friend Joe Hight's Best of Books in Edmond.
The books of poetry were "The Walmart Republic," J.L. Jacobs' Streets as Elsewhere," and Carter Revard's, "From the Extinct Volcano-A Bird of Paradise."
"The Long Rifle Season" by James Murray is a bunch of short stories, appropriately titled "Tales," most of them set in southeast Oklahoma, and including a fictional view inside Timothy McVeigh's mind. The fictionalized novel by William Cunningham is "Pretty Boy Floyd."
The seventh book is Natalie Goldberg's "Loving Color--Painting, Writing and the Bones of Seeing." Writer-teacher Goldberg lives in Taos, doing what I dream about, and I bought the book thinking it would be about writing. Instead, it is a book about a writer taking up painting, filled with her art and prompting. I found it has a chapter on Cezanne, my favorite artist, which means it's a must read to complete.
The eighth book was OKC Mayflower UCC church pastor Robin Meyer's book, "Saving Jesus from the Church," a discussion prompt in our Sunday night "Soul Detox" group. He has lots to say about the difference in institutionalized Christianity and what Jesus taught.
Reviews and comments on most of these are coming. The poetry books are the most difficult, as you can see from my previous review of "The Walmart Republic."



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