Around 10, I stopped in at Mac’s Backs, and bought the new BELIEVER BOOK OF WRITERS TALKING TO WRITERS, as well as the second issue of BCR to show the writing group tomorrow night. Suzanne had just opened and nobody was around, so we started chatting and I showed her Kenneth Koch’s work in BCR, and then she told me about this guy named Kenneth Patchen, a poet/painter who drew “picture poems.” Apparently, a guy named Larry Smith speaking at the D.A. Levy symposium at Cleveland State has written a biography about him. So, that might be something to go to this weekend. Said goodbye and drove over to Joseph-Beth and picked up the new issue of BLACK WARRIOR REVIEW to show the group.
Around 11, in the parking lot of Zagara’s, grocer of the Cleveland Heights literari, I saw Harvey Pekar half-shuffling, half-limping across the parking lot. He looked pre-occupied, so I thought better of shouting, “Yo Harv!” across the lot. I showed less restraint when Meg pointed out Dan Chaon in next lane a couple weeks ago:
ME: Mr. Chaon!
CHAON: (looks up, startled) Hi!
ME: Looking forward to your reading next month!
CHAON: Oh. (What reading?) Oh yeah, with Kelly Link.
CHAON: (Who the hell is this kid?) Well, I’ll see you there, then!
ME: You bet!
A few minutes later I heard him say to the cashier, “Oh, just trying to write. It’s pathetic.” Which made me feel less pathetic.
The celebrities kept coming: the crazy lady who feeds the pigeons behind our building was in the produce section. She smelled like Marlboros, not pigeons.
Got back home around 12, and I had an e-mail from Peter Turchi, who was nice enough to reply to an e-mail I’d sent about maps and world-building. He read a section from my thesis and gave me reading suggestions to check out: 1) Denis Wood’s THE POWER OF MAPS, where Wood argues that maps are temporal, whether they mean to or not, they map spatial relationships in time; and 2) FLATLAND by Edwin Abbott, for its take on the “space/time relationship.”
Turchi also wrote that when he spoke at the University of Greensboro some students told him that a cartography professor there was using graphic novels to talk about depicting time and space; and at the University of Iowa he met a fiction writer who builds three-dimensional models of the settings for his novels. I’m going to try to hunt down these characters.