Wednesday, May 13, 2009


We have finally set up the office. I thought I'd take a moment to describe my desk, now that I've set it up and have all my comforting things around me, simply because I myself love a description of domestic details. Right now the desk itself is an old, scratched-up drafting table, only so-so convenient as the cross-bar between the legs prevents one from pushing a chair underneath. But the top is nice and spacious and I like the scratches and the finish, even if it's kind of cheap.

The lamp is an old brass flexible one with a battered, yellowish shade that I retrieved from my parents' attic long ago. Then there are a few notebooks between a pair of carved wooden bear bookends - also from 10 Euclid - a silver cup (from Grandpa Moe) full of pens, a little glass boat to hold matches and tacks and other things. My paperweight is a little brass whale (probably also from Grandpa Moe) that I gave to my old boyfriend years ago, but stole back when I was feeding the cats once and saw it just sitting there over his bed and couldn't bear his owning it.

Pictures: well, framed letters, actually. These are from my dad; he picked them up at an auction house in the 70's and gives them to me as Christmas and birthday gifts. This Christmas he gave me a framed, type-written and signed Marianne Moore translation of one of her LaFontaine fables ("The Crow and the Fox") because he knows how I like her, although lord knows what possessed him to buy it, given his disinterest in poetry. A few years ago he gave me the remarkably sour and ungenerous H.L. Mencken letter, typed on American Mercury stationery. Into the Marianne Moore frame I've tucked a little postcard of an "A. Sisley" painting, "Le Loing a Moret," which the card says is from the Louvre, but which I got for a few cents with a bunch of other ephemera from a Bookiniste back when I lived there. Then there's a picture, no more than 2" high, of my grandmother in her wedding veil. (It's actually a xerox I cut to fit.) I bought that little frame when I was about 12, from a store called Flowers and Co. in Hastings, which was, I suppose, terribly precious, carrying as it did flowers and then Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries and various other gift items that seemed to me really beautiful. My latest addition is a little woman made out of scallop shells, probably made as some kind of cheap souvenir in the 40s or earlier, which I picked up at the Flea Market in DUMBO. If I have the energy, I'll add some pictures, although they'll make for pretty dull viewing!

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