never trust a man with a typewriter between his lips

July 31, 2010

Images from the Special Collections of the University of British Columbia.


I only met you yesterday, uncle
though you did not meet me as I poured through the endless papers sitting in cartons organized artificially by a librarian named Cynthia. Yellowed and creased I hear your words spoken through the typewriter between your lips,
set within your bearded face, injected between the lines by your bobbing blue fountain pen floating on the paper and the words and the ideas marking measuredly, unsatisfied.

We shared an original thought about the endless tombstone fields marching forth to the factory that can only be glimpsed from the LIE as one is lured into the city by the other stone monuments that stick out of the ground in planned, regular rows while ascending the hill, Manhattanbound.

I see the reflections of my father’s signature in yours,
hear my grandmother’s voice in the recordings of your readings echoing through the tapes that have been sitting in the stacks waiting for me to request them waiting for 34 for years. Your deep tone and hearty laugh and throaty cough sound so familiar, at yet so foreign as I record them on my laptop, piped in from a reel-to-reel player that was dusted off upon my request. It brags in an unmistakably 70s font of playing in stereo! Your voice is in mono. Nonetheless it reaches my ears and I can see you sitting behind your desk or rocking on a cool leather chair with a tremendous microphone, stroking your beard and inspecting the world in your own way and your own time.

I miss you uncle, though I only met you yesterday, as I sorted through the papers you left when you left.

July 31, 2010

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