Would he go marking with crosses of fire the white atlases of their bodies?
Was his mouth really like a spider, frightened and thirsty?
I know, I know. Neruda was a politician, an activist. There was much more to his life than writing love sonnets. But who falls to sleep with a smile thinking about expulsions from the senate?
Maybe my imagination remains over-stimulated from a childhood full of make-believe friends and pet rocks, but no matter what book/poem/essay I read, I find myself thinking about the author's interior life (within the restricted frames of my life their works). Who doesn't daydream about the conversation you would have sitting beside Dostoevsky on a 12-hour plane ride with free booze? Or...
- How often Bukowski's house would get rolled? Would he bogart that shit or pass it to the left?
- How Nabakov would act the subway?
- If William Carlos Williams would wash his dishes right after dinner, or would he leave them in the sink, dirty, with a half-way apologetic note?
- Would TS Elliot laugh or cry watching CATS! live on Broadway? Was he really a dog guy?
- Would Thoreau make the trek home from college to have his mom do his laundry every weekend?
- How would couch-cushion fort building go with JRR Tolkien? Would he be pissed when I destroyed his painstakingly intricate construction with one giant leap from the arm chair?
- Would Salinger dress in tight American Apparel jeans and an ironic cat T-shirt, talk sourly about Death Cab for Cutie, and drink coffee at Victrola?