please take care of this book too - twelve steps home

In 'please take care of this book too', poetry, stories and photographs weave the twelve steps of LGB's journey into an intruiging and sensitive plot. Whilst the stories manage the tales of the various protagonists, the twenty-four poems illustrate the feelings of the small green tome as it is passed from pillar to post.

 

Reflecting the range of emotions that we all share in our intimate relationships, the tone varies from exhuberance to despair, from exasperation to hope. Here are a few examples for you to savour.

undercover

My virgin spine is flexing now,

we’re going undercover,

these calloused hands

my rescuer, 

my fantasy, 

my lover.

I quiver, tremble, shiver,

 stumble, stutter, flutter, 

this glory unfamiliar,

from my exile in the gutter.

I tango on your lips,

the servant of your touch,

I never thought that I would take to

 lap dancing this much.

trust

1000 and 1,

1000 and 2,

1000 and 3,

check.

Is it square? 

Is it straight

or will I break my neck?

Knees together,

feet together, 

toggle down to crutch,

drifting onto your drop zone, 

flown in by your touch.

1000 and 1,

1000 and 2,

1000 and 3,

trust.

Do you care?

Is this love, 

or a simple case of lust?

tar

I feel I know you,

that we’ve met somewhere before?

But your eyes are unfamiliar,

they’re bleak and underscored.

Are these the hands that broke me?

The mouth that spat and choked me,

or is this brush I’m using

plied with tar?

Stories

The significant addition to 'please take care of this book too' are the twelve stories that accompany the photographs and poems. Elizabeth J. Saunders tells the twelve tales of custodianship, that the little green book encounters on the way back to its shelf.

 

Whimsical, poignant and at times unsettling, Elizabeth takes us into twelve different worlds that the book passes through. Here are a few extracts to tantalize you, taken from the wordwitch's tale, the shapeshifter's tale and the arranger's tale.

'The clement weather, acting like a magnet, had drawn ramblers and climbers out in force, assembling to rest, admire the spectacular views or search the skies for a glimpse of the elusive peregrine falcons. Suddenly even the murmuring voices ceased and, in unison, the throng turned and stared as two men appeared as if by magic. Suited and booted in bona fide bodyguard apparel, with ear pieces and radios, their attention was fixed on a small brown paper parcel carried by the tallest and most imposing of them. Halting and ignoring the curious stares, the man gently drew out of the package what appeared to be a small green book, and placed it almost reverently, on an isolated rock. Having completed their task, without a word spoken, the pair about turned and calmly walked away. Bizarrely, the onlookers made no attempt to approach the object and gathering their belongings together, they quietly drifted away. Something very special had obviously happened here'

 

from the wordwitch's tale

'Soon the arranger was safely ensconced on a coach bound for Paignton. She would then travel by steam train to Kingswear and finally catch the ferry across to Dartmouth, the former an experience she’d always dreamt about. With time to kill and no distractions, this was an ideal opportunity to begin reading the little book, the arranger thought. As the miles sped by she became more and more fascinated by its contents, intrigued by the messages within the poems. She reflected on the disastrous end to her relationship and wondered whether she could have handled the situation differently. Her musings were brought to an abrupt halt as the coach trundled into the bus station. Disembarking, she spent a few moments rearranging  her luggage, ready for the next leg of the trip. The little book at this point was feeling rather squashed, rammed into the top of an already bulging holdall. A potential hazard for its rather frail cover!'

 

from the arranger's tale

'This whirlpool of activity then stopped as abruptly as it had begun. As the image began to fade all that remained was a barely perceptible patchwork design with a tiny green tome at the centre. The actress woke with a start, something had threatened her beloved books. She leapt out of bed and ran downstairs, only to find  LGB and the miniatures exactly as they’d been left, safe, secure and undamaged. With a sigh of relief that no harm had been done, it was time to put fanciful thoughts to one side and get on with the day.'

 

from the shapeshifter's tale