Sunday, January 28, 2007

New Treasure

11:50 p.m. / 23:50

Most of the time it isn't something I set out to do but it's usually on the slow days at work that I find treasures-- books, etc. that I haven't come across before, but that I quickly become very glad that I have found them. I think that's how I originally discovered Bookmarks magazine. Anyway, this whole past week was terribly, terribly slow, all except Saturday which was awful, but it's also a whole other story.

Anyway, one morning I decided I was going to shelve the young adult books even though that isn't my job, but I needed to be doing something and I like the young adult section. There weren't very many to be shelved so I carried them over without a cart on started putting them away. It was a mess over there and it wasn't taking me long to shelve the books, so soon I was straighting the shelves in my slightly-perfectionist shelf straightening style. So there I was sitting on the floor in the little cubby that is the YA section lining up books exactly with the edge of the shelf when this title caught my eye: God Went to Beauty School. Say what? I had to see what this was all about. Well, it's shelved as fiction, but it's really more like a poetry collection. You'll see:


He went to learn how
to give a good perm
and ended up just crazy
about nails
so He opened up His own shop.
"Nails by Jim" He called it.
He was afraid to call it
Nails by God.
He was sure people would
think He was being
disrespectful and using
His own name in vain
and nobody would tip.
He got into nails, of course,
because He'd always loved
hands were some of the best things
He'd ever done
and this way He could just
hold one in His
and admire those delicate
bones just about the knuckles,
delicate as birds' wings,
and after He'd done that
He could paint all the nails
any color He wanted,
then say,
and mean it.

I thought that was pretty cool, so I decided I'd read the whole book. And I did, and I love it. I'm sure some people find it off-putting... maybe because they don't like to think about God in such human terms. Actually, it turns out my mom finds the book off-putting because God is a man in the poems, all except for one called "God is a Girl", which is actually one of my least favorite, just because somehow it doesn't work out right... it's just a weak poem, plain and simple. But for the most part what Cynthia Rylant has done here is very neat and sometimes funny, sometimes sweet.


Remember, God is a chic in Dogma.
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