Last night’s noises woke me laughing. For some reason I woke up with a scene in my head from that parody of old epic airplane films, AIRPLANE!, where the star, Robert Hayes' (a really nice guy I got to know a little at a few parties in Hollywood back in the day) pilot character says he has “a drinking problem” and then proves it by repeatedly missing his mouth with the glass his drink is in, spilling the liquid all over his forehead, cheek, etc.
I watched the movie a few weeks ago with my eleven-year-old, who didn’t get half the references, and the other half I was busy distracting him from since they were cruder and more graphic than I remember (especially for a PG movie).
But after a few chuckles, I tried to fall back asleep and—for whatever inexplicable reason that these things come to us, or at least me, in the middle of the night—I had the sudden realization that the three books I grouped together a few posts back all had three-word titles.
Then I realized that a lot of my most successful books also had three word titles—ROCKY DIES YELLOW, CATCH MY BREATH, CANT BE WRONG, IT’S NOT NOSTALGIA, etc.
So I started to make another alphabet list to help me fall back asleep, this one of favorite books with three word titles, a lot instantly sprang to mind, as they say. This is how far I got before I was snoozing again:
ALL BOWED DOWN by Ray DiPalma, ALONG THE RAILS by Elio Schneeman
BODY & SOUL by Frank Conroy, THE BEAUTIFUL INDIFFERENCE by Terence Winch, A BOY’S NOVEL by Barry Gifford, BLUES & APOLOGIES by Robert Slater, BREAD & FISH by Mark Terrill
CONFESSIONS OF ZENO by Italo Svevo, THE CRYSTAL LITHIUM by James Schuyler, THE CARGO CULT by John Thorpe
DINNERS AND NIGHTMARES by Diane di Prima, DOCTOR WILLIAMS’ HEIRESSES by Alice Notley
EARTH HOUSE HOLD by Gary Snyder, EARLY MORNING WIND by Dale Herd
FARMERS’ DAUGHTERS, THE by William Carlos Williams, FRIENDSHIP WITH THINGS by Elaine Equi
GOOD MORNING, MIDNIGHT by Jean Rhys, THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald, THE GALLERY GOERS by Ray DiPalma, THE GREAT INDOORS by Terence Winch
HOW IT IS by Samuel Beckett, HYMN TO LIFE by James Schuyler, HOW SPRING COMES by Alice Notley, HEARTS IN SPACE by Maureen Owen
IN OUR TIME by Ernest Hemingway, I’M NOT STILLER by Max Frisch, IN BALTIC CIRCLES by Paul Violi
JUMPING THE LINE by Ted Greenwald
KABIR BOOK, THE by Robert Bly
LEAVES OF GRASS by Walt Whitman, LIGHT & SHADOW by Simon Schuchat, THE LATE SHOW by David Trinidad, LOOK SLIMMER INSTANTLY! By Jerome Sala
MANY HAPPY RETURNS by Ted Berrigan, MOVING RIGHT ALONG by Kenward Elmslie, MORE WINNOWED FRAGMENTS by Simon Pettet
NOTHING FOR YOU by Ted Berrigan, NUMBERS AND TEMPERS by Ray DiPalma, THE NANCY BOOK by Joe Brainard
ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
PRIVATE NO PARKING by d. a. levy, A PERSONAL ANTHOLOGY by Jorge Luis Borges, PARADISE & METHOD by Bruce Andrews, POCKETS OF WHEAT by Geoffrey Young
QUARE FELLOW, THE by Brendan Behan
RING OF BONE by Lew Welch, RIVERS AND MOUNTAINS by John Ashbery, RIVER THROUGH RIVERTOWN by Merrill Gilfillan
SPRING & ALL by William Carlos Williams, A SERIAL BIOGRAPHY by Tom Raworth, THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES by Roberto Bolano
THIS IN WHICH by George Oppen, THAT SPECIAL PLACE by Terence Winch
USE NO HOOKS by Ted Greenwald
VITA NUOVA, LA by Dante, VISIONS OF CODY, VISIONS OF GERARD and VANITY OF DULOUZ by Jack Kerouac, VIEWS WITHOUT ROOMS by Elaine Equi
WAITING FOR GODOT by Samuel Beckett, WORKS ON PAPER by Tony Towle, THE WHITE MUSEUM by Lynne Dreyer, THE WILLOW TREE by Hubert Selby Jr.
[PS: After I wrote the above, last night I remembered two other favorite books I wrote about on this blog, also with three word titles: Robert Nathan's PORTRAIT OF JENNIE and Larry Kirwin's GREEN SUEDE SHOES]