I had brunch with Namaste, Miss DeLoop and Sparrow this morning. (Our waiter was a fairy. The top of his hair was a ponytail and the bottom was shaved, like an Anti-Hare Krishna and he had a pink sequin for a bindi. I’m not making the bindi up at all. Huge eyes and hands and a sweet, light movement. And the food came in a trice. I didn’t realize times were hard on the fairy community as well and they need to get real jobs. Next I’ll be seeing dwarves and elves and pixies, at the gas station, toll booths, supermarket. Shit’s rough, man.) Namaste is about to drive down to LA and was mentioning she listens to audiobooks. So I told her she should go to a site I know of to get free audiobooks.
And I realized: I know hella random sites I should share with you from time to time. (I already shared Poolga, the place to get the bestest free iPhone and iPad wallpapers in the world. They may work on your other device too. I don’t know its life!) You may be interested in some of them, you may not. I don’t know. I don’t know what kind of shit you’re into. Don’t tell me the kinky stuff! But there’s no reason I shouldn’t share every single thing I know.
Today’s special: free audio books!
Librivox is a collection of free audiobooks. It’s recorded by users and the books are all public domain. Generally speaking, that means they were created before 1923 (but not always). The voice actors aren’t professionals. But they sound good enough. (You can be one, if you like!) The books are usually recorded by the chapter. You can download from the site or in iTunes as a podcast (handy!). And there are languages other than English (I saw Kafka in German, and when I could still read German I realized how elegant he really, really was. There’s an efficiency to his prose. It’s clean and neat, which ads to the paranoia and dystopia).
I know, pre-1923 sounds like a total drag. Musty and full of bookworms. But you know some fantastic authors who are public domain? James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Sigmund Freud, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, Charles Dickens, HG Wells, HP Lovecraft, Jane Austen (if you like chick lit)–there’s a lot in there! You can listen to The Origin of Species while you’re in the car. So you can actually say you know the damn thing.
So yeah, get your Ulysses in and be one of the few people who’s familiar with Joyce’s masterpiece–all during your commute, and for free! Get Moby Dick again and decide if it is homoerotic or not. Did you never actually read The Scarlet Letter when it was assigned? Listen to it now while you peel potatoes!
Where else will you find 17 recordings of “Moth Terror” by Benjamin De Casseres? Yes, it is an awesome poem, and I could read it 17 times, but I’ve no need to download it that many times. That would be performance art with no audience. That would be living the art.
(from Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. (1869–1948). The Second Book of Modern Verse. 1922.)
Benjamin De Casseres
I HAVE killed the moth flying around my night-light; wingless and dead it lies upon the floor.
(O who will kill the great Time-Moth that eats holes in my soul and that burrows in and through my secretest veils!)
My will against its will, and no more will it fly at my night-light or be hidden behind the curtains that swing in the winds.
(But O who will shatter the Change-Moth that leaves me in rags—tattered old tapestries that swing in the winds that blow out of Chaos!)
Night-Moth, Change-Moth, Time-Moth, eaters of dreams and of me!
So yeah, this is a site to know. And if you don’t know, now you know.