While at my home office near Sacramento, I did an on line search for a publishing house called Spuyten Duyvil in New York City. S-D, as it is known, is the publisher for my friend and colleague, Peter Grandbois’, newest work: a memoir titled The Arsenic Lobster: An hybrid memoir. I wanted to see what else they have done.
What I learned is that Spuyten Duyvil is Dutch, also the name of a neighborhood in the Bronx, a small river connecting the East and Hudson Rivers, and a fab Belgian beer bar in Brooklyn. So, of course, being here in the New York area for several weeks this summer, I had to plan a trip out over the Williamsburg Bridge and to Spuyten Duyvil the beer bar. It is a very cool place, resembling more a thrift shop from the outside, bearing no signage at all, filled with thrift store furniture and an incredible selection of unique and obscure Belgian style beverages. I won’t bore you with the details of the Jenlain St. Sruon, the Columbia Biere Blanche, the T’Smisje Dubbel, (I’ll stop), because none of that is really relevant to this blog.
However, I do want to share with you some lines from a book of poetry I found in their dusty old bookshelves next to the circa-1979 couch. I pulled the book, Track by Norman Finkelstein, because I noticed the publisher: Spuyten Duyvil, of course.
in the House of Being
in the House of Language
Turned away at the door. ~p. 17
Room made of books
Made of empty space
Lamp teacup easy chair
Narrative insists on beginning
Insists on ending ~ p. 34
how it is
to be ~p.86
Though the bar has no connection with the publisher in reality, they always will now in my memory.