What’s happening here?

 Saturday (April 17), Barbara and I were at the Philadelphia Free Library Book Festival talking to many people about both Well Considered and my first novel, Cologne No. 10 For Men. “What’s happening here?” we would ask them, pointing to the cover of Well Considered – the two figures, the field stones, the new homes and old building. Some people quickly expressed their opinions while others were more reticent.  Almost invariably, people said it was about a relationship. We agreed but qualified that it was not a romantic relationship. Fewer people noticed the tie between the stones in the well and the title. And the Cologne cover: “Yes that is a soldier…and yes that’s a rice paddy. But why is he smelling his finger? He’s smelling the drop of cologne that he’s placed beneath his nostrils that makes the horrible smells of war –the dust and burning shit and decomposing bodies and truck exhaust – all smell like an Asian garden  – a metaphor saying that what we were accomplishing with our bombing and artillery and combat assaults and body counts was all an illusion.”  We enjoyed Philadelphia in spite of chilly air and gusty winds!

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