Ann Noël:
Teatime in the Library

Where does one start in such a comprehensive library? I am familiar with many of the books by artists, so I began downstairs with music, literature and world phenomena. A book on the Channel Islands caught my eye, (I grew up there,) and right next to it, one about the AINU OF JAPAN, a hairy aboriginal tribe, who made moustache lifters to drink their ceremonial wine. Chinese maidens in the Ming Dynasty laughed so much they spilled tea all over their robes, while an explorer in Mongolia had to strain water though charcoal to make it palatable. The Irish Islander didn’t know what the stuff was when crates of it washed ashore after a shipwreck. Gary Snyder wrote a poem about delivering Guernsey milk by bicycle and Jack Kerouac drank tea with him on the Matterhorn in California. When Ezra Pound came to for tea with Gertrude Stein, Alice complained that he broke the pot. Miss Smilla was smitten when the mechanic made spicy tea for her during a snowstorm… I drank no tea at the Alpenhof.

November 2018
Text: Ann Noël