In the Hebrew Bible, the word nephesh ( נֶ֫פֶשׁ ) is often translated as the "breath of life." This is a book of poems which the author hopes will breathe life into those who are currently in quarantine, providing them a source of intellectual amusement and taking their minds off of their current worries, at least to some extent. The poems have overtones of puzzles through word-play and double meanings, yet still strive to remain accessible through the pure joy of word-sounds and syllabic rhythm. Re-reading them should provide the means to gain additional insight and play over time, inviting the reader to revisit the book years into the future.
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About the Author
George Pestana, born "George Pestana," entered life at the Monastery of Claviculars in 1969. His first spoken word, "Gauguin," marked him off as endowed with signal precocity; though the speaking of his first word was not without controversy. It was said among certain monks that his first word was actually "Brie," the well known cheese; in any case, whether it was Brie or Gauguin, he clearly had an advanced view of the world early in life, at least from a cultural perspective.
At the age of seven George discovered that one could "legally" change his own name, but that the process was somewhat cumbersome. In a fit of rebelliousness he decided that he too would change his name, but he would do so "illegally" thus avoiding the encumbrance whilst simultaneously engaging in the thrill of the illicit. "Mom, Dad" he declared, "I am going to change my name." Whereupon he waved his hands about vaguely. Aghast, his parents asked him what his new name was. "I shall hereby and ever-after be named George Pestana." he answered. Upon reflection, his parents decided to accept this action of their son, and for his protection they agreed to keep knowledge of the morally questionable methodology of his actions secret. Amazingly, he is happy to report, to this day no one is aware of his flouting of the law, except for himself and his two parents.
When George was eleven he invented the world's first time machine. He found it quite simple, really. First he acquired a very large cardboard box, to which he affixed the phrase "Time Machine" using a black marker. Then, taking his collection of "tools" (consisting of nuts and bolts he would pick up from off the street over the course of his life) from a ziplock bag, he climbed into the box and strew them about. He then began shifting back and forth so that the box would shake, which is a prerequisite activity needed of any time machine to be considered even slightly likely to achieve its goal. After some experimentation he discovered that, depending on how he shook the box and how the tools jangled around, he could then step out of the machine and verify that he had been transported directly to the Present. Then, much to his relief, he realized that he could step back into the machine, repeat the process, and then be returned from whence he came. The thought occurred to him of patenting his invention; but, emulating his hero Joseph Henry, he decided to be content with the scientific achievement alone and eschew any future monetary rewards which would have otherwise ensued.
George presently lives alone in Austin, Texas, with his two invisible roommates Jesse and Laurel.