From the Author's Private Collection is a kind of hymnal—a songbook of praise and confession to our culture's achingly contemporary aesthetics—the "[t]emporarily obtainable / esoteric things" currently available to us and our resulting ways of being. Whether reveling in the moments of transcendence they afford or throwing himself at the feet of their "humid decadence," Amling relentlessly catalogues these objects and gestures. "Guess who's on an airplane," he brags. Maybe he's headed somewhere like Miami or Vegas, or maybe it's just the first time he's used the in-flight Wi-Fi to send a text from 40,000 feet. In any case, it is a celebration of what Amling calls "private ambition." And even if that celebration is ironic, it eventually turns to shame, or more specifically, a "[m]odesty…born out of a sense of shame." From the Author's Private Collection is the record Amling keeps of us "using trinkets to outwit evil" so that we may "die the right way."