Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hungry for some entertainment? The Monrovia Public Library has some tasty mysteries, often spiced with recipes and puns. You might like to sink your teeth into these books. And these are only a few slices of the pie.

Diane Mott Davidson:
The Cereal Murders
Tough Cookie
Sticks & Scones
The Last Suppers

Tamar Myers:
Custard’s Last Stand
Thou Shalt Not Grill
The Crepes of Wrath
Eat, Drink, and Be Wary
Gruel and Unusual Punishment

G.A. McKevett:
Just Desserts
Bitter Sweets
Murder a la Mode
Peaches and Screams

Peter King:
Dine and Die on the Danube Express

Phyllis Richman:
Murder on the Gravy Train
The Butter Did It
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Ham?

Janet Laurence:
A Tasty Way to Die
Recipe for Death

Philip R. Craig:
A Vineyard Killing
Vineyard Blues

Susan Wittig Albert:
Thyme of Death
Rosemary Remembered
Chile Death
Lavender Lies

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How Do I Love You?

How do I love you? I don’t even know
Now we’re cut off again like a bad phone
(Faulty communications are my middle name.)
Everything is the same and not the same,
You are still here but also you are gone
And soon I shall be far away also.
How does it matter that I wish you well,
That no one weaken your resolve to go?
How do I love you? Is it just a game
To love your sadness and possess your name?
And now you have no reason to be sad
Do I lose the little of you that I had?
And if I’ve lost you who is there to blame?
(Faulty communications are my middle name.)

Karl Shapiro

Karl Shapiro was Poet Laureate in 1946-1947. The Monrovia Public Library has his books Poems 1940-1953, Collected Poems 1940-1978, The Bourgeois Poet, and White-Haired Lover.

Friday, August 22, 2008

"What music would have been played at a wedding in 1908?"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Sunday Phone Call

Drab December, sleet falling.
Dogs loosely fisted in torpor.
Horses nose-down in hay.
It’s the hour, years ago
I used to call my parents
or they’d call me.

The phone rings. Idly
empty of expectation
I answer. It’s my father’s
voice. Pop! I say, you’re dead!
Don’t you remember
that final heart attack
Dallas, just before
Kennedy was shot?

Time means nothing here,
He’s jolly, expansive.
You can wait eons for an open line.
Time gets used up but
comes back, you know.
Like Ping-Pong.

Ping-Pong! The table in
the attic. My father, shirtsleeves
rolled, the wet stub of
a burnt-out cigarette
stuck to his lower lip as
he murdered each one
of my three older brothers
and me yearning under the eaves
waiting for my turn.

You sound . . . just like yourself
I say. I am myself, godammit!
Anyway, what’s this
about an accident?

How did you hear about it?

I read it somewhere. Broke
your neck, etcetera.

He says this vaguely
his shorthand way
of keeping feelings at bay.

You mean you read
my memoir? Did
you know you’re in it?

Didn’t read that part. No
reason to stir things up.

Now I’m indignant.
But I almost died!

Didn’t I tell you
never buy land on a hill?
It’s worthless. What’s
an educated dame like you
doing messing with horses?
Messing with horses is
for punks.
(Then, a little
softer), I see you two’ve
put a lot of work into
that hunk of real estate.

Thanks. Thanks for even
noticing. We love it here.
We’ll never sell.

Like hell you won’t!
You will!

I say, tearing up,
let’s not fight for once.
My only Poppa, when
do I get to see you?

A long pause. Then
coughing his cigarette cough
Pupchen, he says
I may be dead but
I’m not clairvoyant.
Behave yourself.

The line clicks off.

Maxine Kumin

Maxine Kumin was Poet Laureate from 1981-82, and was Poet Laureate of the state of New Hampshire from 1989-94. The Monrovia Public Library has her books Up Country, Jack, Looking for Luck, The Nightmare Factory, and The Microscope.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Boarding House

The blind man draws his curtains for the night
and goes to bed, leaving a burning light

above the bathroom mirror. Through the wall,
he hears the deaf man walking down the hall

in his squeaky shoes to see if there’s a light
under the blind man’s door, and all is right.

Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser was Poet Laureate from 2004-2006. The Monrovia Public Library has his books Delights and Shadows, Braided Creek, Weather Central, Flying at Night, Sure Signs, and The Poetry Home Repair Manual.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Your Death

On the day that will always belong to you,
lunar clockwork had faltered
and I was certain. Walking
the streets of Manhattan I thought:
Remember this day. I felt already
like an urn, filling with wine.

To celebrate, your son and I
took a stroll through Bloomingdale's
where he developed a headache
among the copper skillets and
tiers of collapsible baskets.
Pain tracked us through
the china, driving us
finally to the subway
and home,

where the phone was ringing
with bad news. Even now,
my new daughter
asleep in the crib, I can't shake
the moment his headache stopped
and the day changed ownership.
I felt robbed. Even the first
bite of the tuna fish sandwich
I had bought at the corner
became yours.

Rita Dove

Rita Dove was Poet Laureate from 1993-1995. The Monrovia Public Library has her books American Smooth, Grace Notes, and On the Bus With Rosa Parks.

"Why is a Kaiser roll called a Kaiser roll?"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Solipsism & Solecism

Strange about shadows, but the sun
Has never seen a single one.
Should night be mentioned by the moon
He'd be appalled at what he's done.

Howard Nemerov

Howard Nemerov was Poet Laureate in 1963-64 and again in 1988-90. The Monrovia Public Library has his book Gnomes & Occasions.