River by the Glass is a collection of poems spanning two decades. The poems, says publisher of River by the Glass, Ron Pickup of GlenHill Publications, contain a whimsical wit and metaphysical humor ~ poems such as “Carp” or “Eye” ~ and such poems as “A Poet” or “Yellow the Dead Canary.” With biting humor and haunting verse, found in “Chester and the Bluebird” and “On the Fence,” the poems reflect visual puzzles and conundrums of life, thus the viewing of the River ~ by Glass ~ through lenses, windows, screens, mirrors, and drinking vessels.
Rose recalls a time in her childhood when her barefoot ways met the barbarism in the human defacement of nature ~ broken beer bottles with ugly shards of brown glass marring the lovely boulders, sand, and water purity of her favorite river haunt, the Kern River. She could never understand how people could deface the lovely places in our lives ~ the only kind of refuge from the asphalt and concrete world that levels our aspirations and deadens our nerves and senses. Yet, in a strange kaleidoscopic way, those shards of glass that derived from sand and water, seemed to glitter and demand meaning for being what they were ~ products and reality. They existed and they were there, clashing with the ideal of what she envisioned.
This collection is her way of cleansing some of the unpure places in the human heart and exploring the mysteries in human behavior as well as the natural movements in nature. It is a celebration of life in the natural and unnatural worlds that collide within, and without us.
Yet, it’s not a collection of judgment or a critical pointing of fingers. It’s a glimpse into the quirky behaviors of man. The leaving of loved ones and the world of dementia ~ the meeting with a deer that connects the aspects of wild and tame ~ and other topics such as parthenogenesis, gold panning, gardening, skipping stones, finding a harmonica in the river sand ~ making coffee in the morning ~ the dying of friends ~ the haunting by a black dog when even holy water couldn’t protect enough ~ contemplating the breaking of a bull pine limb while a couple sleeps ~ the celebration of a woman’s cycle of birthing coming to an end with the flow of the “Tuolumne River” ~ and poems that whimsically explore love through visions and images of the particular, spilling into the universal. All of these and more…
Take a sip of River by the Glass and quench your thirst. You may find yourself drinking harder than you thought.
Here are what other poets and writers say about River by the Glass:
Pattiann Rogers, poet, says:
The poems in River By the Glass are rich with the details of the earth moving moment by moment from death to life, from life to death. Monika Rose understands the union of these transformations and records them with the energy, contemplation, and originality of finely composed poetry. Like glass, her poetry offers both a reflection of the physical world and a window into our human experiences of its shifting beauty and mystery.
Kathy Isaac-Luke, poet, says:
In her new collection, River by the Glass, Monika Rose shows her
formidable range. By turns meditative, profound and imaginative, her
poems are always, at their core, genuine and unflinchingly honest.
Whether rooted in landscape or familial memory, these poems are rich
in metaphor and finely crafted. With the precision of a scalpel and
the clarity of fresh water, River by the Glass takes the reader on a
journey of discovery.
—Kathie Isaac-Luke, author of Chrysalides, 2010, Dragonfly Press
Kevin Arnold, poet and director of the San Jose Poetry Center says:
Monika Rose inhabits the Mother Lode country, a geography that produces poetry. Down the highway from where the Squaw Valley Community of Writers winter with Gary Snyder, her poems grow out of local soil. No wonder Monika is dedicated to bringing out the best of her community. These fine poems could have been written nowhere else.
From Mary Mackey, novelist and poet:
“Rose’s poetry captures the texture and currents of the river, translating water into words.”
–Mary Mackey firstname.lastname@example.org