River by the Glass is ready to ship! Monika Rose wants you to sip and dip in! It’s your glass and you can cry if you want to. But you won’t cry ~ most of the poems will make you see aspects of life once again, from your own buried memories. Bring up those shards and hold them up to the light! There are pieces for everyone, encompassing a wide swath of subjects. You will be awash in reflective delight. Poetry is meant to shake you and make you think about what is really important. Forget the movie you had planned. Sit down and swim in the important aspects of life that you will create within yourself. And enjoy the beautiful river photos by Ron Pickup, Tuolumne County renowned photographer and writer and photographer for Sierra Seasons. In fact, there is a mysterious thing you can do with the cover that will astound you! Ron’s cover photo is absolutely astounding when you hold the book in your hands. 216 pages of a two-decade span of poems, polished and shining ready for your reading.
Order now! Mail a check made out to Monika Rose c/0 Manzanita Writers Press for $26.50, to cover 21.95 sales price, plus tax, plus shipping. PO Box 632, San Andreas, CA 95249. In fact, order extras for your friends and family for gifts and the upcoming holidays! Allow 3.50 for shipping costs per volume and 8.25% tax per volume.
Many of the poems spin around the river themes and flow of life and love and death and explore absurdities and wonders of experience. The kinetic energy from “Tuolumne River” in which a mother’s childbearing cycle winds down into memory, blending with the water, sand and boulder life of the river’s cycle, and her once-productivity, reflects on our time in this world and what we are here to do. “Cleaning Fish” evokes an Elizabeth Bishop kind of experience, but darker. “Variations on a Skipping Stone,” takes you back to your skipping stone days and then turns on you. “Carp” is a hilarious depiction of fisherman wisdom with a twist.
And there is that word reflection. River by the Glass ~ depicts mirrors, windows, watery reflections, kaleidoscopic bits of meaning, camera and digital lenses, videorecording lenses, eyeglasses, car windows, glass on art frames, purity of water that should be drinkable but often, isn’t….in any glass, and more. Refractory and reflective ~ visual and visceral ~ the poems force us to see, whatever it is we see or want to see, in a new light. It’s similar to picking up a piece of old glass from another century, and straining to see through its cloudy, hard membrane. We see what we’re able to see, what we construct for ourselves.
Read poems about clashes and meldings with nature, elegies to those who have passed before us, quirky poems about life (like “How to Spot a Serial Killer” and “Yellow the Dead Canary” or “Venial Sins” and more. If you’ve ever felt guilty about eating beef, or had sympathies with the rancher’s dilemma, dare to read “Chester and the Bluebird” and/or “Animal, Vegetable, darkly humorous poems with a twist. These are not greeting card poems. Their particular images will evoke your own memories and bring them up to the surface in a bubble of haiku moments.
There are romantic or sensual poems like “The Ritual of Coffee Making,” or “Harmonica” or “The Long Dance” and “Coming into Love” and a love of the wild in “What is to Wilderness” –“Deer in the Road” or “Bull Pine” — or even a love poem gone sour, based on ironically sweet-sounding language from the business pages of the Wall Street Journal, called “Love and Finance.” Maybe you’d like to contemplate the metaphysical, with poems like “On the Fence,” in which a fox hanging on barbed wire fence from a child’s memory, linked to a dead fox found in the underbrush, evoking a strong gut-level reaction. “Worms” explores death wriggling from under the concrete walk, and friends who have passed, communicate out from beyond the grave in a universal call of beautiful sadness. Or “You Can Take It With You” makes a person think about the hereafter, with its series of exhibits of life and death.
There is the “Estate Sale” and another, “Food for Thought,” searching for meaning in everyday events, as well as “The Other Side,” a touching dialogue between the collective family narrator at a distance, and the dementia-laden speaker who just wants to go home, wherever that may be. Yes, there are poems about death – many of them. The opening poem, “Drowning at the Kern,” provides one of the strongest, lyrical visions of a honeymoon couple separated by the waters of the eternal reality, with the call of a bride echoing eerily in the canyon, while seeing her draped in the algaed strands of river tangle. The Kern River is a dangerous lover.
The poems are whimsical, touching, and artistic. Yet, if you’d like to be cheered on, and laugh along with the poet, why not read a narrative poem about a teacher’s mistaken thought that what she teaches, likeThoreau, and the Crucible, is actually relevant to teens lost in the throes of their own private worlds, in “Transcendental Perch.” Or poems about art, like “A Poet” or “Slowpitch Poetry, or “Eye Think.”
There are poems dedicated to fathers — one having the words, Prenatal, Parental, and Paternal, all containing the same letters, as sections framing the movement of a daughter’s love for her father contained in a poem. There are poems dedicated to mothers and daughters, exploring genetic traits passed down the line. There are elegies like “Desert Bloom” and “Navajo Traveler” and “Need Fire,” combining Clampus E. Vitus rituals with a departed friend. There are poems dedicated to children and eternal guilt in parenting ~ “There is a Cough” and “Nails” and in the mysteries of animals ~ “Black Dog” and the “Gift of the Fat Dalmation.”
Or dip into poems of conscience, “Navajo Gifts” and “Leper Lady at Swiss Park” or “Beauty and the Beast: The Movie.” Squaw Valley experiences include “Marimba Mountains,” or “What is to Wilderness” (a question posed by Jane Hirschfield of a nature panel) , or “Four Levels of Mist” and “Top of the Mountain.” Photographers will wonder at what is going in “Eye for and Eye” or “Glass” or “Yoga at the Y.”
Anyway, I won’t give it all away. There are 85 poems in this collection. You should see the ones that got away! Or rather, dove into the depths. Hid in folders! Dipped down under the waters, chilled to the bone, and looking for cover from boulders and shoulders!
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