The Shelf Life

A Poem by Marie Ponsot

posted on April 22, 2017 at 8:19 pm by Brad Craft



A new embroidery of flowers, canary color,
dots the grass already dotty
with aster-white and clover.

I warn, “They won’t last, out of water.”
The children pick some anyway.

In or out of  water
children don’t last either.

I watch them as they pick.
Still free of  what’s next
and what was yesterday
they pick today.

Marie Ponsot, from her Collected Poems.


Start Planning Now!

posted on April 18, 2017 at 7:51 pm by Brad Craft


Start planning now for the ultimate Independent Bookstore crawl!  Authors, events, signings, recommendations, sales, games, goodies… Be there.

Gathering Mushrooms

posted on April 14, 2017 at 7:18 pm by Brad Craft



As he knelt by the grave of his mother and father
the taste of dill, or tarragon-
he could barely tell one from the other-

filled his mouth. It seemed as if he might smother.
Why should he be stricken
with grief, not for his mother and father,

but a woman slinking from the fur of a sea-otter
In Portland, Maine, or, yes, Portland, Oregon-
he could barely tell one from the other-

and why should he now savour
the tang of her, her little pickled gherkin,
as he knelt by the grave of his mother and father?


He looked about. He remembered her palaver
on how both earth and sky would darken-
‘You could barely tell one from the other’-

while the Monarch butterflies passed over
in their milkweed-hunger: ‘A wing-beat, some reckon,
may trigger off the mother and father

of all storms, striking your Irish Cliffs of Moher
with the force of a hurricane.’
Then: ‘Milkweed and Monarch ‘invented’ each other.’


He looked about. Cow’s-parsley in a samovar.
He’d mistaken his mother’s name, ‘Regan, ‘ for Anger’;
as he knelt by the grave of his mother and father
he could barely tell one from the other.

Paul Muldoon, from Selected Poems: 1968 – 2014, new from Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

Spring, by William Blake

posted on April 13, 2017 at 6:27 pm by Brad Craft



O thou with dewy locks, who lookest down
Thro’ the clear windows of the morning, turn
Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!

The hills tell each other, and the listening
Valleys hear; all our longing eyes are turned
Up to thy bright pavilions: issue forth,
And let thy holy feet visit our clime.

Come o’er the eastern hills, and let our winds
Kiss thy perfumed garments; let us taste
Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls
Upon our love-sick land that mourns for thee.

O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour
Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put
Thy golden crown upon her languished head,
Whose modest tresses were bound up for thee.

William Blake

Signed John Waters

posted on at 5:42 pm by Brad Craft


This week, while they last, we have signed copies of the new book from underground-auteur and professional provacateur, John Waters!  It’s his new book from Algonquin, Make Trouble!!!!!!


You wanna make trouble?  Well, here’s great place to start.


Book of the Month

posted on April 12, 2017 at 5:43 pm by Brad Craft


An electric debut novel about love, addiction, and loss; the story of two girls and the feral year that will cost one her life, and define the other’s for decades Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat’s new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter, until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena.



Cat, inexperienced and desperate for connection, is quickly lured into Marlena’s orbit by little more than an arched eyebrow and a shake of white-blond hair. As the two girls turn the untamed landscape of their desolate small town into a kind of playground, Cat catalogues a litany of firsts—first drink, first cigarette, first kiss—while Marlena’s habits harden and calcify. Within the year, Marlena is dead, drowned in six inches of icy water in the woods nearby. Now, decades later, when a ghost from that pivotal year surfaces unexpectedly, Cat must try to forgive herself and move on, even as the memory of Marlena keeps her tangled in the past.


Alive with an urgent, unshakable tenderness, Julie Buntin’s Marlena is an unforgettable look at the people who shape us beyond reason and the ways it might be possible to pull oneself back from the brink.


The book is 25% off, all this month!  Check it out!

You and Me

posted on April 9, 2017 at 11:52 pm by Brad Craft


(You and me)

A book on a shelf: in profile.

A book in hand: full face.

Dear book, promised hour

has arrived, the night lamp

has been lit.  You and me, alone.

Fling your pages wide open,

with all your letters

cling to me.

Vera Pavlova, from her new book, Album for the Young (and Old), translated from the Russian by Steven Seymour and published by Alfred A. Knopf.