The book launch reading will take place on Saturday, March 7, at 2 PM at Forbes Library, 20 West Street, Northampton, MA. Come buy a signed copy and see a slideshow of Toni’s beautiful photos.
American Book Award winner Pamela Uschuk says of this collection: “In her remarkable collection of poems, Bullies in Love, Jendi Reiter has created an complex odditorium of characters with unique and often disturbing voices: poems peopled with bullies, the disenfranchised, monsters, prostitutes, criminals, the abused and forgotten, all searching for meaning, for faith and love in a postmodern, often cynical world.”
Enjoy a sample poem below, inspired by the Young Master. (He took this selfie on Grandma’s phone.)
Son, it is time to begin breaking
your awakeness into wedges of five, twelve, sixty
rotations of pinned hands,
to pace off the sermon, the cartoon, the billable hour.
Why is it not spitting time? Why is the song over?
You pound like CPR on your teddy’s voice chip
till he squeaks again, That’s right,
a circle is round and has no corners.
Of the alphabet, you took to O first,
pointing it out on toothbrushes and tattoos.
Son, it is time to position P and Q
and fork and knife and light and dark washing
in the baskets where we say they belong.
Why is milk white? Why do shoes match?
You want to choose and cry at both choices.
Not that hat. Not that tomato.
Not that story.
Why is the bird lying on the ground? Why isn’t it tomorrow?
I read you the page about Pig Robinson’s aunts:
They lived prosperous uneventful lives, and their end was bacon.
Goodnight loom, goodnight soon.
You whisper to sleep
counting the wallpaper stars
with the only number-words you know:
two-three, two, three.