Friday, October 14, 2011

After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Published in 2007 by Vintage International, Haruki Murakami’s novel, translated by Jay Rubin, is mysterious, dark, and pleasing. When you read this story, centered on two sisters Eri and Mari Asai, it is easy to understand why it has been translated into forty languages.

The story takes place in a city humming with life over the course of a long night as Eri sits out the hours in a Denny’s and is pulled unexpectedly into events outside of her typical lifestyle. As Eri encounters a world of prostitution and “love-ho’s” (hotels for couples meeting to make love) her sister Mari slumbers deep and sound in her room at home, a beautiful Sleeping Beauty who is unaware of the strange things happening around her in her bedroom.

Eri helps the “love-ho” hotel manager by translating Chinese into Japanese for a prostitute who has been attacked and learns more about the world than she bargained for. Meanwhile, Mari is mysteriously transported in her sleep into a room we first see appear on her television screen. The night’s twists and turns sprawl out from there forming a cobweb of strange happenings that will have you gripped to each page. The novel does not tie up neatly at the end as so many stories do, yet the story satisfies in a way that you cannot explain. Haruki Murakami is a master at providing strange and magical experiences without giving neat and tidy endings and that is why I enjoy reading his books.

If you enjoyed this review you will enjoy the book even more. You can purchase a copy of After Dark by Haruki Murakami at your local book-stores, or visit your local library, or purchase on-line at:

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Adirondack Review Open Submissions

You may send 2-5 single-spaced poems in the body of your e-mail in addition to a biography. Be sure to include your last name, date of submission and “POETRY” in the subject line when sending it to:

For more details, go to:

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“Eleven Stories Up” by Noel Capozzalo
“All of Us Listening to the Silence” by Tryfon Tolides

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

He Took A Cab by Mather Schneider

Mather Schneider was born in Peoria, Illinois and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona where the inspiration for this collection was born. The city of Tucson contracts and expands with every breath as Mr. Schneider navigates the streets and outskirts delivering a colorful array of characters to their varied destinations. I happy to share a sample of poems with you:


A purple El Dorado nearly runs
me off the road
then gives me the horn and the
Fuck you, I whisper.
I’m driving my taxi
and there’s an old woman in my back seat.
I’m taking her to church
on St. Patrick’s Day morning.
She will sit in the front pew
and she will sing “Danny Boy”
at the end of the service.
I will sit in the parking lot of the church
in my taxi
and listen to her sing
out the open church doors
in the morning sun.
It’s the most important thing
in the world:
I’m driving a little old woman
in a green hat
to Our Mother of Sorrows,
and I’ve got to get her there safe.

I like the juxtaposition of the cab driver silently swearing and the old woman in a green hat going to St. Patrick’s Day service at her church. The cab driver is being respectful and the old woman is unaware as she prepares to enter the church. It’s a wonderful snapshot poem of daily life.

My Very Good Friend

He had a red plastic cup of something
in one hand and
a half sandwich in the other
and he came running up to my cab
while I was supposed to be stopped at the red light.

Shit, I said, get in.

He climbed in and spilled some of his drink
on the gray vinyl.
He looked like he was from India.

My friend, he said, good day to you.

He was slightly out of breath.

How ya doing? I said.

Can you please take me to university? he said.

Sure, I said.

I only have one problem, he said.

What’s that?

I don’t have any money, he said.

What’s that?

I don’t have any money, he said.

Get out.

Wait, he said, I have
a little money.

How much?

I have 10 dollars.

It’s 25 to the university.

Wait, he said, I think I
Might have 15 dollars.

25 to the university, I said
and pulled over on a side street to
let him out.

Tell you what, he said,
because I am tired and
because I am already here, I will
pay you 17 dollars.

Get out.

He got out and stood there.

Ok, he said through the window,
for you my friend
I think I have 20 dollars.

Jesus Christ, I said,
let’s go.

He got in again.

I’m gonna need that 20 now.

Of course my friend,
he said,
my very good friend,
of course,
I have it right here.

Can you break a hundred?

This poem made me laugh aloud, I have met more than my fair share of people like this one no matter age or race. There’s one of these guys in every crowd if you ask me and I love reading the conversation between the driver and the guy who thinks he’s slick at negotiating price only to reveal his hand at the end.

The Measly Subtraction

Cab drivers will lie about anything,
especially money.
“I made two grand last
As if this explains
the holes in their
the fact that they can’t afford
a razor
and have breath like
a maggoty rhinoceros.
I always wonder why it is so important
to impress the rest,
when we all have
to go home alone
and count our greasy bills
and do the measly subtraction
of rent and electricity
and food and beer.
They lie and lie and the
world goes round
like godless miles through
the city
only to end up back
in the same hole.
We all want to be respected
even by those we no not respect
and even those who nobody respects
want the same thing and
feel the same pull,
the same question
of the self:
what will
my brother

I like that this poem brings up that common truth of wanting to be acknowledged, respected, and the typical human nature of trying to impress others even if there is nothing to impress with. It takes the human struggle and places it in the cab driver’s perspective yet anyone can relate to this poem, everyone knows someone who tries so hard to impress others and fails. The truth is in the details here, the holes in the shoes, the unshaven faces, the same cluster of people all going home to struggle on their own yet still wanting to outshine each other in some way, even a small way. I like this poem.

If you enjoyed this sample of poems, you can snag a copy of this book you can pick up a copy of He Took A Cab by Mather Schneider yourself for $14.95 at:

or at:

To learn more about Mr. Schneider, you can visit his blog a:

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Small Fires Press

While I haven’t had the opportunity to purchase and read books at the site, the samples of what they produce are beautiful! I urge you to check out the matchbook sized poetry collections and beautiful chapbooks at:

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