December’s Excerpts – Donald Richardson’s ReUNIONS

Cover of ReUNIONS by Donald Richardson. Cover is mostly blank, with the sketch of a man with his back slightly turned toward us. His posture is relaxed; his hands are in his pockets, his sleeves rolled up, and he appears to be reflecting on his life. A signature of the artist, Bob Callahan, is prominently figured beside the man. TEXT reads: ReUNIONS: New and Selected Poems by Donald Richardson.

This month, we’re bringing you a holiday edition of our featured monthly excerpts with selections from Donald Richardson’s ReUNIONS! Enjoy these three poems, selected by the poet himself!


Christmas, 1968

After hours of drunken sledding late
that snow-covered Christmas night
then back again in the warm house
after shedding our coats
we looked around to find one blond head
missing. We went back out to look and
my sister’s big husband found him pissed and
passed out in a snow drift just above the barns
between some huge boxwoods deep in snow
on his way up the serpentine walk to the big house
(he surely would have died right there)
and saved him to spend the better part
of the next forty years or so
still missing, drunk or passed out
to die at 55 on the coast of Maine
somewhere. . .
but there was never
any better place, softer, quieter
than that deep pure white snow late
Christmas night of 1968.


I knownamalot

I knownamalot to whitely quietly dream
of us sledding the huge hill behind Tacaro
on a quite drunk Christmas Eve
now almost 50 years ago.
I couldn’t see the snow;
it kept melting in my eyes,
in my hands, my frozen tears
in my head. It has never melted from
back there in 1968 December 24
and the last Christmas
we would see all of us together
in it blindly racing down the big hill,
the biggest we all might see
through the snow gone to
yesterday or Yesterday’s (a friend’s bar)
to somewhere we would know
only when we got there,
and other hills, other snows, other bars
would find us incomplete
alive and dead all the years since
that particular miracle just melted
before our eyes ever understood
the miracle we were inside of
that was almost all ours
and always would be.


There Are Two Sides

Every river
like every argument
has two sides and
what you need
to understand is
what lies between,
how deep it is,
how strong the current is
how far can you swim.


ReUNIONS can be ordered directly from BrickHouse Books. Follow our blog, or join us on Twitter and Facebook for more updates and future monthly excerpts!

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The Beacon Reviews Wasowicz’s Daingerfield Island

The Beacon recently reviewed John Adam Wasowicz’s Daingerfield Island, calling it “riveting” and warning readers that they’ll “have trouble putting this book down between chapters, so plan on reading it in one sitting.” We agree!

You can read the review in its entirety on the Beacon’s website. If you’d like to pick up a signed copy of Daingerfield Island, see our Events page for upcoming signings and appearances by John Adam Wasowicz!

Cyber Monday!

Looking for the perfect, personal holiday gift?  Would you like a little verse?  What about some dialogue and mystery?

BrickHouse Books has many offerings through major online retailers, like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Itasca! Shop our New Releases below, or check out these links for other BrickHouse Books treasures! You may even find an elusive out-of-print book!


Cover image of THREE DAYS WITH THE LONG MOON, a collection of poems by Adrian Koesters. A full moon shines over silhouetted treetops.Three Days with the Long Moon

poems
by Adrian Koesters

“The long moon that Adrian Koesters invokes in her powerful second collection pulls at every best-laid intention and barely-contained desire. The abiding theme here is control and the allure of losing it. Constrained by a variety of forms, speaking through characters who wear the nun’s habit or the invisibility of middle age, these poems voice an insatiable hunger for the forbidden, the unavailable, the irretrievable. Koesters’ lines are tense and alive, as intimate as love letters. Three Days with the Long Moon is a thrilling read.” — Kathleen Flenniken, author of Famous and Plume


Cover for DIALOGUES ON THE BEACH, a novel by John C. McLucas. A painting by artist Minas Konsolas on the cover: an empty boardwalk bench overlooks an empty Rehoboth beach.Dialogues on the Beach

a novel
by John C. McLucas

Jim was…is? in love with his best friend, Tony, but Tony married Rachel, and she is…always was? a fantastic human being and a caring, supportive friend. Still, it’s unfathomable for Jim to think about loving anyone else the way he loved…loves? Tony, and next to impossible for him to consider loving himself.

Until 1993, when Jim joins Tony and Rachel on Rehoboth Beach. Metaphorical lines in the physical sand separate the gay and straight communities, but when Jim meets Joe, that line is erased and redrawn as a labyrinth. Misunderstandings and new perspectives arise at each turn, but one thing remains certain: Jim isn’t the same person he was when he first met Tony. And maybe that’s OK.


Cover of ReUNIONS by Donald Richardson. Cover is mostly blank, with the sketch of a man with his back slightly turned toward us. His posture is relaxed; his hands are in his pockets, his sleeves rolled up, and he appears to be reflecting on his life. A signature of the artist, Bob Callahan, is prominently figured beside the man. TEXT reads: ReUNIONS: New and Selected Poems by Donald Richardson.ReUnions

New and Selected Poems
by Donald Richardson

This new collection of poetry from Donald Richardson is quilted from decades of work, spanning from Knocking Them Dead and Night Waters to Romantic Unions, new poems from 2016 and 2017. In many ways, the poems are messages to loved ones, a scrapbook of memories and reflections, things so deeply personal yet ubiquitous to the human experience.

Portraits on the cover, beautifully rendered by artist Bob Callahan, capture the essence of reflection, and are the perfect partners to Richardson’s poems.


Cover Image: Two people in marriage attire walk down a street crowded with houses. They walk away from us. TEXT: WHAT THE WAKING SEE, New and Selected Poems by J. TarwoodWhat the Waking See

New and Selected Poems
by J. Tarwood

The poems of this universal expat capture our foibles and follies yet somehow make us care about people like Filipinos trapped in Arabia or the kid who desperately wants to be part of the in-crowd but never will.


Cover for DAINGERFIELD ISLAND by John Adam Wasowicz. A stylistic illustration: Silhouetted against water is a floating body, presumably dead. The deceased wears a dress and a distinct necklace, the latter of which is not in silhouette.Daingerfield Island

by John Adam Wasowicz

Elmo Katz, a defense attorney from Alexandria, is no stranger to the bureaucracy and twisted truths that lurk in the justice system, but his world is upended when he finds himself entangled in the roots of a complex terrorist plot. Places he once navigated with ease are now obscured by shadows. Katz must weave his way through political intrigue, courtroom machinations, and police skulduggery to save what’s left of the truth—and himself.


The Light of the Sun Become Sea

by Peter Weltner

“. . .These poems. . .meld the past and the present, the personal and the historical, Classicism and Romanticism, myth and the quotidian, Eros and Thanatos. These poems look directly at the world. They don’t flinch in the face of loss and death. They strive for a transcendence where ‘All’s right. All’s water. All’s paradise shimmering.’ ” —Joseph Stroud


Cyber Monday – Coming Soon!

Did you know that BrickHouse Books has a wide selection of poetry and prose available at major online retailers?

Did you know that you can sometimes find one of our out-of-print books on retail sites?

SHOP BRICKHOUSE BOOKS on Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Bookworms and poetry lovers will treasure your gift forever!

Find BrickHouse Books offerings at these online retailers:

The Daingerfield Scrapbook

John Adam Wasowicz‘s fall tour for Daingerfield Island has taken him to incredible brick and mortars and events along the East Coast! Here are a few photos from recent signings:

Author John Adam Wasowicz (left) with authors J.M. West (center) and Paul I. Frett (right), at the St. Paul's Authors' Fair in Chambersburg, PA, September 30, 2017.

Author John Adam Wasowicz (left) with authors J.M. West (center) and Paul I. Frett (right), at the St. Paul’s Authors’ Fair in Chambersburg, PA, September 30, 2017.

Author John Adam Wasowicz (right) with Anna (left) and manager Catherine Hamilton-Genson (center), at Main Street Books in Davidson for a signing on October 7th, 2017.

Author John Adam Wasowicz (right) with Anna (left) and manager Catherine Hamilton-Genson (center), at Main Street Books in Davidson for a signing on October 7th, 2017.

Author John Adam Wasowicz (left) with R. Allen Robinson (right). Robinson is the owner of Books and Other Found Things in Leesburg, VA, which hosted Wasowicz at a book signing on Saturday, October 21.

Author John Adam Wasowicz (left) with R. Allen Robinson (right). Robinson is the owner of Books and Other Found Things in Leesburg, VA, which hosted Wasowicz at a book signing on Saturday, October 21.

To join John at future signings, check out our Events page! Share your photos with us here, or tag us on Facebook and Twitter!

Additional Tour Dates for Daingerfield Island – Virginia and New England

Virginia and New England, brace yourselves for the mysterious and thrilling Daingerfield Island! New November and December dates have been added to author John Adam Wasowicz’s fall tour.

NOVEMBER

18th & 19th – 2nd and Charles Bookstore (Woodbridge, VA), 11am-2pm

24th & 25th – Principle Art Gallery (Alexandria, VA), 10am-4pm
* PRESS * Mt. Vernon Gazette: Local Author Plans Book Signing in Alexandria

30th – Agora Downtown Coffee Shop (Fredericksburg, VA), 30, 4pm-6pm

DECEMBER

2nd – Book Warehouse (Norfolk, VA), 11am – 3pm

7th – New England Book Mobile Fair (Newton Upper Falls, MA), 5pm-7pm

8th – Antidote Books (Putney, VT), 6:30pm – 8:30pm

16th – Book Warehouse (Williamsburg, VA), 11am – 3pm

Featured Excerpt: Poems from Adrian Koesters’ Three Days with the Long Moon

Cover image of THREE DAYS WITH THE LONG MOON, a collection of poems by Adrian Koesters. A full moon shines over silhouetted treetops.This month, we’re taking a peak inside Adrian Koesters’ latest, phenomenal release, Three Days with the Long Moon, a collection that author Kathleen Flenniken called “as intimate as love letters.” We agree, and we think you will too.


Penitentiary

Remembering backwards, the dizzy recourse
of the year ahead, the one in which you said—you will say—
Remember. The mercy that was last year.

The story of her ankles, the phonograph
playing, the icy stops, fingers wringing,
ankles a cross message, an uncontrolled story.

Advertising the self, the self in one’s hands,
the year an iceberg on which a bell is set backwards,
the self a story of a clapper stopped

against the interior of a yoke. No mercy
at your hands, no rings, no touch uncontrolled.
Working at the backwards grasp, no moment

to finish. Between mercy and mercy
and control, between grasping and control,
between Tell me a story and Touch my hands.

The backward of mercy, the back word of mercy
likely is, will be, if you demand it, Remember.
Remember. The phonograph plays it, counter-clock.


Desire

A flaccid arm under the palm of desire
makes a game of hiding in itself
and becomes the bitter wealth of desire

Marriages renew on working promises
held up to cardboard and concrete,
they shine still in the wedding-glass of desire

She kisses an unspent cheek, he touches
her one good breast with his mind
after their long walk in the ruins of desire

The sweetness of all that didn’t happen
on their wedding night melts
when at last they try to snatch at desire

You’re on the threshold of the flash
that inflames old wives, but they won’t
trade in their little secrets of desire

A funnel of smoke, a nib of cocoa
on her lip, spent spirits inside his breath
concoct a likely story of desire

You remember the stones, the shell inside
your pocket, Adrian, the storm that threw
sands against the cottage window of desire


14 Lines on the Nature of Formality

When your friend addressed you as Dear
Heart last morning and Madame
Architect today. As when there are
no egg cups, and you must crack
the soft-boiled eggs into the plate. As when
your brother hands you his razor to shave
your legs, and the key to the wind-up
clock goes missing for lack of winding

and a couple of moves, and as when
in fact the bread has been tossed from the
cupboard but so the chocolate remains.
As when the nylons never leave the drawer.
As when your shoes are all flat ones,
dear heart, your shoes are all flat ones.


Here to Behave

for Peggy

The wolf’s a predator like any
other, so the storyteller says.
Dreaming we don wolf’s
clothes, make ourselves incomp-
rehensible and singular, then
waken, the same sheep.
Dawn brings armistice, recon-
ciliation till the next game
of dusk. Dawn sugar on fingers,
salt behind teeth. Sliced sun in
December fog, browned leaf
on the green bud. Juice of
grapefruit. Stone walk, birds
peck for what they peck. Fires
smoke themselves in the stacks,
walking sticks name us, good,
propels up the worst of the hills.

Yet the night, before the longest moon
rising, utter black. Our greatest friend.


Learn more about Adrian Koesters at adriankoesters.com. Three Days with the Long Moon, and Koesters’ first release with BrickHouse Books, Many Parishes, are available now at online retailers.