LAUREN BACALL SHARES A LIMOUSINE celebrates women--famous, infamous, the fictional and the footnote, from Frida Kahlo to a Civil War soldier to the mother of Louis Braille to Mata Hari to Dorothy of Oz to Janis Joplin, and many more--in this irresistible and overflowing fountain of witty, sparkling and sensitive poems in voices. Poet Susan J. Erickson seemingly absorbed all the fascinating biographies and telling details of these women's lives, then spilled out poems that brim with memorable metaphor and insight. I'm reminded how profoundly and efficiently a poem can express human experience, and that women's experiences, never doubt it, are boundless.
--Kathleen Flenniken, author of PLUME
In LAUREN BACALL SHARES A LIMOUSINE, Susan J. Erickson reinvigorates the tradition of the dramatic monologue. "I sit still," reflects Lucy, the wife of John James Audubon, during a silhouette cutting. "The scissors know only / the shape of what is, / not what will be." Explaining her love for F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife Zelda recalls, "Because he moved with the grace of a fencer / dueling with his shadow." But the women of these pages are more than wives; they are pilots and prisoners of war, makers and musicians, actors and artists. One of several standout ekphrastic sequences invokes Georgia O'Keeffe's sense of the Southwest landscape: "a place that picks clean / the gristle and fat of regret." Equally inventive is the collection's play with occupying outside texts--Zelda's "recipe" for bacon and eggs, Marilyn Monroe's self-portrait as the menu items at Schrafft's--and received forms such as the abcedarian and the pantoum. Erickson has a gift for arresting openings, as when "Emily Dickinson Introduces Her Blog" "Propelled by chance's cosmic pull / This Thing called Internet / Allows me from my garret space / To publish this gazette." Clever, haunting, voluptuous, and nervy in turn, these poems challenge our understanding of womanhood across two continents and three centuries.
--Sandra Beasley, author of I WAS THE JUKEBOX and COUNT THE WAVES
In Susan J. Erickson's highly-crafted collection of poems, LAUREN BACALL SHARES A LIMOUSINE, we return to the women who came before us. From the well-known Frida Kahlo and Marilyn Monroe to the lesser-known Monique Braille and Lucy Audubon, these poems offer surprise, delight, and poignancy. Erickson's sharp sense of play and imagination is her signature on these poems--the Venus de Milo dresses for a Halloween party, the Little Mermaid joins the Aquatic Arts Academy. The reader is rewarded with every turn of the page as the lives (both real and imagined) are spoken, explored, and expanded. Here, women stretch in the spaces "of the calm and chaos of sunrise and sunset, / the shimmer of amber, / the roar from the lion's mouth." Smart and accessible, these poems satisfy our desire for stories, and Erickson doesn't disappoint. Recommended for every bookshelf.
--Kelli Russell Agodon, Author of HOURGLASS MUSEUM & THE DAILY POET
Celebrating on the Journey - A Guide to a Catholic-Jewish Seder for 100 is a one of a kind guide that provides the reader with the essentials of a hands-on guide which will enable a spiritual encounter and "Faithing"- "Befriending" transformation. The guide is introduced with a no-nonsense set of questions and answers which will aid you in the "Plan" and "Organizational" phases of your Seder meal. These Q/A's address the critical Who, What, Why, Where, When and How issues which have to be taken into consideration in the beginning phases of your planning. If this is your communities first Seder approval steps should begin the month after Easter this year for next year. It takes 4 - 6 weeks to unfold the process before the date and time of your Seder. In the initial phase of discussion ---a short 'theological reflection' introduces a theological understanding of the Passover in reference to the Last Supper. The Seder celebration itself is symbolic of many different foods, prayers, songs and gestures. These are covered so that a complete catechesis may be done. Your guide has 14 individual appendices to which (each issue) of the process is covered. People's time is important. A core team must be developed. To achieve this end, appendices 1, 2, 3,4 and 5 are worksheets in which you can develop the core team and team members. Protocol should be followed. This must be a team effort not just several select souls. Appendix 8 contains recipies which each of the attendees of the Seder are to bring. Each family is requested to bring enough for themselves plus four extra attendees. There will be a 'sign-up' weekend at which recipes can be chosen. Concluding, the last two appendices contain: #13 Tips for a successful Seder; and, #14 Bibliography and Resources.
Many people perceive the job of a chauffeur in L.A. as glamorous and exciting. As, Max, the jaded, somewhat misanthropic young man in these stories set in 1978 says, "They don't know s**t. ... Maybe it's different now, but I doubt it. When I did it, it was airport pick-ups and drop-offs, catnapping in LAX terminals or the front seat, hanging around the car-barn waiting for a ride, idling in underground garage gas-chambers at some awards show, enduring the boring old Gomers who want to tell you what it was like to drive Jack Dempsey or Betty Grable or some other corpse nobody remembers, and long nights in parking lots behind some restaurant, arena, or concert hall. Very glamorous." If you're looking for beginnings, middles, and ends, don't bother. A driver lives a life of starts and stops, episodes and vignettes, with very few happy endings. Take a ride through Los Angeles with Max in the days of posers, power-brokers, Peruvian "pep rallies," and big-hair bands. (Adult language)