Welcome Ruth Moose as POET OF THE MONTH MARCH 2010 here Above the Frost Line. The life and writing of Ruth Moose will be featured in separate posts throughout the month. Stay posted.
If I remember correctly, I first met Ruth Moose at a Winthrop College Writing Conference, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the weekend of November 11-13, 1982. We had several classes together.
I remember Ruth was tiny and had a tiny voice. The same could have been said of me way back then. We were at the beginning of our writing careers and could hardly make a squeak. We had both come to study with the great ones already leading the way: Susan Ludvigson for one. I remember Editor Stanley W. Lindberg was on the program, talking about the Georgia Review and how to get a poem accepted. When I think of Ruth Moose and recall her beginning as a writer, I remember how quiet her voice, how timid she was. As the years went by, whenever my path crossed with Ruth Moose, always at a writing conference, I was happy to see her. I watched for her poems in magazines and bought her books. I also liked her fiction writing, and I still own both of her short story collections. During her now long career, I find Ruth Moose has become a strong spirit with a rich, deep voice and a gutsy laugh that can be heard across the room.
A few months ago, opening my Christmas cards, I found a gift from Ruth Moose, a copy of a new poetry collection --The Librarian and Other Poems. I read it cover to cover three times. I know enough about Ruth Moose to read a bit between the lines. Dedication pages are fascinating in any book, and of course when I read the dedication page, I felt I had found the key to unlock the poems. The dedication reads These Poems are dedicated to HWLWG HE WHO LEFT WITHOUT GOODBYE.
Take my word. You will want to own this book. You will like the character, the librarian, and will enjoy the this-and-that of her life: “The Librarian Comes Home Late at Night” ,“The Librarian Loves her Bath” , “The Librarian Gets Dressed” , “The
Librarian Buys a Pepper Spray,” just to name a few. of the more than fifty poems in this section. Buy this book. “The Librarian in Athens”, “The Librarian’s Panties”, “The Librarian in Istanbul,” and more.
The Librarian has a cat.
Of course. What did you expect?”
A pit bull? Though her cat, Percy
Has the personality of a pit bull.
Loves to bare his teeth, always
Takes her best
And favorite chair, refuses to move.
Hisses when she approaches.
Yesterday, she beat him to it,
Sat down to a damp and wet
Hairball, dark, fuzzy and disgusting
Which she promptly flushed,
Then aired the cushion. Meanwhile,
Percy washed his paws with a spiteful
Grin sitting on the flagstone hearth
Before her unlit gas logs. What
Did you expect here? A cozy
Little fire in her cozy little house?
Not her. Not here. She pours
Herself a glass of Jim Beam,
Never sherry. Jim is her guy
At the hell end of a hell day.
THE LIBRARIAN REMEMBERS OXFORD
Sometimes she flips her mind
Back to Oxford, the dear Bodleian
Of Course, and Radcliff Camera.
She studied briefly there. Remembers
Where she found her favorite
Shoes for walking cobblestones.
She loved Alice’s Garden, the Eagle
And Child, boats on the Thames,
The Bedsit she shared with HWLWG.
How they crawled the pubs ghost
Walk, Writing her papers on Jane Austen.
In real ink in the Exeter Library.
She thinks if HWLWG is anywhere
In this world, he’s there
In the darkened pub, his back
To the door and she’ll only
Have to put her arms around him
in an I-Found-You-Hug. But she knows
He’s only vanish, as the ghosts
Did, leaving not a footprint
On her path.
How and where to buy a copy:
Main Street Rag
PO Box 690100
Charlotte, NC 28227