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The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Routine Heaven - Jack Myers

Routine Heaven.

By Jack Myers.

Huntsville: Texas Review Press, 2005. ISBN 1-881515-78-8 paper $14.95 51/2x 81/2. 96 pp., dist by TAMU
Winner of the 2005 Texas Review Poetry Prize

Jack Myers ( lives in Mesquite, teaches at Southern Methodist University since 1975, and wins awards for his poetry. He was the 2003-2004 Texas Poet Laureate, gained entry to the Texas Institute of Letters, and took Austin’s Violet Crown.

Myers poetry is accessible and warmly playful and surprisingly cold at times. Myers refers to his dog so often that some readers may imagine that his dog may rival his wife as his most insightful medium, but folks at Dallas’ Writer’s Garret may differ. He may call himself a “failed calligrapher” but he is a successful poet. Reading his work is akin to your following him down some vernacular hallway only to find at his modest gesture the two of you watching yourselves watching yourselves in a mirror.

He informs on us all as in “Trying to find the origins of anger / by looking into my heart / is like a dead leaf feeling for its roots.” What husband has not had the delight of stumbling in on his wife’s hair washing, rinsing, and drying ritual? If you were Myers, you could catch a ghostly epiphany there in the hair. In “An Old Dog’s Tale” the commonplace hound shakes Baghdad missiles from his fur. Myers does not worry so much about Buddha “finding his way back” through a line of incarnations, but rather accepting his own humanity in “pouring water downhill.” Finally, readers will find practical life advice; for instance, what is the best quit smoking regimen, play “Strip Polka.”

Myers’ plain words and behind the scenes rhythm make for a comfortable reading companion.