Umbrella’s lighter offshoot

Robin Chapman’s

most recent book is Abundance, winner of the Cider Press Editors’ Award.

Her poems have appeared recently in The Iowa Review, Nimrod, and 5 AM.

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Book Wars at Canterbury’s Book Shop

Talk of war has made us snappish;
the poets are occupying their time slot
and the James Joyce Book Club readers, impatient,
are crowding into the atrium; the poets speak
as fast as they can but the clubbers, forty or more,
press in, waving red copies of Ulysses,
and when the clock clicks to three-thirty
they advance in phalanx formation,
demanding that the last poet leave the podium,
and the emcee of the poets leaps from his seat,
shoulders hunched in fight position,
to tell the book fans we’ve been reading here
for sixteen years and the poets hunker down
in entrenched positions and the back row poet mutters
that surely those who’ve tolerated 400 pages
about a single day could wait another ten minutes
and the reader, unperturbed, finishes her poem of peace.