Poetry book, 70 pages, $9.95 cover price
($8 if ordered from the MSR Online Bookstore)
One Nightstand is a two-part collection. In the first part, author Dede Wilson tickles you awake with rhyme and reason—and a few downy feathers from Mother Goose. This small volume is filled with playful poems, each in a different form. A perfect book for your bedside table.
Part two, Opening the Drawer to One Nightstand, is a primer for the poetic forms used in the collection. What is accentual verse? A huitain? How do you pronounce ghazal? All you ever wanted to know to write in form. A must for poets!
One Nightstand is Dede Wilson’s third book of poetry. She is the author of Glass, published as a finalist in the Persephone Press Competition, and Sea of Small Fears, winner of the 2001 Main Street Rag Chapbook Competition. Dede has edited a memoir, Fourth Child, Second Daughter, and her poems and short stories have been published in many literary journals, including Spoon River Poetry Review, Carolina Quarterly, Flyway, Cream City Review, Southern Poetry Review, New Orleans Review, Tar River Poetry, Negative Capability and Light, the Quarterly of Light Verse. She has been a winner in the Blumenthal Readers’ and Writers’ Competition and has taught poetry workshops for the North Carolina Poetry Society and Queens University. Dede is married and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.
AT THE BENEFIT BALL
Strangers at a table sharing truffles.
She is wearing feathers. I’m in ruffles.
I bet we’re both in hose by Donna Karan,
But this is not about the gems we’re wearing.
This concerns the linen on our laps.
Horrified, we see they’re paper naps.
We whimper as these greasy papers smear
The feathers and the frippery we wear.
You love to iron? I iron with fragrant oils!
Complicit now, we share how we enjoy
Our labor over laces, cases, sleeves,
Lush aromas wafting from the weaves.
And as the hall with shallow chatter fills,
We dream of dampening shams, of pressing frills.
Don’t mention Jack the Ripper to your tea
Or in its presence show an angry face.
Don’t hold Dasani close to MTV
Or let the liquid in on some disgrace,
For now we’re told that water’s attitude
Is moved by thought, by touch, the place
From which it springs. Pollution makes it brood.
Do you remember Kobe’s big earthquake?
Researchers in Japan found water crystals (who’d
Believe?) agitated and awake
In panicked state. Hard worlds and words are worst
For waters’ moods. It’s more than we can take,
To know beneath the skin our bodies burst
With dejected crystals: sorrowed, sad. So,
Forgoing bliss, for which all waters thirst,
We let our troubled waters overflow.
Then opt to pop a pill to make us go.
UNDRESSING BILLY COLLINS
Would be touch and go. You know,
When he disrobes, he peels and shows
Deeper than his bones. Dress
Our bard instead: layer over layer.
Pleat his collar like a weary king’s.
Ruffle him in rhyme. Add a hat
Of days—with a feather in the band.
No! One quick, nervous bird.
Rename our Bill a weighty pseudonym.
Torture a sestina out of him.