Book Club Primavera

by a contributor

Richard Baldasty

Springtime, we clamored, and there it rose like enchantment summoned: birds giddy on last year’s berries, ants out from hiding, little plants with little bells dancing mazurkas whether it rained or hailed or sun barged through. We felt it in our bones, bones getting frisky, bones feeling stretchy, vertebrae eager for some primo vernal whoop-de-do. Which may, or may not, have connected with the start of the uprising. In any case, revolution did begin almost the very next thing. Nothing violent yet still decisive: our wintry old rulers fled within a fortnight. What then could we do? Potatoes had already been planted, also early bitter greens. But it was yet much too soon for even thinking about tomatoes or a heat-lover like purple Thai basil. So we fell back upon the usual, embarrassingly inept erotic home videos, an ill-conceived do-it-yourself basement remodel, adopting a shelter dog no one could love, joining another book-and-brew club. We read Kafka, drank pilsner. We reread Tess of the d’Urbervilles and got drunk butt-ugly on room-temp brown ale. It was so sad, all of it, page upon page, but we stayed with her, hoping against hope it might end better this time. Of course, it didn’t, Tess taken away again for hanging, for certain things remain too sorely engraved ever to change.

Richard Baldasty’s poetry and short prose have appeared in Pinyon, Epoch, and New Delta Review among other literary magazines. Work archived online includes publication in AntipodeanSF, Dark Fire, Café Irreal, and Marco Polo Literary Arts; Twitter verse at escarp and Twitter fiction at Seven by Twenty; literary collage in Fickle Muses, Ray’s Road Review, and forthcoming (May) with Big Bridge; and text/image at Shuf Poetry and (mid-April) Burrow Press Review.

See Richard’s list of 5 Things You Should Read tomorrow in our ongoing contributors’ series.