During May and June, No Tells is featuring "Recommended Summer Reading" selections by No Tell contributors.
Jessy Randall's recommendations:
How to be Perfect by Ron Padgett (Coffee House Press, 2007)
Ron Padgett is part of the New York School of poets, like Kenneth Koch and Frank O'Hara. How to be Perfect is worth buying for "Words from the Front" alone ("We don't look as young / as we used to / except in the dim light / especially in / the soft warmth of candlelight / when we say / in all sincerity / You're so cute / and / You're my cutie. / Imagine / two old people / behaving like this. / It's enough / to make you happy.") This book might be enough to make you happy, too.
The Cheap Seats by Scott Poole (Lost Horse Press, 1999)
These poems are funny and weird. Another one to make you happy. I bought The Cheap Seats solely because it contained "New York Women" ("I have never been to New York / but I imagine all New York women / having long hair, long hair / they are always combing, / thick hair that gets loose / and crawls down the skyscrapers / in the static of the afternoon...") but all the poems in it are good.
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Jessy Randall's collection of poems A Day in Boyland (Ghost Road Press, 2007) was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. Her young adult novel, The Wandora Unit, is forthcoming from Ghost Road in September 2009. It's about friendship and love in the high school literary magazine crowd. Her website is http://personalwebs.coloradocollege.edu/~jrandall.