This spring’s Soda Pop Colorsfeature Ginger-Ale-Gold nail polish
& Kiss-Me-I’m-Cherry-Coke-Red lipstick … period.
My father spoke into the ear trumpetof a Dictaphone at home.
Engraved on wax cylinders, groovesheld messages Etta touch-typed
on her cast iron Remington Randweekdays in his office downtown.
Now I who am still a beginnerthough older than he was back then
swear that I hear him say, Sonny,the dusk’s wearing rouge … period … paragraph. [End Page 72]
James Reiss published his first novel, When Yellow Leaves (Spuyten Duyvil), last year, and this year will see publication of his second, Façade for a Penny Arcade (Spuyten Duyvil). He has written several poetry books, including The Breathers (Ecco), Ten Thousand Good Mornings (Carnegie Mellon), Riff on Six: New and Selected Poems (Salt Publishing), and The Novel (CW Books). His work has appeared widely in such places as the Atlantic, Esquire, the Iowa Review, the Kenyon Review, the Nation, the New Republic, the New Yorker, Poetry, Slate, and the Virginia Quarterly Review—and, of course, Prairie Schooner . For many years he was Professor of English and Miami University and founding editor of its university press. These days he lives near Lake Michigan.