Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Reader’s Den, Poetry Month

Reader's Den: Poetry Month with a Local


Poetry Month is here at last: a yearly breath of fresh air and inspiration. Some people find inspiration in nature, others find it in a library. This month in the Reader's Den we'll be looking at the poetry of places, and we begin with a poem by a New York City poet named Puma Perl. Much to the delight of library staff, she found inspiration within the walls of the Mulberry Street branch. She shared this poem, written in July 2008, in anticipation of her reading at Mulberry Street on April 14. Thanks Puma Perl!

My dress fell off my shoulders in horror
I thought you were younger, it said
and fell to the floor onto a pile of books
I’ll for a more deserving body, it sneered
with smoother knees and perkier elbows

I print my poems in public libraries
My favorite is the Mulberry branch with
its sub-basement and cool brick walls
handsome dredlocked men
young serious librarians with cool glasses
who dance with Marlon Brando at midnight
rows of my favorite children books
where the wild things are
madeline and the bad hat
immigrant pint-sized heroes emerge
madlenka and her dog
chunkit and his parrot

I step over my dress when I get home
You should have your own printer it says
You wander the streets like an aging urchin
Wear your black jeans and boots every day
I don’t care if it’s ninety two degrees
Dresses like me – they are not for you
Do you have thoughts you'd like to share about this poem?  Feel free to post comments below, and look out for the next poem from the Reader's Den, coming soon to a screen near you.


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.


That's my favorite branch too!

Post new comment