The Joy-lessness of Cooking

44 years later - A Bride's Edition

44 years later – A Bride’s Edition

There is no Joy

in mudville

nor in my kitchen


My oven sees

me as a stranger

& my range, also.

The fridge and

I are more compatible.

If I can drink it down,

I’m nourished.

If it’s cold,

I’m gold.

They don’t call

it Boost, for


I like to look

at pictures of food

in glossy magazines,

and on TV -

but that’s as close

as I get

to cook.

I got a C- in

Home Ec. -


Deflated waffles,

Awful decorated cake

fell flat.

Some ppls are

born to braise

and glaze

while others,

left to drink

and think.

That’s why

my sink

knows me

better than the


ice cubes


in the sun

The JOY of cake

The JOY of cake


The Joy of Cooking is the one cookbook that most everybody wants to display in their kitchen. Originally published in 1931, this is one of the updated 1975 versions – called The Bride’s Edition, (guess why). It’a 12th printing from 1979. This 915-page hardcover would likely bring manic pleasure to someone like Martha Stewart – but to me, well, there’s not enough pictures to make it interesting. Find the first 1931 edition of this classic, written by Irma S. Rombauer,and if it’s stain-free,  you can sell it for a lot of money and take yourself to Morton’s for a proper rib eye, and a Glenfiddich, rocks.

As If Don Draper Was In My Living Room

On the Radio, 1958

On the Radio, 1958

Hey, Don Draper,

You Mad Man,

What’s Up?

Heard your ad

for Schlitz

on the radio

tonight -

It made me

want to have

a brew or two


my crew -

but not so many

I’ll get tight

(wink, wink)

Oh boy! What a night!

That lively

sparkle of that

Schlitz beer – 

I can hear

it sparkling

way over here!

Oh, yeah – I’ll

have another,

if you insist  -

the taste of

Schlitz is

some thing

I just can

not resist!

(Here’s Lookin’ At Ya, Kid)




Classic commerical advertising in the book, Radio and Television Announcing by Lyle Barnhardt, 1958. TV was still a baby then,  and Radio was still the main medium for a message. If you want a snicker (not the candy, but the guffaw), snuggle up with this large format book,from Prentice-Hall, It was meant for radio announcers and DJs in the late ’50s.  This book taught them voice and diction, reading ability, personality factors and so on… But, wait, there’s more! Actual commercial scripts to read aloud were found inside this book – not from Draper’s “agency”, but from Leo Burnett & other big Chicago firms. I love this book! Once you’ve been a radio announcer, as I was, it’s hard not to want to send your voice back over the vintage Philco air-waves.


She Leaned In, Lydia Pinkham, 1949

The First Successful American Business Woman, 1870s

The First Successful American Business Woman, 1870s

Back in the 1870s,

a bold-hearted femme,

by the name


Lydia Pinkham,

got herself into

the old boys’ game,

selling patented medicine

for wealth & fame.

America’s first

successful female


Lydia tread where

the “weaker

sex,” before her,  fled

&  became head

of her own

company -

Turning herbs


female tonics,

compounds & such,

packed & stacked


sold in stores.

By roots & by

shoots, Lydia

built her firm,


far & wide,

(though some

decried her claims) -


she was

an ad pioneer;

wrote her

own copy.

Her  fortunes

rose & fell,

over the years,

as some do,

pray tell,


we salute

the guts it took

for her to go forth & sell,


way back when.

Did she lean in then?



Lydia Pinkham - For Women By Women

Lydia Pinkham – For Women By Women


Read all about a woman ahead of her time: Lydia Pinkham in this 1949 non-fiction book, Lydia Pinkham Is Her Name.  What she accomplished running her own business in the 1870s is pretty remarkable – but maybe even more remarkable – you can still buy her products. Her compounds are said to alleviate “women’s problems” – . Hey, there must be something to them if they are still being sold after 140 years, give or take a year or two. The book, with its dusty pink cover, is by Jean Burton, from Farrar, Straus & Co.





Tinder Box City Again

Here we go again

Here we go again

back in the ’60s,

we thought we’d


it all then :

the marches,

the riots,

the strikes,

the fights,

the tear-gassed

nights –

guess not.




Lord knows,

comes back


& here

we are in

Tinder Box City


My pile

of books


a look


see what

we got


cuz here we

are again

in Tinder Box



ain’t that



I sure thought

we’d said

so long

so long

           Deja Vu?

Deja Vu?


Another collector had these before I picked them up – s/he had the good sense to save these First Edition paperback books dated 1962-68, because they reflected some of the books written during the chaotic U.S. Civil Rights Movement.  The books are in rather aged, fragile condition – sort of like the Civil Rights Movement at this moment in time. Some times it’s worth reading history to see how far (or not far) we’ve come.

I Find a Find

I'm delirious. serious-ly

This book makes me serious delirious

Here, all along,

I’ve been writing

poetry in my head -

when, instead,

I could have used

the book I just

found: The Complete

Rhyming Dictionary

And Poet’s Craft Book.


Lucky Ducky!


elated I am

this nicely


book waited

for me

all this time


all these years,

just so I could



I shed tears

of unfettered

joy – oh boy! -

at my great  good



And so -

A spate

of sophisticate

verse will

soon accomodate

this space  -

I shall not

vacillate to


Away I go

to the Poetry Place!

yodee yodee yoh!


Where have you been all my life?

Where have you been all my life?

The one thing that might be harder than writing a good poem is figuring out how to use The Complete Rhyming Dictionary and Poet’s Craft Book. Edited by Clement Wood and published by Garden City Books in 1936, this 607-page book has no instructions on how to consult it. Perhaps good Mr. Wood was somewhat tipsy when he compiled it – or certainly, halfway-through, as he rhymed countless words according to sound. It seems he forgot to share how it works. And, so many of the words, dare I say – are “nonsense”?    Take my words for it, please, this book is largely incomprehensible – no fault of the prolific Mr. Wood, himself the ghost-author of 57 little blue books,(some sexy) and a former assistant to Upton Sinclair! So there! I won’t use it to write, but it will make a lovely book-end in my library.

Clothes, 1953

I'd rather wear them than read about them -- 1953 book from Horizon

I’d rather wear them than read about them — 1953 book from Horizon



What are those?

T-shirts &


with expanding


I live in those -

No hose

what are those?

Some ppl

still talking

about silk stockings

and garters -

fashion plates!


but those ppl

are so old!

& harder of


we come into


with no clothes

and that’s

the way we leave,


invisible garments

with invisible


those are



all of us



Fashion Plates in the 1800s

Fashion Plates in the 1800s

James Laver, the former Keeper of Prints and Drawings of the Victoria and Albert Museum, published a book in 1953, titled Clothes. It’s a nicely-illustrated hardcover detailing the history of fashion -“from fig leaf to Tne New Look.” Less a picture book, than a rather dry survey of historic fashion featured in novels (like Vanity Fair, see yesterday’s poem) and poetry and prose, the book will likely put you to sleep as good as any tablet of Melatonin.

Vanity Fair, or in My Case –

Thackeray's Masterpiece - Vanity Fair, the 1940 edition

Thackeray’s Masterpiece – Vanity Fair, the 1940 edition

Before the mag-a-zine,

there was the book:

Vanity Fair,

or as I know it,

Vanity Poor.

I’m not entirely



that came about  -

but it seems

I left my


in a train

case,  at the


years back.

On yes! Gone

are the tortoise combs


the ivory brush -

I must have been

in sucha rush,

I neglected to protect

my value-ables.

I expect now

they’re gone

for good.

I’m a hoarder of plastic

& vinyl these days.

I try not to

whine, but

I remember those

fineries in my dreams.

Vanity come,

&  just as quick-

Vanity vanish

- -

Life go on



This is the 1940 illustrated edition of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair. Published by Heritage Press, it even has its own slipcase (as most Heritage Press volumes do). Author William Makepeace Thackeray was quite an artist, as well, and his drawings illuminate his classic novel, first published in 1847. Quite sure he’d be surprised by the popularity of the slick magazine, which shares his title, but very little of his sentiment. Over the years, the novel, Vanity Fair, has been dramatized on the stage, on radio, on TV and on Film (and even in a poem).


Modern Architecture, 1980

history of the great architects

history of the great architects

Build it


they will come


I say

it’s just mortar

bricks, stone


shards, so

what’s all

the hoopla -

hard for

me to

look past

the value

of open


when it’s so



by machines

and men.

Oh, come clean,

won’t you

A cave will do,

just as well,

when there’s no

where to hide -

go inside

and dream a

little dream

of open sky

and open space



as the




not pierced


I’m not a great fan of skyscrapers, but I can imagine how hard it would be to design and build one. This softcover book, Modern Architecture, a Critical History, surveys the past stylistic eras of building and how architecture changed over time. This is a 1980 book –  324 pages long, with almost 300 plates of b/w prints and photos of critically-acclaimed buildings. Perhaps it’s just your cup of tea.

No Book Tonight. RIP Robin Williams



We do not read


We weep.

Gone to bed.

We do not


at night for

A Dead Poet

lies among us -

Oh! he died.

Words pale

in comparison

to the brilliance

of a light

snuffed quickly  -

ah, far too quickly,

to be right. And,

How we know it.

Legacy in drops -

clips and clops

and skips and

hops -

we wanted More.


there’s a new

hole in the






Law and Order

The TV Show Book

The TV Show Book

Law & Order so -

not like life on TV show:

justice trickle up

2003 - "The Award-Winning Drama As You've Never Seen It Before...."

2003 – “The Award-Winning Drama As You’ve Never Seen It Before….”


- From my library, another not-quite-vintage book, but collectible as TV show memorabilia. In this case, my book was signed by a prominent cast member. And celebrity-signed books always lend more value to a book. This will likely go on sale soon & find a new home with a devoted fan of the award-winning series.