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Saturday, October 13, 2007


by Rochelle Ratner

No whiners, stompers, biters, dawdlers, doodlers, bed wetters. China's finest school accepts only boys whose round heads already mark their intelligence. Every head is measured and remeasured. Molds are made for future reference. Those accepted will read by three and enter college by fifteen, bringing home honors. Hopeful parents take their newborns in their arms, reaching instinctively for that soft spot on the top of the head, letting fingers sink in, rubbing clockwise, shaping, smoothing, unavoidably caressing.

Rochelle Ratner's latest poetry books include Leads (Otoliths Press, 2007), Balancing Acts (Marsh Hawk Press, 2006), Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, 2006) and House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003). She is the author of fifteen previous poetry collections and two novels (Bobby’s Girl and The Lion’s Share) both published by Coffee House Press). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage.