We are not alone with our late-night musings | Review of “On Nights Like This” by Marianne Bluger (1984) Brick Books

My search into the works of Marianne Bluger led me to a small volume published back in the 1980s. While On Nights Like This may only be 39 pages long, the words are descriptive and thought-provoking.

On Nights Like This – page 11


The world glides off

an avenue of trees

receding as I pass.

It may converge behind

at some infinite dot;

it may not


Without the cheat of photos

I wouldn’t recall

even the children as infants,

their lotus lips, their hair

making little down skull-caps


And yesterday as I made jam

the house filled with the smell

of sweet, hot fruit-

but today there were only

sealed jars and tension in my head

with rain coming in on the wind.


I can’t remember your face.


Yet tonight you abide in a rising,

summer storm and my heart

knows her own.  She gets through

on just longing for you.


Bluger had a descriptive style that was able to explain what many of us feel but are unable to express.

At the Station – Page 21

What am I to do with this broken-

handled suitcase of love

but stagger around with it clutched

in my arms while friends say, ‘When

are you taking that trip?’ and strangers,

‘Where are you from?’

I’ve crammed in everything I ever made.

It’s yours;

just read the ticket on the side.

And should one day the jumbled contents spill

among the feet and tile-work and palms

what if you like some lesser saint

appear ascending on the moving stair

and offer (god forbid)

to haul my tangled misery to the curb?


The words are simple yet carefully placed. These are phrases that are well-crafted.

At the Fair – Page 33

The girls had just climbed

into the chocolate saddle

on the ice-cream carousel;


the boy was content

to accompany the windy calliope

on his little-tin cornet,


so I laid myself down in the grass

by the lemonade booth to wait –


The white clouds pranced over


pulling an exultation

thirty years old!

While it may be a slim volume, On Nights Like This by Marianne Bluger is a book filled with rich and descriptive phrases covering emotions that need to be explored.  A great read.


Link to Brick Books page for On Nights Like This by Marianne Bluger




2 thoughts on “We are not alone with our late-night musings | Review of “On Nights Like This” by Marianne Bluger (1984) Brick Books

  1. Nice! Brick has some great finds. It’s nice to see some backlist chat amongst the new books (I’ve been trying to work more of that into my reading as well…it’s hard not to get distracted from the shiny, new additions, isn’t it).


    1. I am kind of discovering poetry right now in my life and Brick publishing as well. I am surprised how well crafted the words are and wished I was introduced to their works when I was younger. (They were located just down the road from my public school yet never did I have a teacher show me any of their works.) I am making an effort to read their entire collection.


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