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The Other Season 

Poetry reading ain't baseball, but it's something

She sat by quietly, bringing beer to you and your buds when you beckoned, accommodating your good mood when the boys won and consoling you when the Cards lost, horribly and with finality.

Oh well, it's payback time. She took care of you throughout the playoffs, so now it's your turn to, um, accommodate her. The World Series is over (sob), but the Readings at the Contemporary poetry series is in full swing; go with her to the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; 314-535-4660), and if the beautiful words of this all-star lineup are no balm to your soul, just do what you always do -- think in terms of baseball, and you'll get through it. You might even become a fan.

Jocelyn Emerson, pictured, who scooped up virtual Rookie of the Year honors when her first book (Sea Gate) took home Alice James Books' New York/New England Award, begins the healing process when she reads at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 4. That New England part stings, but Cole Swensen, the other poet in this doubleheader, is the author of the collection Try; that's good advice right now.

Bob Harrison, author of Split Poems, Broken English, Coup Sticks and Chorrera, closes out the year on December 9. But there's always spring around the corner, and "The Three Stephanies" read in early April, just as baseball is born anew. Between December and April, while you try to shake the pain, more poets read on either the first or second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m., and all readings are free. Visit for current stats and roster updates as they become available. -- R.L. Have

The Emerald Ire
Posters of "The Troubles"

If the old saw that "a picture is worth a thousand words" is true, then the exhibit Troubled Images: Posters and Images of the Northern Ireland Conflict is one of the longest sustained dialogues on the thorny problems facing Northern Ireland to be contained in a single room. Seventy posters depicting the history of the political conflict just from the years 1969 to 2000 are on display at the University of Missouri-St. Louis' Gallery 210 (1 University Boulevard; 314-516-5976) through December 11. The posters, on loan from the Linen Hall Library in Belfast, Ireland, are images of political strife and of hope, made by artists on both sides of the conflict, providing a balanced view of a complex situation. They also reveal the universal power of art, translating ideas and convictions into simple images that convey shades of meaning for the "right" (and wrong) viewer. Hugh Odling-Smee, curator of the Linen Hall Library, speaks at the opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, November 9. -- Paul Friswold

He's Santa
BeClaus he says so

MON 11/8

Santa, as in Mr. Claus, is a mysterious dude, no doubt. We all know where he lives and with whom he surrounds himself -- weird. But what does he like to do for fun? Does he collect bar signs or maybe Pez dispensers? What does he eat besides cookies, and what's he guzzling besides milk? Does he enjoy watching Lifetime movies? We can only hope that all these questions and more will be answered at the Dream House (15425 Clayton Road; 636-227-7640) during its 11:30 a.m. lunch ($18.50) and 6:30 p.m. dinner ($28.50). That's where and when Jeff Guinn signs his book, The Autobiography of Santa Claus. So we're thinking this "Jeff Guinn" name is just a ruse -- hopefully "Jeff" sheds some light on this and his long life as he autographs his book. Call ahead for your required reservation; the proceeds from this event benefit the Tower Grove House. -- Alison Sieloff

Hop to It

SUN 11/7

Is the week after Halloween too early to be thinking about Christmas gifts for your rabbit? Not really; unlike elephants, rabbits don't have long memories, so you can walk right by the hutch with Clyde von Hopscotch's gift, and he'll forget he ever saw it. So get to the Missouri House Rabbit Society's Holiday Animal Boutique at the Humane Society (1201 Macklind Avenue; 314-995-1457) early, before all the good bunny presents are gone. Everything from bunny calendars (not the Playboy kind) to custom bunny portraits by pet artist Crystal Rolfe is available between noon and 4 p.m. Admission is free, but a photo of you, Clyde and Santa costs extra. -- Paul Friswold

Here Comes the Pane

If blown glass is a concrete expression of abstract ideas, and paint on canvas lends itself to abstract representation of the concrete, you'll find balance in Mad Art's current exhibit of three artists' work.

There's a bit of the Old World in the glassblowing technique of Sam Stang, a protégé of Lino Tagliapietra, the Michelangelo of glass. His glory-hole peer, David Levi, is known for employing a precise airstream to create works of stark contrast and mathematical symmetry. To baffle the reflections, there's the large-scale abstract canvas work of Webster Groves homeboy Jaime Gartelos.

The free opening reception is from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, November 5, at Mad Art Gallery (2727 South 12th Street; 314-771-8230), and the exhibit runs through December 31. -- John Goddard

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