South Florida Barber Shop Doubles as Library (Finally, Some Good News out of Florida)



When I tell people that I’m from South Florida, I’m usually met with some derivative of “Florida is so weird.” I don’t correct them, mostly because I’m not entirely sure they’re incorrect. Florida, with its seemingly endless unsettling news (sinkhole in Disney World, anyone?), is indeedweird, and South Florida is the ne plus ultra of the state’s eccentricity. But it’s also my native land, and though I can laugh at a good Florida joke, I have a deep affinity for my home state.

It’s this relationship with Florida, as well as my relationship with literature, that found me so moved by the story of a Palm Beach County barber shop going out of its way to promote reading. Reggie Ross, the owner of Royal Touch Barber Shop in Sunrise, Florida, offers his young visitors books to read while they wait and when they’re in the chair. There are no TVs or radios inside Royal Touch, but, instead, a small library of books that tackle topics ranging from college admission to African-American history.

“I’m very selective about the books here,” said Ross to the South Florida Times. “We emphasize culture and broadening their horizons — books that are going to help them get ahead in life.”


Allison Titus, “Inclement”


Snow and after, each bidding
and restlessness turns the goat’s heart
fallow: long hours of ice and bluster:
asymmetry of wind.
Say every goat has in its heart
a field, and each field, a goat:
the slumber of muscle and grass
is still a different elegy. Every
heart writes a different letter
of winter to its cold.
Icicles on sheet
metal, bucket frozen in the well.

Once there was no language
for the weather, just     The sky is low and birdless;
or The sky is a box of wings

(submitted by lettersforburning)