In a recent double fiction issue, The New Yorker devoted the entire back page to a single poem, The Clerk's Tale, by Spencer Reece. The poet who drew such unusual attention has a surprising background: for many years he has worked for Brooks Brothers, a fact that lends particular nuance to the title of his collection. The Clerk's Tale pays homage t only to Chaucer but to the clerks' brotherhood of service in the mall, where the light is bright and artificial, / yet t dissimilar to that found in a Gothic cathedral. The fifty poems in The Clerk's Tale are exquisitely restrained, shot through with a longing for permanence, from the quasi-monastic life of two salesmen at Brooks Brothers to the poignant lingering light of a Miami dusk to the weight of geography on an empty Minnesota farm. Gluck describes them as having an effect I have never quite seen before, half cocktail party, half passion play . . . We do t expect virtuosity as the outward form of soul-making, r do we associate generosity and humanity with such sophistication of means, such polished intelligence . . . Much life has gone into the making of this art, much patient craft.