Assuming you've finally taken down all those bulky holiday decorations, it's time you filled your living room with something of artistic value. But before making such an investment, you should know that the alleged Chagall you're looking at in one booth -- it's a real Chagall. So is the Picasso over there and that eye-catching print from the cubist era by whatshisname. No forgeries at the Palm Beach! America's International Fine Art and Antique Fair, which opens Saturday at the Palm Beach County Convention Center (650 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach).
The fair features roughly 100 international dealers peddling anything from Japanese bamboo sculpture and African textiles to antique weaponry, as well as six ultrafab vignettes created by national designers. However, for an item to be included in the fair, it must pass a rigorous selection process that weeds out fakes better than a dozen I.D.-checking bouncers. Not only is the vetting committee composed of more than 40 international curators and appraisers but they've employed the Art Loss Register -- the world's largest database for stolen art and antiques. So you can be assured your Chagall wasn't made on some punk's computer.
The fair runs through February 13. Tickets cost $15 to $35. Call 561-209-1338. -- Jason Budjinski
A fitting poem
Be kind to your coworkers -- they could be taking notes. Minnesota poet Spencer Reece certainly was. While working at Brooks Brothers, Reece was mentally crafting "The Clerk's Tale." Based loosely on Chaucer's classic tale of marriage, Reece's poem nevertheless deals with French cuffs, half-Windsors, and the older, self-effacing gay man he worked with. Reese's style is modest and precise, not wasting space on lengthy descriptions and overindulgent musings yet poignant enough to earn a spot in the New Yorker. Quoteth Reece: "This is the Mall of America/The light is bright and artificial/Yet not dissimilar to that found in a Gothic cathedral. " Free wafers in the food court? Wednesday's reading takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Broward Community College South Campus (7200 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines). Call 954-201-8872. -- Jason Budjinski