Today on my front doorstep a bundle,
tied in coloured string, wrapped in cellophane,
5 New Yorkers, a Paris Review and
two School Magazines with my poems in,
the Covid backlog I thought would never come.
It felt like all my Xmases had come at once,
enough binge reading to last me till the Big Day.
I had left President Trump outside.
I don’t know what got into me
but one moment I was reading about him
in a New Yorker article a week before
his fall, and I remembered I had put the oven on
& forgot all about him. The ex-President
was having a hard enough time without being abandoned
on a plastic chair with a cold southerly sweeping in & being compared
to Nixon a week before his fall. How the mighty have fallen, Shelley
might have intoned so I did the decent thing and brought the magazine in
where conditions were more conducive to the ex-President. Besides,
with the hail beginning to clatter outside, I wanted to finish the article.
Maybe because I was slipping away into the comfortable, undemanding
arms of magazines, she gave me a brand new bookmark from ifaw.
Now all you have to do is find a book to put it in, she said.
It’s like someone buys you a pair of slippers for your birthday,
you’ve got to get a dressing gown to go with them, and then a box of cigars
and a bottle of tawny port like an English gentleman to get you through
the evening and a cozy murder mystery to curl up with before the fire
& suddenly I knew what type of novel I wanted.
- what book have you got .lined up to read?
- do you smoke cigars, drink tawny port and curl up before the fire of a winter evening?
You tell yrself
You’ve got to stop reading when you’re feeding yr face
That coffee, wine and honey leave stains
On the crisp, pristine pages but then you think, nah !
They’re the stains of life like grease marks
From yr fingers,
The collateral damage from reading;
Rain spots too when magazine’s are left outside,
Creases from the wind speed reading again
As though the story you found a bore was a real page turner;
Sometimes too blood stains from a nose bleed;
Marks like footprints in the sand saying
That someone’s been there
And, yes, had a good time.
I was the flavour of the month
For twelve years
Then suddenly I wasn’t;
You either surf the zeitgeist
Or you don’t