Hiding Out In The Poetry Section of Barnes and Noble

books little switzerland 2

Hiding Out In The Poetry Section Of Barnes and Noble

You always knew you liked to touch and feel
It’s the eyes of the fingers that transmit the most
Information
Via the tactile sensory processes

And so there is something far too abstract
About a place called Amazon that sells books
Many of yours come from there
Conveniently delivered to your doorstep

So don’t complain
But you can’t run away from a world that is throwing
Daggers your way
And hitting a perfect bullseye
Everytime
Into the arms of Amazon

But you can slip into the quiet
World of books
Row on row
Air saturated in Columbian coffee beans
And the sound of the old school musicals
On the intercom system
So loud you could not dose off
If you had just taken an Ambian
Before crossing the threshold

No it is sensory overload
There in the corner by the bathrooms
Life in full swing
Grand Central Station has nothing on
This purveyor of poetry

To your right is T.S. Eliot and right in front are
Wendell Berry and Billy Collins
And Maya Angelou and the whole section is so small
You want to weep
Because you know that poetry placed right beside the bathroom
Is more than ironic
It seems cruel and condescending
But why state the obvious
When you are discussing
Poetry after all
That part you should have left out

The genre needs no defending
Don’t even go there
You have come to hide
And there is not enough real estate
To even hide
Much less cry
So you read and keep your eyes dry
Because if you soil the book
You’d have to buy the book
You adhere to old mores of retail protocol

So you wonder about this height of irony
This fact that
You have just ordered a book from Amazon
From your phone
Delivered to your Ipad
From the poetry section at Barnes and Noble
And you think to yourself
Life is odd, today
Ridiculous and strange

So you wander to the periodical section
And eavesdrop on the lady who is caring for
Her husband
With Parkinson’s
You can’t meet the lonely in the halls of Amazon
So you learn of his pain and hers and where she is from
And where she is going
And how no one has ever heard of a man having shingles for
Four years
Not you, not her, and no doctors
And you want to weep again and she looks away and tells you how hard it is
But she’s making it
And you talk to her, struggling to determine who needs whom
The most

And suddenly your problems

Are left for a minute
Back in the poetry section
Beside the bathroom
Where the air
Thankfully smells like coffee
And the poets get two small sections of books

And life today doesn’t seem fair
But it is good
And you try to rate your pain
And wonder how she’ll make it through the days
Of shingles and Parkinson’s and doctors
And she was from Michigan
(Might as well have been Siberia)

And poetry’s problems pale in comparison
So you buy a magazine
Swing through the door of the big book store
And go home to read “Love, Etc.” by Barkat
And you weep

Tears, mingled rivulets in three’s
One for the man from Michigan
One for love
And one for pain
Both the present and the future

Grateful that your tears
Cannot ruin the titanium cover of
“Love, etc.”
At which point you are sick of irony

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