BookSwap

So, in the closed down library around the corner from my house there is a kind of BookSwap type thing, where people bring in a book and take one away – I took the dog for a walk this morning, in some vague attempt to pretend that I am still healthy, and I saw the same group of old women sat around the table by one of the windows – they have a mean, kind of pinched look about them, and I assume they are there for a book club of some sort; anyway, I knocked this down as soon as I got back – Now for a shower, then I’m off to Liverpool! No doubt you can expect a lot more drunken poetry over the next few days and, probably, a picture of a random pub bathroom or two!


They talk of tea and the changing of the winds,
and how one’s grandchildren are getting on,
grandchildren long since vanished to university halls; gone
to waste themselves in a willing alcoholism the likes of which,
light-weights and recent developments claim leave them in a ditch – a Lich.

And they nail it down to the operating table of their local library
and there, with inexpert and ill-operated tools, they dissect their dreams,
just as the flesh peels away and gaze, in mock wonder, at the revealed scenes –
and they um and the ah and they let it wash over their heads
as they remember the last words that Richard & Judy said, instead.

The morphine of respect is absent in this place,
no heartfelt emotions curl along their flanks,
as they gather like a coven of widows to slip their specimen down the banks,
and into the bloodiest of forgotten seas
and they consign the work to pits of their memory; to me.

And an ‘oooo, no’ combines with ‘I didn’t like that’,
and a ‘pity it’s so wordy, it might have been good otherwise!
and they communicate in half-truths and half-lies,
flickering between the two with such agility,
that one cannot help but picture the dishonest products of their virility and past mobility.

And the librarian watches them go, potter through the doorway laughing,
as they fumble in their rotten handbags – the smell of turpentine
and hard-boiled sweets are the sole result of a lifetime’s
struggle and strife and labour from their husband’s back,
and they are, all, queens in their own mind – ignoring the crown that they visibly lack.

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