Mudlark No. 41 (2010)

Jeopardies of the Public Library

However random and impulsive my reading,
geography, herbology, military arts,
I am certain to come across the tracks,
the misdemeanors —
the underlinings.
Someone in my vicinity ruminates,
must profess —
with a discreet grey pencil.
How the past gnaws into the future, he marks,
or lawless myths cruise the freeway,
or the beach when the bathers are gone,
the sun is down, the wind is up.
He has been there before me,
to Cheever’s journals, a life of Diderot,
the Britannica on pietism, on the Sargasso Sea,
citing politeness is the first form of politics,
or as though we ever play,
or the rising, setting sun
is not exactly where it appears to be,
has been all over the Dewey decimals
searching, I deduce, for connections,
for terms of passage,
petty infractor, my confrere, my crony,
seeking his indispensable self,
signaling his affirmations —
in the perfect center of the mirror,
or the world is elaborately zoned for contest,
or apparently God does not know the difference
between good and evil,
or the Chamber of Commerce
may not be your friend.

Oliver Rice | Mudlark No. 41 (2010)
Contents | Kokopelli