Books that tried to run away.
I find them in the garden
Under the lemon verbena,
They didn’t get far.
Books that went into outer space,
Worked all the controls,
Played golf on the moon, even.
They vanish in my hand off screen.
Books that update each half hour,
Never grow old
Or have to rest following exercise:
They are rarely consulted.
Books we lost in the packing
Or somebody took for the weekend.
I saw one the other day in a gallery –
One million dollars.
Books waiting with their dreams
To take over the world,
Sitting up in bed all Saturday morning,
Their Renaissances renewed.
Books it takes a hundred men to open,
In unknown languages ruly with accents;
Contain the Complete Explanation
And bibliographies like galaxies.
Books that started wars.
It hardly seems possible,
Their delicate letters pressed into paper,
That they are to blame.
Books that are fog before sunrise.
All those dreams under the rooftops,
Like this one
Electric with human activity.
Books resting with a good whiskey,
Nursing their wounds,
That were only ever an argument
With other books, sipping single malts.
Books known for their covers,
Dust-jackets to illuminate time-space.
They beckon us back into their charmed regions.
I reach for one now.
Books, whole books the poet sang
About crossing America the Illustrious
And the wonders she saw there, bells and all,
Before she woke up.