Saturday, May 24, 2014

Overdue Poems

Poor Folk

The book on her nightstand
is by Dostoevsky, one of
his early novels. She
studied him in college,
wrote a master’s thesis on
The Brothers Karamazov, his final.

The main character works as a copyist,
frequently belittled and picked on
by colleagues. His clothes
are worn and dirty. His
cousin is from the country.
He is in love.

But a rich man
proposes. She slowly
becomes accustomed to money
and leaves the copyist
alone. His plea goes

The book goes
unfinished. She has lost momentum.
Life happens too quickly. Two
full-time jobs leave no time
for Russian novels, only
Russian vodka.


It Speaks

A book begins to speak,
tells me how lonely it is
in dusty stacks,
for a book of poems.

Only poets
read poetry,
for academic assessment
or love inspires a search for clichés.

I take the poor thing home,
prove the truth it speaks,
            a poet
granting poetry
its only wish.


"Poor Folks" and "It Speaks" were published in Overdue Poems, a chapbook of work by members of the Wright Library Poets in Celebration of Libraries, Reading and Books, compiled and edited by Grace Curtis and Elizabeth Schmidt and made possible by a grant from the Wright Memorial Public Library Foundation.


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