Friday, March 5, 2010

Bookstore Poem

The Bookstore by Elizabeth Newstat

At work I get attached to strangers
Who are dying
Whose dogs are dying
Who have hot diamond engagement rings
Whose checks bounce
Whose cats are dying
Who bring in paper sacks
hiding whiskey bottles before the binge
Whose husbands are having quadruples
Who love Eat, Pray, Love
Who hate Eat, Pray, Love
Whose father-in-law loves Sarah Palin
Whose dog needs a wheelchair
Whose dog can’t eat wheat
(Good! No biscuit for you!)
Whose dog attacks me
Who show me their novels, scripts, poems
and make me happy
Who flirt with the beautiful young Lesbian bookseller
straight men
Who flirt with the handsome young gay bookseller
gay men
Who flirt with me for practice with the young and beautiful
Who forget the author
Who forget the title
“Begins with moon”
“Begins with the”
“Author is John”
“Author is Jane”
Who buy a book by the cover
Who buy a book by the weight
Who show me their Kindle
but buy my pick in solidarity
Who write books themselves and check shelves
and complain
“Where is my book?”
Who write books themselves and don’t check the shelves
Who are geniuses and don’t care if their book is here
Whose dogs are mellow, fat, lazy, crazy
Remember the baker in La Femme du Boulanger
I talk to the dog instead of the owner.

1 comment:

  1. I love this poem! It takes me back to my days working at Book Soup years ago. My very first day, the manager warned me, "People will say, 'I'm looking for a book--it has a blue cover...'" and he was right.