Tuesday, September 21, 2010

poem of the day 09.21.10

francois villon and i

i knock over
a stack of used books
in the narrow row of this packed

swear and curse my luck
when this woman asks me
where she can find the francois Villon

she doesn’t know it
but we are looking for the same thing

maybe she wouldn’t care

i tell her that
i don’t work here
but then i proceed to go
through the carts of books with her

i don’t know why
but it’s important that this woman knows
that i know who francois villon is

poet, thief, vagabond
and whatever else

i want her to feel
as though we are partners in this quest

it’s not a sexual thing or whatever

i’m starting to reach the age
where i don’t even look anymore
where everyone, every woman
is just another dull body on the street

someone else’s problem
like i’m my wife’s problem
and she’s sometimes mine

love works fine like that

i tell the woman
it is an old book that we are looking for
blue with brittle yellow pages

it costs around ten bucks, i say

she looks at me as if i’m lying to her
about not working here
some clerk pulling a fast one
getting small laughs out of
the frustration of her quest

but i’m not
i’ve just held that book in my hands so many times
that i know the contours of it
the smell of the molding pages

when we both determine
that the book is gone
the woman begins looking
for another poet on her list

one that she’s not inclined to share with me

i drift off toward the novels
watch the sweating masses spend their paychecks
on a warm saturday afternoon
then i go and find my wife
where i know she’ll always be in this place

i tell her that the book i wanted is gone

i tell her all about
francois villon, the woman, and i

she says isn’t that the book
that you are always looking at

yes, i answer, and it’s gone

you probably would’ve given it
to her, if it were there

probably, i say

then my wife looks at her watch
our favorite bar is opening in five minutes
she asks me if i want to get a few pints
and put this day to rest

yes, i tell her

we leave the bookstore
poetry and francois villon be damned

1 comment:

bandit said...

'one that she's not inclined to share with me', he says. heh heh...

Let me share this: