Buy a Book Ya Bastids!
I sell reference books.
I’m a jockey in a cubicle
galloping across state lines
and time zones.
My wobbly wagon is overloaded with
multi-volume, hard cover
vetted by academics.
We offer it online free with the print
and without that
digital ghost riding shotgun,
I’d have been extinct
some time ago.
The Librarians I sell to have sentries;
Patience with fangs,
Fortitude with no budget.
I call them all,
and their names sometimes suit them;
from Somerval Linthicum
at the Savannah Arts Academy
I can smell gardenias.
Tanya Faucet runs at the mouth.
Toylanda is a spoiled librarian.
But I will not cross
Sister Loretta Marie Schollhamer
(assassins also have multiple names).
In the fall I like to call
from Ichabod Crane High School.
I have a rambunctious librarian whose hobby
is as a jammer
for the Bay City Roller Girls
in the local Roller Derby League;
she elbows her way through the pack –
on her back is stamped her pseudonym,
Their breed, their kind is fierce and territorial.
The librarians’ heart beat as a pair of lions.
The American Library Association
were the first to push back
against the Patriot Act and
“…opposes any use of governmental power
to suppress the free and open exchange
of knowledge and information
or to intimidate individuals
exercising free inquiry…”
Integrity like that you won’t get at Google.
In fact, they’ll sell it, they have a government contract.
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association
threatened to boycott our
Notorious Lives set
if we did not expunge O.J. Simpson
from its cover.
Editorial replaced him with Barry Goldwater,
and Barry Goldwater High School in Arizona refused to buy it,
a worthy exchange.
Our reference title on banned literature
was itself banned
from a school district in northern Virginia
of all places.
That is a ribbon we don with pride.
Once, a librarian whose building
was demolished by Hurricane Katrina
I told her our donation of a large set
And through tears she politely,
firmly, as a librarian might,
sir-named my ass;
“When you scoop up books
with a flat shovel,
and dump it
in a muddy wheelbarrow,
it’s more than ‘just books’,
Blog – http://redwheelbarrowpoets.org
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RWBPoets
Twitter – @RWBPoets