dVerse – The snobbery of books

I wonder –
is there a certain cachet
to be gained from being seen
holding some vast tome
in your aching hands,
arms held just so,
biceps straining under the weight?
Such dedication requires admiration,
for the sheer girth surely reflects
the capacity and agility of the reader’s mind.

I wonder –
do men prefer to be seen
with several inches resting in their laps
– since as we all know, size matters –
even if the weighty article
shows no sign of ever having
been opened, not even to see
the name of the lucky recipient
of the heartfelt dedication
on the pristine pages within?

I wonder –
is it more earnest to handle
a whisper of a thing lightly betwixt
skeletal finger and thumb?
A novel so short it verges on the
novella, but not so short, you understand
to render it unworthy,
the mere sparseness of language, and
the economy of words is so artful and artless
and less is more more, than more could ever be.

I wonder –
does it really matter
what he reads, what she reads, what they read
as long as there are readers willing to read?

—–
Hurrah! It’s Open Link Night at dVerse. At this time of the month, we are given free reign to write in whatever style we please, and on any topic that we wish. This piece of mine came to me on the train travelling home from work on Friday night. So many people sitting with closed books on their laps, spurned in favour of the smartphone…..

Do visit dVerse and revel in the gloriousness of word, words, words! I will be reading and commenting tomorrow, never fear… I’ve just got back from a day of unctious writingness – a masterclass and readings, with lots of discussion, so I am a little frazzled – but in a good way!

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Mixed Messages – dVerse

once, they said we could have it all –
the partner, the career, the children
we could be superwomen all day long
immaculate, capable, professional
the mother, the lover, the corporate boss
all superlatively and effortlessly achieved
the house, the car, the long-haul holidays
yes, once, they said, we could have it all

and then, and then
we were vilified for wanting a career, and
for wanting to leave our babies at nurseries, and
for making someone else prepare the dinner, and
we were penalised at work, we were penalised at home
whatever we did – we were wrong
the back-slapping testosterone board-room, boar-boorish doors were closed
the mothers at the school-gates-club
raised their collective eyebrows at parents’ evenings
as the strange apparition of the ‘career woman’ made her appearance

and then, and then
the childless, the husband(or wife)less
were dragged through the biting, back-biting, tight-lippedness
un-natural, bitch-in-the-boardroom, frigid, husk treatment
damned if you do what they want
damned if you don’t
damned every which way but young, blond, legs-up-to-here and easy to please
we are our own worst enemies, and
we listen too much to the media, and
to the politicians (who listen too much to the media)
we listen too much to our inner bitch voice
you know the one, the friend who nobody wants
can we turn her off?
only if we work harder than was ever expected
of the mother-lover-corporate boss –
only if.

Mixed Messages

———-

It’s that time of the month, the last Saturday, where us poets can leave whatever type of poetry we like at the dVerse bar – yes, it’s Open Link Night! Tonight, Mary is our congenial barkeep – her first time on OLN, so be kind, don’t wave money in her face to get her attention or reel off a long list of drinks. All in good time!

This piece of mine was something I was working on for submission to an anthology, but I decided to go with something else instead which was more fitting. I only half-finished this poem, so this has been buffed up a bit and chopped around. As is common with my work right now, it’s a little political! I obviously have issues I need to get off my chest.

Please pop over to dVerse to see what varigated delights await you. No two poems will be the same, that’s for sure. Happy reading, all.

 

 

Gauntlet

Discover me, hiding between the bookshelves

My trenches from which to peer out at the world.

 

Discover me, a hardback in front of my face

My shield and protector from prying eyes.

 

Discover me, writing as fast as the words come to mind

My pen is my sword, I’ll use it to fight.

 

Discover me.

Unravel me.

Reveal me.

 

There just might be more to me than you think.

 

———-

Hurrah! It’s the monthly fun that is dVerse Open Link, and the bar is open! Beth is tending bar today – she’s new, so be kind, and don’t tut, roll your eyes or indicate any other expressions of impatience as she learns where all the special beers and ales are kept.

This monthly get together has no theme, it is purely for us poets to offer up our creations and revel in all the offerings laid out before us. Why not join in, either be reading and commenting, or even by putting your work on show too? We don’t bite!

My offering is partially inspired by the inner life of a solitary writer, mixed up with influences from recent family history talk and many wonderful photos I was lucky enough to see last weekend, en famille.