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poem scribbled onto the back of a half price books receipt whilst sitting in the architecture section

i needed to escape my thoughts

but didn’t feel like driving

all the way to the library to be


surrounded by books

settling instead

on a half price books

i was hoping to find

kafka on the shore

by haruki murakami


no such luck



gleefully discovering

a hard cover with pristine jacket

of larry brown’s


and a two buck

the smiths



i sat in the wing chair

of the architecture section

devouring my unearthed treasures

trying to forget

for a moment

people were elsewhere

in the world






i found myself

wishing for a part time job

in the intellectual oasis

as a way to support my book addiction


sighing as i realized it could never be


i don’t have enough facial piercings

i’m not pale enough

i don’t have an ironically bad manic panicked haircut

i haven’t stretched my ear piercings with grommets

inside which one could wear an antique salt cellar

or piece of driftwood

in each lumbering lobe

i don’t wear my sweaters belted and frayed

or present with a look of general disdain

and loathing of the shoppers or human race

a permanent puss on an acne scarred face


they would never

hire me

2 replies on “poem scribbled onto the back of a half price books receipt whilst sitting in the architecture section”

Poem scrawled on the back of five year old half price books paystub

We never have Murakami
because no one sells it
and whenever someone asked for it
I sighed
because even if it did show up
I would only lie
and buy it for myself

while Russel Hoban collects dust
because college students don’t care
he’s simply untumblrable
and infinitely unglamorous

He doesn’t fit in the fantasy
that selling books equates to reading them
the laughable glamour
that paris exists
in a retail bookstore

Cold reality-
the employees are ugly
but you only saw
what you wanted to
but I held the inventory manager
when her father died

he was a serial killer

and those people dying
never mattered to you anyway
while you drooled on the paper
that cost them their lives

and fantasized

The smell of old books
is just decomposition.
Lignan is nothing special
and neither were you

but I didn’t hate you
I loved your footfalls
echoing through fiction
while you hated my sighs

from the work
that took my time
from the books
from the sideways
judgmental looks
when I was caught
fondling Heidegger
on fringe of the children section

I wished so badly to make it through
to have that moment
I dreamed of
come true
where we bumped into each other
and I could have promised
that every book you ever wanted
I would have lent to you.

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