So I sit, as comfortable as an arthritic
On a cold, damp day.
I’m inside Sittingbourne Library and
I pine at the books that surround me.
I have to shift constantly in my fuchsia torture chair.
I am told it’s fuchsia by an attractive library assistant,
With a high pitched southern scratch.
I wouldn’t know what “fuchsia” was
Even if it sidled up to me and carved its colour into my hand
Whilst screaminG: “I’M FUCHSIA, YOU GIMP!”
Back to my pining.
I shift again like I did last summer.
I pine. I lament. I damn-right sulk.
For everywhere I look, among the
Briefs Encountered by Julian Clary,
A wide selection of Dick Francis;
Vanishing Africa by Gianni Giansanti;
Clive James’ hilarious commentaries;
Poetry by the laureate Ted Hughes;
Terry Pratchet; et al…
In between I see big spaces…with the
Scared voice of the boy from Sixth Sense
Whispering into my cold lugs…
I shift my irritated leg up and down like a water-pump.
…and not one single space is filled with me.
I consider writing out slips of paper of
My poetry and stories
surreptitiously fill the gaps,
Like peasant book-tokens,
Into the well-earned life-works of
The talented unaware…
I slip down the seat. The edge is nigh.
…voices can be heard above my thoughts.
Bar-codes and logins, scanners and availability are discussed.
Where has the time gone when stern
Ladies, with specs on pointy nose-ends,
Glared above lenses at the slightest
Chair scrape or obnoxious sneeze.
Concentration and libraries are now
This is an era where librarians flirt
Joke in voices loud and thoughtless.
This is an time where librarians wear
Tight, defined jeans and low-cut
This is now a place where mobiles are
Tiffs are ended,
Love is shared.
A place where ignorant slobs
Chomp on food and slurp,
Like calves at thumb, on cheap
Signs laughingly suggest that we
“Take it easy”
Children run headlong into scared
I shift my last shift.
I will either end up on the anorexic,
Grey wall-to-wall carpet, with
a cracked tail-bone
Or I will become immune to this chair.
Either way it’s time to pull my finger out and
Fill some spaces…