On the Use of Books as Decorations

I do not like the way things look—
My wife has re-arranged my books.
Some misbegotten decorative scheme
Has wrought its voguish, flighty theme
And even now as this you read
I’m searching for a book I need.

Here’s Borges by the breakfast nook
There’s Chandler by the wine rack;
George Ade arrayed below coat hooks
And all to show their spine backs.

“Flannery O’Connor—has she gone far?”
“The white ones looked better by the bar.”
“She drank martinis–how apropos.”
“I did it for contrast–I wouldn’t know.”

Volumes of poems that once were poised
on bedside table—are they now extinct?
“How did you make the fatal choice?”
I took the ones with covers of pink.”

As daylight fades and sight grows dim
The outer darkness closes in.
I light the lamps, she says
“Turn them lower!”
“Not till I find The Moviegoer.”

2 thoughts on “On the Use of Books as Decorations

  1. We were going to remodel and brought in a prospective interior designer who’d been recommended by friends. “You have too many books,” she told us, “they’ll have to go.”
    “We hired you to remodel the kitchen and bathrooms,” we said. “You’ll have to go.”

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