Friday, November 25, 2016

A New Poem: Books

by Donald Illich

It’s time to read the books. 
To open them wide, rub
our heads against their words. 
Jiggle our lobes in their verbs,
listen to their sweet language. 
It’s time to risk papercuts,
stack these volumes by our beds. 
We might reappear on a pirate
ship, or as a detective trying
to solve a crime in the 1930s. 
Eyes might cross and re-cross
the same beautiful passage
over and over, the reverse
of the River Styx, entering
the land of the living.  It’s time
to take action from what we absorb,
line up against political injustice,
as the heroes of that writing did. 
We can rewrite the disastrous
endings by fighting for the innocent
and good, by demanding a vote,
a chance to sing in unison
before the mansions of power. 
It’s time to read the books. 
It doesn’t matter which one,
they will lead you where you need
to be.  Just by sitting there
you are resisting the path others
want you to follow.  By turning
pages, you make yourself
a criminal against the unjust. 
Keep a book over your heart. 
Even bullets will fail to stop us.

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