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The Sleeping Reader

By Damian C. Koshnick 


A small mess of books on consciousness,

piled next to the sleeping reader

took to life.


A book about emotions cried silently.

As the tears streamed down his seams,

a treatise on reason, adjusted his newly formed spectacles

and set to inquiring into the events 

that led to this presence of sadness.


A concise guide to the field of developmental psychology pooh-ed,

wailed momentarily, and then promptly discovered his ego,

it was, afterall, a concise guide.


A book on the psychology of faith crawled clumsily

toward the warmth of the reader, on the nearby mattress,

sneezing from the dust that covered 

the unswept wood slats of the darkened apartment.


The book on recovering self-esteem

felt that others were indeed

judging him by his cover, old and tattered.

He held the humble dream close, wanting dearly,

to become a book on tape.


And the book on Freud, because there always is one,

stroked his goatee, leaned back and observed the rampant naivete present

in the hapless gaggle of books milling about before him.

He took appointments throughout the night.


Like a kindly uncle, he told them about their births,

how their innards had been edited and bound,

the details of oppressed sexuality inherent in such an upbringing.


As the sun rose, burning off the fate-filled darkness,

each of them blushed with newly minted illumination and fear

at the thought of the reader waking again, 

rising from the mattress to peel them open,

to hold them along the spine, 

and touch them page by naked page.


Comments? Feedback?


Damian C. Koshnick

Flagstaff, Arizona / (701) 306-8602

Poetry Submission: Rejected by The New Yorker [Nov. 1st, 2010]


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