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Additions to Albert Goldbarth's "Library" by
Poets Previously Featured on Poetry Daily

Andrew Hudgins | Daisy Fried | Barbara Hamby | David Kirby | Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Virgil Suárez | James Richardson | Margot Schilpp | Nick Carbo | Denise Duhamel
David Lehman | Rachel Loden | Bruce A. Jacobs | Christina Davis | Jeffrey Levine
Dorianne Laux | Angelo Verga | Judith Taylor | James Reiss | Laura Kasischke
Peter Makuck | Charles H. Webb | Ron Koertge | Douglas Goetsch | Bob Hicok
Matthea Harvey | Kim Addonizio

Andrew Hudgins:

This book don't carry no gamblers, this book.
This book is leaving in the morning, this book.
This book don't carry no rustlers, this book—
no street walkers, no two-bit hustlers.
This book is bound for glory, this book
This is the book of sweet aloha.
This magic book, so different and so new,
just like any other, till it met you.
This book wants you back again.

Daisy Fried:

This is the book I have to hide when I start to write because all it does is
    make me write pale imitations.
This book I threw across the room in college, because I had drunk so much
    tequila I was about to be sick, only I didn't know it, so I searched my shelves
    for a book that had nothing but kindness and purity in it, thinking it would
    make me feel better. That's when I discovered the author was snotty about
    almost everything and everybody; the book seemed full of the world's ugliness;
    I had never noticed this before. Whack! It hit the wall. Then I threw up,
    felt better, masking-taped it, put it back on the shelf. But my Complete Novels
    of Jane Austen
's spine is, to this day, split and I've never replaced it with
    an undamaged copy.
This book makes the mistake of trying to describe orgasms.
This book is the girl on the Wildwood boardwalk at night, the day's white
    tan-lines making a Y coming up along her spine from her tank top, walking
    beside the boy who's trying to get up the courage to put his hand on her bare
    arm skin, the last pier's gondolas strung from their wires like beads on a chain,
    the rollercoasters' cargoes hurling shrieks and shrieks across the sky,
    boardwalk workers calling, crying choice, choice, choice, guys, your choice
    of a prize
! and her body's wild. And she doesn't know it yet.
I think the phrase "and she doesn't know it yet" probably comes from an
    Albert Goldbarth poem — but I can't remember which one, as he wrote
    all of these books.
This book was written in 1933 and contains the line "Sao Paulo's nascent
    capitalism turns its feudal and hairy belly up." Also: "In the great social
    penitentiary the looms rise and march noisily." And: "In the salons of the rich,
    lackey poets declaim: — How lovely is thy loom!" And: "The bourgeoisie plan
    mediocre romances."
This book has the courage of its own sentimentality.
In this book, all orgasms experienced by characters, though not described, are
    simultaneous, multiple and mind-blowing, especially when the sex is preceded
    by spanking or coercion.
This book mostly feeds on carrion.
This book was mocked, then revered, and now, I hear, has begun to be mocked again.
This book is interactive. When the visiting author showed how it worked, one of the
    students whispered "you can't be serious" and walked out. He got an A.
This book has mice, it has moths, it has ants, it has rats, but no roaches, it has no
    cockroaches at all.
This book is a cheap-furniture catalogue, and I want this, and I want this, and
    I want this, and I want this, and...
This book does it fast, then lies in the light shining in the window.
I like the author of this book better than the book itself; this other book
    I like much better than its author.
This book needed a better art-director.
This book looks back at you, smirking, like Cranach's Venus: skinny, barefoot,
    potbellied, polished, undressed down to snood, hat (ridiculous hat for a goddess),
    and a faint feathering of pubic hair under a diaphanous veil.
This book is in on it.
My husband won't know that I spilled coffee on this book (right where Siegfried
    Sassoon helps Wilfred Owen with a line about cattle, in the mental hospital
    where they meet during the war) unless he rereads it. Luckily he hardly
    ever re-reads anything written in the 20th century.
If I quote this book to my father, we get in a fight.
This book I sent to my grandmother, who won't read it, as she's lost her mind.
This book starts slow, then lights up all at once like an alarm system set off
    by a careless jewel heist.
This book wears short skirts, likes to flip them up and show its panties.
In this book all mentions of blue foreshadow death.
I tried to read this book, but never succeeded until I got a better translation.
Face it, this book is full of shit. It is.
This is the book my husband reads when he is sick.
Speaking of jewels, this book is wrong. In the fairy tale, it wasn’t one girl
    who spat jewels when she talked while the other spat toads. There was only one
    girl and what came out of her mouth was an iguana, and its lewd toes
    were spangled with emeralds.
I wish I wrote this book.

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Virgil Suárez:

This book learned to speak Spanish in a Berlitz crash-course.
This book went down to Havana to find a young Jinetera
    to speak in the language of love to.
This book has consumed too many Cuba Libres.
Dizzy, this book staggers down El Malecon, empty handed,
    but looking out for Yankee Imperialists.
The poet of this book yearns to meet Fidel and re-enact
    the scene from The God Father where Diniro jams a knife
    into the belly of his nemesis.
The poet of this book is an 80 year old woman who never left
    her native island, who wrote sonnets to her garden, who never
    ventured beyond the gates of her property. Her name is Dona Inez.
Remember the book. Remember the poet.

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Barbara Hamby:

This book has every gorgeous word in the English language, including Abyssinian,
    bebop, catatonic, deluxe, elephantiasis, foxglove, glossolalia, haruspex,
    incunabula, jaundice, kidnap, Liliuokalani, mezzo-soprano, necromancy, oops,
    phlox, quim, ranunculus, succubus, toxophilite, Uccello, vainglorious,
    woo, Xanadu, yummy, zinnia.
This book is a map of Paris, including the location of the store where I bought a pair
    of shoes designed in an otherwise unknown collaboration between Mother
    Teresa and the Marquis de Sade.
This book is a bible of self-loathing, beginning with ah, me and ending with
    zut alors.
This book is feeling sorry for itself.
This book has never been checked out of the library, and, you know what, that's
    the way he likes it, goddamnit. Who needs a reader anyway, sniveling
    antisocial misfits?
This book contains all the names of your favorite diseases, including apoplexy,
    beriberi, catarrh, dadaism, ennui, fistula, glomerulonephritis,
    Hegelianism, intumescence, joviality, knuckleheadedness, laziness,
    metromania, necrophilia, otohemineurasthenia, poise, quixotism,
    rabidity, self-immolation, tularemia, uxoriousness, vapidity,
    wantonness, xerophthalmia, yellow-jacket stings, zoomania.
This library is sick of all the typomaniacs out there. Stop! There is enough drivel
    in the world. Write one good book instead of 1,700 of bad ones.
This library will never be full.

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David Kirby:

This is the Book of Twos: twins, Tuesday, snake eyes, two-timing, two's
    company but three's a crowd.
This is the Book of Threes: third rail, Third Man, Three Stooges, Holy
    Trinity, two's company but three's a crowd.
This is the guide to the Museum of Improbable Architecture.
This is the hymnal of the Church of Terrifying Mathematics.
It's the textbook currently in use at the Institute for Reverse Evolution.
Faithless Lover's Kiss, Guilty Kiss, Kiss in Which the Kisser is
    Keeping One Eye on Himself in the Mirror: these are just a few of the many
    ways to kiss covered in this book, which is called Sinners in the Hands of
    an Angry God.
This book is actually a soup ladle that is going to serve you the best soups
    ever made.
This book is actually a little red sports car that is going to drive you over a cliff.
    On the way down, you'll discover you have pages and a table of
    contents and an index and an annotated bibliography. You'll
    have two covers, one for good weather and one for bad. You'll
    have a spine. You'll live forever.

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Laure-Anne Bosselaar:

This book was censured once, but survived — see?
This book of poems was carved in the bricks of a Turkish jail cell.
This one — Illuminations — was on the Catholic Index of Banned Books:
    it changed my life when I was fourteen and still fills me with light.
This is copy number twenty-one of a book I keep lending or giving away.
This Feminist book made me join the Men's Movement.
This book was written by a French airplane pilot. I have read it each year for the
    past fifty-three years.
This is a book of poetry: the cover says so. But something went awry at the printer's:
    it's full of air.
This is a book of vast and beautiful poetry. Adolf Hitler loved: it terrifies me
    to have something in common with him.

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James Richardson:

This book, like a window, is kept closed all winter,
This one, to clear the air, I open.
And here's the section of obsolete references, waiting to be mistakes we can
    learn from.
This folio's loved for its cliff-like heights, its skies, the breeze of its
    huge pages.
I wonder how many others are reading it, are looking at the moon. Is that what
    the pale luminescence is, their gazes faintly on it?
This book is Wallace Stevens reading himself. "For what, except for you, do
    I feel love. / Do I press the extremest book of the wisest man / Close to
     me, hidden in day and night?"
Here (I never could read it) is one of the darkest books: the things you were afraid
    to tell me.
"Nor would I be a poet," Dickinson says in this book. Reading is better, she
    says — or is it loving? — "Enamored—impotent—content." How freeing
    she finds it, this "license to revere."
(They meet in the book of my head, do Emily and Wallace. They're reading each
    other, she's saying that to him).
Here is a book about "books about books." And this is a sentence about it,
    beginning and ending in white.
And here's the "extremest book of the wisest man." (I press it close to me,
    hidden in day and night). I won't say who the author is, since that keeps
(On page 35 of this book, I gazed out into the falling snow, forever, which is
    the ending the poet intended, though it's exactly in the middle).
But look at these books, slim, inconsequential: Batting Averages of the
    Queens of England
, Sweet Fish Drinks You Can Blend Yourself,
    and, slimmest of all, Self-Help for the Perfect. No one has ever taken
    them out of the library.
Here are Hardy and Frost and Keats, Lucretius and Lear: books I read all
    the time without ever opening them.
And here are my own books, slimmer than any. The one about a dirt path up a
    hill, its strange expectancy (maybe it was leading to a lake — I never
    got there). The one about light on the white sill, river-wavery, our long
    first year. The one about trillions of starlings whirling and finally settling,
    if you could wait that long, like ashes again. Has anyone ever taken them
    out? Don't look.
This book cracks faintly when you open it up, as I do, standing or sitting.
This book, like most books, is for people younger than I, but long ago I
    understood it and I like to think I still do. It changed my life, but, since
    I can't remember not having read it, I can't be sure exactly how.
And this book I love beyond telling but never recommend. Maybe I'm a little
    protective of it, or embarrassed. Maybe it's not so great, but we are
    great together. Maybe I don't really read the words that other people
    find so ordinary (too bad for them). Maybe I just look through them
    like a window, or maybe the book reads me, but I know, I just know,
    that it's trying to say everything that matters.
This bug eye dig-tatered to Voice Recognition Software that knows exactly
    what I'm saying. Id's fool of homo-nymphs.
And here's the extremest book of a different wisest man. This one's been dead
    for centuries, but somehow he keeps writing. Every morning, I find a line,
    a passage, a whole volume I'm sure wasn't there yesterday.
And here, containing all of the above, plus ravishing autumns, vertigo
    and smoke, nearly prophetic authority tempered with a wistful whimsy
    recognizable as mine, is my favorite. Of course, it's the book that
    the book I'm writing now will turn out not to be.
And this is the book most like that impossible book. It's like my child. It
    pleases me to imagine I could have written it, though it is much better
    for having written itself.
And this is the book that will tell you everything the other books forgot to,
    all the secrets of your existence, each practical tip, everything
    you'll ever know, but reading it takes exactly as long as your life.

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Margot Schilpp:

This book I lent to a student, who kept it four years before finally, and
    by then, anonymously, slipping it back into my mailbox.
This book I bought miles away from home so that no one I know would witness
    its purchase.
This book misspells Hopkins' name as "Manly."
This book describes the labia of the howler monkey.
This book contains a baggie full of hair.
This book serenaded a wound.
Near the inscription, this book has a little crooked star penned by my friend,
This book, entitled Gone, But Not Forgotten, is a place to store canceled
This book is infested with silverfish.
This book is a Lead Pipe in the Observatory with Colonel Mustard.
In the right light, this book exhibits my fingerprints raised in SuperGlue,
    from when I couldn't wait to get back to it after fixing a lamp.
This book insulted me, and this one, I took too personally.
This book contains an errata sheet informing me that what I thought was
    a clever line in a poem was not only a mistake, but that the author's
    intent was, instead, to be boring.
When I was a child, I pretended to be able to read this book, and I'd
    convinced my mother I could read — when she turned the pages, I'd
    recite "My name is Nicholas" (turning page), "I live in a hollow tree."
    It took her a while to realize I simply had a good memory.
This book I used to cure a ganglion.
Pepsi-Cola, Episcopal — this book pointed out that these words
    consist of the same letters.
This book reminded me of new ways I never move my body.
This book made me succumb to temptation.
This book I'm lending to you.

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Nick Carbo:

This book was placed in an abecedarian graveyard where the bones of
    failed poets cracked whenever the wind turned a page.
This book has stood on the corner of Aguinaldo Avenue and Magsaysay Boulevard
    in Manila.
This book is the ancient cousin of the Pantoum.
This book declared Martial Law and proclaimed Pablo Neruda's shoes as the
    nation's official symbol.
This book eats vine-ripe tomatoes from Marianne Moore's imaginary garden.
This book was taken from Lope de Vega's book shelf in 1671, sold to Amadis
    de Gaula for 310 escudos in 1723, crossed the Atlantic ocean in 1768 for
    El Puerto de San Agustin in Florida, given as a gift to Sor Inez de la
    Fuente in the Convento de Apostoles in Mexico City in 1811, sold to a
    book seller in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1898, bought by the University of
    Maine at Orono Special Collections Library in 1909.
This book has meningitis.

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Denise Duhamel:

When I open it, this book about butterflies looks like a butterfly. The
    wing-pages won't lie flat.
This book is really two homemade chapbooks by Bill Knott: Selected Poems
    Volume One
and Selected Poems Volume Two, their twin spines held
    together by a rubber band.
This chapbook is by one of my husband’s creative writing students —
    she put it in an empty CD case.
This book has an epigraph by Cher.
This coffee table book is about famous coffee tables.
Steal this Book by Abbey Hoffman is out of date. You can't sneak on
    airplanes anymore since all the tickets are computerized.
This book is about how to publish your own book.
This book’s scratch and sniff feature is losing its once-potent scents.
This book has wavy pages because I dropped it into a puddle a few years ago.
This book is puffy and plastic and safe for reading in the bathtub.
This book about Shirley Temple has a two page spread of her face. My copy is
    not lined up right so that her left nostril and left eye and the left half
    of her milk tooth smile droop.
This book has vocabulary words I didn’t know in fifth grade, my loopy
    handwriting filling up the margins: rasping, conferring, glibsy (sic),
    mussed, incredulously, disheveled....
This is what my cousin Linda Caron wrote on the blue end papers of The
    Haunted Bridge
, Nancy’s silhouette hunched, her magnifying glass angled
    to the ground: Carson Drew was a detective. His daughter Nancy helped him
    solve all the mysteries. While Nancy was searching for a jeweled vanity case,
    she came across many missleading (sic, but clever) clues. But with the help
    of her girlfriends, George and Bess, Nancy kept searching for the case. The
    obvious theif (sic) Miss Judson was innocent. Mrs. Brownell, the real theif
    (sic), confessed everything. The end. Maybe she wrote that so that if she ever
    returned to the book years later she wouldn’t have to reread all 220 pages.
This book cost "73 cents" from the Ann&Hope Factory Outlet.
This book cost £1.99. I bought it in Wales.
This book is a coloring book that I've always been afraid to ruin, so all
    the pages are still black and white.
This book gave me terrible dieting tips. By the time I’d finished reading
    it, I gained 8 pounds.
This book advised buying a blank book to write daily affirmations.
This blank book is still blank.
This book helped me do my taxes.
This book taught me to make pumpkin soup and oatmeal cookies.
This book’s author ran away with one of her own minor characters.
This book was put into a straitjacket and relocated to another shelf.
This book is still in its shrink wrap. I can hear it gasping for breath.

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David Lehman:

This book does not exist. It was originally an adulterous love affair. Then it became
    a Cold War spy novel set in Europe and the Middle East.
When I wrote this book I was fifteen years old.
This was my first book, the great work book of America, where everyone held a job
    and the smokestacks were as beautiful as autumn smoke.
The titles of these books were filched from Dostoyevski, Rabelais, Stendhal,
    Homer, Aeschylus, Dante, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Jonathan
    Swift, and Mark Twain.
There are also books with blank pages; books of titles, of handwritten notes, of
    notes written in different cities.
These are the books of childhood and the books of childhood forests.
This book is candy of a kind they no longer produce.
This book is a dollar bill with a poem written on it in a foreign language.
In this book you will find encrypted the solution to a puzzle posed in an eccentric
    millionaire's will.
In this book you will be young enough to remember wishing you were older.
In this book the mysteries of poetry are mountains plains mill towns prairies, the
    Prime Minister makes plans in the p.m., and a papier-mache Paris Metro
    poster proves more praiseworthy than putative masterpieces. Missing
    people? Marvelous, period.

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Rachel Loden:

A Satellite Library

This is a booke of meteors, as well fiery and ayrie as watry and earthy;
    by W.F., Doctor in Divinitie.
This book is held together by a rubber band.
This book fell on the head of a girl in Perth, who read it and founded a new
    school of poetry.
This book has a blurb from Thoth, the Egyptian god of scribes.
This book is about a trap door into the underworld, twelve pairs of tattered
    shoes, and the hapless dozing of young men.
This book has a small wormhole in the bottom margin.
I'm afraid to put this book on top of that book. They both bruise so easily.
This book was made by Wang Jie on behalf of his two parents on the 13th of
    the 4th moon of the 9th year of Xiantong.
This book contains certain grievances.
My secret name for this book: "Mam'selle Fifi."
This book smells like a hot night in a French prison and the groin of a
This book was drafted over a long, tempestuous weekend, in crayon.
This is the book not found in her effects, the book not written.
This useful book maps out the hall of looking-glasses, the ogress and the
    tub of toads.
This pretie one: faint soiling to the vellum. The original gold silk ties.

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Bruce A. Jacobs:

This is the book that roared through my childhood bedroom on the back of an
    Indian elephant.
This is the book that lit the tent beneath my blankets like a blue-tinted
    tunnel to freedom.
This is the book that I unsnapped for help, at age 14, after cute Glenda
    dared me to guess her bra size.
This is a book providing illuminated instructions for heating one's life
    with the summer sun.
This is a book about moving slowly. It contains one word.
This is the book of right answers.
This is the book of antidotes to right answers.
This is the book that thawed the universe, allowing me to move in water.
This is the book that hunted and retrieved the lost air in a dead man's
This is a book reputed to contain more than six hundred repetitions of
    the word "motherfucker." I didn't count.
This is a book that claims to be a book about trout fishing. It is
    actually a book about trout fishing.
This is the book that John Wayne read.
This is the other book that John Wayne owned. He didn't read it.
This is a book about North American mammals, from which I would
    sometimes read aloud in bed to my mistress. Before we were discovered,
    she took to softly referring to me as "male mammal."
This is a book that explains why a sob equals a teardrop multiplied by the
    speed of light squared.
This is the book that taught white people how it feels to be wrong.
This is the book that taught black people how it feels to be right.

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Christina Davis:

The Library

This book has been left too long, a crying no one
has picked up for hours.

Its words are not talk, but more like song is talk
gone too far, and replyless.

I would like to hold this book a little longer,
the crying in which we are intended.

Happiness has no heroine.

The words are weightless as carrying
a mad man across
the mind.

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Jeffrey Levine:

This book is by an artist who knew that one eye sees, the other feels.
This book reminded me what Browning's Bishop owed to King Solomon.
This book glories in the source of all my earthly wealth, such as it is,
    and mourns its mounting loss, such as it was.
This book is a single poem, with space to breathe, a clouded hand and a
    solitary squall.
My friend said thirty years ago that I would never read a better one, so
    I have been saving this book for the time when I can no longer get out
    of bed.
This book of poems, all in Spanish, I bought with devalued Sucres one
    morning in Quito. It is filled with aching woodcuts I almost understand.
This book was made into a bad movie, and is even worse than that.
This book is by a classical philologist who can make that phrase sound like
    poetry, and poetry sound like anything else.
This book is by a man who argues with his Mexican father, and still loves
    everything that ripens.
This book is the keys to; it taught me a way a lone a last a loved a long
    the. It sang Lps. Listen. The river's song. End here, it knew.

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Dorianne Laux:

This book exploded in my hands like a star, cured me of hubris, burrowed through
    my body like a worm, took my heart down into the mines.
This book taught me about the universe, black holes and sun bursts, the infinite,
    ordered beauty of chaos, opened my mind into the void and sent the earth
    spinning through it.
This book made branches, waves and spirals, spheres and meanders, one hundred
    and twenty degree angles in my brain.
This book rang me like a bell.
This book devoured me whole.

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Angelo Verga:

This book elbows its way
onto my shelf, the scale
I use to measure myself
                                    shoving Whitman & Virgil apart

This jagged tome is my un-paginated soul
Impossible to replicate, unique as yours
Not downloadable off a web site

I bend the slight spine, which I despise
I flutter its pages, each a feather on a cod which cannot fly
This book will be licked by salt and time
Barbaric, yet civilized, this disaster is mine

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Judith Taylor:

Collected Works of Lord Byron. Long ago a silly young virgin prayed that
    the author of this work would come back from the Beyond and seduce her.
    Not getting it that one of his mistresses saying he was "mad, bad, and
    dangerous to know" was not a good recommendation for any boyfriend, dead
    or alive.
The Tulip: The Story of a Flower That Has Made Men Mad. Looks interesting
    wish I could read it right now yoga first tulips wilting get new purple
    ones traded like stocks in 17th century must find out more later
Daniel Deronda: Albert's reading a couple of pages every night: don't spoil
    it for him by telling him what happens! V.Woolf thought this author was
    the only grown-up Victorian novelist. Accordingly, the book has a sober
    ending. Truthfully, all I remember is the tone. The actual ending? That's
    hazy. Very, very hazy.
Siddhartha. Remember sleeping with that boy in college because he loved a
    book as much as you did?
Splendid Slippers: A Thousand Years of an Erotic Tradition. Photographs of
    tiny exquisitely embroidered slippers worn by Chinese women from the
    tenth to the end of the twentieth century. The woman's broken foot with
    its cave-like arch was used by the man for his sexual pleasure. She always
    wore a thin white stocking over this oriface; her lover never saw the foot.
Maverick Guide to Morocco. Oh restless cowardly one, will you pick yourself
    up already and go somewhere remote and alluring? Instead you sit in your
    big fat chair reading.

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James Reiss:

This book caused Bill Gates to donate a bazillion bucks to the Academy of American Pot Growers.
This book is a hook.
This book has been missing from its mistress' library of cat catalogues.
This book flounced out of the Biblioteca Dantesca and cried, "Menagia
    la miseria!
This book kicked Hitler in his shriveled nazis.
This book made melancholy Abe Lincoln smile and show his incisors.
This book is not Don Selby nor was meant to be.
Silly reader, did you think this book could describe the smell of a pine grove
    in summer or teach a seedling to read?

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Laura Kasischke:


This is the book that made me immortal,
the book that foretold my death. The same
book, I read it once: I was born with this book in my hands.
This is the book
that taught me to read.
The hands of my mother have touched it.
And nothing more
can be asked of this book. May the author of this book rest.
Of this book, not a thing
was ever expected, and yet
it has been the source
of all my terrors and my desperate pleasures.
Not a story left. Not a page unread.
Not a word. Not a breath. Surely
the work of this
particular book is done.
Still, in the silence
a small voice says, Mama
one more book. Oh. I believed
that this was my book, but this is the book of my son.

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Peter Makuck:

The Book

It's the book that used to be young and fresh with ink, excited me
    with its musky scent, gazed into my dilated eyes.
It's the book my college roommate hated, he said, because fuckin Paco loved
    it, Señor Wireglasses down the fuckin hall — fuckin bookworm spic,
    that fuck.
It's the book that makes you weep for the deaths of your parents.
It's the book your colleague calls a text — paper, glue, and ink, a swarm
    of symbols for certain sounds.
This is a book of Nabokov's poems, a signed first edition, and leans
    against others that are signed: Faulkner, Stafford, Kizer, Hugo, Matthews,
    Carver, Carruth. But this is really about the junkie who stole my VCR —
    poor bastard, if he'd only known what to look for.
It's a book in the making, about a people-eating pool table; its balls
    clack together and lightning shoots from all six pockets; it begs to be
    a best-seller, then a film; it squats in the adolescent dark dreaming of
    actors, impatiently waiting for Stephen King to start typing.
It's that silly book about skin trade in Thailand, a Marxist brainfart
    posing as insight, flabby as the person who wrote it. See how it eats
    during a name-dropping monologue, spraying you with cheese dip and crackers,
    then flosses yellowish teeth with a long strand of its own gray hair.
After only one drink, this book put its hand on my crotch.
It's the Collected Love Poems of O. J. Simpson. Hey, just kidding!
It's a new book of weak poems by a well-known anthologist, someone who
    makes Norman Mailer seem humble. Watch the poets rushing to praise it.
It's a man-hating book by a black-widow poet. How glamorous the dust-jacket
    photo, after hours of air brushing. How easily it shreds, fits in an envelope,
    and arrives at her door.
This is the only book my father ever read, during a long hospital stay.
    Years later, I overheard him ask a cellist at a reception, if she had
    ever read The Brothers Karamazov, and did she like the part where
    precocious boy tricks a peasant into running over his goose with his own cart?
This is one of the books they still burn in West Virginia; this other they
    don't, but should.
This book, once banned, now seems tame, could barely stir an impure thought —
    a shame . . . .

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Charles Harper Webb:

This book was the author's ticket out, but the train ran over him.
This book contains every disease and syndrome known to modern medicine.
    You could get a hernia picking it up.
This book explains all recognized mental disorders. I've never opened it.
    What do you think — I'm crazy?
This book taught me krav maga, the official self defense of the Israeli
    military. Now I can say "got my ass kicked" in Hebrew.
I stole this dirty book from Oak Forest Pharmacy in 7th grade. I feared jail
    less than the checkout lady's eyes.
I was reading this book in the jacuzzi when I met my ex. Its pages have
    hardened into waves.
I finished this tome in the bathroom. I call that efficiency.
This book made me a man.
This one made me a hermaphrodite.
You know that story about the old woman who told a famous physicist —
    Stephen Hawking, let's say — that the world rests on a tortoise's
    back? Asked what that tortoise rested on, she replied, "It's turtles all
    the way down." Those turtles are like this book.

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Ron Koertge:

Of course there is the Book of All I Don't Know (will you look at
the size of that mother!), the Book of the Cowlick with its tender margins,
the Book of the Various, with pages almost the same, the Book of What Is
Mucho Très Apropos
(last checked out in 1973). But the one that I return
to, the one that never fails to move me is this baby — the Book of Lipstick
Badly Yet Ernestly Applied

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Douglas Goetsch:

This book told me how to prevent myself from going nearsighted.
This book has a swastika doodled on the inside cover by a schoolboy
    in the 1920s.
This book I accidentally stole from a store on Bleecker Street. I was
    halfway down the block when I realized, and kept going.
I have three copies of this book, and won't part with any of them.
This book of Freud lectures had a smell I couldn't place. I brought it to my
    face as I watched girls in mini-skirts waft in and out of the college library.
This is the book my father was reading the month before he left my mother.
    He marked the important places with four stars in the margin.
I shelve this book spine first, not wanting others to see it.
This book convinces me of my innocence. I keep needing to reread it.

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Bob Hicok:

This seven pound book is the equivalent of a Cadillac with fins.
This book is Manhattan in '46. Streetlights wear fedoras, maples drink
    scotch and the Empire State Building looks up the skirt of the night
    and says the moon belongs to America.
This book explains gas and ovens and the procedural means of eradicating
    a people and still not one page makes sense.
My 1963 World Book Encyclopedia tells me marijuana leads inevitably to
    heroin addiction. I read it to remember unlocked doors and tabletop
    crewcuts, the smell of Luckys when they were health food.
This book about the earth has a back ache from the pen marking my place.
    It's by John McPhee, who wrote another book about oranges. I stopped
    where the Rockys were born and can't wait to see how the story comes out.
Right here it says light can move faster than light. If this means time could
    turn and skate the other way, puberty might visit my skin and crotch
    once more. I'll burn this book before I turn fifteen again.
One of the joys of bookshelves is making Nietzsche sleep beside
    Thessalonians and Zechariah.
I'm thinking of a book by the poet with the Frigidaire brain. Goldfinch,
    Goldblatt. Something like that. Everything ever written lives in his
    head. Goldputty, Goltooth. I've seen people get whiplash from his poems.
     Goldbrew, Goldfart. Whatever. A name's something for the tombstone
    to say instead of NEXT. It's the hurricane in his mouth we're lucky
    he lets out. To describe loneliness he wrote of a con licking the
    sweat of a visitor's hands from the bars of his cell. That alone
    is a book, is art.
If you must kill centipedes, The History of Arthropods is the ironical
    tome for you.
The best book explains the glow in the oaks from house and moon as I walk
    alone, tells me what animal the light becomes and why my body's
    more faithful to my soul at night, not in words I've ever tasted
    and not with language at all, it knows the sounds beyond our
    tongues are why we write and that just one book matters, it's
    the one that can't exist and the only book I love.

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Matthea Harvey:

This book I could be friends with if it would just shut up.
This book is a little peru.
This book contains pictures of Sasha running through the city in a suit
    of light.
This book couldn’t teach me how to clean my pony.
I found this book in a quiet place.
This is the book I caught my robot reading.
The grey-bodied, white-winged books are the ones to watch for.
Tiny Tolstoy dreamt of postponing bedtime by making his mother read a much
    bigger book. This is that book.

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Kim Addonizio:

This book was written by me and contains one ex-husband, several
    ex-lovers, and enough alcohol to drown an average-sized
This book was written by an ex-lover and presents me as a character
    who is sadistically dismembered by a serial killer in a cheap
    apartment, spaghetti stains on my sleeves, a failed poem in the
This book was written by a stranger; bought second-hand, it contains crazed pencilled
    marginalia by another stranger, with whom I have begun to feel increasingly

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