At the Oak Lawn Public Library where
I often check out books and DVDs
and use the public access computers,
if you browse through the stacks looking for books
like “Fishing The Dry Fly As A Living
Insect,” or, less fish, like “Trout Fishing In
America,” you won’t find them because
such books aren’t there to be found. They’re gone.
If you browse the internet for such books
you find them equally lost, but not gone,
just buried among eighty-three million
references to what Paris Hilton did
two nights ago, or many million more
equally fishy references that may
or may not say anything about trout.
I miss good books. Good. As opposed to books
designed and produced to strip-mine every
dollar from every market in the world.
When I checked out the book Paris Hilton
wrote with Merle Ginsberg and read in the park,
I sat with the book in my hand, my hand
resting in my lap and the book open
in front of me. An open book like that,
the spine in my hand, pages to the left
and to the right, looks like a butterfly.
Butterflies bask in the sun, wings open
left and right, warming themselves in the light.
Books lie open in front of us, pages
left and right, like butterflies letting us
study the pretty patterns on their wings.
But books aren’t like real butterflies from
the physical place we remember as
Atlantis. Books are like butterflies from
Atlantis, the magical place of myths.
Books are like butterflies from Atlantis,
the magical place of myths. They fly us
not by their wings, but the pretty patterns
on their wings, to worlds long gone, to worlds lost,
to lost worlds of artist and expression,
to lost worlds of designer and knowledge,
to lost worlds, too, of jester and routine.
Like “Confessions Of An Heiress.” Or this.
Books. They’re like butterflies from Atlantis.