Out of Print

Literature is one of the saddest roads to everything.

Andre Breton
The beige-painted walls, 
last year’s calendar
in that memorized spin

across the weeks. The days
of sandwiches uneaten, 
undrunk tea 

the cleft of your chin
over this volume 
you palpitate into seizure 

to read aloud. But do 
this, acolytes, before 
the hardback priest dissolves 

into his peopled canon
of light, which never dims
or fails to guard
our lopsided library.
Oh, frightened
library, rise from the clatter

of your stacks. We aspire
to your shelves, to stand 
with Homer, Ulysses, our own

swords drawn, dripping 
to dismember the deadbolt,
circulation’s grassy membrane

before shovel and worm
swallow our entrails, too. 
You must Prevail!

(This, of course, after 
the other side has long warned us, 
has fallen out of print)

Bobby Parrott

Bobby Parrott earned his MFA in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University. His poems appear or are upcoming in Preface, Grubstreet, Spoon River, Landfill, Poetic Sun, Star*Line, Stick Figure Poetry Quarterly, and elsewhere. Immersed in a forest-spun jacket of toy dirigibles, he dreams himself out of formlessness in the chartreuse meditation capsule known as Fort Collins, Colorado with his house plant Zebrina, and his wind-up robot Nordstrom.