Books are no good in a box he wrote
and of course they’re not. Not mine. Not his.
Not the ones everyone quotes and swears by.
Not the ones we steal from shelves or
never return. Not the ones unread and
donated to other rooms that parallel,
diverge. Sell millions and mislead.
The sequels that course correct.

Books are no good in a box
And if I’ve learned anything it’s that
its never been a fair exchange. Never.
Just existence. A long awakening to struggle.
The wise guy and the prophet say
It all balances out
but it doesn’t.
Everyone dies to be sure
but how? Hart’s Island? Egyptian sands.
Alone in a bed w/o comfort.
Alone in a bed w/o love.

Books are no good in a box he wrote
on a page as square as this. Whose words
fall off the side into other books. Other dreams
that break containment
Into other stories we tell ourselves
to avoid other testimonies.

Books are no good in a box
and so we seek pasture until
the ending suspected, isn’t.
And our multiple words amount to more
Than circus and haste, canard
and impromptu kindness.
The growing moment.
The burgeoning nigh.

A 2016 Pushcart nominee, Mike’s newest collection American Mental (Luchador Press, 2020) and CD. President, Calling All Poets, New Paltz, Beacon, NY. CD reviews appear at All About Jazz. Featured poet London, San Francisco, NYC. He loves Emily most of all.