(Rules: Day 1 – the book you are currently reading; Day 2 – a book you loved as a child; Day 3 – a book abandoned half-read; Day 4 – a book that made a great impression on you; Day 5 – The book you return to over and over again. Nominate 3 friends each day)
Caught in an online hybrid
of tag and chain letter
you want me to tell you about my reading habits, but
I warn you, I rarely follow rules unless
the reasoning is sound.
How can I dole out my bookish experiences
piecemeal when books are more like air
to me, an indivisible atmosphere
that I breathe in and out.
Some smell of lilacs and slip
into my psyche like melting chocolate
while others gag me
with the scent of rotting flesh and yet
I read on, knowing that the kernel of the story
will nourish some necessary hunger.
As I child I loved children’s books that hold
no real charm for me now because the lenses
of childhood do not fit anymore.
I do not mourn their passing, it is the
natural way of life to move along.
Of abandoned books I will not speak.
They are the choking breath that engenders
coughing fits; best forgotten.
Some volumes drowned me with new ideas,
gave me fresh eyes with which to view my life.
They filled my lungs with the purest air, unscented
yet smelling of the world and everything in it.
These I revisit; these and the ones whose
words roll around my mind in familiar patterns,
un-pinching, comfortable and safe.
I will not tell you the names of these books
lest you accidentally read them with false expectations.
I will not exhort triumvirates of friends to spill
their literary leanings – they must offer them to you
willingly – with no guilt laden nudges.
If you want my advice about books,
this I will give you…
Read it all and decide for yourself.