paperback rider 4: fictional prevarication


Millie, a librarian, has been revealing aspects of her life to an employee. Soon he is going to have to earn the salary that he isn’t being paid. Part 1 is here.

Now we’ve covered everything
I care about, it’s time for you
to write your heart out on these
pillowslips and handkerchiefs.
Use this fabric pen, fill it with a dramatic color,
and let me know your chosen subject,
for shelving later on.

I needed a distraction.
Do you hear the distant screams, the sirens and the like?
Beyond the tinted windows of our bibliographic haven,
passers-by are shouting at the starblown sky,
kneeled in prayer, or searching for 
a mortal remnant
that they might have dropped.

Millie shrugged.
All within a lonely standard deviation
on an average Saturday night.
I expect it’s Dark Solarians,
tourists from the shadow sun.

By day, they’re unremarkable,
but after midnight, while true Solarians
are dreaming of the light they lost,
their shadows re-emit the luminance
they borrowed.

There was a time I loved one.
I brought him irises with velvet tongues.

Could we change the subject?
Solarians make me nervous.

I haven’t mentioned the childhood trilobites
once that ruled the world,
and that twice ruled me.
Three times they left me
in a dream of commutation.
I drew them with too many colored pencils.

Fascinating, I lied, but writing isn’t easy.
Which first word should tear the viscoelastic white,
the codependent silence?
And I would never dare a sentence.
Words are people, overtones, harmonics,
and all their complex combinatrics.

Millie was persistently herself.
Choose a topic.

We give away our best,
if not, they get a better offer.
That is who we are.

I have a title:
An Introduction to the Theory of Transmission Lines.

to continue


artwork  solar debit  (detail above)

26 thoughts on “paperback rider 4: fictional prevarication

  1. Millie was persistently herself.- again I love this person and all she(?) represents, no compromise is her motto in life, we all need a motto or mission statement don’t we Steve, to find our purpose if we lose it. This part is extremely poetic far fetched fantasy. Words are like people and needed to be treated with respect.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Gina. Yes, I think we’re all looking for who we are. Perhaps in some ways that anchor, that certainty, is a moving target. We have a natural tendency to believe that we are fixed in our core, somehow immutable. We need to believe we were the same person yesterday and we’ll be the same tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m unraveling “We give away our best, if not they get a better offer.” Best to stick with transmission lines I think– much simpler. Poignant, disturbing and amusing. Not necessarily in that order. 🙂 Are the elusive ping pong balls gone forever then?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, BG. Hope the unravelling goes well. My students didn’t think much of transmission lines.

      I read a piece of my poetry at a dinner at a small art gallery last Saturday. Before I started, I mentioned that nothing would make sense; I thought that was only fair. 😜 I can’t speak for the ping-pong balls, who knows?


  3. I was feeling sorry for the protagonist for being trapped in the library and forced to work for no salary, but judging from the outside world described by Millie, he’s fortunate not to be out there. “Writing isn’t easy”: no truer words! More often than not, I also don’t “dare a sentence”.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How odd, I thought I’d read this. Or maybe not odd, I get so lost in WP.
    I had a quick read yesterday of the next 2 and came back for another read, realised I hadn’t read this. And because of that silly prologue I can’t remember what I was going to say.
    So I’ll just say, “thank you”. Thank you for sharing your entertaining/thought provoking/clever/hilarious lines!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am lost in the past, Vanessa. I think the lack of narrative continuity, or in fact any form of continuity, is one of my strong points. When I read back something I’ve written, I start at the last verse and read to the first. 🐒 So please, miss whatever you like.

      And that was quite a thank you, adjectivally. I’m multiply flattered.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry Steve, didn’t have a chance yesterday to leave a comment. Have been traipsing around the wilds of western Victoria taking my parents to my aunt’s funeral. That’s when I find out how appalling Vodafone’s coverage is!
        But your comment made me laugh. Thank you! I needed that!


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