Gwinnett Street Book Box, poetry by Lou Storey at

Gwinnett Street Book Box

Gwinnett Street Book Box

written by: Lou Storey


STUDENTS To the Book Box
all hairdo, tattoo, piercing, dressed poverty-chic in art school standard, checking out the covers for acceptable edge.

REGULARS To the Book Box
in comfortable shoes, different bandwidth of graying, in yin-yang couple formation, doing a Barnes & Nobel back cover read angling for smart set status.

HOMELESS To the Book Box
Layers of clothes, pushing stolen shopping carts, sometimes ranting, maybe empty out the box because they can, it’s free like so little else.

KIDS To the Book Box
Sneakers and hoods, a chance to vandalize, take revenge on the authority of pages, litter the street with broken bindings, release inherent rage that will never be spent.

GIVERS To the Book Box
on foot, in cars, trucks, bicycles, unloading romance, history, text, fiction and non, all soft covers placed tight as starlings on the line waiting to take flight.

Witness to the Book Box
Here I sit, spent retiree, Olympian and unobserved from above, this lucky mistake of a desk next to a window, my preoccupation more information retrieval than distraction

each approach noted
each interaction with the box
each process of selection and refusal
each giver, so far, never a taker
each taker diverse except in conviction of removal
all staking a claim on new discoveries

Before the box
the decades spent in libraries was never an intention
the random overboard misadventures adrift in lovers and careers
the rescue in a steady tidal drift that cast me back to welcoming shores of vertical stacks
the shelves heavy in harvest, like luscious artichokes ripe for the hungry peel of pages

A box, small haint-blue
A box on a post planted long before the house was mine
Etched in stone, painted on papyrus, inked on scrolls, printed Guttenberg
A box entrusted by the gods demanding worship
Divine offering of escape, of knowledge, of wonder, a gift of boundless love
A box as reminder of their erudite gift to us all
Delivers the need to live another day.

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