I go to this bookshop,
pick up a book
called The Elm Tree
by Peter O’Neill
it’s strange,
the bookshop lady
asks as I buy it
if I’m a friend of his.
I’m not – it just looked good
but jesus,
poor Peter. and she just assumed,
as if anyone
buying his book
must know him personally
and be doing him a favour,
as if nobody flicks through his poems
and decides they might be good.
I guess she’s right
but it makes me more secure
that none of my friends
ever give a fuck about poems;
I’ll never hear that someone
asked them that.
The Winding Stair:
poetry and condescension
and they also serve coffee.

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