Poetry

Laura Allsopp-Huddle | 23 November 2022 


Naked Words to redress the book

Clicking typing- heavy sighs. Browsing scrolling silent cries

 

I wonder how far you've wandered, how many steps your watch could count

 

I wonder from the distance you've travelled, how many shelves you've ravaged, before the spines give out

 

Dog-eared torn- Do not write in pen

 

But how else would you remember how the damn thing ends.

 

Hidden lost between these realms

 

Discovered found outside themselves

 

There is something within these stacks and fragments of broken collective

 

Something about the institute, emblem, that seems seductive, suggestive

 

You’re here, you’ve earned your place! Do not let it go to waste. 

 

 

Click type silent sighs- Browse scroll studious eyes

 

I wonder how far you’ve stumbled, how many ideas you’ve tossed away,

 

I wonder how much potential is wasted, how you contrive your mind to what the theories say

 

Neither the eyes, nor windows, are portals to your soul. The inked pages alone, will your truth, recall

 

It's a shame- you’ll never write those soulful thoughts onto a page for us all

 

You’ll just click and type- only open your mouth to let out a sigh

 

You’ll memorise and write about some dead guy

 

We’ll never know the genius that could have been

 

Because subconsciously you’re convinced your thoughts aren't worthy of being seen.

 

But perhaps that’s the curse- I’ve read enough to know- the age of rebirth happened far too long ago.

 

 

We study it so much that we now believe,

 

Everything worth writing about, painting, singing, inventing,

 

Whatever one may conceive-

 

Has already been written out, painted, sung and invented,

 

It is futile. The age of rebirth has long been suspended

 

Well, read this or no, I think it’s time that bloody curse ended.

 

Radical need not be the only valid time spender, 

 

Shock factor need not be the only art agenda. 

 

So lower that book for a minute- hiding your face, take a moment from your computer, step into the human race,

 

Tell me, are you reborn? Enlightened? Romantic? Perhaps a modernist?

 

Could you show me what's worth keeping, among all of this?

 

 

Be inspired, by all means. Be informed, yes!

 

But be fired up, by any means. If you do not know the answer, guess!

 

Life is too short to merely regurgitate names, and their theories, 

 

Bored, weary, shouting into the webcam, can you hear me?

 

Trust- that dreaded word- that what you have to say matters, even if it feels eerily similar to something you’ve already heard.

 

What if- that dreaded phrase- your own idea was sparked, ignited, by something on that page.

 

Worthy of a rebirth, the renaissance of our own age.

 

 

Clicking typing heavy sighs. Browsing scrolling questioning lies

 

What if the link is broken? Typing, but words are often louder spoken!

 

I believe- now hear me out- we may yet conceive- a future of education that isn’t based on the degradation of the individualist idea

 

That curriculum, well it just could become, an open book, a circus, a screen, an international trip, a courage to the fear

 

A sigh of relief, is it getting hot in here?

 

The fire you ignited, this desire to create you’ve invited, 

 

could fill up your word count much faster than the most recent theories you chase after.

 

 

Keyboards at long last still for the evening- overwhelmed, hard pressed, but able to breathe

 

You switch off your computer, prepared this empty darkened library to leave

 

A head full of histories, collective memories, original thought a comical fantasy

 

When you notice, one book that you’ve never seen

 

On a shelf many times you’re sure you’ve already ravaged 

 

Something you haven't read? No! The audacity of a savage.

 

Yet upon reaching out lifting the weight of its leaves with one inquisitive hand

 

Peeling back it's covers you reveal something anyone well read could never understand

 

There’s something, other than finding a book you’ve never read, even more outrageous

 

There are, how do I say this? Hundreds and hundreds of empty pages!

 

You fall to a chair, flabbergasted Are you impressed by my vocabulary? That’s what my reading did for me

 

Wondering how the spectacle wearing intelligentsia forces of the librarians could have passed this.

 

Your fingers trace the leather back to front, passing it from one hand to the other, left to right.

 

All that empty space, wasted bark pressed to white

 

 

Waiting endlessly for some doctorate, theorist or philosopher to write

 

The room is silent as you lift the book again, when oh!

 

 Into your lap drops from between the pages of the book, a battered well inked steel pen

 

Between an empty book, and a tool filled with blackened possibility,

 

There is a head, up there on the only pair of shoulders in this room, full of masterful, praised, canonised, seminal writers of the past.

 

Would you, could you, write something of your own at last?

 

Rock and a hard place, paper and a pen. When your discourses of potential are demanding decisions, what then?

 

When your essays, tweets and captions that call for action are all truly put to the test

 

Might you write something that disappears on a shelf, dusty, derivative, mimicry of all the rest?

 

Or can you carve out- change- write something on the empty page of your history

 

Create kindling that ignites a generation’s hearts? 

 

It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just need to be willing to conceive, that it’s worth it to start.