August 24, 2007

A Sordid Tale of Pages Turned: How Ogden Nash Brought Two Together

A Sordid Tale of Pages Turned
How Ogden Nash Brought Two Together
by Brockeim

She stepped inside my library. She was no Marianne the Librarian, but a sleek-dressed poetess with more than iambs on her mind.

She glanced from book to book, tome to tome, as if she would explore each volume with her intoxicatingly invasive eyes. Peering into the glass case, the one where the dustless ancient classics lay in waiting, this mistress of many books seared through to her verbal quarry. She knew what she wanted. She knew why she entered this dark place of paper towers.

The moments of silent reading passed, as she fingered through spines of titles long forgotten by the lesser literati. I stood in anxious awe, knowing I was far from alone in my private glory, this collection of books gathered from borrowed dreams.

I adjusted my reading spectacles. This slight movement of my hand disturbed my reflection in the bookcase glass.

She smiled as she saw me grab a collection of Ogden Nash. No, not Voltaire, not Homer, not even Chaucer. Nash.

With light freedom in hand, I sat to read at an oblong table with a chipped off corner. The sun sprinkling through a dirty ceiling window served me what I need.

Moments, unlike Mr. Nash's poems, passed like clouds on a windless day. I read of liquor and celery until I no longer wanted either. She continued to walk from shelf to shelf, always in my sight, and, then, she found a book.

She sat. She spoke:

"My name is April."


authorette said...

All romantic encounters should take place in libraries. My first kiss was in a library. They're building a new library two blocks from my house. With a cafe. I've decided I'll never move again.

Brockeim said...

All? What happens in the stacks stays in the stacks.

Libraries and coffeeshops are the pubs of the reader, of the poet and, of the thinker. The one who reaches there finds, or hopes to find what cannot be found in the streets, or alone.

A first, or early crush for me was found in one as well, though not with the help of Ogden Nash. I think the helping book was Curious George or an adventure involving a snowball that melted when saved. Ezra Jack Keats knew his stuff, and how to bring two together.