A Night at the Library

Poetry

By Andrew Unruh

I.
The modest of cities houses the modest of libraries
where I roam as if a ghostly figure,
merely haunting the stacks, whose books are filled with
ghosts of their own, yearning to be set free.

A gentle rain patters the windows, while
the sky turns from deep blue to inky black—
the library itself almost breaths, as if a
sleeping cat, curled upon the foot of a bed.

II.
I move up and down the stairs,
while a fellow patron stares at me as I pass,
and I imagine him silently judging me,
probably thinking “I bet he doesn’t even live in this city.”

All I can do is meet his stare with my own.  My gaze
an almost listless expression, the kind found on someone caught
between boredom and a vague interest in what one is doing—
merely worn as a show, as to not look too clinically depressed.

III.
I make my way through the fiction—
past Faulkner and Fitzgerald, past Joyce and Kerouac—
I find myself in the back, among the poetry,
and sit down with a pile of Ginsberg.

I wade through his verses, and the words—
the words seem to almost shout and
barge into each other, like drunks
looking for a fight.

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Psychic Respiration

Poetry

By Andrew Unruh

A burned out light in the sky,
its life-spark lost to the aether,
throws shade across its hollow-eyed
desolation tenement lodgers…

Telephone wires above are sizzling like a snare
smoking in the supernatural darkness,
floating across the tops of cities
reproducing flowers of green-gold, red-gold and fire…

The cinders of psychic respiration flow on
within you and without you, as we lay
by the gnarled steel roots of trees of machinery.

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Haiku Quartet

Poetry

By Andrew Unruh

I.
A southern Kansas wind…
My favorite friend,
I wonder where she lives now?

II.
Bare sycamore branch—
Laughter pervades the air,
Leaves fly

III.
Deep spring’s blue hour
Movement through an alleyway
One dog’s lone bark

IV.
Early morning’s lavender mist
The ever-recoiling shore
A baying hound