William Cook

Rookie (New Zealand)

B & D - Poem by William Cook


There I sit in Dunedin Public Library
my spine turned toward the Octagon
through concrete fences & facades
Robbie Burns’ statue shambles
arms outstretched
birdshit on his shoulders
to fumble through my pages
as I stand unopened
squashed between Baxter & Curnow
quite happily, at least...

& there I flourished
quite briefly, if nowhere else
in my florid imagination
at Auckland University Library
in the soft hands of a woman book-buyer
who took a chance on a ‘no-name’
(just file me under ‘C’)
to fill a quote with her order
& no doubt if she stopped to read
she would have found every typo
every tumour, but hopefully
she would have found the gold
beneath the grammar & heard
the breath behind the stammer
before she cast me on the shelf
somewhere between B & D

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Poem Submitted: Friday, July 21, 2006

Poem Edited: Wednesday, August 18, 2010

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