Book Loaned to Tom Andrews

Bobby C. Rogers

 
I'd already found out that one of the secrets to happiness was never loan your
books. But I loaned it anyway. We were all of us poor and living
on ideas, stumbling home late to basement apartments, talking to ourselves.
What did we own except books and debt? When the time came
we could move it all in the trunk of a car. Tom knew what a book was worth—he
brought it back a week later, seemingly unhandled, just a little looser
in the spine, a trade paper edition of The Death of Artemio Cruz, required reading
for a course in postmodernism we were suffering through.
The book's trashed now, boxed up and buried in the garage with a hundred other
things I can't throw away. When I moved back south I loaned it again
to a girl I'd just met. At some party I'd said it was the best novel since Absalom,
Absalom!, which may have been true, but mostly I was trying to impress her,
and convince myself, still testing all I'd been told about the matter of a book
is best kept separate from, well, matter. Months later it turned up
on my front steps without comment, the cover torn in two places, the dog-eared
pages of self-conscious prose stuck together with dark, rich chocolate.
 
From Paper Anniversary, published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Copyright 2011 by Bobby C. Rogers. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Further Reading

Poems About Friendship
After the Movie
by Marie Howe
Blue Is Beautiful Amy but the Story Is So the '90s
by Farrah Field
Dear Friends
by Edwin Arlington Robinson
For N & K
by Gina Myers
Friend
by Jean Valentine
Friend,
by Jean Valentine
From the Lives of My Friends
by Michael Dickman
Given
by Joanna Klink
Heaven for Helen
by Mark Doty
Heaven for Stanley
by Mark Doty
How I Am
by Jason Shinder
I Love the Hour Just Before
by Todd Boss
Mending Wall
by Robert Frost
On Gifts For Grace
by Bernadette Mayer
On the Road to the Sea
by Charlotte Mew
sisters
by Lucille Clifton
Skunk Hour
by Robert Lowell
Song of Myself, X
by Walt Whitman
Stanzas in Meditation
by Gertrude Stein
Suddenly
by Sharon Olds
The Armadillo
by Elizabeth Bishop
The Soul unto itself (683)
by Emily Dickinson
This Lime Tree Bower My Prison
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
To a Friend who sent me some Roses
by John Keats
To Amy Lowell
by Eunice Tietjens
To My Oldest Friend, Whose Silence Is Like a Death
by Lloyd Schwartz
To Thomas Moore
by George Gordon Byron
Train-Mates
by Witter Bynner
Travelling
by William Wordsworth
We Have Been Friends Together
by Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton
You & I Belong in This Kitchen
by Juan Felipe Herrera
Your Catfish Friend
by Richard Brautigan
Poems about the Past
Evasive Action
by Charlie Smith
Imperatives
by Marilyn Buck
Last Century
by Wyatt Prunty
On Becoming a Poet in the 1950s
by Stephen Beal
The Ark Upon His Shoulders
by Forrest Gander
The Cold War [excerpt]
by Kathleen Ossip
The Hammock
by Li-Young Lee
The Past
by Michael Ryan
The Present Crisis
by James Russell Lowell
Wedding Album 1977
by Tess Taylor
When I Am in the Kitchen
by Jeanne Marie Beaumont
Poems about Reading
from Please Bury Me in This
by Allison Benis White
After Reading Lao Tzu
by Amy Newlove Schroeder
Books
by Gerald Stern
Burning of the Three Fires
by Jeanne Marie Beaumont
Forgetfulness
by Billy Collins
Hans Reading, Hans Smoking
by Liam Rector
How to Read a Poem: Beginner's Manual
by Pamela Spiro Wagner
Inspire Hope
by Amy Lawless
Learning to Read
by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Light By Which I Read
by Eric Pankey
Love For This Book
by Pablo Neruda
My First Memory (of Librarians)
by Nikki Giovanni
One Train May Hide Another
by Kenneth Koch
Passerby, These are Words
by Yves Bonnefoy
Reading Moby-Dick at 30,000 Feet
by Tony Hoagland
Reading Novalis in Montana
by Melissa Kwasny
Shawl
by Albert Goldbarth
Stet Stet Stet
by Ange Mlinko
The Author to Her Book
by Anne Bradstreet
The Best Thing Anyone Ever Said About Paul Celan
by Shane McCrae
The Land of Story-books
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Reader
by Richard Wilbur
The Secret
by Denise Levertov
There is no frigate like a book (1263)
by Emily Dickinson
To the Reader
by Jena Osman
To the Reader: If You Asked Me
by Chase Twichell
Untitled [I closed the book and changed my life]
by Bruce Smith
Why I Am Afraid of Turning the Page
by Cate Marvin
You Begin
by Margaret Atwood