A Luddite’s Lament: Doomsday Books

in the style of e.e. cummmings:

doomsday books

when the number 2 pencils are sharpened,

the yellow pads spring sprightly to attention

ready to receive homage in leaden latin characters,

not characters produced with digital code, but analog.

analogously, alone, the writer, typing or writing,

threading by memory that fall day when the bicycle was blue and

the boy shook his hair back out of his eyes

while the girl held on & thought, maybe,

she had discovered love.

the three-hole punch is at the ready; the swingline stapler standing by its side,

while on the turntable neil young sings songs of remorse,

remorse, regret, reform, refrain

down by the river country girl.

the library’s hints and smells of bygone years

pages crinkled



the dust

of ages, of pages, of time past, time forgotten, time imagined

time travel

time and again




(I acknowledge my debt to Connie Willis author of Doomsday Book, published in 1993, and to Jack Finney author of Time and Again, published in 1970. Also Neil Young and Crazy Horse and Crosby, Still, Nash & Young, and for Neil Young’s songs “Down by the River” on Everybody Knows this is Nowhere and “Country Girl” on CSNY’s Déjà Vu.)

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