Apr 052013
 

Poems by Eric Scott Sutherland

Images by Brian Connors Manke

These poems and images appeared with Tony Stilt’s essay, “The Lexington Central Public Library is a home.” All poems will appear in Eric’s forthcoming Accents publication, pendulum.

 

not in the job description

Librarians are almost always very helpful

and often almost absurdly knowledgeable.

WelcomeWEBTheir skills are probably very underestimated

and largely underemployed.

-Charles Medawar

You went to school

to study library science,

to become an ambassador

for letters and literacy.

You love books

and want to help

people read.

You never expected

you’d be directing

people to the bathroom

and telling them

not to fall asleep.

 

have and have-not

In the dim rotunda

two people sit,

inanimate as mannequins.

New-Yorker-MagazineWEBOne is dressed in a slate

three piece uniform.

The other wears a rainbow

of second-hand mismatches.

They watch a pendulum

swing beneath the eye of the sky,

marking the miserable

seconds of the day,

the tick tocks of rat claws

as they race.

In one’s wide dark

pupils, the dream is unattainable.

And in the others the myth is

exposed, hope already lost.

 

fishing for change

lost skipper, Phoenix Park, far from sea

hair grayish green like rocky coast

Pendulum-upWEBmoss tangled under an old sock hat

a body of wire wrapped in a ragged coat

shredded to stuffing and thread

an unlit cigarette hangs between thin lips

a ship tossed in the storm of his beard

every morning voyage passes the pay phone

he casts his finger into the coin return slot

but I have never seen him get lucky

never seen him catch a dime

 

Milkshake Ricky

loves oatmeal cookies

and peanut butter shakes,

dresses in cutoff sweats

over full length

sweats, looks like he flew

out of the cuckoo’s nest,

Freedome-recordsWEBlost four pair of glasses

and two umbrellas

last week.

 

Milkshake Ricky is losing

more than his mind. The way

he fumbles through

layers of worn cotton

searching for his billfold

he may have also

lost what little

money there is left

from his monthly check.

Apr 052013
 

By Tony Stilt

The print version of this piece included poems by Eric Scott Sutherland and more photos by Brian Connors Manke. Follow the link to see the Sutherland poems and more Connors Manke images.

“The heavy anchor of the Foucault Pendulum hovers lazily over a blue and gold map of the United States.” Photo by Brian Connors Manke.

“The heavy anchor of the Foucault Pendulum hovers lazily over a blue and gold map of the United States.” Photo by Brian Connors Manke.

Everyone who knows the Lexington Central Public library knows that the fifth floor doesn’t matter—it is comprised of administrative offices, board rooms, et cetera. But the other four floors have a life of their own…

Floor One

The heavy anchor of the Foucault Pendulum hovers lazily over a blue and gold map of the United States, its golden pointer aiming one moment at Ohio, the next at an area I assume to be Missouri, but it doesn’t matter. It is swaying and it is the centerpiece and it is ignored, largely. Across from it a congregation is forming: people in ragged-looking coats and winter hats stand before a set of metal doors, watching them. Ding. The noise echoes through the building, its high pitch ringing into the creases of the New Releases; it rustles the protruding slips of names hanging from items on the “Requests” shelves; its persistence breezes lightly its neighbor, the pendulum, towards Georgia. Continue reading »