Barnes & Noble: A Poem
I went to Barnes & Noble the other day
Or B&N as I call it for short
There's no place quite like a book store
It's a literary safe house, it's an academic fort.
You go there thinking of a certain book
But the search, it will be distracted
It's nice to think you'll take just "a look"
But that assessment will soon be retracted.
I head for the Science Fiction
It is my love and genre of choice
AI and clones and space exploration
Philip K. Dick and Asimov the tools and the voice.
Next I peruse the Baseball section
A sport I've loved since being just a Little Andy
I find a book on my favorite pitcher
His last name was Koufax, his first name was Sandy.
He threw four no-hitters as a Dodger
Including a perfect game in '65
When asked what his best pitch was
"Strike one," is how the lefty replied.
Next I move to the political aisle
But, alas, I can never stay for too long
Bullshit, pundits, more bullshit, and guile
With the same ugly dance, and the same tired song.
First, Bill O'Reilly, with The Factor for kids
It's amazing that his books sell more than two skids
Sean Hannity, your covers, your titles—sweet Jesus, please
Each book should be sold with a large wheel of cheese.
I move over to Science and Einstein and Hawking
The girl with the torn jeans probably thinks that I'm stalking
Yet I just want to read about String Theory and Pi
But I'm getting a weird vibe so I'll go back to Sci-Fi.
Eventually I'm onto humor
With The Onion, Franken, Sedaris, and Vowell
Maybe a second run through the store
Then I should probably throw in the towel.
I find a book in the New Releases
I pick it up and read to page ten
I put it down and I circle the table
Then, retardedly, I pick up the same book again.
You and I will never buy that book
But how optimistic are we?
We linger around an interesting title
Hoping the store will just hand it to us for free.
And there's that girl in the torn jeans again
I swear this time she's in pursuit
She couldn't really be that into IT Management
Then again, I'm not really into the history of the flute.
Lastly, it's the magazines
Where the elite and common see eye-to-eye
Blender, Rolling Stone, Maxim and Cosmo
None of which anyone will actually buy.
We all walk to the exit a little disappointed
So many that we almost want to buy
If we had a million to spend on just books
We'd still need a week to look and decide.
Silently we walk away from the store
With no purchase (or phone number) to bring back
We all return home from B&N and realize
That unread books is not something we lack.