Bargain Books

(C) 2014 by Howard Dart Humeston

 

Steinbeck
I told the girl who
although alluring
was far too young and
unenlightened to create
anything but concupiscence
within me. She
said what does he
write

 

I replied not much
since he’s dead at the moment
but he wrote quite a bit
before dying perhaps you’ve
heard of him?

 

She smiled and tried
to sell me
a fatuous action/romance novel
with the same plot as the
other fourteen hundred

 

novels on her shelves
Only the names
have been changed to protect
the obvious, and the
price was $19.95 and it
was a best seller
for nine months
and all

 

Thanks, but I haven’t the
sort of cash
for such twaddle. How about
that Steinbeck fellow or
if not, perhaps I’ll go
for a Faulkner or even
a Thoreau if you can
dig one up

Ha, that’s funny
dig one up, she chuckled
snapping azure bubble gum
are they dead
too?

She shoveled through a mound
of bargain books
and I wound up buying
one of Sylvia Plath’s
poetry and one Hemingway
all for under a ten-spot,
with change enough
for a pastelito and Cuban coffee
next door

She smiled watching me leave the shop,
no doubt thinking I was a cheap

old fart and not cultured as I am
While
I thought she had the smarts
of play dough with a cute ass.