Old Books

It’s hard to breathe
when immersed
in this scent.
It’s a man’s scent.  
A patriarch’s scent.  
The Patriarch’s scent.

So man-scented
the question must be asked:
were there any women living
wherever this paper was printed?
If there were
they aren’t present in this smell.

they were busy
holding up that world
so a man could write this.  Maybe
they were busy dying
holding up that world 
while thinking of new ones.  

That was a hint of them
just now —  
fouled wood smoke
and a whisper,

burn them,

like the crackling of pyres.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

3 responses to “Old Books

  • Léa

    Alas, perhaps you did not search deeply enough. We were there, often with a nom de plume as men would not accept our work otherwise! It was hard for Acton Bell and others in their time so imagine the time before them?
    Great poem Tony!

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