Haunted
Books


To some degree every book is a ghost
in which the soul of the author
seeks a new host

The words on each page
are designed to engage
& haunt those who pay homage to
linguistic graves

Too often the smell of death
hangs around old parchment
& as cellulose begins to flake
& molecular bonds gradually decay
soon countless mites
begin to feast on texts
with microscopic bites
& even the best of authors
are digested by cellulosic enzymes
over time

Perhaps insects & arachnids understand
perfectly well how to read:
wandering freely
& devouring what they please

They're unafraid
to scamper across shelves
& never worry about
what renown scholars tell,
or how narratives change unexpectedl...

Shu: Tsk! Tsk! I wouldn't be unduly concerned about oblivion. (laughing) It is non-negotiable.
Ella: Indeed. Why this morbid fascination?
Juanita: Well, Ernest Becker would assert that this pessimism comes from an awareness that the author's "immortality project" is failing.
Jack: Yep. All literature is a sort of culturally-endorsed immortality project – a heroic attempt to construct some kind of symbolically meaningful world.