Howard Firkin
(for a full list of the resources not consulted for this poem, see
Without a reader’s card this library
is fortress: all its spires are barbed; its doors
dead nailed; unsmiling uniforms guard floors
of wealth that only the elect may see.
"But sir is free to browse through our gift shop."
Or sir may sit and stare at cliffs of stone
that rise like judgements of a petty god
refusing paradise to one poor sod
not even fit to be expelled, just shown
the gate at which he’s welcome not to stop.

The stupid, the ill-bred, the dense, ill-starred,
the hoi polloi, the mob, the never-mourned
are milling, taking snaps in your courtyard,
and wondering. So don’t say you weren’t warned.