A librarian’s name

It was a bright and sunny day when he first entered the library; he had a name that wasn’t borrowed from the books. His name was given and told of childhood, Thursday pancakes and a mother waiting for a call. He had a notebook in his pocket filled with hope, and names of lovers; he still had choices and not a destiny of borrowed thoughts.

At first he did not notice anything but gradually the books invaded veins, cobwebbed flesh, replaced his dreams. His heartbeats changed to verse and his finges turned to parchment from the pages that he loved. His notebook filled with quotes and he forgot to call his mother. He was a warden of invasive words, he forget the names of previous lovers as he fell in love with ladies; shadows from the poems on the shelves.

One day among the many, he realized that he had aged, that years had passed existing with the books.

“The books are parasites… a my in me, a life and more… but… I am just their grateful host.”

The aged Librarian is library, the books his bone and blood; both lock and key. But in his pocket he still keeps the notebook where (on the inside sleeve) is typed in youthful letters, the name that is his own, his past, his present and the sign that in the future will be carved in stone to mark his grave.

Grave by Alexei Savrasov

Grave by Alexei Savrasov

Today a new permanent bartender will give his first prompt for MTB at dVerse and the prompt is to write prose poetry. I thought I would combine this with yet an installment in my aged librarian series. Come join us at 9 PM CET.

March 2, 2017

31 responses to “A librarian’s name

  1. Intriguing poem; i feel with the Librarian.

    Here I always thought it was the other way around: books are the hosts and readers are the parasites. Guess we’ll have to scrap that old “I’m a bookworm” cliche. 😉

  2. Stunning transformation of the boy & man to an aged librarian Bjorn ~ The second stanza and last are my favorites ~ Your series are amazing to read ~

  3. With each episode of the aged librarian our compassion for him, and his truth about words, book, literature & poetry expands, deepens–and our fascination with his dark wisdom grows. I like the line /gradually the books invaded veins, cobwebbed flesh, replaced his dreams./ In a similar manner, films, the collecting & viewing of them, began to dim my own perception of my self.

  4. Oh yes! (rubs hands and giggles with glee) The Librarian in prose!
    I love the way ‘His name was given and told of childhood, Thursday pancakes and a mother waiting for a call’ and ‘At first he did not notice anything but gradually the books invaded veins, cobwebbed flesh, replaced his dreams.’

  5. Beautifully penned Björn, I have lost count of how many times I have read it.
    The draw of your words makes me understand the aged librarian’s predicament. how easy it is to get lost in others words.
    I feel sad for him as he realises the loss of himself, that he has become the library. Your last paragraph, I don’t quite know what to say other than that it made me immensely sad.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

  6. Somewhat of a magic realist twist with books being our livelihood, yes, but the haunting truth that there is no life without them. Indeed, they are blood. I’m reminded of Garcia Marquez’ “Cien Años de Soledad.”

  7. Wonderful narrative and this little line just delighted me:
    “gradually the books invaded veins, cobwebbed flesh, replaced his dreams. His heartbeats changed to verse and his finges turned to parchment from the pages that he loved.”

    This reminds me a bit of a book I’ve begun (a month or more ago!) but haven’t had a chance to finish “The Little Paris Bookstore” or something like that.

  8. Tremendously liked this one. It totally sucks you into the verse and story. It takes and takes and takes from the reader until you feel the narrator is telling you what is about to happen to you the more you consume the work. Books as Succubi–a totally entrancing, dark dance of death.

  9. This reminded me of Borges, a little. I like the idea that we are inhabited by the books we read. I’ve sometimes felt a little lost among the words around me. It’s a lovely piece.

  10. Divinely yummy! I wasn’t sure the first paragraph was poetry (I suppose it was only because of that opening phrase, ‘bright AND sunny’, which struck me as a bit redundant) – but from the second par on it became a luscious prose-poem indeed, par excellence. (As a former librarian, I have a special fondness for this series … even though I never met one quite like him. 🙂 )

  11. But in his pocket he still keeps the notebook where (on the inside sleeve) is typed in youthful letters, the name that is his own

    To think that the Library, the life-blood of many are given a miss by most. Now it is simpler to just read near-rubbish from the cell-phone! A real pity!

    Hank

  12. the idea that this librarian’s id has been leached by his time with books is so clever – I like how he began with his own memories of mother’s pancakes and a name. A parallel lesson here too for those of us who play with words!

  13. Ohhhh…this takes us through his becoming….his heartbeats changed to verse….the books his bone and blood…
    Th reference to the spine.
    This is such an interesting character … is he seeping into your being, jus a bit? He seems such fantasy and reality at the same time.

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