Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Against Relentless Living

One novelist bemoans the state
Of reading, caught between relentless
Bouts of living in an age of screens.

Please. Since when was living ever not
Relentless? Erasmus loved fine food
And sniffed at inns with dirty linens.

Yes, he sought out books, but let Etsy
Shill the samplers about buying them
Before purchasing food and clothing.

Then there’s print. Novels were binge-viewing
For an era with nothing to watch,
Then serialized as cash machines—

From Dickens to Penguins to dime stores,
Beach reads, and so on, through Stephen King.
Between bouts of relentless living,

People need some space to breathe, not read.
Deep reading’s one good cure for boredom,
Deep boredom for relentless living.

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