Poem: Behind the Binding

The metaphor of man-as-volume and whether or not he's a good read.

Behind the Binding

Sorry about the shape this volume’s in,
    although it’s held up pretty well
    for all the times the pages turned
But there doesn’t seem to be a way
    to fit everything you see in me
    into a book that better fits your hand
Maybe a slicker cover, more pleasing to the eye

So take it or don’t, I can’t do otherwise
    than promise a pretty good read
It may have taken far too long to write
Cliff Notes can be had for a drink
    and it’s more irreverent
    than irrelevant I hope
And some chapters just aren’t worth the read

It’s that way wandering bookstores too, I guess
Some novels need to be stuck with
    through the early chapters
    and others not worth the nights
    spent trying to find a plot
But I’m the author of my work
    and hardly clear on that

Even so, some reviewers have been kind
There’s a sense of style at the center,
    a phrase or two well-turned,
    a hopefulness about the thing
The cover’s raggedy, a few pages torn
Yet still, I’m at my best I hope,
    behind the binding
Poetry Collection: The Smell of Tweed and Tobacco
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman's
poetry collection


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