Once upon a time, the Earth was cold.
There were no books.
In a twinkle of time,
the multitudes grew hot
with opinions, options, and paradigms.
there are too many books for you,
and there is global warming.
Books broke the back of the Word,
scribes begat scribblers,
illuminated manuscripts gave birth to maps,
travellers told tales of other words and worlds,
there are too many books born and buried,
too many stories circulating.
Go into your local bookshop
on O’Connell Street by the Shannon River.
The only medicine a microscope
to browse the molecules of wisdom
that revolve in a particle of your imagination.
You are sharing the heated earth
with marks, words, phrases, lines, paragraphs, pages, chapters, volumes
– numbers incalculable –
like stars crying out for attention,
as if minute lights might shine your path,
as if the affection of your orbit
was craved by mysteries of an expanding multiverse.
There are too many stars for you to follow,
too many stories.
You will burn yourself into a black hole
if you consume all the particles in your local bookshop,
all the wisdom crammed on shelves
arranged for your salvation.
In the beginning was the Word.
They procreated the earth,
the matter that matters,
the sunlight that burns through fog,
and longs to peter out
before the books return to rest.