A Comment to a Customer

You ask me why I have not read your favorite story.

Sir! of the esteemed elder generation,

Can you not understand

The choices facing mine?

Just think of all the multitudes

Of books left crying out to us unread

—millions more than called to you—

And more made every day.

The cumulative growth of ages

Piles on until the floor,

The groaning floor,

The common ground is shattered. . . !

Splint'ring into a million sub-fragments:

Islands of man

That join together only in the base.

The very magazine you hold proclaims this!

Perhaps you would read poetry,

But there is no plurality

No consensus on form or quality

Left large enough to pay the printer's fee.

But tits appeal to all.