Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Death of the Bookstore

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Death of the Bookstore

Article excerpt

"Today," the eulogist said

to the gathering that stood alongside

the large wooden box which enclosed the store's remains

now suspended on straps above empty space,

"we commit this venture to the ground

from which all things are formed

of star fabric, and to which we also

will return. This one we loved

joins too many of its siblings

vanishing too young. But as the body

is not the soul, a bookstore

is not a book. What sustains the one

is not the substance of the other.

Let us then take consolation: books

flourished long before this shop

opened, and live on

though we mourn today a familiar presence

dispersed to ash and wind.

Let those who deny the soul, the human urge

to story, the gratitude and pleasure in the mind

as we read and listen,

proclaim that the book, like this shop,

is dead

and the author dead

and the reader likewise.

Every cult is founded on the nonsensical,

and this one's believers find comfort

in closing their eyes to the word in the world,

as if the deaf were to chant determinedly

There is no sound. …

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