The Book of the Idiot
This a sad cage of a book full of words
but little meaning
It rings hollow when tapped for sense.
Whilst vacant, empty, and pop-eyed on one page,
It speaks gibberish and loud nonsense on the next,
Its lungs are noisy when it is silent.
It is silent when it huffs and puffs to make the most noise.
Perhaps there should be patience and pathos
Reserved for this congenital idiot,
Drooling, sucking his finger,
Digesting his thoughts,
Scratching his head and his belly,
Looking for fleas between the pages of his legs.
But such sympathy and patience is wasted here.
Or perhaps there should be caution
And secret admiration for the idiot-book
That is licensed to speak the truth through humour.
A fool can usefully puncture conceit
But that admiration is wasted here.
This book has neither the virtue of irony
Nor deserves the sympathy reserved for the truly mad.
Between loud noise and vacant silence there is nothing
How do you read such a book?
Perhaps you do not or you cannot.
Perhaps at best – it can be re-used, re-written.
Perhaps we should turn our back on it.
We could find space between its major crease of flatulent
for another book.
We should have it returned for another try
Lest it be remaindered and lost
On some forgotten low shelf
Kept for waste paper in the privy.