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annh Oct 2020
Vellichor (n.): the strange wistfulness of used bookstores.
A delightful neologistic oddity! :)

'“The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows”, by John Koenig, is an ongoing collection of invented words, each representing an attempt to find a word to fit a concept for which our vocabulary is currently lacking. Vellichor is one such word, and Koenig’s site has hundreds of others, such as zenosyne (the sense that time keeps going faster), liberosis (the desire to care less about things), and sonder (the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own).'
- Petrichor, Cromulent, and Other Words the Internet Loves. Retrieved from
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
by Michael R. Burch

There is a small cleanness about her,
as if she has always just been washed,
and there is a dull obedience to convention
in her accommodating slenderness
as she feints at her salad.

She has never heard of Faust, or Frost,
and she is unlikely to have been seen
rummaging through bookstores
for mementos of others
more difficult to name.

She might imagine “poetry”
to be something in common between us,
as we write, bridging the expanse
between convention and something . . .
something the world calls “art”
for want of a better word.

At night I scream
at the conventions of both our worlds,
at the distances between words
and their objects: distances
come lately between us,
like a clean break.

Published by Verse Libre, Triplopia, Lone Stars. Keywords/Tags: distance, distances, convention, books, bookstores, art, literature, poetry, chasm, abyss, divide, Faust, Frost, clean break
Obscrea Jul 2018
I would rather write
About this world than
Live in it

I would rather play
Music all day and read
Or wander around

Or waltz into bookstores
And run my hands along
The wooden shelves

I would rather remain
Indifferent to the world
That exists around me

I would rather watch
Humans than actually
Be one of them.
blushing prince Feb 2018
I got braces when I was 16
that year I never kissed anyone
but I made boys steal things from pricy bookstores
I measure time by my teeth
every year they get more crooked
the older I get they seem to shift back to old territory
old habits

now even smoking cigarettes feels boring
when I walk into bookstores
I leave sticky notes with advice I wish someone would have told me then

they did
but maybe if I had found it somewhere I was looking
I might have paid more attention
my retainer sits in a shelf collecting grime
I have a chip in my front tooth now
it's all good though
Lawrence Hall Sep 2016
Ode to Barnes & Noble

Patrick Leigh Fermor never roamed these aisles
Sir John Betjeman never rhymed these aisles
Graham Greene never despaired of these aisles
And Rod McKuen was never here alone

And anyway the two or three feet of poetry
Are hidden far away in the back behind
The puzzles, records, comics, and plastic toys
And solitaries plugged into their machines

But on a winter weekday a writer’s retreat -
A yellow pad, coffee, and a window seat
Ethan Chua Oct 2015
I remember behind the bookshelf,
by the young adults’ section,
how she picks off a paperback spine,
rests her finger on a half-forgotten name,
holds the edge against her skin and feels out a page.

we read the backs of books that day. run through twenty different blurbs,
let plotlines curl up into the air and swirl into the scent of musty paper reams,
wander past secondhand copies of Murakami novels and pick up pseudoscience theories,
flick through encyclopedias and chemistry theses while our voices entangle into
first-person points of view.

in the afternoon, we wonder at syntax. fix misplaced alphabets and authors left out of order.
on the eighth aisle she spots the old sci-fi series I read back when I was twelve,
and we laugh at the blurbs, at words like warp drive and plutonium capacitor which
would’ve thrilled our younger selves
until tired, we lie down on carpets and pretend to stargaze,
with old paperbacks as pillows -
ink rushes through our breaths.

underneath the bookstore’s cheap fluorescent lights,
her hand reaches for a half-opened book
at the same time as mine;
a soft brush of fingertips on fingertips.

I look up and find words on her lips,
lifted from my synonyms and grafted onto her skin,
think - poetry.
think - all the punctuation running in disarray skipping syntax in the spaces of my synapses relapses and sonnet turns pentameter heartbeats run in free verse feel my chest grow too light and too heavy like all the voices that they kept measured in their stanzas were let loose into her smile,

until the hours grow long into closing time.

— The End —