I set a goal and I stuck to it!? Nope. I forgot to get this post out yesterday so now it’s poetry Thursday. Oops.
This week’s poem is called ‘L’homme Dans La Bibliothèque’. As is self-evident in the poem, it is written about Michel Foucault, for whom in my time as a literature student I developed a deep appreciation and fascination.
L’homme Dans La Bibliothèque
Michel Foucault is with me in the library.
Michel Foucault: French philosopher, historian of ideas, friend – if he is our friend – social theorist, and literary critic is with me in the library.
He crouches crunched up beside me.
He’s leafing through textbooks with animal intensity, alien dexterity.
Splendid and bespectacled, his white shirt hung on his laundry line frame.
He’s talking gender and bodies C’est bonne, whispering: C’est bonne, watching the room.
The fluorescent tube lights reflect off his pate.
Like the headmaster at my junior school with his searchlight face,
sitting on the high bench at the back of assemblies,
looking at everyone, and looking at me.
Michel Foucault’s eyes reflective, with feline mischief, unblinking and squinting.
Glass spectacle panes blaze like watchtower illuminations,
searching me out, looking around, settling down, moving behind roman blinds,
thick black horn-rim window-frames,
uncanny discomfort of a house with the lights always on.
Michel shadows me like a child as I walk through shelves of Agamben and Arendt.
He jabs sticky toddler fingers through the gaps in the shelves
directing my eyes to a young woman sitting chewing the end of her pen.
Bad for the teeth, I think.
Mauvais pour les dents, thinks he, he sighs.
Michel moves on forwards with me.
Move on towards the only free seat.
I sit, heavy, dejected mind and body resigned to this defeat
It’s an office chair that spins like in Bond films.
Library, you’ve been expecting me.
I think Michel is drifting now as my laptop screen turns sunset pink,
The blubs reflects on his double-glazing,
like constellations framed and captured.
Lens of hornrims. Lens of human eye.
Michel could still be watching I.
All could be watching I.
I am watching I.