“Is this the queue for the poetry book signing?”
“What do you think?” came the obligatory rhetorical question that the Raynor Winn fan gave as an answer.
I moved my gaze around the bookshop.
Ah, there, in the far corner, a lonesome figure surrounded by hordes of illusionary readers clamouring for a signature, a dedication, a spare copy, and a life each. Poetry was not the draw that it had been in the time of Chaucer, or even Shelley.
I moved towards the lonely outpost, determined to bring at least a moment’s happiness to a poor,lost soul.
“Is this the queue for the poetry book signing?” I asked him.
“What do you think?” he replied, a dazed look haunting his poetical eyes. “The queue was long, but it did shrink. Now, it is no more, a faint remembrance of the queue before.”
“I see it is. I said “My senses and knowledge aligning, I find my place, in this papery place – are you up fir a signing?”
The poet looked up at me from his position of sanctuary. “Ytho! Ty a wor redya Kernewek?”
“A little.” I replied lamely. “Dydh da.”
“Careful, sunshine, you’ll cause yourself an injury, take it easy, life is breezy, if you care to toe the line.” the poet threw off rhymes like a sparrow in a sandbath.
My estimation of the poet was being revised by the moment, he was now just a lowly wordsmith barely conjuring similes in the face of proper literary conjunctions.
He signed ‘To Greg. in a copy of his book, even though that wasn’t my name.
I left, and immediately visited the charity shop next door.
“Thank you, sir; that will help fill up our ‘reduced to go’ bin.
“You’re welcome. Have you got any Agatha Christies in?”
They had. My day would not be a complete loss.