Library shelves, I hear, are littered
With authors that died poor.
Over there in the Classical row lie a few
Humble beggars carelessly shoved between
Lermontov, Hemmingway, Joyce.
I see one or two cowering in Philosophy
Shyly hugging Plato, their opened
Palms extended toward us for tiny
Morsels of gratitude seldom given.
A slew of them are stacked, cold and hungry,
Crushed by the weight of each other,
On the bottom shelf of Poetry and Verse.
They glut the public domain pleading we
Lust after them like Paris for Helen,
Samson for Delilah, Rhett for Scarlett.
They gladly stand-by, content our eyes
May caress their titles before we pass.
They are elated if we stop to briefly
Devote a moment of our lives carousing
Inside the womb of their selfless sacrifice.
What poverty? They ask.
STEVE PRUSKY is a transplanted Detroiter who now lives, works and writes in Las Vegas. He attended Northern Michigan University in the late sixties. After that he was in the Navy during the Vietnam War. After that he attended the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. His work has recently appeared in Foundling Review, The Legendary, Apparatus Magazine and Flash Fiction Offensive.