Chapters from Autobiography of a Book
as told to
Glenn Ingersoll

in which the book snuffs a wonder bundle

I’m going for a run. Come with? No panic, not running to get away from anything. Just running. For exercise?

For the view. For the travel. No need for fancy running shoes or skimpy shorts to show off a pert ass or special supportive wear for jouncy parts. Just gonna put some speed on.

Take a few deep breaths to aerate the blood. A-huff, a-huff.

All right. I’m feeling fuzzy. Let me sit down. Ooh. OK. Um. Lie down maybe. Yeah. I … I … hm.

Eh. Oh. Eh. Oh. Hih. Eeeeee ip huh duhth huph uph ifff. Phoo pheh … hic sech ahyee ah yih ah ah aahh

heh hoh heh heh ho

hip hola hip olop

em ahm ah me emen emendid dub bud dubb el el ef ef en ef en dih duh doo doh doh dah uh buh uh buh baaa oh baaaaa tuh tuh tel tuh lel bib bab uh bub um beh um um beh dud dud diddle dung do done what done that done sim sum suddle cum wit cum wobble what bobble bid bibble bum fiddle cut sid sung some someone some tongue what thumb bundled to trundle cut up under the sundered sever what shiver canned better cut to fetter the several quivered cattle pat tether shunned scum bundle fit tether supper beverage cover lover smother send wins cupboard subtle tin’s nutter butter whether wuther utter done did diddle such quibble barred by bitter one sizzle sun kippers spun

ohm middle bum dim dumb simulate take but bake can’t ache shake the fake wake his cake unbaked unbent unbothered by the other the wonder the sun’s thunder which cut under the bundled wonder his thumb’s bungled fender the ender’s gamble bed when said sucked snark some spark then tarted up for bark the whirling ark the dialed parka worn to fart the cutty sark since dark complaints apart sincere start before the cart unlocked could sharply pet putt pit

his hit

in which the book in in

Is is

is is it is is hit is his it is is

hits izz uhz zuh zuh uh zuh zun un un wun

wun un wun un un un dun cun cun cun dun

iz zitz ziziz itzel zil zuz zil litz zizz

lit zut zoo mut tut cum wut tut uhz zut

oh vit oh vitz coo zit coh coh tit coh tut coh tin un tin un tut un tut wun tun un tun sun

is is what is wiz is whose is how wit is her is were is was is which is his is that

un wun un tun un bun del dil doo wit do wut

come in come sting come thumb one thing done in two well lit lists sits fit

undo undone someone can come to thumb the new one

cunning runt stuns the hunting bunt slung farther than sent such bent foreign kit

whose wit saw it this small sit sunk in sung saw swinging shin

mun mun

oh oh pit oh pun tun oh ting oh tung wun oh tip putt tup cut up

ah ee ah yee ahyeh ahyi aaahhh eeeee


I is I am I am what I am at I am it I yam I aim aisle lame all lemon limb limp eye lump isle linger long lamp I’ll lift unhitch the winch the wince whose hints whose hinky links

whose sinks


in which the book is rescued by butterfly

um um I’m


I’m here.

I never left. Were I to go somewhere, I would go where?

To sleep? I have done that before. Drifted off. A little jaunt to coma land? Persistent vegetative state? Good for a vacation, you think? A working vacation, maybe. We could all use a coma.

Dead? Sure. Let’s say I was dead.

Was I talking in my dead? Making loud popping noises in a darkened room? Shaking the table? Dragging a pointer across a ouija board?

When you tapped my forehead did I open my eyes? Did my jaw drop and a low hiss escape?

I suspect not. But you were there. I was, too. I wasn’t paying attention. Or I was paying my attention out to something pulling against the current, something strong and moving deep. I was paying for it all. All my transgressions. I was trying something new. A poison. A drug. A new noise. I had closed my I.

Have a listen to the brook in its chuckle over pebbles. I could do that! I could chuckle all day over my pebbles. They are the pebbliest! I look within myself for the pebbles. Surely I have the pebbles! I look. What shall I find?

Any suggestions?

A butterfly lights on my ear. I am a flower. You’ve come back, I say. Where did you go?

The butterfly is probing with a tongue longer than her body. She finds a hole. She dips into it. Down into the hollow, down to the grand cavern. She slides her tongue to the core of me. Suck out the last of it, would you? Suck out all the waiting, all the expectant, prepared vacancy. You can fly a long time on that fuel. Hope powers engines.

Fly away now. You’ve slurped up the last of my emptiness.

I am a solid, an object. I have this number of pages, that number of words, thoughts in material evidence. Thanks. I don’t have to worry. I never did have to worry. It was just something to do? It was something all right. The some of it.

Before you close me and flatten my butterfly, do check to make sure she has flown away. I can’t feel her feet. I can’t feel her tongue tickling down deep inside of me. But I’d hate to think you’d crush her, snapping me shut abruptly. I’d hate to think I would have to live with being butterfly gallows, guillotine of dreams.

I’d hate to think.

Glenn Ingersoll works for the public library in Berkeley, California. He has two chapbooks, City Walks (broken boulder) and Fact (Avantacular). The multi-volume prose poem Thousand (Mel C Thompson Publishing) is available from Amazon; and as an ebook from Smashwords. He keeps two blogs, LoveSettlement and Dare I Read.
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