“Darling, Would You Please Pick Up Those Books?” by Kathryn Maris

How many times do I have to say
get rid of the books off the goddamn floor
do you have any idea how it feels
to step over books you wrote about her
bloody hell you sadist what kind of man
are you all day long those fecking books

in my way for 3 years your acclaimed books
tell me now what do you have to say
for yourself you think you’re such a man
silent brooding pondering at the floor
pretending you’re bored when I mention her
fine change the subject ask “Do I feel

like I need more medication” NO I don’t feel
like I need more medication
it’s the books
don’t you see don’t you see it’s her
why don’t you listen to anything I say
and for god’s sake books on the floor
are a safety hazard remember that man

from Cork who nearly died fine that man
fell over a hurley not a book but I don’t feel
you’re getting the point the point is that a floor
is not an intelligent place for books
books I have to see and books that say
exactly where and how you shagged her

what shirt she wore before you shagged her
I can write a book too about some man
better still about you I can say
something to demonize you how would you feel
about that ha ha why don’t I write a book
about how I hoover your sodding floor

and how you’ve never once hoovered your floor
why can’t I be a muse why can’t I be a “her”
what does one have to do to be in a book
around here do I have to be dead for a man
to write me a poem how do you think it feels
to be non muse material can’t you say

you feel for me what you felt for her
can’t you say I’m better than that woman
can’t you get those books off the floor?

Kathryn Maris, via TheGuardian.com

11 thoughts on ““Darling, Would You Please Pick Up Those Books?” by Kathryn Maris

      1. Since I have no time (or a willing hubby) to get any type of advanced degree in writing, I have to reach for education wherever I can find it. In case you hadn’t noticed, I rely heavily on you, Ann, Mary and Stephen King!! If anything, this article gave me hope and confirmation that poetry can be what we make it – it’s fun to play around with and I love having my own private passages to go back and mess with.
        Now that I know what a sestina is, it’s popping up everywhere. Here’s a friend – a former Kansan and wildcat who wrote what looks like a sestina, too. It’s gorgeous.


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      2. It is gorgeous. And it does have a sestina feel…but a sestina is 6 stanzas followed by a 3-line stanza. If you notice the words that end each of the first 6 lines (say, floor, feel, her, man, books) have to make up the words that end each subsequent set of 6 lines (though not in the same order). Then those 6 words again each have to be used in the final 3-line stanza. So it feels like there’s a sense of repetition/déjà vu. And I’m sure i oversimplified there. Lol.

        As to advanced writing degrees…pfft.
        An MFA guarantees you nada. And Stephen King doesn’t have one. (Mary, I dunno; anne, I don’t think so; me, uh nope.)



  1. Oh, goodness, I enjoyed this poem. I’ve read it now, like five times. I see that poor woman in my mind, I feel her pain. And, yes, the link, learning about sestina. Wonderful! Just what I needed today. xox

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    1. I read the poem before I saw that article and didn’t realize at first it was a sestina, she was that subtle and flowy. (Is “flowy” even a word? I guess it is now.) I spent some time playing with the form, and damn, it’s not easy.
      xox miss you!

      Liked by 1 person

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