Welcome to the mind of an overly literate, book-loving, impossibly voracious reader who also happens to sell books for a living.

But I don’t just sell the books, I have to learn them. I have to be able to answer wild questions that come from nowhere and convince book buyers  that this is the book they need in their store.

Today was my last day at sales conference, where all this learning was to take place. At the very end, right before I hopped onto the subway for the final time this trip, I was speaking to another new rep who said, “I feel so…full.” I said something silly in return about how I’d skip dinner because I’d consumed so many books this week and felt a bit like I’d made a bad pun. And maybe it is a silly play on words, but for some reason I started composing a poem around it in my head (which I almost never do – I’m no poet).

I’m at the airport now and I wanted to share the result with you, rough though it may be. I hope you enjoy!

Book Eating

Overflow of content
where does it all go?
Those first few bites
like a crisp turn of phrase
with a sprinkle of salt
to keep it fresh –
crinkle as the paper tears
bursts of flavor on my tongue.
With each greasy word
Times New Roman coats my lips
somedays full color, mostly
black on white
no color for this dry-run
down and dirty
sales pitch for the salesman.
Like a street corner lunch on the run
they cram it down my throat.

Book eating –
thought, text, ink, paper
consuming words all wrapped in a bun,
for easy handling.

No one cares I’m full –
overflowing –
I have to shove it in;
every last bite
each crucial tidbit
every savory morsel
each crumb that threatens
to fall unnoticed to the ground.
I have to condense the pages
spit it out
make it sound worth buying,
worth reading,
worth consuming
            with relish

            and mustard.