My first bit of commercially published fiction

… was actually a poem. The Regent Booksale Is Actually Much Nicer Than This was the Monday poem for the Otago Daily Times, 18th May, 2009. I’ve managed to locate the thing at long last, so here it is:

The Regent Booksale Is Actually Much Nicer Than This

Like the slipper-shod hawkers of dust-drenched Khartoum, 
The stalls are weighed down with the burden of ages;
The goods and the bads and the uglies make room,
But they'll grimace and glare should you peek at the pages.

The stalls are weighed down with the burden of ages:
Tattered and dog-eared, then packaged in news.
But they'll grimace and glare should you peek at the pages:
It's hazardous business in front of the queues.
Tattered and dog-eared, then packaged in news:
And that's just the people on once-a-year sprees!
It's hazardous business in front of the queues,
Unless you like nudges from elbows and knees.

"And that's just the people on once-a-year sprees,"
Chirps the lady who carries a tome about flowers,
"Unless you like nudges from elbows and knees,
Leave, and return in the post-midnight hours."

Chirps the lady who carries a tome about flowers,
Beside the bald gents with the rare Geographic,
"Leave, and return in the post-midnight hours;
You don't have to waddle your way through the traffic."

Beside the bald gents with the rare Geographic,
Like the slipper-shod hawkers of dust-drenched Khartoum,
You don't have to waddle your way through the traffic:
The goods and the bads and the uglies make room.

					
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