The Farnsworth Room

Written by: Paul Sylvester

I. 

In this august room
I can see ugly, light-brown shelves
with books inset
like miscut gems.

I can see the surrounding flat, white wall
that looks like the painters
used primer.

These chairs are pretty though,
with crimson leather
and gold-capped rivets,
but they
too
are cheap
and creak every time I move
(age and cheap nails).

From that side you can see a church
with pretty browns and reds
but I chose a seat farther removed
from the oak-framed window
perfectly split in two,
or, three, panes, maybe
when you really look at it

but I don’t.

I’m in the corner with Katherine Hepburn– 
I don’t know anything about Katherine Hepburn.

Maybe I should read
that overstuffed book.
This overstuffed room
is quiet and ill:
all these visible things
and the only sounds I get
are the humming lights 
and some child
leafing through the Globe.

The lights are dull and only half of them are on.

My squeaky chair
and the ugly walls
and the ugly bookshelves

are too much
		so I leave.


II.

A different seat this time
and I’m in a better mood:
I’m sure the painters used real paint.

There’s no one here
so I squeak my chair for a minute,
and then, 
	   realizing I only came here
to write this poem

I leave again.


III. 

I just stopped in today to say “hi”
to Katherine.

I was thinking about her last night.


IV. 

Today I didn’t want to go in, 
so I just sat in my room
and thought about that room;

time is scary. 

Like looking at ruins in a book
or on summer vacation
and it doesn't seem quite right
that each place has two selves
and two times and each is connected.