No Disposals


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Richard Reeve

Free Pile

DKH tells me over the telephone he picked up a book by Bill Pearson,
Rifled Sanctuaries, about literary representation of the Pacific Islands,

from the free pile outside the local library. I expressed my concern,
which is to say nothing about the author of ‘Fretful Sleepers’ (or DKH).

Any reader will know what I’m talking about, and obviously that’s DKH,
Whose subsequent words, I recall, might have been those of a vegan

lamenting accidental or induced consumption of a real pork chop.
David rose to the occasion. Resolved to report what could surely only be

a prosaic mistake, the late Bill Pearson being found sleeping rough
between copies of 70s romance novels, his pages catching the dew

present even in the summeriest of South Island towns at evening.
Implicitly neglected, whatever the windfall to our acquisitive poet.

And now I read of the National Library’s own free pile even as Scribes
comes down. Will the real secondhand bookshops please stand up?

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Richard Reeve’s poetry has been published by Otago and Auckland University Presses. Horse and Sheep (Maungatua Press, 2019). Notes: Bill Pearson: Coal Flat set in Blackball. Scribes: Dunedin 2nd hand bookshop. DKH: David Karena-Holmes.