Laurence Davies


Entry by entry I steal encyclopedias. Rip, rip, page after page. Out they come, slowly, slowly parting company: argon, zoospore, Vosges, initiation, polynomial, equity, epode, okapi, Pashtu, Hrotswitha of Gandersheim, salt. One at a time for my patient encyclopedia. Who misses saprophytes, Gath, coproliths, or possets? I have them all, all of them; all ripped out slowly, parting company.
      The encyclopedia has more pages than a salmon scales, more than a rowan tree has leaves. Acres, farms, plantations, grand duchies of instruction. Mine, becoming mine. Don't look for Krakatoa, cacoethes, raspberries, cacodaemon. Mine, all mine; I got there first.
      A page, an entry, then a volume. A to Ballet, Ballistic to Brenta, Sturgeon to Ungulate: slowly they join the company. In the library, the volumes pine away: Nineveh, consumption, candles. São Paolo, Fertile Crescent, pituitary, diapason: my volumes grow. Hegira, gas chromatography, continental drift.
      The wheel has spokes, has fellies and a rim. My volumes grow, the entries weave together. For yttrium see rare earth. Yes, yes, I have it. Kit, see dancing master; music of the spheres, see God. Slowly but soon, the books will all join company. A to Ballet, Hepzibah to Jam. For music of the spheres, see music of the spheres. Spheres nest in spheres; the wheel turns slow and steady; earth weds heaven, the heavens marry earth.
      In the library,the volumes waste away. For encyclopedia, see theft; for theft, see encyclopedia. United, the world hates thieves. Who isn't of the world? The world demands its own; the world shall have its own.

      When all is finished, I shall climb between the sheets. Kiss me goodnight?


"Kleptologue" is on loan from Conjugation Suite, where it's the first person section of a run through all the persons, designed as a collaboration with composer David Evan Jones.