Atar Hadari

Colin Wilson

The Pilgrim Inspects Disorder in Books of Writing by Miroslav Huptych

Colin Wilson’s 30,000 books
Line the padded shelves in his back garden,
One shed devoted to his own works

numbering over a hundred.
He started about outsiders –
A general correlative
Of how the genius fared in the modern flux.
He was hailed as a brilliance, then quarrels broke out
With critics and fathers-in-law,

he fled for a house on the South Downs
and started writing those 99 other books
About aliens, the occult, psychopaths:
The public love to read these things.
When they stopped caring about Van Gogh

The papers would always print
Thousands of words about sods who slash cunt.
He made a mint. He served his guests

smoked salmon and Aquavit.
The shed slowly filled with first run prints.
His picture in the paper showed
A man less aged than steeped –
a tea-bag dried pale yellow like a leaf
left on the china plate overnight.
Who remembers the critics of 1956?
Colin Wilson’s sheds embrace the shelves of books he sired
And his titles repeat his name and one thesis:
The death of thought, the life of the mind is expires.
Repent, before your books catch fire

All anyone remembers is what you desired.


About the writer:
Atar Hadari’s Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of H. N. Bialik (Syracuse University Press) was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award. His debut collection, Rembrandt’s Bible, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2013. Lives of the Dead: Poems of Hanoch Levin was awarded a Pen Translates grant and is out now from Arc Publications. He contributes a monthly verse bible translation column to MOSAIC magazine.

Image: The Pilgrim Inspects Disorder in Books of Writing by Miroslav Huptych (1952- ). From the cycle Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart. Collage/computer graphic. 1000 x 700 mm. 2013. By free license.