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Poor Books!

from Stories In Small Spaces (ellen cherry & Bonnie Schupp) by ellen cherry

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(NOTE: This is a collaboration between musician/performer ellen cherry and photographer Bonnie J. Schupp. Bonnie sends ellen two photos every week and ellen responds with writing--a story, a poem, a song, a piece of music.)


Poor Books!
August 7, 2018

My father said
“Don’t dog-ear the pages,
It disrespects the book!”
I think of him telling me this
Most often in Winter
When I take more baths
And the likelihood of dropping a book
In the water becomes high.
They swell in complaint, but still let me read.

I mean no disrespect.

Poor Books!
I have torn your dust cover
Badly when I crammed you in my bag:
My flight is boarding.

Poor Books!
I have gotten sand in your binding
When I saw a seal on Assateague Island:
I dropped you in surprise.

Poor Books!
Marinara sauce smeared on page 25
In my haste to use you as a disguise
Sitting outside the market:
My old employer walked by.

Poor Books!
I throw you down the library laundry chute:
It’s back to the shelf for you.

Poor Books!
I’ve stepped on you, slept on you,
Smelled you without asking, passed you
To strangers, but
I won’t bend your pages.

I mean no disrespect.


from Stories In Small Spaces (ellen cherry & Bonnie Schupp), released September 11, 2018
photo by Bonnie J. Schupp


all rights reserved



ellen cherry Baltimore, Maryland

I am song & story Alchemist and I want to meet you at the intersection of creativity and recovery. While on tour in Texas, I was struck by an intoxicated driver which resulted in a violent wreck. Through my music and multi-media performances, I explore the pain and joy of recovering one’s body and spirit after extreme trauma. ... more

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