The three-volume Webster’s College Dictionary
Weighs down on his chest
Like a three-headed Cerberes.
Every night he sits here,
A man in an apartment in Canada somewhere,
Tracing words by the millions, five times over, mining
For mono-voweled gems.
His Magna Carta of rules leaves no place for discussions,
Nor social interactions in general for that matter.
There is a chapter on I, but you
Are absent. You do not fit. He discards
Love, leaves sex in.
Nothing personal, he claims.
He calls his obsession the Devil’s
Crossword, the stitching together of
Charlatans, crackjacks and a taxman.
Do these seven years of self-flagellation
Go down as indulgence in sins
Or celebrations of virtues in God’s book on Bök?
Seven years
Staring at small print. Here he sits,
Coupling pride with patience,
Building eunoia,
Bök’s stronghold of gold, of words.


Article on Christian Bök