Five Poems Found in the Database of the UC Berkeley Library ~ poetry by Glenn Ingersoll

Love is

   Love is a dog from hell
Love is a four letter word
       Love is a many splendored thing

   Love is a pie
Love is a place

         Love is colder than death

   Love is the crooked thing
Love is the measure
       Love is the silence
     Love is the sum of it all


We were free

We were soldiers once and young
   We were not summer soldiers

We were not like other people
   We were not all wrong

We were making history
   We were interrupted

We were in the ark
   We were and we shall be

We were free
   We were always free


To you

To you, America
To you, I write
To you out there
To you . . . the essential cog in the wheel of Women’s Dormitory Association
To you, Thomas Hutchins
To you, treacherous and corrupt poet
To your health
To your health


They were number one

They weren’t all angels
   They were welcome to their belief

They were strong and good
   They were still dancing

They were open range days
   They were only Diggers

They were in prison
   They were expendable

They were deceivers ever


Important questions

Why do chemical reactions occur?
Why do countries and industries with large seasonal cycles also have large business cycles?
Why do human infants see so poorly?
Why do I love you?

Why do people do bad things in the name of religion?
Why do some shoes squeak?

Why do we teach gymnastics?
Why do women do nothing to end the war?
Why does anyone?

Author’s note: Back in the early 90s I was a student employee at UC Berkeley’s Doe Library. During idle moments I discovered that one could generate lists of titles, the lists presenting in alphabetical order, and it seemed to me some of the lists could be read as poems. I edited them somewhat but I really liked the unexpected juxtapositions and the way, despite the disparate origins of the titles, the lists often seemed to resolve, so I tried not to impose too much order or fix the oddities.

Glenn Ingersoll works for the Berkeley Public Library where he hosts “Clearly Meant,” a reading & interview series. He has two chapbooks, City Walks (broken boulder) and Fact (Avantacular). He keeps two blogs, LoveSettlement and Dare I Read. Recent work has appeared in Futures Trading, Neologism, and Poetry East.

Show Glenn some love via PayPal at lovesettlement(at)yahoo(dot)com.