Autobiography by Gabriel Celaya

I started reading The Yellow World by Albert Espinosa when I was in Waterstones in Sheffield and I bought it because of this poem:

Autobiography by Gabriel Celaya

Don’t hold the knife in your left hand.
Don’t put your elbows on the table.
Fold your napkin properly.
That’s the beginning.

Tell me the square root of three thousand three hundred and thirteen.
Where is Tanganyika? What year was Cervantes born?
I’ll give you an F if you talk to your classmate.
That’s how it carries on.

Do you think it’s right that an engineer should write poetry?
Culture is an ornament; business is business.
If you stay with that girl you’re not welcome in our house.
That’s living.

Don’t be so crazy. Best behaviour. Stand up straight.
Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t cough. Don’t breathe.
Yes, don’t breathe! Say no to every ‘no’
And relax: die.

I didn’t really enjoy the book, but I love that poem.

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