Saturday, September 06, 2008


The one book I recall ever "stealing" was Will Alexander's In The Human Nerve Domain. I had been participating in a reading at City Lights and had read in place of Mr. Alexander who couldn't make it; out of respect, I read one of his poems and did so by picking up one of his books from a display table. Later, after the reading ended and, um, much wine was drank (I like that City Lights serves wine at its readings), I ended up walking out the store with the book.

Of course I subsequently felt guilty and later emailed City Lights, meaning to give them credit card info for payment. They were kopacetic and said Just pay for it the next time you return to the store. I have yet to return to the store. So, that's my token stolen poetry book.

But what is it about Will Alexander? People seem to like to steal his books. I have a friend whose Will Alexander books were borrowed and never returned such that she had to buy them again! (Well, of course I know the answer: Will Alexander's poems are worth stealing!)

Anyway, in response to this issue which I first raised in a prior post, Ed Baker sends me a poem about what he says is the "first book [he] ever stole": Jack Gilbert's VIEWS OF JEOPARDY (1962). I liked that "first book" reference; makes me wonder how many he's actually stolen over the years. Meanwhile, here's Ed's pow-em:

This                   old poet                   took me


and                   when he fell fast into
sleep                   and             oh, his snorring

I snuckked into his library &
filled my ruck-sack w his books
and stole his poems

If anyone wants to send me their stolen poetry book story for blog-sharing, just email Moi at Ye reprobate--but "real"--poets!

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