It’s hard not to write poetry when your brain is seething and bubbling with words, ideas, and craft. I thought I’d check in with this one, a first draft. The line breaks are definitely in progress. I think my inspiration was the rhythms of a talk from poet Dorianne Laux about music and meaning in poetry. She advised us to store poetry we loved in our bodies by memorizing it, so that we can come unconsciously to know its rhythms. Listening to her recite from memory helps, too!


I heard on the news this morning

that a woman stole all twenty volumes

of the Oxford English Dictionary.

She drove a pickup through the store window

and pulled each thick book from the shelf

letting it fall

into the impatient tailgate.

She was apprehended

later that evening

in a disused warehouse by the Sound.

“You can’t take it back,” she told them.



“In all my life

it is the only thing I have ever



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