Bridget Hoida On: Boys Named Pancake

Ever buy a book for the poem on the first, unnumbered, page because the poem is so spot on you can hardly stand it? And you didn’t have a pen or a big enough scrap of paper or the time to kneel in the aisle of the store and scribble the first line and maybe perhaps the author?

And although Professor Dane taught you well, and with certainty, how to lift a page from any book, including those in fancy temperature controlled archival rooms–like the Huntington and the Bancroft and the Getty–you resist and buy the whole damn thing, in hardcover, even though you are fairly sure no one is watching, and even if they were, with some spit and a string you could lift it anyhow. But you’re feeling angelic and so you buy it outright. And tote it through the city. Even though your walk is long and the Santa Anas are blowing hot and your bag is already bursting with books you haven’t yet read, and are supposed to, and most likely will not get to.

You buy it and forget about it.

You buy it and shelve it with the others.

And then one day, when the very same winds are blowing hot and nasty you recall the poem and search out the book only the poem isn’t in there anymore. Someone tore it out. Without class. Without style or skill. With jagged edges. So you flip through the book hoping it’s folded in half and tucked neatly inside and that’s when the words start and draw you in and you realize the poem was a piece of crap written by a two bit hack, but this book…The Stories of Breece D’J Pancake