16 October 2008

Crimes of reading.

I, Mary Biddinger, confess to you on this overcast, post-debate Thursday, that I have committed the following crime of reading:

I have caught myself, upon multiple occasions, reading a two + page poem in a book, and having finished the first page of said poem, I have looked away and started perusing the internet.

The horror! It is just so rude.

I am filled with remorse. It's not like they are bad poems. I've read them before, and I'm teaching them to other people.

But oh, the looking away. And for what? Not an urgent phone call. Not to scream out the window of my office. Not even for a very necessary sip of coffee.

I feel better knowing that I have confessed this to you, and begged for absolution. I will say ten Hail Marys some time, when I get a free minute.

Has anyone else committee a crime of reading of any sort, or will I be all alone in jail? Please forgive me, oh poemiverse.

PS--The above critter has committed no crimes, but was slinking across the roof of my car as if he had something to hide.

12 comments:

Karen J. Weyant said...

I'm not sure if this is a true crime, but I do more than just glance at the headlines of Tabloids -- I actually buy them (well, only sometimes. Honest) and take them home to read the articles. I justify my actions by saying there's great poetry found within the pages....

Radish King said...

I dropped Paige Ackerson-Kiely's book of poems into my bathtub but I was able to sort of dry it with my hair dryer.

Penultimatina said...

Karen--I do too! I'm especially intrigued by stories about Britney Spears. Which is so not me. But I can't help myself.

I just remembered that I spilled tea all over Drunk By Noon by Jennifer L. Knox. That was my cat's fault, however.

Karen J. Weyant said...

I actually like any story that involves aliens! Don't ask me why.

Oh, and destroyed books as crimes...I am in trouble. I do horrible things to my books. Horrible. Coffee, pizza sauce, bathwater -- name it, and I've done it. And just the other day, our cat threw up on a book I left on the floor by the bed.

Yep, I know. Way tooo...much information.

Amy said...

This has happened to me every time I've picked up a novel in the past 5 months. The only prose I've gotten through are New Yorker articles and Italo Calvino...

John Gallaher said...

Radish King:

I did too. I dropped both In No One's Land as well as one of Mei Mei Brussenbruge's books in the bathtub.

I put them over heating vents with bricks on them. They both still work.

JB said...

Reading Vogue is my reading crime. I can't help it-- I love to gawk at all those pretty clothes.

tanuj solanki said...

i read ur post till the mention of a sip of coffee

and came straight to the comment box...

this makes me feel better

Jonathan Barrett said...

If a longer poem (i.e., 2+ pages) is boring I’ll skip ahead to the last few lines or stanzas and if it seems like a decent ending I’ll read the whole poem. If the ending is as blah as the beginning…I’ll skip to the next poem.

Unfortunately, my secret poetry reading behavior reminds me of my Dad. He reads the ending of a book so that he can rest assured that no matter how thrilling his thriller gets it will have a happy or reconciled ending. He does the same thing with movies. He doesn’t like being surprised. This, of course isn’t the same reason I skip ahead but I suppose both are unfair.

Jesus Crisis said...

I am guilty as hell as well.

Rachel Mallino said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who "skips ahead", when reading. I would say 50% of the time, I read the last poem first and go from there.

Shame-shame on me.

Jennifer Sullivan said...

I spit out my gum between the pages of....I can't even say it. I'm very, very guilty.