Oregon poet David Barker has never been to Saratoga Springs, but one of his poems has.
He isn't a Pulitzer winner, or an academic or a student. But he does write poetry.
This is the story of one of his poems, stuffed into a book, forgotten about, and then found.
A reporter at Spotlight Newspapers was browsing the fiction isles at Borders Books on Broadway earlier this month when he came upon Barker's work.
He had picked up a copy of Big Sur and the Oranges of Hironymus Bosch by Henry Miller after being attracted to its cover art, and as he leafed through the pages, a small, stiff piece of paper, no bigger than postcard, fell to the floor.
Delicately printed on the card, in old-fashioned typeface was a short poem by Barker titled "Donut Shop."
On the card's reverse side there was a message that read as though it were ripped from some Marxian manifesto:
"This poem may be the last best hope for real literary art," it read. "It is the cave wall where we record our passing.
All pretense is stripped away; art is being made because it must be made, not out of any hope for financial gain, but to further the human condition, to genuinely communicate with other living people and help all of us."
The back of the card also asked the reader to "register this broadside online and join us at the Guerilla Poetics Project."
As though he were doing something wrong, the reporter checked his surroundings for surveillance cameras and stuffed the poem into his pants pocket. He put the Henry Miller book back on the shelf and walked out of the store and back to his office in search of the story.
blends old with new
The top members of the Guerilla Poetics Project call themselves "administrators" rather than editors.