Poetry in motion: Guerilla' movement sprinkles words of wisdom

Sometimes, though, Wilcox said, he'll stuff a poem into a non-literary best seller, since the buyer "may be new to poetry, rather than someone already interested in literature."

Wilcox said he thought the GPP was a good way to bridge the gap between print and electronic media.

He said that years ago, he remembers putting his own self-published chapbooks on the shelves in local bookstores and hearing stories of people who picked up the book and tried to buy it, only to find it wasn't an inventoried item with a barcode.

A manager at Borders in Saratoga said she was unaware of the fact that several of the GPP broadsides had been found in her store.

"I don't know what the corporate people would think, but I don't think we have a problem with it," she said.

Wilcox said he'll continue to serve as an operator, even if he has to look over his shoulder to make sure he isn't going to be arrested for tampering with the store's merchandise.

"I've been doing acts of what I call 'poetic terrorism' for years," said Wilcox, who is in many ways the street poet laureate of the Capital District. It's a rare day, said Wilcox, that he doesn't show up at a poetry open mic.

In many ways, David Barker, the Salem, Ore., poet who writes for the GPP, is like Wilcox's long-lost brother, living a similar life in the West.

During the day, Barker works as a database manager and at night he attends open mics or readings. Every day, Barker said, he rages with the page, churning out poems that mirror the work of his literary idol, Charles Bukowski, the bard of the barroom. Barker's work has been published by Bottle of Smoke Press, which has also published some of the late-Bukowski's broadsides.

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