Reading isn’t doing. It’s barely even reading. 

The wiry man I thought was homeless

Too quickly suggests he can help sell my book,

With phrases like “sales funnel” and “affiliate links”

And name-drops of famous cult leaders.


His face shape and speech pattern

Conjure images of the family friend

Whose emotional problems

Prompted expulsion from school for threatening another student.


I emailed this man, thinking, “Eh, what’s the harm?”

He hasn’t set off alarm bells—

Only over-bold signs of earnest devotion,

And who am I to punish him for that?

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