Imagine a book made with only leftover bits,
the excised verses of the Bible
paragraphs cut out of Moby Dick
an alternate ending of King Lear
a whole chapter out of The Odyssey that
somehow was written down on one of Homer’s
dinner napkins and found in a tomb.
Can you make a prize-winner out of the worst of the best?
Imagine reading that Penguin Pocket Edition:
“Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still
sailing over the winedark sea with his stout men at helm
hoping against hope to find the White Whale that stood
as the bolt of lightning Ahab felt in his missing limb.
What a wonder that this weight be lifted
living upon the world which has shifted,
allowing the old to find they are well
and only to the young does death compel.”
Could it be a bestseller?
Or would an editor kick out from under him the stool
to hang there in his office
with a sign reading “FOOL” around his neck.