I have a poetry stalker. He
comes to my readings, & tries to disrupt them. One time he showed
up at the Community Gardens, Ave. B & 6 St., & threatened to throw
a slab of concrete at me. He said that he was a better poet than me, &
Crown should have published him & not me.
But when I tried to complain to someone about him, the person just looked
at me & said, "Hal, if you have a stalker that means that you
I was at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe with a friend one night. He went to
the bathroom, & when he came back he said that he now knows I'm famous,
because there were grafitti about me on the wall.
I went to check it out, & it was definitely the handwriting of my
stalker. But luckily he doesn't know how to spell. He wanted to write
"Sirowitz is a lump of it for an eternity," but spelt "lump"
as "lamp," so during the evening poets were coming up to me
& asking if I were starting to write spiritual poems. I told them
no. I was still writing about my mother.
My stalker took a spraycan of paint, & wrote bad things about me on
the front door of the Nuyorican. Julio, the doorman, had to paint over
the grafitti. So if you go to the Nuyorican, & notice that the door
is freshly painted it's because of me.
I've asked some friends to act as my spys, & tell me what he's writing
about me, since I don't live in the East Village. He pastes his poems
on walls & mailboxes. One spy said that my stalker is starting to
use my name as a verb. He was writing "Don't let him Sirowitz you."
I always thought my last name was a noun, but I guess he's making his
own rules concerning grammar.
I don't want to be a poetry critic, but if my stalker wrote other poems
besides attacking local poets, he'd have much more success. The problem
with his poetry is that even when he's attacking me I can't understand
what he's talking about. He's much clearer when he's speaking. I walked
by him once, & he called me Mr. Cyanide. I understood that. But when
he puts his attacks into verse it usually makes no sense. For example
I found this poem: "The only absolutely thing here, is that Sirowitz
and Lazzaro are close relatives." I've shown this to lots of people,
& no one knows what it's about. Some think Lazzaro is Lazarus, &
that he's implying that I have arisen from the dead.
He has written poems attacking other poets on the Downtown scene, Tom
Savage, Christian X Hunter, Michael Carter, Matthew Laufer, etc. (If I
left someone out I hope I'm not offending you.) I sometimes have arguments
with them about who's number one on his list. Michael Carter thinks he's
number one, because the stalker wrote poems attacking him, & hung
them on his block. Michael took them down, & said his neighbors were
very nice about it.
And if my stalker is reading this I want him to know that I'm not as famous
as he thinks I am. Crown told me to go to bookstores to sign my books.
I walked into a Barnes & Noble, & told the woman at the desk that
I was the author of Mother Said, & I've come to sign books. She asked
me for my name. I said I was Hal Sirowitz. She said she was sorry, but
I couldn't sign those books, because I didn't write them. She said they
were written by Sal Horowitz, who is famous. I couldn't even sign my own