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 have arrived."

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 books.

**** Sal Hirowitz


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