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“Suede Jacket,” by Jacqueline Suskin

March 3, 2011

This one only hopes to shine respect for that which wore it first.

When I was a kid, I read true-life story after true-life story of J. Edgar Hoover’s G-Men tracking down forgers, counterfeiters, and kidnappers. Every nearly-invisible thing counted to them: stray hairs, half fingerprints, ink-, mustard-, or blood-smudges in unusual places, and the irregularities in typewritten messages.

Every typewriter had a “fingerprint,” typebars that left weaker marks at the bottom of a p or q, a carriage return that didn’t leave a straight margin on the left, u‘s that had heavy tails, a‘s that didn’t. These things led the men in dark suits inexorably to the guy in a pinstriped suit–or his moll or patsy–who had banged out that anonymous ransom note.

What does this have to do with today’s poem? Nothing at all, except that receiving in the mail a buff envelope containing two hand-torn slips of manila receipt tape typewritten with what could only be a 1950’s era Royal Companion is proof positive that somewhere a few days’ postage from here there’s a flesh-and-blood poet perpetrating her poems.  Sometimes that’s easy to forget.

Jacqueline Suskin‘s not on the lam or the downlow, though.  You can find her, like I did, at The Poem Store and order a poem yourself.  I suggest the topics “Ransom Note” or “Dire Threat” or “Forged Document” because seeing those arrive in your mail that would be the bee’s knees, definitely worth a little hard-earned cabbage.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2011 11:53 am

    Hmmm? “File not found”. Of course that makes the poem file all the more intriguing!

  2. March 3, 2011 4:45 pm

    Yep! All fixed!
    “Shine respect” for original (and final) suede wearers! Nice work!

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