Brooke Clark


Letter from an Unknown Writer
after Martial

We met one night at a book launch,
we drank, we talked, we laughed.
I said, “I’m writing a novel,”
and you said, “Send me a draft.”

So I sent it to your address
hoping a well-placed word
from you would get me started;
I waited, but never heard.

Now you’ve published your latest
and the critics all hail you in print.
It’s a runaway bestseller
and Hollywood’s taken the hint.

I read it myself last weekend
and my entrails turned to stone—
my book, but so badly rewritten,
you’d almost made it your own.

Brooke Clark edits the epigrams website The Asses of Parnassus. His work has appeared in Literary ImaginationThe Rotary DialPartisanThe Globe and Mail, and elsewhere.