According to Miegan and Chan Gordon owners of The Captain’s Bookshelf, a terrific antiquarian and secondhand bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, an unknown poetry hater surreptitiously removed a signed first edition copy of Nine Horses by U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, took it home, then peppered it with shotgun pellets. The secretive book thief also defaced the poet’s book jacket portrait with a malicious mustache, beard and inked-out eyes. To compound the mystery, the nefarious culprit also managed to slip the book back onto the store shelf in its original place.
Maybe it was poems like this by Collins that pushed the perpetrator over the edge:
“All they want to do is tie the poem to a chair and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose to find out what it means.”