in the old west near City Light books

in the old west near City Light books

A Poem by jacob erin-cilberto

in the old west near City Lights books



the posse arrives to arrest

the poet

word-slinging outlaw


robbed a poem bank

stole then plagiarized

all the notes from the safe


witnesses lingered in the cafe


to preface the arrest

and semantically attend the trial


when the sentence was pronounced

it needed much editing


someone forgot the semi-colon

in the verdict

and revision was shot down in the street


leaving sarcastic lines


for the loss of inspiration


we all felt with tear stained

trigger fingers.






© 2019 jacob erin-cilberto

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great idea for a poem, might have to nick it, lol, City Lights and their patrons would be proud to have this on their shelves,

Posted 2 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

2 Days Ago

thank you, gram, i appreciate you saying that.
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So often you manage to sling words I wish I had written. Though it often feels like there is, you’re proof that there isn’t a total loss of inspiration. It’s an interesting role to play—the outlaw and the witness. Love this poem.

Posted 5 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

5 Days Ago

thank you for your kind words, sL...
That is my favorite book store of all time. If it were me, I would have went to Vesuvio grabbed a beer and waited for the posse. Once they came I would have hurled adverbs, bad grammar and lousy punctuation at them then faded into the beat museum to be forgotten forever. I think you read my piece called Notes on Grant and Green, I just love that area and the history. Can you tell I loved this piece?

Posted 5 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

5 Days Ago

adverbs could really hurt....ouch.

yes, i remember Notes on Grant....we talked about .. read more

5 Days Ago

Each time I go to San Fran I do get inspired. I have quite a few written while I was there. Great C.. read more
And in the trial, who is really really qualified to be the judge? I’m still thinking about it. I really enjoyed this poem, Jacob.

Posted 5 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

5 Days Ago

thank you for your kind words, DIVYA,
I have always loved westerns and this is no exception.
I put this (for me) at the top of your poetic inspirations
Very enjoyable

Posted 5 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

5 Days Ago

thank you, Dave, glad you enjoyed it.
I just read this Ferlinghetti quote:

If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of

apocalyptic times, even if this meaning sounds apocalyptic.

You are Whitman, you are Poe, you are Mark Twain, you are Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay, you are Neruda and Mayakovsky and Pasolini, you are an American or a non-American, you can conquer the conquerors with words.

And thought this perfectly suited your poem. The idea that we are all working off of each other. Time having come so far. At this point, we are in a sort of state of recycling ideas. Is this good or bad? I think it depends on our perspective.

Of course, there's more to your poem than that. I think of it as the drive toward perfection and also the missing of the heart of something in the quest for a pinnacle. To be a visionary or pioneer as Ferlinghetti is, there's a certain responsibility, but also, a lot of people will follow after you. Are you generous enough to allow what you have become be shared amongst the heritage and advance the art you love. I feel like he is. I feel like you are that kind of poet as well.

But, we live in a world of ownership, so, things are defined in different ways. And everyone feels qualified to weigh in on what is right or wrong for others. I don't know. I've probably created a whole new meaning here, but that's where your poem took me, Jacob. I always enjoy reading what you're working on.

Posted 5 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

5 Days Ago

any quote from is sound his poetry...and he is 101 now...or close..... read more
I am assuming this is strictly metaphorical and no actual stealing and plagiarising was committed? If so, this is a fabulous poetic play on the Wild West, Jacob!

Witnesses lingered in the cafe.....hmmm...that is an interesting line. There is a fine line between stealing and plagiarising from the poem bank and taking out a loan. I am sure we have all borrowed a word or two when our poetic account is empty.

This is another fine write full of excellent metaphors of a literary nature. Love the Wild West theme in this one. Very original as always, Jacob.

Posted 5 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

5 Days Ago

thank you for your very kind review, Doodley,

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8 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on December 1, 2019
Last Updated on December 1, 2019


jacob erin-cilberto
jacob erin-cilberto

Carbondale, IL

Originally from Bronx, NY, I live in Carbondale, Illinois...teach English at two community colleges and have been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. Friending works two ways. If we have had .. more..


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