Monday 28 April 2008

Homeless poet robbed, poems stolen

Is nothing inviolable? Here's a sad story from yesterday's Ottawa Citizen:

"Homeless poet, sorry no poems, everything stolen while I went to eat. Nice city we live in, eh."

So read 'Crazzy' Dave Dessler's sign after he returned from dinner Friday to find his possessions had vanished.

For two years, Mr. Dessler has been a poem-writing fixture at George Street and Sussex Drive. In the winter, he shovels his stretch of pavement. Recently, he hauled garbage bags full of litter from the shrubs growing opposite his post.

Yesterday, he sat on a blue milk crate next to a few of the poems he'd managed to remember, written on cardboard in marker.

He's had his stuff stolen before, but never his poems. He had hundreds of them on pieces of cardboard and in notebooks.

"It's the poetry, it's my art -- that's what hurts," he said.

Fortunately, Mr. Dessler's friend, Guy Bérubé, director of La Petite Mort gallery on Cumberland Street, kept a few dozen poems. Mr. Bérubé sells Mr. Dessler's work; buyers can pay what they like. They fetch anywhere from $2 to $40, but they're off the market until Mr. Dessler can copy them.

Read the rest of the story here.

1 comment:

Zachariah Wells said...

Watch 'em start turning up in lit journals now...