Based on a true story, the poem tells how we learned there was another Terry Tierney, a suspected felon, living in Lincoln, Nebraska when we moved there. My arrival aroused several official computers. The police and the social services department thought I lied about my quiet life as a graduate student supported by my tolerant, librarian wife.
Ironically, when I wasn’t distracted by writing poetry in Lincoln, I was working on my dissertation about William Makepeace Thackeray and his various protagonists as doubles of himself. Those doubles have much less contrast with one another than me and my apparent double.
The cover of The Poet’s Garage depicts the poem, complete with pools of grease where lines have spilled, the cardboard box of active verbs, and the files of proper nouns. As in the poem, the poet has eluded arrest, so far.