The headline pretty much says it all. When it comes to copping material from myself, I’m a repeat offender. What’s funny about it, is that I often don’t realize I’m doing it. For instance, in my newest book Comedy Album, there’s a poem towards the end called Happy Hour. What I didn’t realize until just recently was that Happy Hour was in a near-final version of a previous book of mine, Dark Glasses. That fact escaped me until I spent half an hour recently, paging through that marked-up draft of Dark Glasses.
It happens a lot where I really like a given poem but despite my best efforts it naturally separates itself from whatever it is I’m working on. Lucky for me, I often sympathize with these poems especially and – consciously or not – wind up creating new homes for them. As far as that goes, one of the first things I ever wrote – The Kitchen Sink, a truly unwieldy collection of gags and one-off jokes – is really the Rosetta Stone of my later works. It’s definitely a rough template of what was to come and many of the individual pieces it’s made up of later found their way into collections I’ve cobbled together.
Besides being unusual – a mutt of a collection, albeit one with at least some shaggy dog charm – The Kitchen Sink is also very rare. There are only two copies in the whole world. Even so, some would likely argue, that’s two too many (which also sounds like the title of a 90’s Rom-Com).