“It can happen–

by some miracle!–
that after a while the reader breaks loose of the stranglehold of school and TV,
that he’s able to step back and take stock,
that he grows wary of characters that are too real:

he’s suspicious of them,
and puts them in a cage.
Plays with them.
He starts mentally crossing out a word here,
a whole sentence there,
he skips lines, pages, goes back, skims.
He throws the book out.
Is he still a reader?
He ends up paging through books
at the bookstore without ever buying one.
Is he already a writer?
“  ***