Buy this book. Or steal it, if you want. I don't care how-just get it.
The book is ``The Bears of Paris,'' and you'll find it late this year when it's released by The Word Works, a Washington poetry publisher.
Poetry? So what's the rubber industry angle?
Miles David Moore is the angle-the Washington beat reporter for Rubber & Plastics News. He's the author of ``Bears,'' his first book, al-
though far from his first published work of poetry. His poems have appeared since 1984 in magazines such as the ``National Review,'' ``New York Quarterly,'' ``Poet Lore'' and ``Pivot.''
When he's finished with his day job of covering the shenanigans of Congress, regulatory agencies and other Beltway types for the benefit of RPN readers, Miles turns to verse. Poetry gives him the outlet to say what he feels, since he's limited to giving facts, sans opinions, in his news stories.
Miles is an affable, intellectual sort with a touch of nervous paranoia. That makes him a highly accurate reporter, always worried about the quality and truthfulness of his stories.
On the surface, you wouldn't suspect he has the guts to bare his soul in print. But he does, and to an incredible degree.
For several years he competed in poetry slams, carnival-like events where poets recite on stage before their peers. Winners are selected by applause, losers are loudly vilified and ``slammed'' into abject depression.
Miles has enjoyed victory and suffered defeat in ``slams,'' but usually did pretty well. He won the Washington contest in 1993 and represented the city in the national finals in San Francisco. He's retired from that field, now. We can tell because he seems much calmer.
Today Miles hosts a monthly poetry reading series in Arlington, Va., a more sedate experience. I attended one reading in which Miles participated a few years ago, where he gave a ``slam'' performance, and I really liked it. I'm no expert on poetry, but I've always enjoyed Miles' work, as well as the fact that he is fulfilling one of his ambitions.
Hilary Tham, who as the author of five books of poetry and a Words Works director is a true expert on poetry, calls ``Bears'' a ``courageous book, full of hunger, anger and lyrical compassion.'' That sounds like Miles-a courageous, caring person full of passion.
And, most definitely, someone who knows how to satisfy hunger. All the best restaurants in Washington know him.
Now all you closet poets in the rubber industry have a role model.