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April 26th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

Thomas Jensen is an author and poet from Galveston, Texas, who is making a unique allegation. According to him, he had written an entire collection of new works that were stolen from his home last week. The twist? Edgar Allan Poe was the culprit, Jensen says, and he’s not kidding. I called Mr. Jensen for further explanation.

Let me get this straight. You say Edgar Allan Poe was here last week, even though he’s been dead since 1849.

Well, he wasn’t dead last week. That bastard broke into my house!

How do you suppose he managed that?

Obviously with a time machine of some sort. I know he had a vehicle but I didn’t get a very good look at it since I was so busy chasing him across the lawns in my neighborhood. It was probably very steam punk.

But you’re certain it was Poe? You realize why this sounds like a stretch, don’t you?

Oh, sure. Because he’s beloved by everyone for his wonderful stories that he stole from me! Yeah, it was definitely him.

What makes you so positive?

He had that same crooked mouth, sad eyes, mussed-up hair. Looked a bit like Nietzche but his mustache wasn’t nearly as impressive. There’s no mistaking him. It was Poe.

Tell me about what happened.

So I come home from grocery shopping and notice that a window’s broken leading into my living room. Not knowing if someone was in the house or not, I snuck around the side so I could peer through one of the more discreet windows. But when I get to the backyard, I see some disheveled bastard coming out onto the deck, and I yell at him to stop, which is when he took off running.

This would be Poe.

Of course! Now, I didn’t realize that at the time because I had never actually heard of Edgar Allan Poe before last week, but…

I’m sorry? The man is considered the father of literary mysteries and a brilliant poet, and yet you…

He’s a damn thief is what he is! Some two-bit loser who couldn’t write his way out of a soggy box until he encountered me, so why should I have heard of him before? Anyway, this rumpled twit is dashing through my suburb with my suitcase full of manuscripts, jumping over fences and hedges, while I’m running after him. I probably would have caught him too, if I hadn’t tripped and fallen into Mrs. Bailey’s flower garden. That’s when he finally made his escape.

Then what happened?

Well, it took me a little while to get back home because I had to endure a lot of verbal abuse from Mrs. Bailey, but when I did, I called the police. They came and took my statement, but Poe was long gone by then and probably already in the nineteenth century.

What were the policemen’s reactions to you identifying the thief as Poe?

I didn’t at first, because again, I hadn’t heard of him. But I started poking around online doing Google image searches for crooked mouths and it wasn’t long before I found him. And then once I noticed he’s an author and started checking out his works, I knew for sure. It was him all the way, the time-jumping prick.

What about his writing made you think that?

It was my writing! My stories! I wrote one about the current lawsuit against the rapper Usher, where he’s accused of giving his ex-lover herpes, and spun it out to imagine a world where it brings his entire career down. Lo and behold, I find “Fall of the House of Usher.” I wrote a poem about Super Bowl 47 and the Ravens’ Joe Flacco steeling himself at halftime, declaring he would never lose any more. Well, you can guess where I found that reference in Poe’s supposed works. Apparently it’s the most popular one! Unbelievable!

“The Raven” certainly isn’t about football, it’s about…

Well, I didn’t have time to do more than skim, but of course he would have changed some things around to make it sound like his own voice. But how about my story about Tinder and how you hear your pulse in your ears on that first date? “The Tell-tale Heart.” Or my meditation on the death of Rue in the Hunger Games, and how she was the most significant murder in the first book, and look at this, here’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue.” My story “A Cask of Amaretto” becomes “The Cask of Amontillado.” The one about Brad Pitt and his impending doom as the end of his career inches closer and closer is turned into a metaphor in “The Pit and the Pendulum.” Even my story “The Podesta Letter” about Wikileaks stealing emails was in there! “The Purloined Letter.” He barely even concealed that one! It couldn’t be any more obvious.

Indeed. I want to thank you for your time, Mr. Jensen. I hope you are able to catch the burglar and wish you luck in your future writing endeavors.

I won’t be writing for awhile, I’m afraid. I’m getting into the time-traveling business.

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