Every word I write you can eat. The point of my published works has always been to appease my readers appetites. Ever since I was young, I have wanted to create books that could be eaten. As a child I could always be found snacking upon the covers of books from my fathers collection. I would chew on Shakespeare, Milton and Emily Dickinson until I was found and given a terrible scolding for doing so. I longed to eat books up until my sixteenth birthday when I finally decided to create and edible work of my own. When I told others of my idea, I was thought of as a fool. “Oh Smear,” people would say, “such a foolish young dreamer.” Despite the antagonizing criticisms- I continued to pursue my invention with the dedication of a fiend. I wrote for hours a day, sometimes skipping out on meals until I finally had in my hand the finished manuscript of what was the first edible book ever created.
I ate my first book. This was the problem. When my parents had asked me about the book that I had spent years and years writing all I could tell them that it was gone. When I had told them that I ate it they looked upon me as a young man who had lost his mind. I was twenty two at the time and was subjected to all forms of psychological examination. I was even subjugated to the confines of a hospital for many weeks for telling a psychiatrist about my invention. “So what was this edible book about,” the psychiatrist asked me. “It is about all the desires of a young man wrapped up into edible pages of a book. The story is told through a narrator who is a young runaway who has left the confines of his comfortable home to seek out authentic experiences. He falls into all forms of disreputable vice and at the end after returning home, in a fit of furry he kills his father and has sex with his mother.” “Ah I see, so we are suffering from a demented form of the Oedipal complex are we not?” All I could do was look into the eyes of the man who wanted to convict me and say, ” I only wanted to eat the story of youth.”
After weeks secluded away in a psychiatric hospital and months spent examined by various forms of analyst and therapist I was deemed to be suffering from a form of hyper-intelligence. The prescription for my cure was that I should be kept away from all books and writing. I was kept for months in my bed with my hands and feet bound to my bed. “It is for your own good Shmear,” my mother would remind me each day as she brought me food. I could see the tears welling up in hear eyes as she untied one of my hands from the bedpost. “If we do not keep you bound we know that you will read, write and eventually loose your mind. This is for your own good,” she constantly tried to remind me.
After months of being bound to my bed I was able to break free from the shackles that not only enslaved my body but also my mind. I packed a bag and left for good the home that I had been brought up in. With little money and no destination in mind I set out on foot as far as my feet would allow me to wander. Through rural villages and small towns I made my way until I found myself in a large city called Vice. There I stayed for many years, working as a dish washer by day and writing my edible works at night. When I was done with my writing for the night I would wonder the streets of Vice, committing thousands of sins in my mind until sleep would overwhelm me and I would be forced to wonder home to my small studio on Transgression Street.
I completed my second book when I had just turned twenty six. It was a longer book that had taken me years to create, but the words were sweet and the story filling. I found a Baker in town who told me that for a cut of the eventual profit he could recreate my edible book one hundred times. This would allow me enough baked copies of my edible works to take around to various publishers for them to try. The Baker and I decided to entitle my second book A Symposium of Edible Words, so that the reader immediately understood that this book was indeed to be eaten.
After dropping “the Symposium” off to dozens of publishers, all of whom worked in the city of Vice- all I could do was wait in anticipation. I drank away the time and spent hours sitting in silent meditation. I thought of numerous ideas for forthcoming books and since I was low on cash I ate the remaining stock of my edible books. Weeks passed without notice and then the letters started pouring in. “Dear Shmear, this is the best book I have ever eaten,” “your words were so satisfying to my mind and gut,” “I have yet to experience such a delight like reading your book and then eating it!!” were some of the comments that came pouring in through my small rusty mailbox. I struck a deal with a publisher who wanted ten edible books in ten years for a price that I could never have imagined earning. That evening the Baker and I celebrated in a den of iniquity- debasing ourselves in every drunken way imaginable.
It gives me great pleasure to be writing this introduction fifty years later. I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be writing the introduction to the Complete and Edible Works Of Shmear. My intention was never for fame and riches but rather to write words that could be of some significant nutritional value to my readers. I wanted my readers to be able to eat words that would expand their imaginations and support them in a life of creativity and wonderment. Upon completing my first book there was no greater pleasure that I had experienced than eating it. I wanted readers to experience this same pleasure when they were done reading my books. To be able to eat the words and pages that had been stuck in their minds. To be able to eat a text with the greatest pleasure- this was my only goal. After fifty some years of writing and eating edible books, it is my greatest feeling of accomplishment to know that I have filled the hungry stomachs of readers around the world with my delectable words.