Hey guys, look. No hard feelings and no big deals. To some extent I agree with the "poems about poetry" stuff, but I would say that maybe one or two poems a year of mine fits that description. Look at it this way. I live with my wife and my dog, and inevitably, a lot of my stuff centers around them. To share a bit from my personal life, this past March I made the decision to go part time at work. The reason? I was getting so much fulfillment from my poems -- as therapy, as creative expression, and yes, dammit, from the publications. So I decided to part with 17 grand a year to have every Friday off to work my trade. Do you think that once in a while I might write a poem that was about, God forbid, the very process that had lured me to take leave of my senses, and my income, to partake in?
I just accepted three poems by Winans for Pig in a Poke. The three I accepted were, in one way or another, about writing poetry. I didn't accept the fourth one because it would not have fit in the same "suite," if you catch my drift. I think Jordan hit very close to the truth in his last post ... it's a matter of moderation. Nobody wants to listen to some "sensitive" ass rambling on about sitting at the "typer" drinking bourbon and suffering from creative diarrhea. But ... once in a while, there's a place for it.
So. Michael, David, you have a point. For the record, here is the poem in question. And sure, it's about poetry, no doubt about it, but it's also about something I've wondered about: If we get published in a beautiful, limited edition run, and if we know damned well that everyone in that limited run is going to buy up every copy of it, and if I go up to the cabinet where mine is stored -- here we go with me being American, and "what good is it if you can't use it" -- what is the point if not more than three or four people, a dozen at most, see it? If we are in this racket to communicate, and not just stroke our egos, would it not make more sense to seek wider publication?
I realize this will not be a popular point of view in this forum, but it is mine, and I think that I have poked away at the poetry gig long enough to have earned it. As you, gentlemen, have certainly earned yours. And whether you have earned it or not, here is the poem:
The oxymoron of small-press fame
I get two contributors' copies of a folio
filled with broadsides by small-press luminaries.
They're beautifully done, on heavy cardstock,
each broadside a unique design and color. Besides
some names that are familiar to many today,
there are reprints of poems by Bukowski,
Brautigan and Ferlinghetti. My poem is sandwiched
between Bukowski's and Christopher Cunningham's.
So this is fame, small-press style. Fame indeed;
the irony being that this beautiful presentation,
like so many small-press publications,
is a limited edition of 200 copies.
So maybe someday this will be a collector's item,
but right now it means that only a few hundred
people will see this work. It's the flip side
of "it's hard to be humble when you're
as great as I am" "”
it's hard to be famous
when you're as obscure as I am.
Peace to all,