Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reverse Voyeur (or the fate of the would-be poet)

Turns out, the only readers of poetry
are other poets;
a disheartening fact one learns from listening
to Minnesota Public Radio.
And in ten years, there will be more
writers than readers for all genres, thanks to
social networking sites.

We are, it seems, a nation of reverse voyeurs.
Watch me! See me!
First, reality TV then reality publishing; a genre
somewhere beyond creative non-fiction,
defined by a lack of editorial relief *or* re-life.

The absent reader might find it interesting to note
that a recently "published" birth story of mine
garnered more readers in five hours than
Wednesday Poems has in its six-month
(26-poem) existence.
Ah, to blog stats. The spine of the reverse voyeur.
No need even for a comment left kindly on the wall.

A book doesn't provide such instant
gratification or depression.
And for the poet perhaps then a book,
rarely garnishing enough royalties to
merit an agent,  or even a self-published chapbook,
distributed in food cooperatives and urban coffee shops,
is the better option.
Said poet might then embrace hope that some
hungry soul has picked it up, perhaps in a library
and, even as poet self drinks morning tea, is
digesting some worthy gem from the prose
poem found on page thirty-five.
But instead the stats page speaks loudly
of the one sole viewer that has visited
since the last poem was posted.

But oh depraved world (I can say this
because I just finished listening to
Amy Goodman's Democracy Now
and the world is always depraved
after an hour spent with Ms. Goodman),
how we still need our metaphor
and verse.
How we yet need transformation.

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