Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I read somewhere between 10-12,000 poems last year, and I'm still not done with copyright 2005.

So what.

So what is, what's the mechanism for getting any of those poems in front of a reader more than once? Here's a picture of where a hypothetical widely-distributed poem might appear:

1. In a journal
2. On the journal's website
3. On a "poetry aggregator" website (you know what I mean)
4. In an anthology
5. On the poet's website
6. In a collection by the poet
7. In or alongside a review of the collection
8. In a downloadable file

The rest of the culture banks on getting in front of the audience several times with provocative, hook-covered objects. Poetry culture mainly does not. My sense is that poetry culture has long set a value on that aloofness -- and correspondingly, there's a fear that poetry can't hold its own with the best music, comedy, drama, whatever. (O'Hara's line about Whitman Crane and Williams the only poets better than the movies.)

You get what you expect -- or do you? I saw a lot of good poems last year, partly because I read everything I could find, and partly because I dropped the belief that I knew where the good poems were going to be.

The sooner I drop the belief that there are gatekeepers who know better, or who are withholding something from the real poets...

Jordan - #




I'm Jordan Davis.
I write a lot.
I mention it here.

Say hi: jordan [at] jordandavis [dot] com.

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