Saturday, March 16, 2013

In the poetry cloud

If you want to find me and my poetry, it's not hard to do.  I've set up a freelance shop, but I'm not much of an entrepreneur.  You could buy direct pdf. downloads of my books from Distribly (you could even help me sell them there, and get paid for it).  You might also buy them in ebook or paperback form from Lulu.  You could get the books fast through Amazon.   But then again, what the heck, if you want to read them online for free, just go to the Brown University Library card catalog, and there they are.  Or you can read them and search them @ Google Books.

The life of poetry in the world is a mystery to me.  I try to grasp it but I don't succeed.  Here is this massive complicated oeuvre, produced over decades.  It's ignored by the literary circles and invisible to the general American public.  For a number of reasons, I am not embraced or welcomed by established poetry insiders.  I've alienated many sectors of the "community" over the years, with what some might term political and personal attitude problems.  Perhaps some feel I don't play well with others.  I've made all the usual mistakes, such as not trying hard enough to get published along the way, or speaking arrogantly when I should have shown humility.  Poetry is a great high thing.  I've probably been mystified and self-deluded and wrong in many of my steps in this field or vocation.  I do see myself as instinctively wary of disturbing my own creative process, through various kinds of trafficking in the literary world, various shades of literary politics.  I don't want to "sell myself" : it's not a celebrity project : I understand that the only criterion, the only real interest, is the actual poem.  The poem has to make its own way.

So I remain hopeful, for some reason... though I have little to show in the way of prestige or reputation for all my efforts.  I'm outside all those in-house circuits of attention & fame, for the moment.  For that, I think I should be glad.  Because these new means of communication and publishing - this cloud of online capabilities - make me think I have a chance to win out in the end.  Here are all these poems and books of poems, of which I'm still the happy parent.  I think they're valuable.  They're just sort of waiting in the wings of the cloud.