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Monday, October 19, 2015

One More Down The Conveyor

Are my eyes picking up the light from this screen
Or is the screen drinking in my light?
I’ve been at it all day again
All. Damn. Day.
Hunched over the keys in this ratty old chair
Working my way through yet another pot of coffee
And filling up the filthy glass ashtray

There are so few people in my life
In real life
It’s got to be good for me to interact online
But damn
So many hours of nothing but computing

Today I am a poetry machine
I found a site replete with ideas of what to write about
And I’ve been cranking out poems one after the other
Over a dozen other users of the site have commented kindly on my work
Strokes the old ego, no bones about it

Thing is, this idea site I’m using actually forces you to read other people’s poetry
It’s brilliant, really, how it works
For every poem you submit, you have to comment on two others
So I know that these dozen comments I’ve gotten are somewhat…
Artificial? Superficial? What do you call a mandatory compliment?
At least you get to pick which poems you feel like remarking on
They picked mine. That much is true

Every time I finish a poem and submit it to the site
I’m prompted to share it throughout my social networks
And I do. Sure – why not?
I check every once in a while to see whether anyone’s liked my Facebook posts
Or favorited or retweeted me on Twitter
How is it that this is simultaneously so supercool and so pitiful?
I’m engaged in the creation of a species of art
And not in a vacuum; I have an audience
Yet there’s something so contrived about the whole process
And technology has a way of cheapening art, doesn’t it
Plus there’s desperation in my bidding for and lapping up attention

I have thousands of followers on Twitter
My Facebook posts show up in scads of people’s feeds
My social networking popularity is not because of my poems
One of my hobbies  is seeking out contests and giveaways all over the web
And tweeting and posting about where and how to enter them
That’s how I built up such a substantial following
Everybody loves a chance at something for nothing
So but now I’m ticker-taping all these giveaway enthusiasts with poetry
Art-spamming the prize-seekers

I just traded the coffee mug for a brandy snifter
Which will put me to bed before long
A whole damn lonesome day of conveyor belt poetry

How fraught with paradox, how queer, how postmodern

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads


  1. Wow.... this! "And technology has a way of cheapening art, doesn’t it"

    These are my other favorite lines: "A whole damn lonesome day of conveyor belt poetry"
    "Art-spamming the prize-seekers"

    Following you on google now. You won't be spamming me, I'll look forward to future reading!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! You do such an awesome job over at devastateboredom.blogspot.com ... It's a real treat to hear from you.

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  3. Ah, I think that's what it means to be social, but reading has always given me more than writing...

  4. So, how do you really feel? lol. I get it. The whole poetry production bit. But, I can't stop the belt drive either, and sometimes i really enjoy it! There is a certain madness in us poets.

  5. The upside is that I get to read some WONDERFUL poetry I would otherwise never have known about, I learn new forms to play with, and I often receive very thoughtful comments from my readers. Yes, some people aren't so good at the craft yet, but I see them get better and better at it over time and grow as poets, and that's interesting too. I always wanted to spend my time writing poetry, and having it be read; plus I always wanted to be able to read a lot of poetry by other people, and talk to people about poetry. Guess what - I do! All of that.

  6. Great ending! I totally get your poem. I have more friends on FB than 'real' life. But, I have to admit my poetry friends (that I've never met rock my world). Hang in there-you are contributing and even connecting. : )

  7. This is a very insightful commentary of the world of on-line poetry, and one would be blind (or extremely self-obsessed) not to acknowledge the truth of what you say.


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