Example poetry

poetry scammers | www.splicetoday.com

A poet once said, “We are all literary hustlers. It doesn’t matter which poet/writer made the statement. Poets are the rarest birds in a flighty flock. Many eschew the mainstream, rejecting the norm, while simultaneously embracing it. Searching, in vain, for the seedy cult of literary celebrity. They may say they don’t care about success, but they keep sucking on the pacifier of recognition. Any artist will tell you that the paradox of painting yourself in corners of acceptance or rejection is the main source of creativity. Fear of success or total failure stalks even the most prolific.


Why bother, then? Making something out of nothing is no mean feat. The act of creating, and the resulting process of sharing the finished product with the world, is selling yourself. Or hide it in a dark corner. The collective dust, through timeless ages, covers the sparkle of moments when art imitates life. Blindly preceding unseen sight, never uttered or displayed in daylight. Such a waste. What is it and what is it for? Therein lies the ultimate consternation.


Emily Dickinson said it in a way, succinctly, in her opening lines of “The Soul Selects Its Own Society”: “So – shut the door – / At her divine majority / Show no more.”


In other words, the divine soul wants what the majority of hearts cannot grasp. The duplicity of double meanings. There are countless examples, from the early classical poets to the street rhythms of the American nightmare, and in between. Kind of like holding the cracked mirror grown outward to enlighten dark, hungry souls, while “sucking the marrow out of the bones”. The substance of the message is clear enough that even a vegetarian can understand the raw images. Poetry, the example of the rib of beef, the cruelest choice of cuts to transmit language. So where are we, leaning on our rickety ivory towers? This pillow of moldy laurels, too thin to rest worn and weary heads. Closing the words to make a beautiful goulash of meaning.


Consider Walt Whitman, who said America is the greatest poem, perhaps yet to be written, although he tried to. Unfolding before our eyes, “poetry and democracy, in themselves, draw their power from the ability to create a unified whole from disparate parts.” That’s a mouthful, given our current situation. Whitman was a poetic salesman. Jostling his poetry, door-to-door to anyone who wanted to listen to him. Despite the scorn and ridicule of the establishment and society, Blades of grass, banned for its provocative sexual content. Considered deviant and subversive, he never stopped Whitman from believing in his right path to immortality.


Many modern poets have followed in Whitman’s footsteps. Notably Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, two poets who continually promoted and published poetry. John Martin’s Black Sparrow Press made Charles Bukowski a household name. Barney Rosset’s Grove Press took Henry Miller all the way to the Supreme Court for obscenity. Shivastan Press by Shiv Mirabito, Hanuman Press by Raymond Foye and Francesco Clemente, are just a few among many that publish young and old.


George Wallace, publisher of Poetry Bay Press in New York, also poet-in-residence at the Walt Whitman House, shared some insights. Wallace said, “As a journeyman editor and writer in the heady days of the NYC Penny Press era, Whitman was certainly no stranger to sensationalism, journalistic hustle, outright manipulation of news and noisy public posturing in the name of market share. The mid-19th century decade laid the foundation for much of what we call awful and what we call wonderful in the 21st-century media. Whitman was in the game as deeply as Benjamin Day, Edgar Allan Poe or Gaslight Foster. For better or for worse, it’s fundamental to who we are culturally. The great American push toward popular mass consumption is indeed an “equalizer.” Whether it’s uplifting the common man, dumbing him down or unleashing his worst instincts. Of course, there is a difference between a Walt Whitman and a PTBarnum, or say a Jim Bakker or a Rupert Murdoch. For most scammers, either there is no “there” or the product they are selling is a fraud – it’s all about the fuss. By contrast, Whitman’s product—his poetry and poetics—carried within it aesthetic, spiritual, linguistic, social, and communal values ​​that deeply expressed the higher possibilities of human experience.


With all the religious fanatic saint hokum from fanatical television evangelists pandering to sleazy politicians, only poets can stand as an authentic voice in the wilderness of American spiritual consumption. Who buys it? Who consumes poetry as a product apart from other poets, artists and others? Wallace says, “Actually, that’s the wrong question. The real question is who does the most to produce valuable things that you don’t have to buy? Purchase is the measure of commercial exploitation. It is a contradiction to ask a product that is above all bullshit, that it be buyable. This is the dilemma of poetry. “The trick to being an American is having your foot on the toilet seat and your head in the stars. It would be elitist romantic nonsense to deny what is commonplace in our existence. Yet to surrender to it completely is to sell our spiritual birthright. Poetry is not Las Vegas.


It’s a good idea. Like the kings of comedy. The kings and queens of poetry make Vegas! I would definitely buy a ticket to see this. Or better yet, be part of the show.


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