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SELLING POEMS ON THE INTERNET





I'd feel funny
having my own site.
Read my poems!
Buy my poems!
Validate me!
Love me!


Meanwhile,
in a distant land
a family sips coffee
from small cups
as an RPG explodes
a block away
@ 8 a.m.


I'd feel funny,
shamelessly self-promoting.
Read me!
Buy me!
Validate me!
Love me!


Meanwhile,
in a not-so-distant land
a man in an expensive suit
sits at his desk
as his monthly paycheck
of half-a-mil
is electronically transferred
to his savings account.


If an RPG went off
several stories down
in the street below
he wouldn't even hear it.


He doesn't care for poetry.
He feels that artists
should get a real job.


He feels validated.
He feels loved.
He can buy just about anything.


Meanwhile,
in another distant land
flies buzz around
the faces of starving children.


And another so-called poet
hawks their wares
on the Internet.
Read my poems!
Buy my poems!
Validate me!
Love me!
Love me!


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Comments

The following comments are for "SELLING POEMS ON THE INTERNET"
by gomarsoap

Selling Poems
Excellent write Gomar. Weird how the world falls apart around us and we still live in our own little world as if we are exempt. This one makes the heart respond even if for a moment.

Nae

( Posted by: nae411 [Member] On: July 20, 2006 )

windchime
The "poets" I'm referring to are the one's who are on sites and have flowery, self-important, self-promoting, "oozing-sensitivity" blurbs and entreaties to buy their "poetry" which in most cases is sentimental crap. You know, the one's with dreamy photos of themselves, a sad look in the eyes, perhaps delicately holding a rose.

By the way, I don't exclude myself. I imagine one day I will be selling my stuff via the net and I'm sure there will be lots of people who will consider it crap.

For my photo: perhaps a patch over one eye, a knife in my teeth, and a single teardrop running down my cheek? That'll grab the customer!

Yeh, I love used book stores, too. About the only way to afford to buy books these days. You can find a good selection and prices, even with shipping, at Abebooks.com.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: July 20, 2006 )

thinspiration/windchime
No! I wouldn't try to sell any bad stuff! But I will probably try to sell some chapbooks online eventually.

You're absolutely right about really good poets being neglected and unread, especially in the U.S. Poetry simply doesn't sell in the U.S. except in specialized bookstores that are few and far between. It seems like the only people in the U.S. that read "serious" poetry are other poets. Of course, there is the rare exception, like Bukowski. Very rare.

A good friend of mine, who reads but doesn't write much poetry, went to Spain about 6 years ago
and was amazed. He said that ordinary newspaper and magazine stalls also sold quality books of poetry. Says alot about culture in our country.

By the way, I'm going to get some CD's by Dead Can Dance from the local library and check them out. I'm ashamed to say I had never heard of them and when I checked on the net I saw they've been around for along time. I hope their music is as good as their lyrics.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Lucie: Great ideas, matey!

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: July 20, 2006 )

"orgiastic festival of shameless self promotion"
"orgiastic festival of shameless self-promotion" is my favourite description of such sites, which is the first thing that came out of my friend Sugar's mouth the minute I suggested that our own site might be the way to go to hawk our collective tatty wears. Soon shut me up!

So I liked this poem, liked it's humanity, like the way it calls to account all those so-sensitive tortured artist types whoring their big bleeding hearts and self-important misery while the world falls down around their ears. Like the way to managed to say all that without sounding like you were standing on your soap-box, ranting. Liked it because there are times I reckon when anyone who dares to call themselves a poet worries that this is what they might be like secretly or what they might turn in to if they're not careful... Or maybe that's just me?

And as far as I know there are precious few people reading or buying poetry in England either (or if there are I haven't met many) although there seem to be a bewildering number writing it and writing it dispiritingly badly.

One of the many things life is too short for is bad poetry.

Shannon.

( Posted by: AuldMiseryGuts [Member] On: July 20, 2006 )

Shannon
Thanks for the good words.

I think hawking poems on the net depends on how you present it - like in a tastefull or interesting manner. I'd sure be interested in your "tatty wares" but then, being a frugal bastard, I can always print them out here for free.

I write poems but I don't consider or call myself a poet. That's a rarified title that can only be confirred on one by other people.

Referring to Bukowski again, he said something like, "I see where God has created lots of poets, but very little poetry."

Oh. Where might one take a gander at Sugar's tatty wares?

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: July 20, 2006 )

Love me, love my tatty wares
Thoughtful words... although I feel this all too often regardless of whether I'm hawking some paltry poem or not. I feel it brewing my morning tea, deciding what flavour of icecream to buy; I feel it whenever I turn the news on. So at first, I thought your poem was making two rather separate points... but no, there is a particularly nice contrast between the luxury of wallowing in bad poetry and the less-luxurious 'real-world(s)' that 'other people' live in.

Either way, I'm clearly very ignorant, and rather surprised that people out there have the sheer hubris to try to 'sell' poems electronically: it's tough enough to sell 'real' books, where at least the poem-loving schmuck gets a nice little tome to put on a bookshelf (where are these sites? Can you really buy an amateur sonnet on Ebay? Jesus H Christ...). If so, I don't think the motivation would be very different to ours here on Lit. 'Validate me, love me', etc. 'Pay me' would certainly be pushing one's luck... but aside from that... we're all in this together, more or less. There are plenty of 'flowery, self-important, self-promoting, "oozing-sensitivity" blurbs and entreaties' on Lit-biographies too. And God knows, there's plenty of 'sentimental crap'. Mea culpa. Good reminder, Gomar (and Bukowski, naturally).

( Posted by: MobiusSoul [Member] On: July 20, 2006 )

Eek - Grinch-comment...
That sounded unwarrantedly harsh, didn't it? Lit.org is, of course, not a bad thing: I like it here. I like at least some of the poetry here, too. I wouldn't be surprised to find it in the more respected - and somehow more 'valid' - poetry magazines (which I also like, tho I fear they don't like me...)

In fact, Lit.org is better, in some ways, because of all the stuff posted here that makes me laugh (and which never finds its way into those poetry mags, so I've noticed).

So sorry, poetry, and sorry, internet. I'm not an incurable cynic, really, just a big fan of ruthless self-awareness...

( Posted by: MobiusSoul [Member] On: July 20, 2006 )

Bob Hawking

Your contrasting of the lives of these people in the poem parallels recent thoughts of mine. I decided that I should be careful not to allow myself to use excuses for bad behavior or faulty thinking based on some kind of cosmic relativism.

Please don't ask me to elaborate.

I liked your poem right off, but Mary was not familiar with "RPG". Something to think about.

What if you and I share a website? Would you only feel half as bad about it then?

We could call it BroadsideOhio dot com. You have to run the home office, though. I'll do the West Coast branch.

~ John

( Posted by: Flonigus [Member] On: July 20, 2006 )

mobius/winchime
Mobius - Sure, people sell poetry books on the web - in the form of ebooks that you can download for a fee, or hardcopies you can get in the mail.

I like it here at Lit.Org, too. The people are varied and real and it doesn't have a stuffiness that academic environments sometimes have. Not to put down academia - some of our greatest poets work in that arena, as well as some of my dearest friends. The ability to teach is a gift which I admire and envy.

I think with poetry, as well as other writing, you get "the good, the bad, and the ugly." Whether it's here at Lit.Org, open readings, or the bookshelves of libraries and book stores. It's the nature of the beast.

I started writing poems when I was 11 yrs. old. I remember thinking back then, "Man! By the time I'm 26, I'll be a famous poet and have lots of money!" Hardy har har. I'll be 61 this year and I'm still waiting.

It would be great to actually make a living at writing poems, but it just doesn't happen. It proves the addage that the act of writing is its own reward. I guess it's that way with all of the expressive arts, but I think poetry tends to be the "poor aunt" of the arts.

I think I'm starting to ramble. Thanks for your thoughts and comments.

windchime: The "poet" comment I made is just my own personal stance regarding myself. Anybody can call themselves whatever they want to.

Quite a lovely compliment from Mr. Layton and you should be proud. I've heard of his name but I don't think I've ever read anything by him.

I think non-writers don't read much poetry because it can be kind of intimidating in cold print and can take more effort to read than prose. Those same people may have lots of other kinds of books in their homes.

Thanks for reading and commenting and I hope all is going well.





( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: July 20, 2006 )

BroadsideOhiodotcom
Glad you liked the poem and I appreciate your comments. I assume Mary is your mate? She must avoid the news as it seems the RPG is the personal weapon of choice in the Middle East.

Maybe feeling only half-bad might work! Hmmm. What could we have for a logo?

I'm aware you're from S.E. Ohio. Anywhere near the Ohio River? There's a guy who lives about 20 miles west of Portsmouth who is a fine printer. His name is Brian Richards and has a press called Bloody Twin Press. He's a poet and a regular guy who lives along a creek and does beautiful work. Just mentioning that because you are looking for a "paper" printer. You could probably google some information about it.

After visiting with him one time, I was headed home and ran over a box turtle along Route 52. Broke my heart.

Recently read your poem, "Pirogue." Excellent!

I have a son in Berkeley who sells shoes in the Birkenstock store in Oakland. At least until they close it up.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: July 21, 2006 )

Selling Poems
Hey Mr. G-
First, your poem was touching, and eternally true. I think it is the artists, writers, musicians who seem to notice such. The ones motivated by money, instead of beauty, only SEE value in 'stuff'. Your point was eloquently made, and not driven too hard to make one feel forced to come to their defense. Instead, possibly prodded to watch the entire commercial about the kids who could use your .57 (cents) a day.
"Poet" is not a profession, imo, but a philosophy. I may be a "great" poet, but no one (besides those I inflict my poetry on) would possibly know. If I were to die, tragically, my chances of publication would greatly improve.

I write for my growth. I write because I have to. I must say what my spirit moves me to say, and if I can do this eloquently and with a sense of human sameness, well, then I have a poem.

Very glad to have a forum such as Lit.org where I can voice my poetry, and opinions, and have like minded (...somewhat) folk respond.

Always nice to read your work- always insightful and inspired.

blessings-
Elizabeth

( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: July 21, 2006 )

Ms.Maks
Thanks. Your thoughts on poets and poetry, as they are on other subjects, are uncomplicated, basic, and concise, as usual. Looking back at my comments above, I'm afraid I was being a bit of a blowhard.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: July 21, 2006 )

Broadsided by a Box Turtle
Bob,

Not really a river runner here, while growing up in Perry County. My creek ran into a river that ran to the Ohio.

I met some of it later in New Orleans.

Yeah, you've got to watch for those box turtles; with their sense of entitlement and everything. As bad as a Berkeley pedestrian.

Is anyone using a box turtle for a logo?

Thanks for the word on the printer. Always like to find out about interesting people, especially Ohioans.

Yes, Mary is my mate. Though well aware of world events and politics, she somehow filters-out details about weapons and artillery. I'm still grateful she's around.

~ John

( Posted by: Flonigus [Member] On: July 21, 2006 )

Flonigus
For a logo, I think a box turtle would be just about right. Or any other kind of Ohio turtle. We're slow, but we get to where we're going.

I spent 3 days in New Orleans in the late 60's and I felt like I had been there a year. Quite an amazing place. Reading your poems, it seems like you delve into the magic of wherever you go. You seem to have a sharp eye for the realness behind the flash.

Does Mary have a screen name here at Lit.Org?

I take it you must also be a musician, or at least dabble around on an instument? Growing up in Perry County, I imagine you were opened up to all kinds of music, besides the commercial stuff on radio and television. Just a guess.

If you google Bloody Twin Press, there's a link to the magazine Exquisite Corpse that has a review of some of the books from that press and how they are made.

Brian Richards is a real open guy, especially to Ohio writers, and especially to Ohio writers in southern Ohio. If you have something specific that you're serious about publishing, you shouldn't hesitate to contact him.

My best to you and Mary.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: July 21, 2006 )

dear gomarsoap,
just read your excellent poem. it brings up many aspects of the many different, interesting, and odd conflicts of this life...for which, by the way, i have no real explainations...but your poem certainly puts things in perspective.

by the way - this is the most read poem of the moment.

yours sincerely,

john. john doe.

7/23/06
10:05am

( Posted by: johnjohndoe [Member] On: July 23, 2006 )

Selling Oakland

Bob,

I think your distant and not so distant lands could be Oakland. We just use bigger coffee cups.

I PM'd you.

~ John

( Posted by: Flonigus [Member] On: July 23, 2006 )

Selling Poems On Internet
Wow. Thanks for all the comments, folks. Has to be the most I've ever gotten from a post. What catches the eye? The title?

Thanks unseenwriterx.

Molly & Tasha: Your really want to buy some of my crap? I'm humbled & honored - sincerely. Check your PM's for details.

Sam: Your words are true and wise. You are lucky to be part of a family that encourages artistic expression.

The only pic that I really felt suited "Deborah" is the original FelineWhip sister who can't be located for permission. So there probably won't be a representational pic. Maybe I'll drag out my old, rusty, marginal artistic talent and try to draw or paint one.

Thanks again to you and the Sisterhood for all your time and help and liveliness.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: July 25, 2006 )

john/bill/pen
johnjohndoe - thanx. Most read poem? Gotta be the title. That's why I don't like poems called, "untitled." Nothing to grab the eye.

Bill: I will be visiting Oakland within the next few months & get to take a gander.

Penelope: As always.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: July 25, 2006 )

Not the title
Gomarsoap, I have to say I usually check poems out if the title sticks out but I am with Pen on this one. I read it solely because I have always liked reading you and again was not disappointed.

Nae

( Posted by: nae411 [Member] On: July 25, 2006 )

Persphone2006
Just got back after a long day of fishing and enjoying nature. Glad you got the stuff okay and thanks for your nice words.

If you read everthing or just part of it, do it at your leisure as you would any other book and you shouldn't feel obligated to make any comments. If you want to comment, that's fine too. I've always considered it an honor and privilege that someone would read anything I've written, and that's enough for me.



( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: August 8, 2006 )





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