Sunday, April 29, 2018

i'm still here

i know the blogger revolution is past its prime.  most poets i know have moved on to facebook, twitter and instagram.  cool.  i'm not complaining.  i regularly read many poets on twitter and if those poets post pics on instagram, that's even better.  i don't have a facebook account.  i haven't made that transition.  i am a poet/blogger and have been for about 14 years now.  i figured my blog is enough.  people can find me if they want.  they can read my poems, essays, reviews and rants here.  i do think about opening a twitter account because of its portability.  i can easily access twitter from my smart phone.  i don't know if there is an app to access blogger.  and the immediacy of posting to twitter appeals to my poetics when i often tap out a few lines as i am walking in and thru my beloved city.

we know now how much data companies have on each of us.  everything in this world has its dark side.  including big data.  but digital media can be a force of good.  i think of all the friends i've made, real friends, thru digital platforms.  i think of the late poet simon howard who made deep friendships with many poets online.  so that when howard died all his friends had one thing in common: they didn't know what he looked like.  they all knew him via blogs, facebook, message boards and email.  please don't think that strange.  the history of poetry has its share of isolated poets who have many friends via old fashioned correspondence.  think of emily dickenson and constantine cavafy as examples of poets who kept to themselves but shared their visions, thoughts and work by post.  i didn't know howard but i was shocked by his death.  he was a poet that was just a few years older than me.  i knew his work via the internet, particularly his blog walkingtheceiling, and liked very much what i read.  if it were not for the internet i wouldn't have discovered simon howard and his poetry.

i'm still here.  i don't post as much as i did during the fevered early days of blogging.  but i find that blogging has been a crucial tool for my poetry.  formal publication is fine but i don't feel the burn for sending out my work to journals and publishing houses.  i can publish my own chapbooks and books and poems either online or via print on demand.  i don't consider poetry a career.  it is a way of life.  digital life allows me to self-publish and i've been an advocate of self-publishing for a very long time.  some of my poet hereos, like jim mccrary, have been self-publishing for decades before the digital revolution.  if we go further back in the history of poetry we will find william blake and another personal poet hero, constantine cavafy, who self-published their poems and books of poetry long, long before the digital revolution.

but i am here, and i will continue to be here until i can't write any longer, or because i am dead.  either way, i figure a life without poetry as tantamount to being a member of the living dead.  i love zombies but i don't want to be one.  i don't think i'll get on to facebook.  twitter might still be a possibility.  in the meantime, please do carry on with your own digital lives.  i love reading your poems, essays, reviews, twitterings, and pics.  i shall do the same in my own lame-ass way.



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