It’s because nobody buys poetry books. Well, that is not entirely true but then what is? And the people who buy poetry books tend to like poetry, which seems a fundamental mistake.
It’s like when I ordered a beet risotto at a restaurant and when I tasted it I realized it was made for people who like beets, rather than people like myself who more find it amusing that sometimes I like things with beets in them. I don’t blame the restaurant. Communicating intent can be hard.
Like, I’d maybe suggest that this is a book for people who don’t generally like poetry but do like poets. Or maybe it’s for people who are amused that they sometimes like poetry.
The best compliment I ever got was from a retired Liberal policy designer who was at a reading I was giving because I was interviewing him later for my public access cable show. [I wouldn’t say that was part of a trick to make him come to the riding, but maybe I wouldn’t say it because it would look bad on me.] He said that he’d accidentally started listening near the end of my reading and thought “Gee, I wish I’d started listening earlier”.
Of course that’s not the truth. The story is true, but it probably really isn’t my best compliment.
The best rejection I ever got, well, literary rejection, was from some magazine who’s name I don’t recall. I’d sent them some short stories I think (assumption based on the details of their rejection). They said that if I ever wrote something that included character development I should send it their way. Upon reflection it isn’t clear if that was an honest statement or they were playing at mimicking the assholery that they perceived in my writing. I mean, there would even have been fundamental honesty in their mimicking as well.
It was right about the time I was handing out business cards with the job title of asshole (with a puckered o even). Which was intended to be ironic in that I was a bit of an asshole for sure, but not necessarily good enough at it to be bragging about it in on a business card.
I maybe preferred the Fuckin’ Know It All since 1973 card. I like simple repetitive interactions. People saying I was too old to have been born in 1873 and my replying that no one is born a Fuckin’ Know It All, it takes time.
Or even God in A Blood Red Tuxedo, because I only handed those out whilst wearing my blood red tuxedo.
But, anyway, the 1973 data will come up later, as will the tuxedo.
I’m not sure I believe in development of character or other things. It tends to imply an ordering that makes no sense. A friend once wrote a great letter to the editor about the racist implications of that. I won’t go into the details or mention their name because they have done more important things and are more famous than me. Doesn’t that seem like a good commandment? When I was wearing my blood red tuxedo and handing out my God in a BRT cards I would also have a speedy commandment pad with me, but that was mostly for requests.
I buy into things changing. The whole paradox about things not being able to change because each change would require an infinite number of sub changes. To me that just points out that words are mostly useless.
I figure I’ll make this chronological. Its like what I love about mystery novels. They start when the mysterious event occurs and finish when the event isn’t mysterious anymore.
So, as I was saying, 1973 will come up again because we aren’t there yet. So far, this is all foreshadowing.