Yesterday saw the circulation by Norb Blei of my "Crime of Rhyme" mini-essay from these hallowed pages. No reaction yet, but it's certainly not going to make me any friends.
Oh well! Opening the Poetry Dispatch file to read it through after it was delivered to my mailbox yesterday, I found myself wondering why I do things like that. Why do I write essays intended for the people on whom my own success depends and call them drones? Tell them they are uneducated swine and they're making me sick? Even Bukowski didn't do that as directly and arrogantly as I do.
Do I have a desire to wallow forever in self-righteous obscurity?
Well, no. I have no desire for anything, frankly, other than a good night's sleep and some way of drinking without getting even fatter than I am now.
I have done my share of networking. I have sucked up to writers with no talent to make myself seem important by association. I have published poets I didn't like because denying them publication might, in the internecine world of the small presses, close doors for me at some other point along the line. But I can't seem to do it anymore.
I spoke my mind somewhere, publically, though I don't remember when or where--maybe here on Suffolk Punch--and then things seemed to change. It was like I couldn't put the genie of dishonesty back in the bottle.
I tried; I really did. But I just couldn't do it. Suddenly I found I'd turned into a rather unappealing, grouchy version of that fellow in the movie "Liar, Liar", who has to tell the truth even though it's the last thing his profession requires him to do (he's a lawyer, which is a trade only marginally less founded in deceit than poetry). It has begun spilling over into other areas of my life too, though as I indicated in another post, I haven't yet found enough ass in my britches to tell my manager at work what I really think. Still, I'm close, considering five or six people at work have the SUFFOLK PUNCH link.
I will either become a minor legend because of this disturbing new habit of mine, or I will alienate the few remaining poets and editors who don't hate my guts and I'll die in complete obscurity. People come to poetry to discover what they already know--to relax in pleasant company--not to be ritually abused by some depressed freak with a machine gun for a typing finger.