Just wanted to state that Jeff is a peerless housemate and my good fortune in this last decade plus of cohabitation CANNOT be overstated. He knows why I’m posting this now, but it need not be the business of the world.
The Echo is in at the krankenhaus, Paul is all wanting to drive again, and I’m going to tell him the same thing I did last time; Don’t. Unless your doctor okays it, no. The CT happened and we’ll know more when the film’s read. Keith picked us up after we dropped the car off. Keith is being such a dear one these days.
Then I got a return call from Tammy and we had a lovely phone call, chugging through the ever changing panoply of tasks and concerns. I am very happy she called.
Suzanne is here and the rugs are in to be washed.
I carried Kevin (the vacuum) downstairs. He is a very substantial minion and awkward. I wanted to be reminded.
I think it is possible that I am gestating a poem. Could be gas. Could be the samosa. Could be that Magpie (twitterfren’) was talking about how a poem ambushed them with a philosophical demand that (as they currently construe themselves) was antithetical to their wellbeing.
This means that my friend has identified something interesting to me, of which I was not previously aware, in my poetry.
If you read David Dowker’s poems, and you should if you enjoy being bewildered in a very high-toned way, only to be poleaxed by a phrase which welds itself to your sensorium, you will not come across a single one that would require the modern day ‘scourge of both literature and the flow of ideas in virtual spaces’ by which I mean (and for the one person reading this who’ll enjoy it) the TRIGGER WARNING.
A content or trigger warning is the signed, finger-signed, audible or readable advisory that potentially painful, objectionable, psychologically harmful due to pre-existing conditions, or just plain offensive to contemporary acceptance of decency wat dat content is imminently inbound.
I think the poet has to consider the audience. If you want your poetry widely accessible, that means actually taking accessibility into consideration. Oh, one possibly probably almost certainly says, such a small part of the market.
I am not marketable. Oh my offense is rank, it smells to heaven – that I have RSD and CAN’T FUCKING BEAR TO BE EDITED or even gently remonstrated with regarding usage. Of course if it’s dead wrong I don’t have a problem, but anything with wiggle room and a slice of daylight a photon wide and … I be the spiny puffer fish stuck in the throat of my own self-improvement. So I’ll never be a commercial author. I won’t improve as a poet. My best songwriting days are behind me anyway and I’m fine with that. When I have a back catalogue like what I’m sitting on… ? just staying on top of my own top 40 compositions in terms of performance readiness is all I fucking need to do. Everyone who likes my tunes already has the sheet music or a recording and nobody else matters. When Tom Lehrer, one of the greatest song writers of the 20th C, PUBLICLY POSTED HIS ENTIRE CATALOGUE, I thought I don’t even need to say anything, I’ve been vindicated with the kind of vindication that counts, one artist heart sending up a flare to another while putting the audience first. WHO ELSE could respect his audience that much? Who is unbossed enough to do it? Of course he’s not a perfect human but it’s the single most amazing piece of direct cultural action by a white guy I’ve seen in fucking years, it’s amazing!
I used to think I’d have to die first, to be a successful author, but everything about modern publishing culture is done thanks to climate change; the industry is too busy doing an HR Giger style cannibalizing fetishistic blowjob on itself and offering its youngest workers to Moloch to have it sussed yet. Publishing is yet one more of the many things that won’t survive climate change. Books that haven’t already been digitized will disappear, burned for heat, burned in fascist and religious purges or repurposed as tp or recycled as paper for other purposes. Everything that survives will either be expensive or pirated, sometimes both depending on local bullies’ attitudes toward the arts. So yeah, I’m going to keep my dignity and not wade out into that swamp. Am I making a virtue of necessity? It’s neither virtue nor necessity. I just don’t want to get any on me when it’s a swamp I can’t win.
Having given ‘the market’ all the fcking consideration that it currently deserves, and probably to all of your minds much more than it deserved even before I wilfully dragged it out of its niche in the columbarium of western thought (barf gag), I return to the issue of the consideration of the audience. I will in future be providing content warnings for my poems. On the page, the CW will state “CW is at the bottom of the poem.” People can then choose to skip ahead or read the poem. CW are often for sexual abuse, self-harm, violence, eating disorders but since I hardly ever write poetry about that, it won’t be necessary. But sometimes I mention things like death and going to the hospital, and yes it would be good to either make the title the content warning or give sensitive people a heads up. I wrote a poem about a dying man called Tom in Hospital. So easy to do. I could have called it something else. But anyone walking up to the poem who just had a relative or friend die will know: I rilly don’t need to read this right now. Or I must read this right now. But at least they know!
I identified an artistic problem with the help of a friend. I identified a number of ways to solve it. I will take the rest of my musings on the subject off line, partly because I need to pee but also because I rilly want another samosa and a smoothie to go with.