Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Smart Career Moves

Like many of you, I recently read in the paper that "Death is often a good career move in poetry." That's news I can use.

Actually, no, it's not. As I stated here before, as a busy mom I don't have luxury to die for poetry, as much as my poetry may want me to.

I thought that maybe if I got involved in some high-profile sex scandal, maybe that would be a good poetry career move. I've been stalking Larry Craig in public restrooms, making moderately-priced propositions (in haiku) to Eliot Spitzer, but alas I have not been successful creating any scandals. This poetry career business is hard.

Are there any other good career movies for poets? Or do I have to show up to my next high school reunion as a failed poet?

When I do finally die, I want them to put "She lived a pretty good poetry career" on my tombstone. That's very important to my poetry.


At 6:06 PM, Blogger Phatback said...

It's news you can use, but don't tell any of the poets you work with...

At 6:08 PM, Blogger DeadMule said...

Face it, Reb. It's a question of balance. Anyone who says, "because I'm somebody's mother," as often as you do, loves that little "somebody" too much to just duct-tape the door and stick her head in the oven like Sylvia Plath. No matter how much some of us love poetry, we are just too "normal" to be what the world thinks a poet "ought to be." We have to settle for what poets really are, which is people who "have to" write poetry (but not at all costs).

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Collin said...

Somebody's been reading Asshat Logan's reviews again. ;-)

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Justin Evans said...

Ah, the reunion. Believe me. If you have had your picture in the paper people will fawn all over your success. with my meager successes I was treated like a real person when tey found out my poetry had been published.

Somehow, however, I get the feeling you won't be so timid about your writing and publishing empire. Give 'em hell. Kick ass and take names like you always do!

At 9:28 PM, Blogger Reb said...

Oh, it's not an empire -- I'm quite anti-empire.

It's more like a swap meet.

At 11:11 PM, Blogger Tortilla ex Machina said...


Do you mean the NYT on Frank O'Hara? My eyes and blood pressure became a little fuzzy or dicey after reading that. I find it difficult to accept that Frank O'Hara, or anyone for that matter, contemplates death as a career move. I guess his snooty smarmy point was it was an unintended career move. Yes, as it will be someday for all of us.

Odd, though, that he should reference a poet who didn't xerox, duplicate, or publish most of his work, nor, as we all know, publish more than he sent to friends in letters and handed out in cocktail parties.

I guess it is fun to jump on the dead once in a while. But probably not a great career move.

I suppose I should remember the reviewer's name, but I am happy to say that I don't.

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Reb said...

Hi, yeah the reference is to Logan's NYT's review of O'hara's Selected linked in the post.

And that's a very good point about how strange a comment it truly was -- considering O'hara's non-career focused poetry life and production.


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