Monday, May 11, 2009

Inevitable Net Progression; New Poem

I fear my blogability (borrowing a neologism from Bud commercials) has been declining. Here is the progression of net communication as I see it:

1) e-mail
2) posting boards
3) listserv, newsgroups
4) blogs
5) My Space and Facebook
6) Twitter
7) Video twitter (a prediction)

There are still intimate places on the web, small poetry boards and boards of special concern, and none of these "advances" precludes the use of a previous one.

I like e-mail best because I hate handling paper. I've been on boards, still attend one. I've been on listservs, none now. My blog is self-explanatory. I joined My Space and facebook but only pursued facebook where I now have over 500 (mainly literary) "friends." (The existence of such platforms naturally cheapens the word, "friend.") My publisher encouraged me to twitter and now I have a tweet deck. The time will come when short videos can be posted through twitter; links to videos are already possible. Then we'll have canned film snippets from personalities falling through the rafters.

What does this progression say about the Net? First, that things go from private to public quickly. Second, that associations expand exponentially if you keep playing. And third, the greater the audience, the less data shared, which results in the trivializing of life to buzz words and sound bites and branding. Don't we brand cattle?

It's a dehumanizing process that began with the telegraph. Nevertheless we can overcome it and preserve intimacy within it, for which e-mails and small boards thankfully remain.

As obtains in poetry today, where we have too many poets and not enough readers, on the web we have too many platforms and not enough players (think of the demise of Ringo). We have more people inventing platforms than people that can use them.

Speaking of poetry, here's a new poem, one of the thirty I wrote in April for National Poetry Month:

Flowers of Heraclitus

I watch the garden too much.
hoping for it to happen.
The deer could undo it all.
Last year they savaged the cabbage,
cropped the snapdragons
and beheaded the broccoli.
This year I planted only flowers
mainly of the daisy family,
deer and drought-resistant.

I watch the garden too much.
Heraclitus explained we only notice change.
As too much part of what is changing
the observer becomes oblivious.
If only I could return in two weeks
to see the changes, but who would watch
over the garden meanwhile?

I watch the garden too much.
In the late afternoon the sun
curls around the cypress,
lighting the plants a second time.
Copper daisy, heliotrope, princess flower--
their time will come, while all time
belongs to weeds, the wild radish,
nettles, mint and wild cucumber.
And in all these no real tropes
except the hands of a gardener,
the dirt beneath the nails
I poke at with a toothbrush.

I have several new interviews out at romantic blogs, emphasizing the love poems in my book. Here's one:

Kristina Knight

I also fired my web publicist for the book, as he had only pursued general web promotion and never gotten me a single reading or sold a single book. In marketing nowadays you start with the personality and then try to sell the product--at least in the arts. I want the book to speak for itself, why readings are so salutary. I have readings coming up in SF and LA and SD in June and July. If anyone reading this blog has knowledge of more west coast venues, please send them my way.

While reading my poetry to an audience I feel a wholeness, as if this was what I was meant to do. How good is that?

Bouncing between 3 Kilorats and Kiloneutral,

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