I was listening to NPR a few weeks ago (I’m trying to seem cultured) and there was a story about a man who calls a Farmer’s Market in San Francisco his office. He sits there with an old school typewriter and sells instant poems to tourists and other passerbys. I think it’s brilliant. The poems he read were great and I remembered what an art poetry is. Good poetry. Unfortunately a lot of it’s bad. Really bad.
My writing has changed over the years, and I had my poetry phase. It started when I was six and ended at about 30. Not sure why, that’s just when some poets get started. Anyhow, I liked my poetry, and would let my numbers read them and they’d get turned on. Which was great. But I had talent. #50 did not.
It came in the mail, written on a page of a map. He loved to travel and I thought it was very sweet. And then I read what he wrote. It was so syrupy, it was sticky. Horrible. He had just shit on an art form. Granted, he was a business guy, managed bands, but know your place. The closest he came to art was a signed Sarah McLaughlin CD Cover on his wall. If you’re going to write me a poem, it better be good. And this wasn’t.
So I told him. I did. I’m a bitch, I know. He was hurt. I didn’t care.
“I know you’re the poet, but I just, I felt this and had to write it down.”
I told him that he was better in bed than on paper and he should stick to that. He wanted to know if I appreciated the effort. I didn’t. But I had done enough damage for one night. I said, sure and took off my clothes. When I went home the next morning, I wrote him a poem to show him how it was done.
Moral of the story, my standards for men aren’t as high as my standards for poetry.