Monday, February 21, 2011

So many worlds are going digital these days.  Music.  Movies.  Relationships.  The publishing world is moving in that direction faster than we can speak.  Many printed books are now available as ebooks on sites like Amazon, and sites like ebookling are adding legitimacy to self-published ebooks, but how does poetry fit in?

Poetry, like fan fiction, has had it's place in the internet realm since the days of dial-up.  With every middle school cranking out hundreds of net savvy "poets" each year, there's a lot of crap to wade through.  My guess is, most people don't bother.

I started Pomegranate Grenate about a year ago because I was tired of believing that, if I wanted to be a successful poet, I had to follow the rules and immerse myself in the world of "pure" poets.  These are the poets you find at readings, giving readings.  These poets are tied, almost obsessively in some cases, to a print world.  They may use the internet to network, or to promote, but few use it as a tool to distribute.  Most of their work is done in real space and on printed pages.

The problem with this is it has limited reach when compared to the internet.  You gain recognition based on the circles you work your way into, but unless you become very successful and mainstream,  your audience is going to remain pretty limited. 

I've been on the lookout this year for online poets that I think are worthy of respect.  I've found a few blogs (Amanda Joy @littleglasspen,  Graham Nunn of Another Lost Shark).  Today, with the help of Tessa Zeng I discovered, and it seems like there is some good, relevant work going on there.  A lot of crap, too, but it's a starting point. 

I had a friend tell my once that my poetry made her realize she liked poetry.  That's a big statement.  I'd love it if I could cause that spark in more people, and I think the best way to do that is to bring good poetry to the digital publishing world.  This is fast becoming my focus, and I will be gathering  ideas for how to best get this rolling.  Anybody ready to join me?


Her hair trails down the back of the lawn chair,
Thick red tendrils
Stretching to meet the ground. 
The screen door bangs shut.
Her sister’s seven-year-old gait
Rattles the front porch slats,
Announcing her presence.
She sighs, pushes her sunglasses further up her nose.

She chomps at her gum in annoyance
But bites her tongue instead.
She rolls the gum across the roof of her mouth
To distract from the pain.
She presses her tongue into its rubbery flesh,
Smoothing its ridged surface
Like a smeared fingerprint on a store window
Or a nose print that sits above a circle of pressed lips.

Her tongue reaches up again,
Rolls the gum forward, past her teeth
Launching it in a high arc.
It glistens against the sky,
Lands where the sidewalk curves.
Embracing the concrete,
It waits to greet the sole of her sisters
Sneaker, when she runs to gather the mail.