I started this blog because I found an old journal given to me by a girl whose name I can’t remember, one of those classy blank books with the rough, off-white paper–they probably call it “artisan paper” today–and a paisley cloth cover. Inside, there be dragons, if by dragons I mean old poems I wrote when I wrote poetry and thought that I’d get good at it eventually. Dragons probably aren’t an apt metaphor–my poetry period coincided with some fairly debilitating medical issues, namely a a recurrence of an acute humor deficiency. There wasn’t much fire in that verse.
The very same day, I was out with some guys at the bar and I told them about how I’d spent a good five years determined that my life would be seasonal labor in beautiful places with substantial breaks to roam around the country, the continent, and eventually the world. One of the guys just about blew an artery laughing–who makes a living from poetry? Name me one. I couldn’t. Maybe Rod McKuen, but he had that whole troubador schtick and I don’t think he gets royalties from the estate sales of aging matrons of the sixties. I would have been content to be the first, I said, but the truth is that I never believed hard enough to really serve the dream. And I was a terrible poet.
The real irony is the kids are making a killing today being creative on the internet. I recently read about a girl who writes pseudonymous non-fiction first person porn and markets it like it’s fiction. Her fake name is Marie Calloway because her parents think she’s a virgin and would be horrified to know, but she must be who she was born to be, which is to say that the show must go on. Dr. Phil was going to put her on her show, ostensibly as an example of how the new generation interacts, learns about sex, and relationships. She emails intriguing strangers and propositions them. Dr Phil cancelled. She said it was because she’s too controversial, and he just wanted to bring her on the show to shame her anyway. I suspect he realized she was just a bullshit peddler looking to broker that shaming into publicity. But that’s just me.
The point is that creative people are making money like never before, thanks to the internet, and a kid who wants to write has a lot of freedom and opportunity to pursue those dreams, and I think that’s cool. But what about a codger like me, with a mortgage and kids? I grew up, for better and worse, but mostly for better. I have no pretense of believing that a single human being will find, let alone read, what I do here. It’s not about anything but throwing out some stuff that the kid in me–a guy I barely remember–thought was a kick. Better late than never, right?
And, just for the record–I’m pretty sure my mom suspects I’m not a virgin.
The pseudonym should make sense pretty much as soon as you read the first lines of verse. If you read this, leave a footprint–I’ll be curious to see if anyone does. Read this, I mean.