Sunday, May 28, 2006


Yeah, I'm arrogant. I walk a fine line between brazen arrogance and extreme humility. Writers and especially poets need to think their thoughts are somehow better than everyone else's; why should anyone read your poems if they don't express something both unique and important? This hubris must be accompanied by another: writers must suspect, even fear their work is garbage. Without this trepidation, we never see the flaws of our work; poets are especially vulnerable to bad writing because we're often considered above literary convention and rules. Personally, I believe poets should break any rule they wish, but should know that rule and have a reason to break it. The rules exist for good reasons.

On a very deep level, I fear my readers. I don't write this stuff for my own personal gratification; that would be pointless. I write for you. I must express myself to you, and I must do it well. Without readers, my writing becomes just another set of emporer's new clothes.

When I review other peoples' writing, I treat it with the severity I love to hear of my own work. If I don't like someone's writing, and I know they just want blanket praise without the intention to improve, I'll say something like "Nice Write" and leave them alone until they decide to be serious. Even if I do like something someone brings me to read, I'll often give cursory comments if the author doesn't want to hear anything but praise. If I give lots of comments, and nit-pick, it's because I like the writer enough to assist the learning process. Any reader is a good reader; I don't write my stuff for a rigidly limited audience. I want anyone and everyone to pick up one of my poems, read it, and like it. I don't exclude anyone from my desired reader pool. My ideal reader reads, thinks, and comments.

My poems are boring, long-winded, and over-stylized. I also have problems with browbeating my readers, preaching, repeating myself unneccessarily, and writing didactically: I have all of these issues with my voice and social interraction. People tend to have a higher tolerance for them in writing.

Talk to me! Negative comments are as welcome as positive ones.

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