Before I started reading poetry live, I spent a couple of years surveying the many venues that the Twin Cities had to offer.
As a Food Service worker, I learned early in life.....don't cook what you like for people, cook what "they" want to eat.
So I went in pursuit to find out....what does the Twin Cities desire in the realm of poetry?
Finley always gets a kick out of it when I talk this way, because he swears that most people turn tail at the mention of the "P" word.
The first observation I made was in conventional poetry camps, there are 2 types of poets.
#1 is the grant writer.
#2 is the rebel.
#1 will typically be published and will swim in a fishbowl with other like minded people. Their work will usually focus on topics which are either safe, or self serving.
#2 won't have commercial success. Unlike #1...they won't win any awards. Seldom will they be written about or have their shows strike excitement in social media. One of the main reasons is because Poet #2 scares people.
Poet #1 doesn't hate Poet #2, but why would Poet #1 want to stare at concepts that are pulled from deep waters?
The range in Poet #2's camp is much wider than Poet #1's group.
Those established in the "Upper Literary Crowd" are not necessarily using poems to find enlightenment, or themselves, I think with, or w/o knowing it...these use poems to build their own confidence.
Rebel poets kinda crack me up though, because they honestly think they should-could-would deserve a platform in the main stream, but you know what?
It would never work. The establishment NEVER wants to hear the truth, they want to hear words that will add to their comfort.
Finley recently sent my a link were Guns & Roses front man Axel Rose turned down his induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
We both got a kick out of it.
I respect that Axel is one of the few people that really does understand his talent level, and where he fits in amongst his colleagues.
But Finley...LOL, let's just say if he were invited to be the band on Saturday Night Live, I think he'd end up doing the poetry equivalent to Sinead O'Connor's ripping up the picture of the Pope.
Rebel Poets can't help themselves.....its in their genetics.
Give them a chance to endear them selves to the world and they'll indite them instead.
That's why they are so dangerous, they place the truth before there own vanity.
Finley says that each poet should run their work, or even their image through the "Gauntlet of Judgment" and then take time to evaluate peoples perception, but I honestly don't think most poets even bother.
Running through such a gauntlet can make you vulnerable if you are not bullet proof.
Another reason Poet #2 is kind of a social mess, is because they simply don't realize that the majority of poets are afraid of them.
People are afraid of the truth.
Sometimes they'll stick you up on a cross over such things.
In a recent conversation Mike told me that he went dog walking with another rebel poet (Rich Broderick) and he said that Rich never in a million years would have thought people were afraid of him....Hah!
The only thing that freaks people out more than honesty is sincere confidence, and Mr. Broderick has that in spades.
Secretly I know I want to be Poet #2.......
But if I am honest, I don't think I am quite there yet, but I'll be gunning for it.
Tonight I am going to leave you with a piece form Richard Broderick's book entitle WOMAN LAKE.....enjoy.
EX NIHIL ARACHNID
In every abandoned house
A spiders working
From the Oblique gray light
Of window wells, spinning
Galaxies of silk
In her airy garden
The random buzz of flight is stilled
And turned to winter fruit
O goddess of dusty corners
And the overlooked
Out of such a ringing emptiness
The universe was built
Wow.....is that stunning or what?