A version of popularity you buy by playing
“the game” is the sole measure of worth
here. Rules haven’t changed, if rules they
ever were; a statement of fact over anger,
no standards worth a damn exist beyond
sad, pointless edicts changed by the day.
So you wrote commentary on 150 poems
yesterday – the truth’s there for all to see,
while Shakespeare did nothing; he probably
didn’t need to, to gain readers anyway. A
few hardy souls braved your meek offerings
leaving either stale or commonplace words
but you’re reprieved with warm serendipity.
Yet suspicion lurks like cancer. Having paid
your dues you’re entitled to improved status;
you know it – crusade with increased vigour,
cruise cyber waves with ego inflated, riding
rough-shod over speed bumps until sated by
excess blandness – ‘til Captain Courageous
lays intriguingly eponymous complaints...
It may take years but eventually you’ll see
popularity has nought to do with so-called
poetic acuity. It is all a numbers game with
dollars for clicks fated to ablate any creative
use of words. And beware which dictionary
you consume – the flatus called censorship
is unimpressed by chic, multisyllabic charm.
© 28 June 2008, I. D. Carswell