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Essa on Poetry

I have had the same obnoxious pain in the ass contacting me by email for the past four weeks, demanding that I review her poetry book in exchange for a free copy.

Well, honey, here’s my review; You’re going to need to pay me to read it.

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There is only one kind of poetry I like and that kind of poetry comes from music. Writing song lyrics is an incredibly complicated and incredibly admirable task. Rest assured music writers, I’m not talking about you when I talk about my deep hatred of poetry.

Not to stereotype, but I’m going to anyway. I’m talking to you pain in the ass early 20s girls who think you’re the next fucking Sylvia Plath because you wrote a non-rhyming poem about the breakup you had with the soul mate you’ve been seeing for six months.

How do I put this politely? Oh yeah, I don’t.

Get fucked.

Look, I’m going to give you a tip from my dad, that has served me well in life. “No one is crying themselves to sleep at night because you’re sad.”

I have no interest in reading about your angst, because half the time, your angst is fucking ridiculous. Most of these obnoxious poems cover the same 4 themes. Number 1, the boy you’re seeing is a jerk. Number 2, you don’t think you’re pretty. Number 3, you’re sad and you don‘t know why. Number 4: gee, this tree is pretty.

Welcome to life.

I don’t find poets deep at all. I think the majority of them are just lazy assholes who want to find a way to sound deep. They don’t have the intelligence or commitment to write non-fiction. They don’t have the creativity or commitment to write fiction.

So they write poems, they self publish them on Amazon, and then they get pissed when they aren’t commercial successes.

The ability to be a commercial success in poetry is rare. It’s not because the market is unfairly slanted against poets. It’s because most of those poets only write shit that applies to them, and then expects everyone else to slop it up like it’s 0 calorie chocolate.

I’ll be honest. I never understood a stanza of Sylvia Plath. I doubt it was because I lacked the intelligence. I’m pretty sure it was because that bitch was crazy. People who talk about how much they loved “The Bell Jar’ generally only say they did to sound smart.

Sylvia Plath was the “Emperors New Clothes” test on humanity. We failed. You wanna know why Sylvia Plath was so deep and special?

Because it’s easy to get famous when you off yourself young.

But seriously, poets stop. No one cares that you’re mad at your absentee dad or that your boyfriend of three months dumped you. The only person in your life who is interested in your feelings is your shrink, and that’s because you pay him $300 an hour.

Look, you wanna be a commercial success; you need to start writing what people want to read. On no! Not commercialism!

When people read, they want to learn something new, or be transported to a new place where they can forget about their problems for a while. That is not an unworthy goal.

You calling them shallow because they don’t want to read about your angsty teen years is just you being an asshole. Oh, and also, you are being shallow as well, because you only focus on your own problems in your damn stupid poetry.

Don’t send me messages saying, “it’s not about success for me. I just want to write.” If that was the truth, you would keep your obnoxious poems locked up in your stupid journal and you would stop emailing me to review them. You, 22 year old lady filled with the angst of a life barely lived, do not get to school me on being sensitive and understanding the bigger picture. Trust me, I got it down.

I know what it is to be a critical success and a commercial failure, and vice versa. I write under 3 pen names in 3 different genres. Generally, the genres I make the most money from aren’t the stories that I’m proud of, while the ones I get great reviews from make no money at all. That is the life of a real writer. You know, the kind of writer who makes her money selling her writing.

So I write to gain commercial success and follow up on my real loves afterwards. That doesn’t make me a sell out. It makes me a real author who knows what she needs to do to gain a following. Because the true value of writing isn’t about getting people to talk about how fucking deep you are.

It’s about entertainment, pure and simple. And I love to entertain.

You poets who email me, you aren’t entertainers. You just want to have your asses kissed while people talk about how deep and sensitive you are. You want everyone to tell you you’re brave for talking about your feelings.

Fuck your feelings. You’re not brave. You’re slapping stanzas of your shitty life together, hoping someone notices how sad you are so they will pay attention to you, while you fantasize about being the next Robert Frost. That isn’t brave. It’s 20-something bullshit.

I’m brave. I just wrote this incredibly offensive post, on a platform filled with most of the world’s poets, and I called you all assholes. This is not an anomaly for me. I start arguments relating to real problems. I don’t hold back, but I also don’t pull the pity card and talk about my bad childhood or my distant father. I don’t need sympathy reads, because I can get actual reads. I’m an entertainer.

Poets out there, stop focusing on your own self gratification if you want to be commercial successes. Accept the fact that no one really cares about your feelings. I’m telling you right now, just as an anonymous reader, the fact that your boyfriend broke up with you or you’re still angry about your mom’s divorce means shit to me. I am your audience.

En-ter-fucking-tain-me.

If you don’t know how to entertain, then let me say this straight up. Writing is NOT your calling.

As a writer, you are an entertainer. If people aren’t reading your books, that’s not because they’re stupid. It’s is because as a writer, no one cares how literary you are; you are expected to be an entertainer. Deal with it or find a new profession. Stop expecting the world to change just for you.

Now get to entertaining and stop filling my fucking inbox with your review requests.

 

 

***P.S. – Don’t bother contacting me for book reviews, period. I’m a novelist. That means I am your competition and I have nothing to gain from giving you a good review. Sounds mean? Welcome to life.

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Essa on Poetry

  1. I mostly only like erotica, poetry that is. I write it (in journals) and I read it. I find something really, I don’t know, erotic about a well written poem that leaves you hanging right on the edge.

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