I think about being a poet a lot. My short, tight paragraphs are what lead me to zines in the first place. It may not be long enough for a published book, but that only meant it was cheaper to print myself.
On my way out of the library, I grabbed THE NEXT WAVE, an anthology of 21st century Canadian poetry. I like poetry collections because I can complete one while I’m waiting out the rain, instead of skimming a magazine. The poetry makes me feel more virtuous than Martha Stewart Living. The poets in this anthology are about my age; one of the requirements was a debut collection published after 2000. There’s even a poem called “The Internet” by Jeff Latosik.
Sheryda Warrener’s poem, “A Sudden Gust” describes Jeff Wall’s photograph, “A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai)”, which itself references Katsushika Hokusai’s print, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”. My generation loves a remix.
My favourite writing teachers at university were poets. They taught me how to perform my work, even as I insisted I was a fiction writer. It was a literature class, actually, which introduced me to Harold Pinter and the idea of prose poetry. I fell in love with his inscrutable paragraph about a cricket match of all things. “This can be poetry, too?”
I think about being a blogger a lot, how my platonic idea of the written form is this right here. Just a few short paragraphs, lots of negative space, an opening hook, and a helluva closing line.
This can be poetry, too.