The Internet Ruined Poetry – and Maybe I’m Partially Responsible

I reached a point where I couldn’t be asked to read another poem, to comment on another poem for someone who didn’t really care about constructive criticism and who I knew just wanted me to tell them how fucking brilliant they were. I reached a point where I couldn’t lie. I reached a point where I couldn’t deal with the self-importance of people who wanted me to read their shit. There was a point where I came to the realization that nobody really cared what anyone else was writing and nobody really cared about craft and everyone just wanted you to tell them how fucking brilliant they are or worse – how irresistibly sexy.

I’d read over my own website and think shit shit shit shit. I’d try to comment to people constructively to be told that’s how they meant to do it. They didn’t need to remove the five hundred useless adverbs because that would remove the meaning. They didn’t need to remove the clichés because if something is a cliché it just means that it’s true. So I stopped commenting. And I stopped reading.

Here was a lonely woman who so admired Sylvia Plath. Here was a man who was writing about strippers and drinking. Here was a woman who wanted to let you know she had been beaten. Here was a woman who wanted you to look at her boobies while she ranted to you about feminism. Here was a man who wanted you to comment. Please read. Please comment. Please read? What do you think? When really no one gave a fuck what I thought unless I was saying Oh My God You Are So Fucking Brilliant.

Poets pumping out a poem every five minutes, hiding behind the façade that to put more time in is to be a sellout. To edit is to lose meaning. To care too much is to rob the poem of its soul when really they didn’t fucking care and really they were just fucking lazy. They pumped out the poem to have it read. They pumped out the poem because they were only as good as their last because there are so many fucking poems and so many fucking poets you only remember a poet until you click on the next link on facebook or tab to the next blog or click the next fucking title on my own goddamned forum.

And for the most part, I quit writing.

I do not want to buy your chapbook. I do not want to submit to your anthology. For fuck’s sake, I don’t even want to publish my own anthology.

What I really want is to explode the internet and wipe the slate clean. I want to lie on my bed and read Keats. I want to work arduously on a poem for a week. I want to read one poem for days. I want to think. There’s so much poetry. There are so many meaningless poems and empty words that I cannot even think. I want to think without reading a billion facebook posts about how someone is sorry that they are behind in tags. What the fuck are we doing because this sure the fuck isn’t poetry.

None of this shit makes me feel anything.

The last LiteraryMary anthology will be published online. Then the site will be shut down and hopefully all traces will disappear. And hopefully sometime I will feel like reading poetry again. And hopefully sometime I will start writing again. For me.

7 responses to “The Internet Ruined Poetry – and Maybe I’m Partially Responsible

  • Father Luke

    God damn that needed saying. I’m jealous you said it first.

    And thanks.

  • Bud Bright

    Burn out’s a bitch. Sorry you had to go this way.

  • Don

    After browsing it awhile and occasionally putting my own under-edited crap in place I have to say this makes perfect sense. Most people just want a forum to be seen in. Very few on there are receptive to crit. I’m guilty of the above. (Actually I loved the critique I did get but did not follow up, which is as good as nothing.)

    So this is a positive step and (hopefully soon) you and FL will find a means to exercise your talents for teaching in a way that enriches you and does not drag you away from your own reading / living / writing.

    Thank you for having it meanwhile.

  • stephen hines

    hope the burn out goes away quickly and you can get back to the important stuff, your writing.

    Skidding…is a very fine collection. focus on that and move forward.

    the one thing I don’t like about trying to write is the hustle. I always feel like I’m trying to hustle someone or they are hustling me. I’m sure it’s always been this way, but the internet has seemed to make it worse. but the hustle, unfortunately, is necessary.

  • oldsv

    The internet is not the problem. Its the Douchebags that are the problem.

  • Sam Hain (@Rev_Orbb)

    And yet, Literary Mary still stands…

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