I was once very involved in the online poetry world. Too involved probably, and yet not as involved as I'd liked to have been. Poets and writers, in my experience, tend to be cliquish, and those that have attained a certain degree of success tend to band together. Birds of a feather and what not...
I enjoyed having those talented and lucky poets easily accessible by via various websites and ezines. And I would visit them often. I would first read and experience the poetry for what it was - Beauty conveyed through a series of words sculpted somewhat magically into art. And then I'd read, again and again, trying to absorb a tiny bit of that magic, hoping to soak up the secret of the art, praying to catch that spark that had catapulted the author to the next level.
I once had a poetess I admired greatly, whose work I adored, tell me that I was "on my way" -that the success I wanted so desperately was just around the corner. Maybe I missed my turn, or maybe my success was broad-sided by a collision with real life (and death) and was thrown off course. But truth be told, I think I just reverted to my old habit of self-sabotage. As much as I wanted to become well published and respected by that higher level of artisans, I couldn't seem to get past my own need for catharticism. I never managed to learn to write what was "in demand" or "marketable" and kept right on writing for myself. Kept right on writing about full moons, and gardens, and grief. Who can blame them for noticing me, even I grow weary of my ever repeating imagery and theme.
I'm OK with that. Stayed true to myself, you know. And even with one (lousy) chapbook to my publishing credits, I'm perfectly at peace now with that lack of success I once wanted so desperately.
Now, I can visit those websites and read those writings, and simply appreciate them for their beauty, sans the ulterior motive of finding my own first class ticket to success.
What exactly qualifies as success in the online poetry world anyway?
I'll tell you what: beauty. And you can find it in the latest issue of one of those magazines I once pined to be in. MiPO. It IS a beautiful issue. The layout is gorgeous, the writing in it is amazing as always, and the people, wow. It's like Poetry married Modeling.
I've been far and away from poetry for quite some time, completely unaware of the "in crowd" but Didi over at MiPO is always on top of her game. I discovered PF. Potvin in the December issue, and let me tell you, he's beautiful. Not in the physical sense, though don't get me wrong, he's DEFINITELY not hard to look at, check him out on pages 94 - 101. But it is his words that appeal most to me, and the story in his eyes, if you stop long enough to read it.
He's a new favorite, for sure. I'll be following him, and it's been a long long time since I've followed anyone's work.