Blogging trumps poetry: I’m so much cooler online

Tonight I’ll be reading my poetry at the Albany Word Fest, an annual event that’s a virtual orgy of the spoken word. I thought I should come up with at least one new poem for the event, but instead I came up with a severe case of writer’s block. I managed to confront it in the following poem.

Word Fest features a 12-Hour Friday Open Mic that kicks off at 7 p.m. I’m scheduled for 10:30 p.m., so by all means stop by to cheer me on (and buy my books, if you haven’t already.) There’s be dozens of poets and spoken-word artists there, and it’s always a festive night. It’s free, too! Come to the UAG Gallery at 247 Lark Street.

I’m still planning to cover more topics from the Empire State Book Festival, but today this poem took priority. By the way, I borrowed the phrase “I’m so much cooler online” from Brad Paisley’s megahit of the same name.  As an entertaining lyricist, he’s peerless in country music.

 I’VE BECOME A BLOGGER 

My fingers have stage fright.

Knowing I’ll have the floor

tonight at Word Fest, I sit paralyzed at my computer.

Picturing people perched on metal chairs in narrow rows,

faces inscrutable, judging my every word,

my brain slams on the brakes, then sputters out,

rolls over and plays dead. As a poet I’ve grown shy and tongue-tied,

probably because

I’ve become a blogger.

 

Blogging, I measure my audience in hundreds,

rack them up as hits on my stat counter,

check the numbers daily. Nearly sixty thousand now,

but are they human beings, or merely phantom ciphers?

Some are real people. I treasure comments

from Albuquerque and Australia, schmooze with friends

I know by photos from their books, mostly self-published.

We all look our best on line, young for our actual ages.

We spill selected secrets, shout in virtual keystrokes, 600 words or so,

enough for a few pithy points, stopping just shy of boredom.

I feel I know them better than folks I know face to face.

I’ve become a blogger.  

 

My words flow free and easy when I blog.

I keep it bright and breezy, mindful that readers can abandon me

with a single mouse click, never to return.

Still, I’ll never know the pain of their rejection,

never see their restless jiggling legs or condescending smirks.

Month by month I’m turning inward,

conjuring an adoring virtual audience,

withdrawing from flesh and blood communion,

leaving a minimal carbon footprint as I cleave to my computer,

swaddled in my fuzzy pink schmatta from WalMart.

I leave home less and less.

I’ve become a blogger.

 

My fictional career is on sabbatical. Why write fiction,

when I’ve living in the World Wide Web,

spinning my tales, creating my character, branding my name

in Musings Mysterioso. Racking up the readers,

watching my WordPress graphs spike ever higher.

Mystery novels grow redundant, slow the flow.

Who needs them, reads them anyway?

I’ve become a blogger.

                                                                        ©2010 Julie Lomoe

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Betsy Tuel
    Apr 17, 2010 @ 11:41:39

    I love your poem, Julie. This will be a great one to read tonight. Wish we could get to the Albany Word Fest. Sounds like fun. Wishing you well. Have fun. Betsy Tuel

    Reply

    • julielomoe
      Apr 17, 2010 @ 12:10:36

      Thanks, Betsy, and welcome back. The audience reception was much warmer than what I imagined in my poem, even though I didn’t read till after midnight. However, I still feel “I’m so much cooler online.”

      My husband videotaped my performance and wants to try putting it up here, but I begged him not to – didn’t like the camera angle, because he was sitting in the front row pointing up. However, I may use it to study my delivery style.

      Reply

  2. Jane Kennedy Sutton
    Apr 19, 2010 @ 16:42:54

    I liked your poem. I hope you enjoyed the reading and that everything went smoothly for you.

    Reply

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