I posted a poem or two on Poetry.com a while back. It was my poem called “Leaves”. Since I did this, I keep getting emails from Poetry.com that I’ve won awards. Here’s a couple of the email titles:
Abe, Your Poem “Leaves” Won The Editor’s Choice Award!
Abe, You’re Nominated For The Best Poems And Poets Of 2007!
When I read on through the message, it says things like this:
- And, if you decide to order a copy, we are so certain that you will love the quality of the edition and the way your poetry is presented, we can proudly offer an unconditional, iron-clad guarantee. If for any reason you are dissatisfied, your money will be promptly refunded.
- The plaque and membership are individually valued at $135.00, but today you can order them together for $75.00 (plus $14.00 shipping & handling), which is a $60.00 discount off the regular retail price. Please take the time to review the benefits of becoming a member of the International Society of Poets and join today. We’ll send your Editor’s Choice Award plaque and membership package immediately upon your acceptance of this offer.
The subject and the content of the message convey very different messages. The subject is designed to interest me as I have supposedly won some award, but the copy is that I have to buy something to get my award. I like the former, but not the latter. Since I have to buy my award, I don’t feel like it’s a real award. It feels like a copy writer is selling to me based on the assumption that I might believe that I’ve really won an award. Is it ethical? It might be, but it feels deceptive.
This musing was mix of walking through San Francisco at night on a way to a party after my children and wife had gone to sleep. Those are the main ingredients. Oh, also add the morning after rain.
Streets are wet but
the sun is shining.
Around the corner the remains remain,
as they do.
Shopping carts and yelling
incoherent anger blended with despair.
But not so far away, 20 feet,
business is thriving.
In the darkness before now
the rain poured on us all.
I was asked twice or more for money.
In the seedy, the seeds can grow.
Or the new gentry can
take risk. Over time,
the cure of all ills,
there is no risk.
But for the short,
which is ours, there
will be spoils for some
and riches for few.
And so still I was walking.
There was a bus full of promise.
There were the affluent
and the non-invited.
Concrete and steel, the time’s decor,
show affluence still.
Many are drawn, I am.
For as long as I can span, I am drawn too.
But the return was fraught
with public transport.
A sure grounding in the reality of
Some expound the joys of commonality,
others revile. I watch with
eyes half open.
The time was short again. And this led to now.
As it always does.
Supposedly on the way to forever.
Humans, myself will never see forever.
We may be in the ever
With children though, a parent must plan.
And care, and toil, and boil
and guide the disciple
through all of this.
For lack of a better place, I’ve put my poetry here.
Plastic and specific.
Where’s the imagination?
Good for ages 3-20.
How long will she like it?
Is it recyclable?
Why is the head so big?
The eyes don’t move…
they just stay big and wide.
Won’t that cause some harm?
Those strange painted eyes.
Burn it! Quick!
Before she knows we have it.
We’ll say it was lost.
It had better be lost.
Cursed thing with strange eyes.
Who the hell painted them like that?
it must have been a freak. They want us to be
I suppose we could be
if we leave that crappy thing lying around.
Wrap in a grocery bag and put it in the compost.
No one will want it then.
Who cares about them really?
Good for getting around, but
then when you go for
what really matters,
where to do you put the damned thing?
Comes all shiny and new.
Slowly, it gets old and wrinkled.
I love coffee.
Where did I park my car?