The Benefits of Being a Poet

You don’t make the big bucks. In fact I have earned exactly $100 for one poem publication although I have been writing (and publishing) poetry seriously for ten/fifteen/mumble years. People look at you funny when you tell them you’re a poet, if you are indeed foolish enough to tell them. They tell you they hate, hate, hate poetry, and you have to bite your tongue in order not to tell them that you hate, hate, hate writers who can’t be bothered to read outside their comfort zone every once in a while.

But there are a few good things about it. I have learned that I can write a first-rate poem parody in approximately 5 minutes, a few minutes extra if it needs to rhyme or be in meter. This amuses DP (not to mention myself and possibly Sarah W.) for days.

You can out hipster anyone. I went to a former-dive, now-hipster bar near my grad school the other day. I can sneer at the hipsters. Sure you drink PBR and have cool glasses, but I am a poet. Top that for obscurity.

I can criticize the layout/line breaks in any kind of advertising copy with real authority.

Resumes are easy. Condense three years of experience into 25 words? Give me something hard to do. At least it doesn’t have to be in iambic pentameter.

What useless yet interesting talents do you have?

 

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19 responses to “The Benefits of Being a Poet

  1. I have an old Hasselblad camera with a waist-level viewfinder. No meter, no autofocus, no batteries, and it takes 220 film. I know how to use it, which is pretty damned hipsterish if you ask me.

  2. I write essays, how hip is that. Like Betsy says on pg 18, Publishing wisdom 101, essays don’t sell. Mine do.

    I can cut glass, use a soldering iron and wire any kind of lamp you throw at me. I can also draw a straight line without a ruler. Oh and best yet, I used to drag race and can still burn rubber. Not your kind Averil, hahaha.

  3. You also “poet-approved” my wedding vows and child’s name. That SHOULD be a marketable service! People totally need that.

  4. I always find you amusing, indy—you and your little doggerel,* too. 😀

    I can hang a spoon on my nose, reenact the snare drum score of my alma mater’s Drum Core’s theme sequence by snapping my fingers, and do a mean impression of Louis Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World.”

    (*not to belittle your parodies, which are excellent)

  5. I broke a leg pretty good once. One of my own. That’s not the talent…
    Since then, I’ve been able to bet people whether I stand over six feet or under, then just choose a leg to stand on.

    Oh, and I write pretty good limericks. Again, that’s not the talent…
    The talent is I can piss off poets by saying, “Yeah, I write poetry too.” Then reciting a limerick. But it’s a limerick…

    Hey, that’s an idea! I haven’t done a blog post in ages.
    Limerick Day.
    Please feel free to come over and kick our arses, Indy.
    You might lend the place some class.

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