My wonderful website maven has only the best intentions! I know working with me must be challenging!
When My Marketing Consultant Asked Me if I Could Make My Poetry Funny
and entertaining so that I would get more likes on the internet
after studying the metrics of what content is opened and shared.
I think of what has my family gathered around the electronic hearth
of the computer and peering over shoulders at smartphones-
pictures of goats in pajamas, cats riding robot vacuum cleaners,
new Bugatti race cars zipping through Italian boulevards and
hysterical children whose parents pretended
they had eaten all their Halloween candy.
Having PMS and a nasty head cold
when she queried, I didn’t even rally myself,
didn’t consider I could sex it up or attempt humor,
rather I thought of Emily Dickinson.
The accepted legend is that after she died,
a trunk full of masterpieces was discovered,
but really she tried to get them out there,
painstakingly quilled ink on parchment
and wrapped bundles of poems with ribbons.
To no avail, she sent poetic posies along with certain guests
who visited her father, people she thought influential,
the “influencers” I am told they are called.
I am instructed to find them among my FaceBook roster,
as though I am a bookie and my friends are thoroughbreds,
to expose their networks like the pipes of church organs,
create content they might like based on the posts on their timeline
and “tag” them, bag them like they are big game.
As my data dearie is talking, the left side of my uterus contracts
and my sinuses fill with snot,
I would rather take a cleaver,
cut off my hands than track and tally.
I would rather write on toilet paper
and flush each finished roll.
I want to scream ‘Fuck it!”, but rather deadpan, “Funny?”
as though she has asked me to consider cannibalism
or quitting writing to trade stocks or drive a school bus of middle schoolers.
I don’t know how to do this-
be hilarious or stalk strangers on social media.
I write for the seasoned, the old souls.
We are not entertaining,
no one wants us to twerk.
We are too busy serving the sweetmeats of our lives,
at the head of the table, carving birds into dark and light meat
while tables of dependents look up expectantly
from their phones, they, the youths who are entrained and entertained.
We are tightrope walking, balancing teenage children
and aging parents all the while hoping we have enough energy for sex
once the dishes are washed and put away.
And aren’t there millions of us dammit,
who might like to know we are not alone.