What's it going to look like when you get to heaven, or Mt. Olympus, or the depths of Cthulublulewhatever, and the gods ask you if you've read my books? It's going to look bad, man. You're going to panic and come up with some lame excuse like you didn't have time, then they're going to sentence you to a Hell of reading my books for 6,000 years. I don't want that to happen to you. Just read the books now. I'm trying to save you a lot of trouble.
I used to have a lot of guilt about these books, because they were made from trees, and I couldn't really find any way to justify that. But now they're just digital files. I can write and write and write and only digitals die. I have actually always hated writing. It's a painful process. I was told early on that I wasn't good at it. Of course they never told me what I was good at, so I decided if I had to choose among things I was already bad at, why not write?
It's the worst time in history to be a writer. The best, I guess, too. It's not a good time for me because I write poetry. That was a stupid choice. Doesn't seem like it was really a choice. I don't remember ever choosing it. I wish there had been an instructional video, like the hygiene video we all watched in third grade. "Don't be a poet. You'll write and write and write and feel self-important, but no one will care. Remember, people hate poetry, and poets. So wash your schmecko, but don't write poetry."
It would be unfair to say they never warned me. Every time they caught me doing poetry as a child they told me how it was going to turn out. Of course, they were right. They weren't ever right about anything else, but that one fact seems to be one of the core truths of the fabric that holds the Universe together. Nobody wants poetry. Poetry is like zucchini here in the Midwest about midsummer. Proud gardeners load up their trucks with zucchini and diligently set out trying to find someone who hasn't already been given two or three bushels by a friend. Undaunted, they return home with all that zucchini in their truck and jot down plans on next years garden. They plant it because it grows.
So does poetry.
It grows. Slowly.
I would be powerless in any case to abandon it. Leave it on someone else's doorstep like an unwanted child. No, that's not fair, there are no unwanted children. A child I don't feel I can do right for in this world. If I could trade in poetry for a steady advertising writing job I'd be hard-pressed to say no. My hours are much better. Aside from the guilt about the trees, I don't have much of a guilty conscience that I was implicit in a process to divest people of their hard-earned money buying dangerous, ineffective, and just downright superfluous items that in the end would add no value or comfort to their lives, but somehow I get the impression there aren't a lot of people who work in advertising that go home feeling guilty about that.
Oh, buy these books. There should be pictures and links after that, I guess, but it's a heavy wind coming in the window, and I have to do the dishes. You're not going to buy them anyway, right? So, in terms of effective time management, doing the dishes is a better bet than spending another twenty minutes creating those links. I have written books. Since I was very young. They tried to stop me. I thought they hated me. But that's not true. They really were looking out for me.
One time someone read a blog entry I posted about sports, and took exception, and said well you look like an asshole, anyway. I thought that was funny, because I don't look like an asshole. I mean, I AM an asshole, but I don't look like one. I get more negative feedback from writing about sports than any other thing, and I know if I just woke up and wrote about sports I'd triple my readership. But nobody would buy the books, anyway, and then I'd have wasted my time writing about something rather meaningless.
Sometimes I look at the kids and hope they don't fall in love with something that doesn't love them back. There's no reason for it. Just go with your second choice. Nobody said you were going to be deliriously happy with whatever it is you do to pay the bills. I'll tell them for sure not to write poetry. No, on second thought, saying some dipshit thing like that is exactly the kind of thing that can get a kid hooked on a lifelong addiction to poetry. Instead, I'll do what I'm doing with you. Offer you poetry. Without shame. Here's poetry. It has no use. That should be enough to steer them clear of this wreckage.
Well, the fish debris should be softening enough on the plates so I can wash them without scraping too much. Nice talking to you.