Friday, May 23, 2008

Meritage Press, in the angelic form of Eileen Tabios, informed me that the check is in the mail. in other words: Royalties!!!. before you offer me 1st dibs on your Florida swampland, let us just say that the incoming greenbacks will not overstuff my stylish purple wallet. still, let us affirm that the nuance of this economic turn seems right. neither the inherent barter system nor the potlatch of the poetry world bothers me, I rather regale in it, to the degree that I can afford to. and yet it is ridiculous to think that the books, the product, of this writing enterprise are so little valued. a cookbook, a thriller, an earnest self-helper: these all bear worth. but poetry, you have to give it away. not to say that there is no earnest audience for poetry. that big time real estate monopoly in Cambridge that owns the rights to Emily Dickinson knows there are paying customers to serve. it's an odd, and contagious, reluctance that confirms that poetry should be diminished in respect. you might read Da Vinci Code once (which is about all the crappy binding of the paperback could take) rather than the many times reading a poetry book, but the commodity of the thriller is much easier to accept than poetry's. wanting to get the work out to a small, recalcitrant audience means giveaway. the internet supplies a good free access, with potential to make it lucrative. I think publishers ought to work on the model of capitalistic enterprise rather than charity. perhaps put resources to fewer books but support those books, and the author. I speak of larger books, perfect bound ones. chapbooks are good for expressing the charitable side, if you want to publish tactilely. but I didn't mean to go afield like this, I wanted to nod in respect to Eileen, for the respect she shows her authors by offering, and paying, royalties. so here, once more, is a link to Days Poem, which has earned its author royalties.
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