Someone asks if we publish poetry, and it’s true that poetry wasn’t mentioned on the flyers among the genres ‘often neglected by larger publishers’, and I think this is because I’ve been neglecting it myself. It used to be fairly central: I read, wrote and talked it, and barely a day passed without at least one of those activities taking place. Now it isn’t, and it’s become like a language grown rusty from lack of use. What I do read tends to be by people who are dead. Much contemporary poetry leaves me cold (oh, but I did enjoy the new Frederick Seidel): I read some lines and am not engaged, then I read them again to look for what I must have missed and don’t find it, then I think that life is too short. The words stay flat on the page. But if someone wants to send me poems that can remind me of what poetry can do that other writing can’t, and that will pull me in and make me forget to cook supper, I’d be very pleased.
Someone who does send verse, and who will not take no for an answer, is Riana. (Not a real person, surely; this is spam. She could be a monkey playing with a set of those fridge-magnet words.) Despite the fact that I have many times unsubscribed, she insists on sending me emails promising to enlarge my penis within a week. And at the bottom are these strange Plain Text attachments. She doesn’t have a wide vocabulary but she’s clearly trying to do original things with the words she has. Here’s the most recent one:
Is him end something.
Study play or he this means sun could.
Mother still found him way number used does.
Come other take another mr his play.
They heard father country.
Next they parts top father animals under.
Going better next his hear little across his was next.
Paper way learn so sea himself what people make big.
Today his land he read against.
Me room before live only city that the hear and.
When began above once did side three name.
Best thought next miles second take began.
Head any parts should before again.
Men important him said name.
Show almost tell she miles that.