Thinking over what I've heard. . .
|The response to my "Facts and Opinions About Poetry.com" article,
"Facts ands Opinions About Poetry.com" basically encouraged me to take my money back, and run far away from them. Poetry.com is not our friend. Almost everybody had that opinion.
I fully acknowledge that I've paid them too much money to be published, and I have not really received what I was looking for when I paid them. I am looking to make money from my writing. Ergo, I'm foolish to pay them. I need to find a place where they pay me. This is my lesson learned.
I'm very grateful to have received this link to winpub, as it is most useful. Winpub people are more likely to assist me on the path I'm seeking for myself. Check it out-- with a cut and paste. This is a valueable writing link for me, and maybe you too.
Poetry.com cannot help me get paid for my writing. Poetry.com is in the business of making money. They are currently a very profitable establishment, having made the Fortune 500 Company list, and still rising in the ranks. They take in a lot of money. Doing the math from the previous article's link,
they are damn rich, filthy rich, making their money off people's dreams of personal fame and fotune as a poet. This is just my opinion. It is a widely held opinion.
This Poetry.com business is wrong. I don't want to run away, I want to stand and fight them.
Everybody said run. Nobody said fight them and I will help you. Perhaps this is what I'm looking for. Right now, I'm still thinking.
At any rate, the quality standards of Poetry.com are degrading what meritous poetry is. Poetry.com is degrading what good poetry is. Nobody governs the Internet, and the naive will keep paying Poetry.com to be published. I can't make their pop up ads go away.
Especially kids, and loving parents, are duped out of a sizeable amount of money for a book. Going to a convention is an extravagance that could break a financially unstable family. It ain't right. Ain't hardly none of it right!
They pull you in like a fish, hook you, and take as much of your money as they can to their bank. I am especially concerned that many teenage poets are broken hearted if, or when, they discover the role they have played in vanity press publications. It leaves Internation Society of Poets members feeling humiliated, and skeptical of their worth as a wordsmith.
The problem with Poetry.com has to do with perception, misperception, enticement, credibility, and financial accountabilty, especially to its poets. I'm not the only one who paid for a book we never received. It ain't right. We know it ain't right, but who do we go to.
Their web site is not like Writing.com. Pumpkins and raisins, as of respondent corrected me! Writing.com is my magical pumpkin to eventually, with the help of friends I've met at Writing.com, get published and get paid for it.
In my opinion, Poetry.com is a shriviled up bunch of nobodys, breaking hearts and dreams all the way to their bank. They can't grow any merit for the art of poetry through what they are doing. They don't edit themselves, and they don't adhere to standards of the language--like spelling and punctuation. It ain't right.
I'll talk myself through that part another time, as I'm just thinking out loud in this series of articles. This one is supposed to be about the good part, because despite all the negative about Poetry.com, there is positive.
Two people pointed this out to me. I understood what they were saying from my own experience.
I should consider this the price of a lesson learned if I'm seeking fame and fortune as a poet, because Poetry.com will only take money from me. If I given them one more chance to reward me financially, and go to their convention in Orlando in February, I'm either with them, or against them--maybe to the point of filing legal papers against them. They never shipped me the book I paid for that includes "Circus Circuits." It was the first of my poems they published, back in 2001.
Add me to the people sueing them from Chicago, action pending. Texas State Attorney General Gregg Abbott is currently involved in litigation against spammers. Poetry.com is a spammer. Tell me your stories, as I want to know and I'm saving everything. I don't know where I'm going with this.
Poetry.com entices poets of all skill levels into paying to see their work in a nice big leather book. The book costs about $60.00. The poetry doesn't have to be that good, or even spelled correctly. Their editors don't care. This is a point I have a problem with. It ain't right.
The book is the poet's to keep and cherish forever. It is a very special keepsake. It is not a book you can buy at a book store.
Poetry.com's publications DO NOT include a ISBN (International Standard Book Number). Most publised books do, as a means of regitry and marketing identity. Neither do their books contain a table of contents, a subject I'll deal with in another article.
Publishing a poem with Poetry.com is expensive, but worth the price in some instances. As an example, I'll share a story from my last Christmas.
My 82 year-old mother and I shared Christmas day celebrations with a previous neighbor Mom had known before I was born. They had been young housewives together in the 1950s. Although moves to different cities had kept them from being neighbors, these two kept up mail correspondence over the years, and visted from time to time. We're in Texas, and they spent most of their time in Kansas City. Mildred likes the weather better there. The air is less thick than Dallas's.
That Christmas afternoon Mildred shared pictures and stories about the growing up of children, and grandchildren, her husband's final months of life, and her life since. Mildred is recently widowed, and my mom has been widowed twice. Christmas draws special friends together when family is absent or passed on.
I enjoyed passing the afternoon hearing them talk of old times, and seeing pictures of her progeny: one beautiful blonde young granddaughter who can't get a job, receiving her Ph D in cap and gown. I appreciated her completion of her doctoral studies more than her grandmother. Mildred just thought it was awful that this granddaughter was in her twenties and hadn't had a real job yet. Since I don't have a real job myself now, I didn't comment, and mostly listened to their conversation.
Mildred shared side-by-side photos of her son Butch at age five, along with his grandson at age five. The only difference was the background. The facial features and build were the exact same. It got me thinking, since I don't have kids to pass on this wonderful earth to when I'm gone. I'm the proverbial little old lady with the glasses, the bun, the rocking chair, and the cat. It scares me to admit that, but it's true.
I spent that afternoon admiring Mildred's admiration for those she helped bring into this world, and what they had done, and were doing with their lives. Butch has been selling graduation rings ever since I can remember. He's older than me, and we never really got to know each other, except through moms' stories. He has done well for himself, and is respected in his community. He has the friendship of scholars, and his own trophy case of recognitions. I decided recognition by peers counts a lot in the measure of a person's worth. That's just my opinion.
My mom has never "gotten" my poetry. She says it's beyond her. She doesn't understand it. I find this a constant source of aggrevation.
Neither can I explain to her that I never wanted to be somebody's secretary. Since that was her favorite job in the whole world, that was what she wanted for me. Because she found so much pleasure in it, she was convinced I would too if I put my mind to it. I had my own ideas for my mind, and future.
Mom finally decided teaching was an acceptable choice for a career, since I refused to follow her great advice to be a secretary. I could never explain to her that I wanted to be my own boss. I don't have the personality to play second fiddle when I'm smarter than the person telling me what to do. The role of women in society has changed since she worked at Dwight Edward's Coffee Company during WWII. This has proven an unceasing aggrevation for her.
We love each other, but like all mothers and daughters, we've had some pretty serious disagreements. As we sat in the front living room area of the house that Christmas afternoon, I remembered how her second husband ran me out of her house. I was going through hard times. He was just looking out for her. Now it's my job, if one would call it a job. Perhaps responsibility is a better word for it.
We were having after dinner coffee in the front living area of the house when Mom went to the bookshelf and pulled out the large brown leather book, entitled "Best Poems and Poets of 2002." She has the satin ribbon bookmarked to page 36.
"I don't really understand poetry, but Patricia wrote this poem about her father," Mom said handing the 9' x 11' book to Mildred, and helping place it in her delicate 81 year-old lap.
I watched as Mildred read silently.
She had known my father. She knew his thick black hair, almost an Elvis Presley pompadour. She saw him in his Tom Landry fedora, which always came off his head when he came in the house. She had known my dad before I did.
When I looked in her eyes, I saw her seeing my father, who died in 1974. It was as if he were with us that afternoon, for a short while.
She had known him, and what I saw in her eyes when she looked at me after reading the poem is priceless. Poetry.com books fill a void in a way no one else does. They publish keepsake books.
So I'll just keep mine for now, and debate about attending their convention--perhaps as an undercover spy, collecting names and stories to include in a "to be spoken of later" class action lawsuit. Maybe not. I need to close my eyes, and dream on it for awhile.