Currency

Cur.ren.cy is a new online magazine featuring “poetry and prose for hard times,” and I’m pleased and honored that the editors/mortgage-backed securities managers — Messrs. Good, Wisely, and Sharp — have added one of my poems to the mix.

I hardly ever submit anything anymore, since I have this venue with its already established readership, and since most editors won’t consider previously blogged poems. But I’m a sucker for themed anthologies, and I liked the poems at cur.ren.cy so much — I couldn’t resist.

The name and theme of the magazine do make me reflect on how, for English-language poets, living in a society where poetry isn’t highly valued and doesn’t make anyone rich, prizes and publications function as a sort of scrip, redeemable for other opportunities from the PoBiz company store (readings, residencies, teaching positions, etc.). Self-publication on the web, e.g. on a blog like this, might be akin to issuing one’s own currency. But one can’t become too preoccuppied with status or social currency if one is to focus on posting new work that is not mere criticism or commentary, since “what is completely new or unique has no, or unknown, social currency.” One can, however, contribute to a gift economy in which original content, links, reviews and supportive comments are freely given with an eye to sharing poetic insights and increasing the net supply of aesthetic pleasure. I guess that’s what I aspire to here.

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