Saturday, September 03, 2005

Poetic Community, pt. 4: Going International

This is the final installment in this series which began last month. Dig into my archive if you missed the previous parts.

As my readership continues to expand, I find myself writing more in this space. The online community can't help but accept me. I want to continue to give you, my audience, something new. But I don't only want to write something new, I want to continue to cull a wider audience among the cyber-masses and appeal to far-reaching folk. Why? I'm not sure, really. Is it possible? Am I so interesting? I simply like doing it, writing. This is where I live. I'm part of this cyber-community and beginning to take a larger role among the poets in this sphere. Maybe I'm being too generous with my assessment of myself. I may not be contributing as much as I think. Nonetheless, I will continue to work in this space: the blog and e-zine spheres. As better, larger and more in-depth responses continue to arrive and prompt my own further responses, I try to do more. I feel like I am being asked to do more. Will I gain fame writing my blog? Perhaps. I suppose stranger things have happened and there are those success stories out there. It hasn't made me any money, yet, though. Let's just call it an experiment for now.

I had an interesting e-mail exchange recently with a fine poet from New York or New Jersey (I'm not sure which) named Amy King who touched on some ideas that I had been tossing around, particularly the idea of living abroad and that community which has resulted. Her comments really inspired me to begin this poetic community series, and for that I'm grateful. She was telling me about how she felt that you must go elsewhere to see your own country. In my response, I mentioned that I didn't begin traveling until I was into my 30s and, as a result, felt like I got a later start on traveling than most people who generally seemed to travel when they were in their early 20s. I was a long time champion of place, by default, having stayed in one for more than three decades, although it still didn't seem as exciting as eating bread and cheese on a train in France or backpacking across China. There's something nice too about sticking it out in one place for a long time. I'd like to think it taught me patience or helped foster a finer eye for detail...

When I was a student, I could see something different in the work of my classmates who had been abroad. Although they were mostly silly college-y travel poems, the good stuff had something more. Something that my own work was lacking. It may still be lacking those things, whatever they are, but I no longer have that missing piece feeling and I feel like I have more breadth or whatever. That's about the best way for me to describe it. Perspective.

So I went to Japan and immersed myself in the online community. It was enough with a demanding job and a burgeoning new social life. Now that seems to be rolling along at a steady clip, I can begin to work on the real rather than the virtual community around me. The transient, ex-pat, international community. When you leave a place, you give up your community to some degree and all those familiar acceptances. It can be much easier to start something new, though, as often they may not already exist, which is the case with me right now. I live in China, as many of you know. I can't speak with most of the people in this country (in my neighborhood!) and, through my reading series at The Bookworm, and as my cyber-relations develop in other ways, I have only just begun to touch base with some of the ex-pat writers and artists in this massive community which is starving for release.


afp763389 said...

... :)

Bob said...

aloof, but i'll take the smiley! thanks...


afp763389 said...

U welcome :)

btw whats "aloof"?

... :)