"For $1.00, I Will Write You a Poem and Post it Here"
Let's not call this desperate. Let's not call this self-serving. Let's definitely not call this sad. Instead, let's call this "enterprising, exciting, intriguing."
Click here for the facts....
And here's Molly, answering some of my questions, via email:
me: I've included a link to the page on your blog describing the project (above), but I was wondering if you could tell me how you first came up with the idea. There must be easier ways to make a buck?
Molly. Let's see; I'm not quite sure where the idea came from. I'm sure it was all very sudden and "inspired," in a goofy sense of the word. I know I was disappointed and poor, and I knew that I might sit around and wallow, so rather than do that I thought, Hey, why not ask people for prompts? The most important thing at the time was to kickstart a creative time during which I could refocus on the writing; asking for a buck was a whim, but shortly thereafter I decided to add a PayPal button at the prompting of Amy King.
me: I was interested in your project initially because it seemed like a terrifying thing to attempt. Poetry to me has always seemed like something I do out of an internal, rather than an external, necessity. (Perhaps this is because of my lack of experience with writing classes or workshops.) I've since revised that viewpoint a little, and I think watching you go about this project may have had something to do with it. But still, I was wondering whether you had moments when you thought, well. I've got nothing to say about this. Nada. Zip.... If so - what did you do, if anything, to get past it?
Molly: Oh yeah, totally. There were a few that really stumped me. But I found those images from the FFFFound blog and just started writing, mostly by beginning with the image I saw. I never revised a poem; I wrote them all in the Blogger window; and as soon as it was done I hit "publish." Sometimes I found some of the poems the prompter had written and used those for inspiration. As to the other part of your question, about terror, I should add that I feel pretty free with poetry because my education is in fiction. Plus, these aren't poems meant for publication or revision--at least not when I set out to write them.
me: I picked the two poems I did for YB of course for subjective, private, personal reasons of my own. (And maybe a leg fixation that day?) Anyway, I notice that sometimes the stuff of mine that other people pick out is not necessarily my favourite stuff. Do you have any favourites among the poems?
Molly: My favorite is "Is to love an imperative infinitive?" I also like "A Bug, A Car, A Man: A Triptych."
me: When you started the project, did you have any idea you would get the response that you did?
(There are 65 poems to date - 28 May.)
Molly: I absolutely had no idea that so many people would respond. I noticed, too, that the more I posted in a big group or bunch, the more orders came in. It never failed: post ten poems, get five orders. Post one poem, no orders.
me: I think these poems, with the explanation of how they came about, would make a great book. Any offers?
Molly: There are tentative negotiations with Flatmancrooked, but I'm not sure the poems are strong enough for a collection, and I'm not sure they should be revised. I have to keep thinking about it.
me: Since I'm big on place, can you describe your view at the moment?
Molly: I'm looking at a brick wall, which is about fifteen feet beyond the kitchen window, which is about three feet before me. I'm sitting at the table with a coffee and a half-eaten bowl of cereal. Good morning!
Molly Gaudry is the author of the verse novel We Take Me Apart and the editor of Tell: An Anthology of Expository Narrative. She is Googleable.