I Hate Chapbooks, Continued
Scott. I'm not talking about spines.
Remember, I mentioned that I read as much poetry online as I do in print? No spines there. Comparatively little physicality to the poem-delivering object.
I am not objecting to printing poems on stickers, poems on pieces of paper (broadsides), making pamphlets, chapbooks, etc. I myself have slipped them under doors disguised as menus for chinese restaurants, slipped them into weekly advertiser newspapers, stacked them at record stores along with the announcements for concerts, and given them away. I even managed to give my Belladonna chapbook away. Geraldine Monk gave me plenty of Gargoyles to give away, which I did (as Christmas gifts). I am objecting to selling them. I am objecting to being asked, point blank, to buy them for an incredibly elevated price. This is admittedly more common in San Francisco than here in LA, where we don't see that many poets day-to-day.
I am objecting to calling them books, and there are several groups, some in more official poetry in Los Angeles and some in more official innovative poetry here in Los Angeles, who call chapbooks books. They are not books. They are a lot easier to write than books, for example.
I also am trying to draw attention to the ways that they EXCLUDE and INCLUDE not on the basis of "the poems therein" but on the basis of "who you know," in the case of edited chapbook series, and the tricky "who you think you are" of self publishing.