” . . . for those who want to write Poetry Professionally.”
Seriously. That’s what the ad said. Write Poetry (note caps) Professionally (double-note caps.)
I almost dropped my authentic John Keats-like quill, only $19.95 from Poets R US. What can it mean to write poetry professionally? And how to tell a professional poet from someone who just “fools around with words?”
Maybe there’s a uniform. Most professions have uniforms. The CPA with a tie. The doctor with the white coat. Certainly baseball and basketball players. Bowlers, even, with those cool bags that look like the scrota of Olympian oxen. But those are team sports. Writing poetry is a much more solitary art.
Except, now that I think of it, the doctor goes over charts alone after the last patient. The CPA loosens his tie and turns to his calculator when the office is dark. The basketball player shoots a hundred free throws on his own. At that point they could be wearing anything.
Maybe that’s what it is — time spent alone with a singular focus. Looks like a professional poet can dress any we he/she wants. I have an old pair of bunny slippers, one with an eye missing. Works for me. But I’m not really a professional. I just text the muse semi-regualrly and see if she has any work for me.
If not, I’m on my own. I can look at that poem about the deer with the glow-in-the-dark teeth that I can’t finish. Boy, I’ll be if I was a professional poet, I’d know exactly what to do.