Friday, September 23, 2011

bitching & moaning

Sometimes things just don’t grow in the directions you hoped they would.

Take the Poetry Jam. Back in the days when TFE was hosting the Poetry Bus on his blog, I really liked the group of people who would come around every week with a poem. Eventually I felt a part of the gang, and proud to be so.

Then TFE gave up organizing a weekly thing, and the Poetry Bus blog is just a site with news about the next issue of the P-Bus magazine - it isn’t a place for poems. I was one of the people who didn’t want the Bus to die, and the first to offer to administer a new place for us to gather for a weekly prompt. I still don’t understand why it was forbidden to have any sort of Poetry Bus reference in the name. A state secret, apparently. TFE said he could not be involved with any new blog that was obviously a derivative of the Poetry Bus. (Although, naturally, just such a derivative was exactly what the rest of us wanted.) (And you know what ? TFE has not once participated in the Jam. So why did I bother to accomodate him ?)

At any rate, Poetry Jam was born, and at first many of the Bus riders came over, and it was kind of like the Bus, only Jam.

But now most of our participants are new people I don’t know and whose writing doesn’t grab me. Some use cutesy pseudonyms and probably dot their i’s with little hearts.

I’m one of those curmudgeonly people with a special button in my pocket for the vaporisation of people who dot their i’s with little hearts once high school is behind them.

The Jam just doesn’t have the group-of-friends feel to it that it had at the beginning. It’s cool to have 80+ followers, but when we had 20 I knew them all. I find I’m only posting a poem now and then, not because I don’t have time to get one out, but because I just don’t care. And I’m cherry-picking the links I visit, favoring certain names I know, skipping others, judging new names by their names and how many lines they take up when all I want is their name and not a novel on the Linky.
I suspect, with no particular reason to than a glance at who's linking up each week, that some of my favorite fellow former Bus poets may feel the same. Because they're not there either.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe the creative outlet of Poetry has let out all the accumulated stuff that needed to be said in poems, and it’s time to close the taps and let the pool fill up again.


Rachel Fox said...

I loved the weekly Bus and found it helpful (as a stimulus) and fun and friendly and a source of many good poems for many bloggers. So there were a lot of pluses. It was a good (virtual) crowd of people - no getting away from that - and partly because it was such a mix (of ages and backgrounds and nationalities and tastes). But nothing good last forever...

The end of the online Bus came at a good time for me. In all honesty working on a poem for it every week did take away from time I could do on other things and, whilst I loved that era, it is nice to have that time back now. I haven't even looked at the Jam thing in all honesty. It's a new day. For me anyway.


Rachel Fox said...

There's some awful grammar in that comment. Coffee too strong this morning!

jabblog said...

I was surprised to receive an invitation to participate in Poetry Jam as I'm not a poet, just an occasional writer of doggerel. I offered one or two pieces but poetry is not my forte so I don't often join in.
I find if I don't like something or feel I don't fit in then I move on or just dip in occasionally.

chiccoreal said...

I'm feeling very maudlin today. Hauntingly sentimental (yes, mostly mental) for the past which was a grandiose affair (wasn't it). No one should kiss and tell nor tattletale but I can't help but feeling that this feeling isn't going away anytime soon and can only be cured with more cowbell or case in point; The Poetry Bus as a spliffy and shiny thing if ever she once were once upon a damn good time. And a Thoroughly enjoyable party scene with much atmosphere! If only I could rewind time and make everything just fine, exploits included, of the kind of which our Mother Superlative (TFI) words of which are still craw-stuck and dear and ever immortalized by the venerable TFI (acroynm only)cause we can't say Feckin anymore and which is most likely expleted deleted due to the sensibilities of the barnyard animals in the house! There's another day for you!

The Bug said...

Oh I so agree! I'm very sad about the whole situation. And I don't even consider myself a "real" bus rider since I came in on the tail end. Sigh.

Helen said...

Thank you for writing what needed to be said! I don't consider myself a 'real' poet ... but oh how I enjoyed the weekly challenge of the Poetry Bus. Pure fun for me. I was looking forward to its re-creation in the form of Jam! We started off on a high note but over the weeks we seem to have lost a bit of steam.

Bagman and Butler said...

I must apologize for sort of dropping out after trying to get involved. But, while short-lived, it was really good for me and made me get back in touch with deeper stuff than having my alter-egos banter on my blog. It also brought me back in touch with words. But I've discovered that I don't have time to do all the things I want to do and after awhile I realized I was going to be an infrequent contributor. But, no matter what happens - whether the jar of jam is half empty or half full - don't forget that there was some real positives and some real creativity that came forth in the process. And thanks for involving me in it.

NanU said...

Hey, thanks for your comments, everyone. I was thinking I might really insult people by complaining that the P-Jam is full of crap these days. It isn't; it just isn't for me.

Peter Goulding said...

NanU, I probably agree with every word you said. I find the Jam a bit too Thanks for Sharing these days

Titus said...

Er, concur really. I don't know why the Bus worked so well, or what strange alchemy was working at that time to make people who really worked together, come together.

Seriously, it's like that great year you had at *******. Nothing lasts forever (except my new marriage) and times do change. I think Doris Day said that. And she's No. 1 again, isn't she?

Dominic Rivron said...

I must say I left when the Bus turned to Jam. This was a coincidence: life had just turned busy at that time.

I don't know anything about the Jam, but I do commend anyone with the courage to say what they feel in these online situations!

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks for sharing - great title for a poem... maybe a novel...

steven said...

nancy the blogosphere is as dynamic as the atmosphere. i see sunsets (and the very rare sunrise) that i could wish would stick around forever because they are so much better than some of the commonplace skies that appear on a more frequent basis but they don't and that's what makes them special. i didn't participate in the bus because it was daunting to see the calibre of writing that appeared there on a regular basis. i definitely wasn't ready! i say, look at the bus as a special piece of the process. let things settle. something necessary and vital will emerge when it's ready or when it's time. steven

Argent said...

NanU, you and the others have said exactly what I'm feeling! When the bus turned to Jam I told myself I'd give it a go, but somehow just never did. I really loved the 'atmosphere' of the old bus and was sad when TFE axed it. That seemed a tad high-handed to me and the PB mag is all a bit too earnest for my taste. I'm not a poet, just a scribbler of verse - the sillier the better.

NanU said...

I think one of the main differences is that to participate in the Bus, most people were already followers of TFE, or followers of followers, and there just weren't a lot of people jumping in from nowhere. I wanted the Jam to be open to everyone, and it is. Alas.
If I don't have a change of heart, or of mood, when my next theme comes up I'll ask for a new administrator to step in.

twinklysparkles said...

I wasn't around for the Poetry Bus. Blogging is new to me (Jan 2011).
I have mixed feelings about Poetry Jam; I try to take what I like and leave the rest...not all the prompts work for me, but I am proud of myself for trying something new and I have gotten some decent work from the prompts.

I appreciate your honesty. The world of blogs is indeed strange. It doesn't sound like you are out to hurt anyone; just putting your honest feelings out for feedback and general perusal.

I have appreciated a comment you made a ways back on my blog . It really helped me and I recently revisited it.

I try to comment only truthful things and not to comment negative stuff if it has no bearing on anything. I also don't have much time in my life right now to spend on keeping up with everyone on Poetry Jam. I'm finding some like-minded souls who I prefer to visit and read in depth on other blogs, not all poetry, of course. There are only so many hours in a day and the blogosphere is VAST!

Thanks for your honesty! It helped me to read some of the things I've felt.

Another thing--when something is good and creative and people are ringing together in a groovy way, it seems like it will never end, but inevitably, it does. This, as you say at the end of your post, is probably a necessary thing.

Just babbling, twinkly