Peter Davis


Poem that Begs for Reassurance


My experience with the world around me is that I either feel it's awful, or I feel that it is great. Right now I feel like this poem is awful. I feel like I am awful. I feel like an outcast in the literary world. Nobody reviews my work. As far as I can tell, nobody really talks about me. They do, but it's never enough. I'm not besieged with e-mails soliciting my poetry. I keep waiting for something to happen. I mean, this is a good poem. Other people seem to have so much going on. I read their bio notes and think, "Well, jeez, how do they all do it?" I say to my wife, "Honey, I always feel a few steps behind. How can I do all of that in this poem?" Some of them maintain blogs with numerous links and a lot of daily hits. Others don't even have blogs! All around me poets are winning prizes and being included in anthologies like The Best American Poetry. Some at very young ages. Some of these people, if they don't already have tenure-line teaching positions, are very strong candidates for tenure-line teaching positions.





Poem in Which the Word "Prestige" Should Be Defined Broadly, Meaning I'm Not Necessarily Just Seeking Traditional Forms of Power, But Other Forms of Power as Well


It's important to me that this poem is not just shtick, but the real thing. I'm sure some people might have lots to criticize in this poem, but all that really matters to me is that there are critics. I need people to read this. The more, the better. The more people who read this poem, and then think and write about it, the more likely I am to be happy and rich and have an enjoyable job/life. It doesn't really matter what is said. I just need people to talk about me, to want poems from me, to help me out because they love my work, or because they want to make fun of it, etc. All of this is stuff that validates me as a human, plumps my ego which is in constant need of plumping, and is excellent for my vita. Also, it is good for my ego, which constantly needs attention. I mention my ego twice (three times if you include this) because it's very important to me. Ultimately, I hope some of the attention directed at me will result in more prestige and perhaps a better job.





Poem Concluding With One of My Priorities as the Writer of this Poem and Expressing Some of the Ways Self-Hatred Manifests Itself


I do feel like I have important, beautiful things to say about the world, I just can't think of them at this particular instant. I don't see why you should read this poem and expect to find that sort of thing. Even if you're looking for beauty, or anything. Why look for anything in this poem? This poem seems like a silly place to find something.





Poem that Entertains a Very Entertaining Thought


I am grateful to you for reading the first sentence of this poem. As much as I am selfish for writing it, you are generous for reading it. We can console ourselves that, if nobody else ever sees this, you and I made it at least to the end of sentence 3. That must count for something. Or if this poem is now very popular and you are coming to it as reader number 50,209, or 50,000,209, you can know that you are discovering what many others have discovered, and you are only on sentence 5! This must be very exciting for you!