So, What’s the Difference?

He has been approached

by a vanity press to publish

one of his poems, one of his

own choosing, in fact. He

writes it; he chooses it;

they publish it, period.

They said they had been

following really good poets

and they wanted

to include his work

in a book of the

best poetry of 2012.  Wow!

What an honor! Was he

flattered about the offer

and then it was even made

better because they said

he stood the chance of

winning big, big bucks

in prize money. Wow,

again, until he realized

that he would have to

buy a copy of the beautifully

bound book. They said

there would be no

obligation to buy to

get the poem in that beautiful

book, but that wasn’t so, but

that wouldn’t be so bad, the

thought to himself.

To sweeten the pot they

also offered medals to

wear around to impress

his friends and

customized cards with

his poem on it so he

could send them

out to friends to show

them what a great poet

he is. Years ago he would

have rejected the idea out of

hand, but this time it just

might be out of his pocket

and the cost wouldn’t be

that much and in this internet,

digital age of self-publication

it might be just the best

thing since sliced bread. Hey,

he already publishes his

poetry and musings on

a blog for a fee, so that’s

kind of vain, so what’s

the difference, he wondered

to himself and his wife

belongs to an art coop

and so she works

there and pays a fee, so

that’s kind of vain, so

what’s the difference, he

wondered to himself.

So, if self-publication

was good enough for

Walt Whitman to get

a start, why wouldn’t it

be good enough for him,

so what’s the difference,

he thought to himself, but

then he really thought to

himself and decided that

he’ll just save the $49.99

and tax and shipping

for the beautifully bound

book (as they had shown

in a beautiful photo of

that beautiful book)

that would include one of

his own poems with a self-

written bio of a hundred-

fifty characters or less for

an extra twenty-five bucks

and, instead, take his wife

out for a few happy hours

for that amount.  That actually

would make a difference, he

thought to himself.

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