I think I started a discourse this morning and now my life is ruined.
I tweeted (first mistake) that my friend’s new book
(second mistake) is the best book (third mistake)
because it’s poetry (fourth mistake) drawn from real life
(fifth mistake). I was just trying to support my friend,
but it turns out that’s, like, cronyism? Or I’m in, like,
some kind of literary cabal even though I only have 131 followers?
My tweet is getting a LOT of comments, but not a lot of likes
or retweets? My follower count isn’t budging.
I hoped if I went viral someday, I could plug my chapbook
but it’s been “in progress” at 27 publishers for about two years now so
I’m still waiting to hear back. Most people are talking
about what I meant by “best” as if that’s something
I could possibly be qualified to determine. I just meant
“favorite,” okay? But is it really my favorite? Like,
my favorite book of all time? I don’t know. In other threads
that I think are about me, but maybe not, they’re debating
what makes one book better than another. Like, is my friend’s book better
than, say, the Bible? Is it better than Zahn’s Heir to the Empire? The discourse
seems to be attracting alt right contributors now? And toxic fandoms?
And I really don’t know what to do. Have any of these people
read my friend’s poetry book? Because it really is pretty good
for a small press book. I can’t say that online though
because every time I try to explain myself it just gets worse.
Other threads are talking about the death of imagination
and autofiction and poetry as memoir and I’m a little out of my depth.
Maybe I’m over thinking this? Maybe these other threads
are about something else entirely? No one will tell me.
I keep asking. I say, “I was taking a nap. What happened? Can someone
point me to the relevant thread?” But none of my 122 followers
respond. Yes, I’m losing followers. I text some friends to ask
what they think but they just respond with those eye emojis
and I’m not sure how to read that. Like, are they looking into it?
Or are they looking at me? I noticed that my friend hasn’t RT’d
my tweet about her book yet but she’s been online all day doing book promo
of her own? By nightfall, I’m just lurking. Trying to follow the conversation
and figure out if all this is about me or I’m just projecting. Like,
there’s this other conversation about if friends should reveal
that they know details of stories are true because that’s totally
throwing the author under the bus and exposing their lives in ways that,
maybe, they didn’t want exposed when they wrote and published the story?
But all that is about stories, not poetry. I was talking about poetry,
which is totally different. I don’t sleep at all that night, just scroll.
Australian literary Twitter seems to be discussing similar things. Maybe
it’s related or maybe they have their own drama? I’m not part of that community.
At 9:37 AM the next day, a woman tweets that she got into her dream MFA program
and I know I’m safe.