Jack Johnson, a musician that my friends and I listened to incessantly in college, once sang that it's "always more fun to share with everyone."
Yet, I've been wondering lately how much or how little to share regarding my own poetry. As a poet, I get excited when the "inspirational" portion of writing a poem is complete. And, I have a habit of almost immediately sending that poem out to a few of my friends who like poetry. The problem is, I realize later that I need to make changes to the poem. Once the inspirational "high" wears off, I'm a bit disappointed that I've shared the poem in such early stages. It doesn't stop me from doing it again, though.
I have quite a few friends who are professional poets. They're always proclaiming that you should not share poems that aren't already published - thus, the only poems you'll find on my blog are the links to poems that some other venue has deemed worthy of public consumption. But, secretly, I'm dying to post a poem, or at least a few lines, for y'all to read here.
And today I posted a poem in public, as ill-advised as it might be. Remember how I told y'all that my favorite coffee shop, Troubadours in Mount Pleasant, closed down last week? Well, I wrote a poem about it.
Sure enough, I sent it to a few friends in its early stages. But it went through the process. I workshopped it with my poetry-feature-buddy, Alexandra, and she helped me make some edits.
Next thing I knew, Brian and I got coffee this morning at a place we aren't quite on board with - but at least they had Scotch tape - and decided to cruise by our old haunt and plaster the poem to the front door.
Hours later, when my editorial assistant and I were busy distributing magazines and rode back by the building, I saw that my poem was gone. (Good thing I snapped a photo, right?)
"Where is my poem?" I whined to Taylor.
"It was taken home by an adoring fan," she replied.
But I wasn't ready to buy that.
What if the owner of the entire building snatched it off the door? I asked myself.
What if someone plum didn't like it?
But, the truth is, no one knows what happened. Heck, like Brian said, it could have just been the faults of the wind and the less-than-stellar tape. I think what mostly bothers me is that the one time I gave my poem to the world without knowing how it would be received, it simply disappeared.
Still, I can't let a little thing like a vanishing poem stop me from heeding my desire to share when necessary. Though I don't post poems on social media, I'm certain that another occasion will move me to this point.
And maybe somewhere tonight, someone is reading my lines, over and over. Maybe they loved that spot just as much as I did.
Maybe they just love poetry.