The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Poet to be Your Content Marketer

Pro: We care about language. A lot. We choose our words carefully, and they’ll convey – precisely – the message we want them to convey.

Con: We’ll sometimes spend 10 minutes pondering the denotation and connotation of a single word in a 1200 word article.

Pro: We’re great at synthesizing disparate pieces of information.

Con: We may make connections that no one asked for, and then write a blog about these connections that few will read.

Pro: We understand the constraints of formal verse and the fact that structural constraints often make writing better. So, fitting our prose into a scaffold of SEO best practices won’t be too difficult for us.

Con: We may enjoy constraints so much that we begin writing our web copy in iambic pentameter – just for fun.

Pro: We see life from a different perspective, and we’re sure to bring up interesting ideas in a brainstorming session.

Con: We see life from a different perspective, and we’re sure to bring up completely bonkers, irrelevant ideas in a brainstorming session.

Pro: We have an impeccable sense of timing in verse, though our sense of actual, recordable time can be… skewed.

Con: Logging time – what’s that? Wait, how much time did we spend on this task?

Pro: We write persona poems, so creating customer personas are a piece of cake.

Con: We may enjoy imagining the internal lives of customers a little TOO much.

Pro: As employees, we’re curious, imaginative, flexible, and dedicated to craft.

Con: If we stare off into space for minutes at a time, don’t be alarmed. We’ll come back to Earth soon.

Iceberg

The iceberg blinked
And the sailors squinted against the cold.
It couldn't be seen, with the sky so full of stars
And ice splinters making halos around the lamps.

Things seem to disappear,
Just so. You say you should have known,
But you were in the bracing wind or 
Sweat was dripping into your eyes
Or something. Whatever it was, it meant

That what happened next felt inevitable.
Felt like Zeus aiming his bolt at your heart.
Felt like time buckling 
Or your soul from a forgotten past life
Shoving you--go on, now. Go. 

Imaginary Wine Labels

Arm’s Length

2006

A drink that warms when held in the mouth.  Strawberry on the edges. Rounded center one would mistake for hollow—a globe.  Best on an empty stomach, with bread after the initial sips to soak up the coffee grounds one might imagine on the roof of the mouth. Recommended for people who like caves, pepper plants, and experimental films.

Singularity

2005

Earthy is too predictable a description for this mineral dormancy.  The aroma—a mixture of salt and wet paper—rises from a seed within the wine. Pairing with only the lightest-colored cheeses, this variety should be aged—not chilled.  Best with dried peaches.  Best after an afternoon that leaves the street wet with barely-noticeable pools of oil slick along the curb.

Staring Contest

2006

Although the first flavor is a jarring thickness, this wine lightens when consumed.  Notes of butterscotch and edamame.  Particularly good for pregnant women or for women who would like to become pregnant.  If pairing with chocolate or raspberries, have a glass of water nearby.  Best with pork.  Best on a morning after.

Fundamentalism

2007

Our darkest variety.  Too many berries to count.  We recommend drinking it with someone you don’t quite trust.  Best with crackers and oyster soup. Particularly memorable if consumed during a hurricane or blizzard.  The first flavor is a ruse—soda water.  Wait for the second and third flavors of velour and black cherry, respectively.

Changing Your Mind

2003

Initial flavor of lemon that hardens to green chile on the way down. Amber color as seen through pink-tinted sunglasses.  Not unlike raindrops on a Cholla cactus.  Caution:  Risk of explosion if heated.  Best when paired with potatoes and cream or anything that sticks in the throat.

The Good Life

2010

Aroma of candle wax and cucumber.  A taste that brings out lint on the tongue.  For relief—swallow.  Best with your most shocking acquaintances. Notes of antique wood carvings and motorcycle chrome.  It is only your imagination that detects a hint of lemonade.  This wine may be aged or consumed immediately.  In either case it will seem as though you’ve been drinking it for years.

2 Short Poems

Fragment

A half-moon caught in the trees, / the desert emptied of birds, / my father’s voice: “You don’t have / to call me back…” and this thing I’ve / imagined, tangling up / the burnt parts of two secrets–struck match / smell, the wind-tunnel / of a glass cave bringing the heat. / I was missing and I’m still missing.

Measure

As if you were reclining–sideways, big as god– / Lightening strikes the first hill, flames hopping to the next. / How it moves through your soul, the burnt spots making vulgar and strange anything green! / Don’t worry. When you’re marooned in a corner of your office wondering how the stones of the walls outside / Made it in–remember, there’s no insight like the rule of your hills compulsively burning.

Swimming Down

An armored shark in lava, I move on all fours across the rug as your daughters leap over me shrieking. With an unblinking eye, I feel the heat of the earth rise—its erupting egg, yolk-rug, and the shore of the bed—as we play. 

That night you wake up to tell me you are sinking underwater. Half-asleep, I say water in dreams always means emotion. I think I feel a pair of cool hands pressing on my temples, a vial of cooking oil in my pocket…

I think of your girls and my hands flutter to tangled hair. Nearly asleep again, I’m listening to myself as a child—sloshing water in the bath, catching a fluff of bubbles in my hand.

I leave before they get up for school, and I take in the sky as I unlock my door, steam puffing up into the black. I was pulled from a car once at this hour, the middle of a soybean field, to look at Haley’s Comet. My father urging me, wake up, wake up! It’s the only time you’ll see this in your life! This piece of cotton in the sky. This fireball, this chunk of ice.

It burns! And as I seize myself in mock pain, I fall into the lava. I fall—through the rug, the ceramic tile, the layers of ground—into a core that shines, impossibly, white.