The latest exchange with the Important poet brought out his tired old canard that I'm advocating features for poets regardless of ability--i.e. if they're terrible but they are venue regulars, ergo
they get rewarded for merely showing up.
My response is: Yes, I understand that poets must clear a bar to receive a chance to feature for 20-30 minutes by a poetry host/hosts. But the bar is set perhaps a bit too high.
And the Important poet goes on about the variance in poetry hosts' tastes. Yes, there still exists some variance. But not as much as there used to be. Certain venues which used to be egalitarian now remind me of Keir Dullea's hotel room at the end of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.
But "egalitarian" is an obscenity to some. And I guess I'm still stupid enough to not comprehend that people are drawn to poetry because it gives them a chance to crow about their intellect and ability to "craft" works that sometimes read like Sudoku word puzzles.
And, when all else was exhausted, the Important poet also said, "Start your own festival" as he stomped away in frustration at my apparent denseness.
I'd be a millionaire if I had $100 for every time a poet wanted to stop discussions/arguments with me by using variations of the phrase "Start your own reading/festival."
[And lest anyone forget, I did host two reading series in the past decade. And I booked
the Important poet for the first series.l
Southern California poetry is rather a microcosm of the current epidemic of legislative gridlock in state and federal governments--no one in power wants to compromise on anything because they hate the notion of having to give something up.