Most students in four different classes had friends who wrote poetry and read at coffee shops. Quite a few thought a poet was polite, agreeable. A nice dinner guest. Only a few thought of a poet as crazy and dangerous (we were discussing the Irish bard and Yeats Hanrahan). Most thought American poets are all songwriters/rappers.
Audience was a big harping during my four years of grad school. My mentor Bruce Beasley was not concerned about a huge audience. A small intense audience is better than millions of adoring fans who only see the surface? Even if that intense audience consists mostly of other poets?
I am happy with an audience. Should I be uncomfortable with an audience mostly of peers?
Not sure. But I've got to sneeze.
It's got to be true it's got to be true:
the writing itself is central.
Audience, recognition second.
My cat has a feather and treats it like a baby.
Sometimes I want to rip the alphabe…