The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

QOTD: How Do You Hustle Your Words?

It is so difficult to keep track of each and every social media outlet. For example, The Poetry Question is housed on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (though, that one is not functioning quite yet). Realistically, these are probably the only media outlets we will use for the early days of this project. As we grow, will that mean we will also have a Tumblr, Myspace, and a physical outlet? It’s hard enough to make sure that everything is linked together in order to alleviate any need for duplicate posts, or overkill of posts that might turn away some of our readers.

As new media outlets become available, it seems that it is more and more difficult to find the websites, blogs, music, chap books, and whatever else one might search for. It leads people to find new ways of hustling their words – sort of. I remember when I was a teenager, I would head to Django Records in Portland, and crate dig. I would sit there with my portable Discman, and go through hundreds of CDs over several hours each week to try to find that next perfect disc for my collection. They used to have these massive $1.00 bins set up throughout the store, and they got to know me well enough, that they would simply let me sit there all day and listen to whatever I wanted, before giving me amazing deals on whatever I would take home. My days of sitting there typically came in lieu of going to school. Music, and the lyrics that came with that music, seemed much more important to me than sitting in class. I was discovering knowledge in my own way. This search is much like how bands and authors are getting their material into the hands of today’s public.

I spent my weekend in Las Vegas, and while the big lights, sounds, and clink of chips definitely grabbed my attention, I found something beyond the typical Vegas thrills to make me smile: poets and musicians hustling their words and music. It’s normal to see buskers, or vendors on sky bridges in between hotels; however, it is not as typical to see a poet, standing on a crate, giving a reading of his work. He didn’t have a crowd around him, but he spoke loudly, and with confidence. He wanted someone, anyone, to hear his words. I was with my parents, and my fiance, so I didn’t have a lot of time to stop, and listen to what he was saying, but I asked them to wait a moment, and they did. I listened to the last portion of one of his pieces, and he handed me a copy of his chap book. He wasn’t looking for donations, or anything beyond someone to appreciate what he had done. It was his hustle, and in his honesty, it worked.

Beyond the chap book, I was able to take home a few CDs from people who just wanted someone to hear their work. It is incredibly difficult to get people to take notice of your art. As a musician for more than 15 years, I’ve definitely found that getting people to notice what you’ve created is more difficult than the writing process. There is nothing more meaningful than when someone takes your creation, smiles, and offers a true “thank you” for what you have given them.

So, this brings me to my Question of the Day:

If you are an artist, what is your hustle? How do you get your art into the hands of people who might not notice you otherwise?

– Margolin

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

One comment on “QOTD: How Do You Hustle Your Words?

  1. C.G.Ayling (@CGAyling)
    April 29, 2013

    Oh, the pressure! I don’t know about best, but poetry wise the piece I like the most is titled “Mortality’s short, sweet kiss…” You may read it here:-

    While you’re visiting my blog, you may choose to browse the other samples of my work, they’re accessible from the page titled “[Samples]”. Thank you.

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This entry was posted on April 29, 2013 by in Question of the Day and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

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