Would you pay 5 dollars to listen to 5 poems? What if you also had an accompanying booklet with the poems? In Pobiz, this would be too expensive. Since books are expected to be around $10 -$12, paying half that for just 5 poems seems exorbitant. But if Nikki Giovanni was hustling her early poems in this market, I'd think she would do just that. This is a woman who even made a "single" for her books putting an A and B poem on a 45.
I want us poets to return to this era when poetry was literally for the people. When poets didn't wait for market listings and chapbook contests to sell their work. I'm a throwback poet. I want a solid collection of about 60 poems. I want to distill those into 10 for a vinyl record LP. I want a 5 poem suite to package as an EP. I want a 45. The literal record and perhaps the Itunes download.
Is this wrong? To think that poetry has a monetary value? Spoken Word Artists (SWA) would reply no. In my neighborhood, an SWA may sell their work after a performance and at the local supermarket. I don't have the confidence to hand sell in such an aggressive way. But I wonder, why not? Why not go the full Maya Angelou route and sell poetry on cards, cups and plates? Does this cheapen the art?
Maybe it does.
Maybe it broadens the audience.