I got a cheque in the mail for $50. For a poem that’s about to be published. Guess that makes me a bon-a-fide poet! Unless you count the 75 cents that was my cut when they passed the hat at a poetry reading many years ago, that’s the first time I’ve gotten paid for poetry. I’ve had a few published before, but never for payment.
I don’t write many poems these days, so I don’t really think of myself as a poet. This particular poem was written about 10 years ago. It was accepted for publication about 5 years ago, and since the magazine went on hiatus for a few years (I think they ran out of money – it’s hard to keep literary mags afloat), they only got around to publishing it now.
Clearly, poetry is not a very lucrative business. I won’t quit my day job.
(In case you’re going to ask to see the poem, I can’t show you until it appears in print. It turns out that if something appears on a blog, it is considered “published”. I learned that the hard way when another publication was going to accept a piece I’d written, but they took the time to Google it, found it on my blog, and turned it down because they only accept unpublished work.)