Lately I’ve taken note (kind of difficult not to notice) the burgeoning rise of instapoets and their proliferation on the shelves of Barnes & Noble. From the overly hyped Lang Leav to Rumi Kaur’s rather annoying work Milk & Honey. I finally breezed through Leav’s Sea of Strangers, and couldn’t really get past the first few pages without wanting to vomit. Her formula was rather simple : she offers up a fusion of melancholy and nostalgia and bemoans what could have been, what might have been, how hurt she was from relationships that did/didn’t actually take place., and perhaps most hilarious is these little jibes and “you missed out” notes to the guys she actually didn’t have relationships with…borriiinnnnggggg. The target audience for this are 20 something girls on Instagram and Tumblr that reblog witty memes and amass all the photos of pinterest, tumblr, instagram that they can grab hold of, eating up all the cloud space of the interwebs in the process.
Yet I had to ask myself which was more annoying than the other. I would say at the very least Rumi seemed more normalized. Lang Leav looks like a Chinese girl cosplaying as an Amish woman. I know, shallow, but these are just trivial observations. I don’t care very much about who they are as individuals.
Rumi’s Milk & Honey is a must read if you’re an “Instagram” girl, or a girl who goes through a great deal of emotional suffering from relationships you either never actually had, or kind of wish you secretly did. Rumi paints these snatches of relationship thought processes that sound like bits bitten from this or that type of dark chick flick. I can already see why she’s hit it big. She’s mixing pseudo poetry with a trashy romance and private journal entries…appealing to girls who need poetry dumbed down for them. This being your basic Ambercrombie & Fitch model wannabes. Yet Rumi just as Leav paints things in a fictitious light, and puts a negative light on men (of course) as a convenient scapegoat for all the “pain” and other wrongs she depicts. Cheap, shoddy, lazy writing that sells like futuristic fat free chocolate gelato. Yet, it’s not true poetry, it’s garbage doggerel at best…these authors create these works so that instagirls can repost, reblog and repopulate the inter webs with it.
Now I can see why true poets would despise these hacks, they’re charlatans who commanded an audience they procurred from online to offline. Their works are a slap in the face to real published poets whose rich works far outweigh theirs.
This is pretty much disastrous IMHO because it’s poisoning the proverbial ink well. It causes true poets to forget any standard or bar to aspire toward. It’s also deceptive, because these girls aren’t in fact even poets, just imposters and tourists. They write these emo ridden verses that plays on the heartstrings, simplistic drivel that belongs more in an animé love story than anything. Miscategorized. There are golden standards set, and while Rumi Kaur’s defense of “accessible” for her own work well poetry is accessible to those who want to access it. If it requires actual intellect to comprehend it, interpret it, and extract from it well that’s precisely why it is what it is ! Now that these man hating, feminist political wannabe poets have risen and stolen their own successes from emo/broken instagram mallrat princess types. When you tell the literary minded that all it takes to make it is to amass social media followers then you’re no longer an actual author you’re just a hack yourself.