Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cage 2013 in Review

For a blog meant to last three months, this one has gone on entirely too long. But on it goes.

Started in January 2013, "Working the Cage," as it was called then, intended to exhibit some old, unpublished poems for a couple of months and stop. Along the way it changed its name to "Working on the Cage" and began to exhibit new problems such as journal entries and then mini essays that qualify as actual blog posts.

I've tried a couple of times this year to demolish "Working on the Cage." But the fact is I enjoy it too much. Several posts have been taken down that I thought unseemly. Some, such as my post about the school athletic mascot and the ethic of toughness, we've taken down, reposted and then taken down again. If this has led to any frustration out there, the Cage and I apologize.

A few posts have been popular. Any blogger should know or learn fast that popularity of posts depends upon the support of others who care to link to your blog. The Cage's first benefactor was The Polk Street Review who helped promote a poem about Dante on their Facebook page. The Polk Street Review also promoted a post I did in November, a pro-writing essay about their third issue launch party. Another thing bloggers ought to know is that political screeds also have a penchant for virality. The Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society helped to promote the most popular post on this blog, The Lost Art of Alexander Hamilton, on the AHAS Facebook page. So, thanks to The Polk Street Review and The Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society for thinking the Cage has been worthwhile.

Sometimes, however, a post becomes popular for reasons you never really know. A rather miscellaneous post about Poe's "MS. Found in a Bottle" seems to get found again and again and continues to rise in popularity. We hope that if it is being used in other writing it is correctly cited... but remain in any case flattered.

Perhaps we've posted too many elegies here. The unavoidable one was for Seamus Heaney, whose words  inspired the title for the the Cage. Heaney was one of the first contemporary poets I appreciated.

The future of the Cage? Unknown. Every time I write it seems to be an unlikely event, increasingly so as I seek means for income. The supply of old poems has run dry. New poems will, for the most part, not appear here, though the Cage will announce the rare news of their publication. The Cage is committed, however, to provide a haiku bonanza next month!

If you are reading this, and certainly you must be, the Cage and I thank you. It has been a fun year. Best wishes.

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