Ain’t no money in poetry / That’s what sets the poet free / I’ve had all the freedom I can stand.
That’s the opening refrain of the chorus of Cold Dog Soup by singer Guy Clarke. Yes, all my poet friends can speak to the veracity of the sentiment. So the fortunate of us wordsmiths have a day job. Freedom isn’t free after all. And I wonder: if you’re one of them, do you let your poet flag fly? How many of your co-workers know of your literary proclivities?
I have a pretty easy-going existence as a freelance writer, ghost writing for business coaches, reporting on cultural events and business issues for newspapers, profiling folks in the local law community.
And I also write poetry. Some of it’s dark, weird, and off-color.
And as I think is wise to do, I keep my ear to the ground for potential full-time employment that might suit my skills and (with any luck) passion. People use the Internet to check out potential employees. I wonder what a prospective HR director would think of poetry that parses out dreams of eating one’s laundry, or a less-than-charitable break-up poem?
I would like to know from those who manage to maintain a business existence along with a poetic one: do they necessarily have to be separate? Is there a poetry clause in the shareholder’s agreement?