Blurbs

You scratch my
hardback,
I’ll scratch yours,
maybe even skim it,
so long as my commission
is paid in turn.
Blurb for a blurb
is the going rate in this
circlejerk of authors who are
corralled like livestock
by the stud-farm publishers.
Like the Art world
where galleries stoke the value
of a few select artists
so those premiere galleries can
cash in on their
rigged insider trading,
so, too, authors
are pressed to praise
what does not impress
as it goes to the presses.
What goes around
comes around
in a marketplace of
praise-prospectors.
And the blurbs are hyperbole
taken to such a degree
as if to be a secret signal
or warning
through unintentional satire.
“This generation’s War And Peace.”
“Would unnerve Bram Stoker.”
“I could not put it down, yet was fearful
of the next word.”
“Love In The Time Of Cholera
meets The Idiot by way of
Rudyard Kipling.”
“Kaleidoscopic usage of adverbs.”
“Will affirm all the worthwhile things
in life, awakening the heart of the reader
one page at a time.”
There is no difference
between sleeve jacket hymns
and porn-parody except
one is sleeved in plastic
and the other in latex.
It is MLM levels of
hype, the hyper hype
done with a strained smile
bordering on a psychotic breakdown.
The books may have spines,
but the authors don’t,
or perhaps they have no taste,
only a hunger for exposure,
even if it is exposure as a
fraud.
Or perhaps in this
dog-eat-dogshit world
it is better to swallow one’s pride
and expel a hairball blurb
than be choked to silence
when publishers refuse
to groom your works, works
lost in the multitudes of
showdogs
willing to sell their souls
one blurb at a time
for a blurb of their own.
It is a game
full of winking,
but you must never blink.
It is a farce of superstition,
yet you must believe.
Blurbs are the
conman’s currency, the
conman’s creed, the
conman’s rites,
the concentrated extracts of reviews
slavish to the publishing companies,
and, if you don’t mind,
please compare my book to Dickens
as I would like to evoke his everyday whimsy when readers read the blurb on the back of my book. I, in turn, will compare your book to Shirley Jackson so as to resonate with lovers of gothic literature, even if your pastiche of her work is diluted and amateurish to the point of absurdity…

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