With Facebook, Skype, Youtube, BlogSpot/WordPress and now Twitter, the world is experiencing the most rapid, significant technological shift in post-millennium modern culture. High school and college students, businessmen and women, politicians, Hollywood starts and local poets are in constant tête-à-tête with Twitter. Some criticize it as an electronic consortium for narcissists to dispose of their feelings, their self-proclaimed brilliant insights, and their insignificant daily agendas. We jump back and forth on this one all the time; to tweet or not to be a twit? Is that the question?
Turns out Twitter’s fronting a global movement towards creative collaboration. Who knew?
Thanks to Twitter, you can instantaneously know what’s up with your sister on the other side of the country. With Twitter, companies are speaking directly to their communities. Yes, Twitter is the cause of headings like: “Perez Hilton and John Mayer face off on Twitter.” Go ahead, mock it — it’s damn easy to — but know that Twitter’s also a leading instrument in exposing live footage and commentary from around the world. As seen just this morning on Huffington Post: “The Iranian Revolution Will Not Be Televised — It’ll Be Twittered.”
So, folks are tweeting on laptops, iPhones, and Blackberries all around the world. You can’t get away from it. But aside from the fact that you thought Star Trek was better than predicted, that you just stubbed your toe, that you’re heading to a divine brunch spot and didn’t invite us, or that you’re standing behind Clint Eastwood in the checkout lane at CVS, what else is it good for? (Seriously though — what’s he buying?!)
Now check this out: Detroit poet M.L. Liebler is on board with the Twitter hype. If anyone knows how to be heard, it’s this guy. Liebler’s hooked up with two young Detroit poets, Cassie Poe and LaShaun “Phoenix” Moore, to utilize Twitter as a vehicle for their poetic voices. The trio is in process of writing an ongoing collaborative poem through the end of the month. As they tweet fresh, insightful lines, the public can watch the poem grow. This is a dynamic, organic, communal work in progress that can be instantaneously shared with everyone else riding the Tweet Train.
“Summer in Motown,” is the name of the poem, which Libeler started on June 8, at exactly 6:53 a.m. “Beneath the dark clouds of capitalism and broken industry, Detroit seeks a new tomorrow through the poetry of life and the art of work.”
Moore responds the following morning (at a more reasonable hour — 9:36 a.m.): “Eagerly, Detroit retraces her steps, remembers the steel strength in her back, the glory days of her black bottom paradise.”
Later that evening, Poe tweets to move the poem along:
“Forcing her limbs through the ashes of her own bones, you’ll find her being reborn on street corners. Artistry will be her new name.”
For Detroit and all other cities around the world that are feeling the nervous energy of economic depression or the hot hand of authority’s oppression this summer, artistry in our actions and efforts to communicate and connect will indeed be vital. These three poets know that too well already.
Twitter, what are you going to do with it? — Sara Axelrod