You leave town for a few months, and things change. The neighborhood doesn’t look the same. Some of the buildings have fallen down. A few of the houses have a faded look to them. People have drifted away. Stray papers blow in the wind, down empty streets.
But that is the ephemeral nature of the internet. I discovered this when I revisited the Poetry Thursday site today.
I used to contribute to the website called Poetry Thursday. I had read about it over a year ago, in a column by a Philadelphia newspaper quoted in the poetry page on About.com. Two women, Liz and Dana, had begun a blog about poetry, and were soliciting contributors to write a poem every Thursday. You would post a poem on your own blog and link it to their site. The two bloggers would even suggest a subject for the weekly submission, and encourage – but not require – that the poems relate to that subject. It was a fun way to publish a poem in a quiet little corner of the world, get some feedback, and converse with a few other authors.
Because I have been AWOL from my own digital publication since July, I haven’t checked back with Poetry Thursday in a few months. Today I clicked to the site and discovered that the two women had closed up shop after 18 months. Each of them is moving on to other outlets and new educational adventures. They had solicited their last poems at the end of August, and promised to keep the site up as an archived web site into 2008.
Liz and Dana are two more people that I met electronically through these new communications and communities, but will probably never meet in person. For all I know, they could be two guys named Gus and Bill, but I doubt it. I do know that they provided a nice little service to a bunch of disparate (desperate?) poets around the world. Go read some of the creativity that they fostered, before it disappears.