With a cautious step I consider Steve Roggenbuck. Postured, slim, and thick, a socialite, digital conveyor, a proficient of media and social media conduits. And I'm reluctant, though compelled. I encountered his daisies long back, and continue to find the pandering, audience-poking sinister. Sinister for poetry.
Poetry has, in its functions, and blessed be it, a built in counter-capitalism, a non-commodication. Because it's constructed by its own language. Seeing Roggenbuck do well is a thing. Seeing his poetry online is a thing. The type of poetry he writes is a thing. If libraries were in airports, or if airports had libraries they would have that language. One has the other, the internet has Steve Roggenbuck. To me, his approach is derivative, Urban Outfitter Apparel cruds the celebratory crapduck whose audience is composed of e-people avatars that click around ( no, no one clicks, they tap ). Exposure ( and the hearty, unmasked pursuit for it ), ain't a part of ( it's usually oppositional to) poetry. The same way that politicking politicians are the least capable humans to form government.
He has a voice, that's certain. Unfortunately, it's not a voice I want to read much of or spend time with ( and that may be the most positive thing I can say about the writing: it's over quick, it reads fast and easy, like that song on the radio, what's its name, by that one bloke, what's his face ).
Coteries of folk I've found in e-corridors adore him; Maybe because he's untraditional(ly a poet ), off-handed, quirky, modern (in the sense that you survey this coffee house type of modernness at coffee houses ), a hydra-thing that esteems an audience a peer-group from which to receive, first and either, consideration-dismissal, then second, affirmation-rejection. To manufacture the audience ( I've read 'community-building,' which is to say 'audience building,' in place of 'poetic dialogue' ) in a way that considers the 'they' a 'we' is a simplistic, take-back the high-art from the highs (or whatever practice/art/culture-thing from those that traditionally engage in it) maneuver that experiences cyclical resurgence every so often. Bukowski happened there. The pocket is socially birthed and socially sustained.
All of this is aggressive, excited, anxious, polarized, I know. I think it's a reaction to media's reaction ( & other writers neutral references ) to him ( of which his writing is a portion, sure ). I've heard of this same condition befalling Nashvilleans who witness other musicians reach popularity or a bigger audience or higher ( word of mouth ) circulation than them. I understand that he understands what changes you doesn't require categorization or title.
But what he's doing with the vicinity of poetry is a thing that is not poetry. Here is the point: he is morphing the social presence/prominence of poetry, by doing a thing that is poetic, a writing that has poetry in it, or around it. Engage in the open skewing of the thing into something/where else, ( but, christ, the thing upon which the tools are working is the thing the tools, in this case, define - and poetry is an annotation, an aside ). A superficiality that is matched by a generation of screens, a terrain that yields what you select.