The literary emphemeralistas of our age
have turned to twitter. Visit www.twitter.com,
type in your e-mail address, your made-up password, and username,
and that's it you're good to go. What is twitter?
As of this writing (April 2009), the home page explains:
Twitter is a
service for friends, family, and coworkers to communicate
and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers
to one simple question: What are you doing?
And for an answer, you're allotted 140 characters per entry.
A multitude of both literary and nonliterary "tweeters"
have taken this literally, alas. Herewith, twitter addresses
removed, a couple of morsels I happened to fish out of the Niagara
of incoming tweets in the early hours of April 17, 2009:
going to try again to go raw. I'm eating fresh organic melon
for my bedtime snack instead of coconut balls.
weird dinner: homemade turkeyburgers and side of broccoli stir-fried
with lemongrass, garlic, and eggplant chutney
Not that I know these tweeters personally. The idea is, you follow
other tweeters and they follow you, and no need for a roof for
an introduction. You can block individual tweeters from following
you, however. Over time, you build and accumulate a network.
If you choose. You can "unfollow" certain "tweeters;
they can "unfollow" you. I realize this sounds crassly
juvenile. But consider: a line with 140 characters that goes
to all your followers... et voilà, a broadcast medium:
@nytimesbooks Clement Freud, Wit, Politician and Grandson of
Famous Psychoanalyst, Dies at 84 http://bit.ly/I639
But you can reply, so it might become a conversation.
@madammayo @tameme hola
@tameme @madammayo hola 2 u 2
Except when it isn't. @litchat,
for example, conducts interviews. I did one recently about my
novel. A couple of the questions (which I answered at the speed
@insidebooks Recently read 2666 by
Roberto Bolano and Mexico is a cruel strange place in that book.
Do you find it a difficult country?
@trishheylady What was the hardest part of the bk 2 write? You
obvs did research, but @ some point you have to imagine how things
But what enchants me is that a tweet can be a form of poetry
(twiku) or fiction (twiction).
@c_m_mayo Following no one, having
no followers, she was like the woman in the back closet, grumbling
at the blankets, existing on mothballed air
There's no period at the end of that sentence because I'd used
up my allotment of characters. Fster than a wlnut cn roll dwn
t roof of a hen house, were gng 2 see t nd of cvlizatn
Twitter can also serve as a micro-blog
within a blog just plug in the widget. But enough already.
So what is twitter, really? I
put out a tweet for some tweets from the tweeters. A sampling
@trhummer Twitter is an aphorism
@HollyridgePress Twitter is a glittering sunrise with
our books in the clouds.
@mdemuth Twitter is a confined
space I can hang one hat of words upon
@Sandra_Gulland Twitter is "poetry of the mundane"
@ChetG, Page Six magazine.
@lisaborders Twitter is a message in a bottle that sometimes
Follow C.M. Mayo on twitter
(for the blog)