Josh, Jordan & Jonathan on literary value & "scarcity".
Maybe in order to write something of genuine value, poets somehow have to make themselves scarce (from the literary-professional marketplace).
I don't mean that they have to opt out of contests & readings & magazine submissions. But they have to find some mental or physical space apart from the whole realm of "reception".
This will sound artificial, hypocritical, unnecessarily restrictive, if not impossible.
But if we think of the hypothetical attentive reader of poetry, we might imagine someone who also creates a kind of private order or realm of receptivity and awareness - through a patient attention to literary values and meanings.
I'm suggesting a kind of disinterested aesthetic objectivity. If one is willing to admit such a creative/receptive, writerly/readerly realm exists - even if its borders are ambiguous, perhaps invisible - then the simple fact of its existence renders issues of "quantity" (the massive number of competing voices, the supposed Darwinian/commercial unfairness of publication and prestige, the theoretical divide between "establishment" poetry and true-believer in-the-know avant-garde, etc. etc.) somehow beside the point, a major distraction from the ongoing unpredictable life of poetry.