I need to stop using the word “never” whenever I say that I won’t ever do a project again. I’ve done this with running a poetry slam (which I started doing on and off again in 2015), writing new Jesus Christ, Boy Detective stories (I’ve written a one-act and a three-act play) and my Yelp review project.
Some background: from September 2013 until early 2015, I wrote prose poems disguised as Yelp reviews and posted them on Yelp. I also submitted them to literary journals. As literary journals published them, I took them down. Yelp started catching on and took them down as well for violating their Terms of Service (ToS). Once they took down over 40 of them in a great purge around late 2014, I knew it was time for me to stop. I said then I wouldn’t ever do them again. Then a couple of things happened.
First, I got into Art in Odd Places – Orlando last year because of my Yelp review project and I started writing Yelp reviews reviewing each project. There were over 40 projects to review but I only got to about half of them. Overall, they were well received.
Second, we elected someone not qualified to be president and I started writing Yelp reviews reviewing the various properties that our president (still) owns, and then moved onto government buildings that his (incompetent) cabinet members would inhabit. After the site admins took down more of my Yelp reviews, they emailed me this.
After that, I posted two more reviews, one on Yelp’s HQ building and the other on Melbourne International Airport. Those were the last straw for the site admins.
I have no regrets doing what I did. I only wish the site admins had a better sense of humor about it, a sense of artistry. There are a lot of shitty Yelp reviews out there that, while they may confirm to the ToS, don’t necessarily have anything to do about the place that they reviewed.
I have a favor to ask: if you enjoyed this iteration of the Yelp review project, please pick up a copy of my book, Pick How You Will Revise A Memory, which contains some of the Yelp reviews from 2013-2015. Also, reviews about it for Goodreads would be helpful (which you can add over here.)
Refer below to some recently published work that I have either been too lazy or too depressed about the current state of affairs to properly promote.