In 1961, Newton Minow  called television “a vast wasteland .”
In 2009, it’s pretty safe to say Ol' Newt's perception of scale was just a smidge off the mark. The brain fairly puckers to imagine the description he would cough up today.
Last night while bottom feeding  through five-hundred channels , I heard the oft-used descriptive niblet “X is a poet of the streets .” At the moment I can't recall  of whom it was said, nor who said it, but the meaning, I gathered, was that the poet in question was somehow more raw, less refined--hence a more authentic voice--than all us other coddled, lapcats of the Establishment .
It got me thinking.
Now, I don't know about you, but the last thing I want when I'm face down in the communal trough of pixels is to be made to think. One moment I was doing my best imitation of a paperweight , the next, my brain is sort of sputtering toward sentience.; It was an eye-opening display of the power of television and I don't mind telling you, I am still a little resentful.
And what, you may ask, was this earth-roiling realization that came howling out of the wilderness into my cerebral cortex ?
It was this: It would be pretty durn cool to be known as a "Poet of the Streets," or failing that, the official poet of just about anything.
Since "Poet of the Streets" was already taken, I googled “poet of...” and below is a sampling of the poetic appellations that the search spat out:
Poet of the Heart  and Poet of the Hard Country ,
a Poet of Property , as well as a Poet of the Huddled Masses .
Several Poets of the American West , to go with a couple Poets of the American West Coast .
To my everlasting glee, there are not one, but two, Poets of Impropriety.
Unsurprisingly, there is a Poet of the Skies , but the fact that there is only one Poet of Exile  seems unjust, if not impossible.
Also, unsurprisingly, the Poet of Sickness and Evil , is also one of several Poets of Disaffected Youth . (Go figure).
And then there were the ones that I'm not sure anyone realized we were lacking until the poets themselves showed up, namely the Poet of Minivan-driving Soccer Moms , the oddly nonsensical Poet of East-West Wisdom , and the various Poets of the Week, Month, and Year .
As soon as I wrap this thing up, I plan to search with the single-minded intensity of a bull-weasel for a suitably dignified (and marketable) appellation. I suggest you claim a moniker for yourself before all the good ones are taken.
Now, see if you can match the poets below with there titles above. It's fun!
Rumi , Philip Boothe, Valerie Haboush , Emma Lazarus , Bret Harte , William Stafford , John Neihardt , Robinson Jeffers , Gary Snyder, Sam Coleridge , Kazi Nazrul Islam , Saint-Exupery , Mahmoud Darwish , Lawrence Ferlinghetti , Allen Ginsberg , Bukowski , Baudelaire , Heinrich Heine , Osama Bin Laden , Rachel Barr , Paul Muldoon , Kenneth Rexroth 
Photo Credit: TV test pattern with Indian Head Image by Wonderlane 
Photo Credit: Television Transmission Tower by Woodley Wonderworks 
Photo Credit: Charles Baudelaire, 1855 by Nadar. Courtesy of Marcelo Noah