5 true hidden secrets of hot internet lists that generate hits

1. People like lists because they’re easy to read (the lists I mean, though probably the people who read them as well) and there really isn’t anything hidden or secret in these lists that you probably don’t already know.

2. Pick a number between 3 and 10 for your list, as 2 is too few to be a list (that’s more like a lump) and more than 10 will bore the fuck out of your readers. 7 is a good number because it’s lucky, so if you only have 5, make up 2 more to get the magic lucky 7, but if you only have 3, don’t push it, just do 5.

3. Make sure not to pitch your product in the first 2, but don’t wait until the last point especially if you’re bullshitting your way through those last few as you want to make sure they see what it is you’re selling before getting bored and clicking to the next fascinating list that promises to give them something that will change their life or at least their business or has something to do with naked women (oh, now that I’ve mentioned naked women, I can tag this post with the word “naked” or “naked women” which will drive scads of traffic my way).

4. Make sure to put in lots of hyperlinks to your product page and offer something free where you can capture people’s e-mail address so you can market many, many more of your free hot secret hidden tip lists that drive traffic to something FREE, that’s really just another blatant pitch. It’s known as marketing by wearing them down to a nub, though I’m sure someone can come up with a much better phrase, like collateral (damage) marketing or C(d)M. I don’t know, run with it.

5. Stats – use stats because people like stats, they make you sound like you either know something or at least did yer research. If you can’t find any stats that support your secret hidden hot snack-facts, make some up. You can even host your own independent site with a similar sounding name (like the New English Journal of Medicine) and post your data set (after you make it up, of course).

Bonus! Give them half-off or more from the “list” price, but over-charge the same shipping and handling charges (which should be about 10 times what it cost to ship and man-handle the merch through your fulfillment center) so you don’t throw off your profit margins.

(D. James)

gravity helps

everything is everything
and the world
will not stop turning

until the stars
fall from the sky
and the universe
collapses in on itself

but they say
that won’t happen
for another 5 billion years
or so

and before that
though the planet may unburden itself of mankind
like a wet dog shaking off water

we have a little time
so
hold on
spread love
and laugh
long and loud and hard and often

because no matter who you are
how much money you have
the color of your skin
your gender
or what you think and feel

in the end
we all become dust

(D. James)

everything in the moment of nothing

each morning
the task
is to get present

the day cannot really begin
without being present
to this very moment

I’m aware of being present
when a smile
stretches across my face
for no reason at all

though there are plenty of reasons
to smile
there are equally enough invented reasons
to frown

the smile I wait for
is the smile for no reason at all
the smile for this very moment in time
when I am connected to being alive

not the world
and my place in it
but all life
yours
mine
the 6 billion others
the trees
the bees
every blade of grass

as well as
the life we can’t see
underneath this one
the cells
and their nuclei

and who knows
perhaps even life
on another planet
in another vast galaxy
far beyond our imagination
or the reach of current technology

this is what happens
when I get present

life expands beyond comprehension
and my worries, fears, judgements, and opinions
all fall away

and I am left with nothing

a blank canvas
to create anything I want
in this very moment

(D. James)

back and here again

going through
the days
of process
and habit

feeling like
a reflection
of myself
in chrome

buried under a sea
of fear
and fretting

my conscious self
sleeps the sleep
of the walking
talking
dead

until
stopping
on a street corner

I look up
at a brilliant
blue sky
dotted with bright
white
clouds

suddenly
awake
to the possibility
called life

not just mine
but all of it
swirling
buzzing
humming

from here
to every corner
of the earth
and back
again

(D. James)

identity

man
son
brother
friend
boyfriend
lover

funny
generous
temperamental
lazy
aloof
afraid

writer
novelist
poet
reader
seeker
blogger

student
bartender
bouncer
technologist
manager
real estate agent
coach

white
tall
thin
bald

agnostic
socialist
biker
smoker
aries

negative
positive

everything
nothing

(D. James)

the infinity of one

quiet now
in the small hours
of the morning

with the heart
and mind
aligned

peaceful now
as the new day
dawns

and everything
seems as one
in the vast expanse

is it a straight line
from our ancestors
to now

or is there a circle
that completes each moment

are we really alone
in this world

or surrounded
by the billions
who came before
and since

(D James)

the context of silence

there is
the serene silence
of peace
gently broken by the sound
of a bird

the sobering silence
of anger
that forms in the echo
of a slammed door

then there is
the soulful silence
of lovers lying side-by-side

the singular silence
of a man
alone with his thoughts

the silence of a friend
waving goodbye from the window
of a train

the silence of enemies
standing on either side
of a line in the sand

the silence of a hawk
in flight

of the sun
the stars
and the moon in the sky

of a stopped clock
of a flower unfolding

the silence just before
the film begins

of paint drying on canvas
of lips moving in prayer

the silence that occurs
before the wind
that arrives ahead of the storm

the silence between
the final vibration of a violin
and the applause of the crowd

the silence of
worry
pain
loss

distinct from
the silence
of a smile

the silence
of the color blue

or the silence
we choose

and of the thousand thousand silences
the most powerful silence of all the silences
is the silence
of silence

(D James)

why doesn’t matter

the rain doesn’t ask
why it falls

the sun doesn’t ask
why it shines

the tree doesn’t ask
why it leaves

nothing
in all the world
asks why

except us

because we think
what we think
matters

and it does
but only to us

so what if
we let our thoughts
fall away like rain

what if
we shined like the sun

what if
we let our false-selves go
like leaves from a tree

what if
we stopped asking
why

what if
we just admit
we don’t know
and never will

and what if
we didn’t
make it mean anything

(D James)

life in 75 words

waiting
for something
to happen

like life
or something similar

wanting
to be free
from fear

or at least
push through

needing
to take action

but bored with
the supposed options

stifled
by the thoughts
of past failures

though there’s nothing
to be done about them now

avoiding
hard work
and difficult
conversations

instead
I’ll write
and smoke cigarettes
make a life
out of words

because in the end
that’s all any of us
really have

(D James)

day’s end

buildings so high
they reach
beyond the sky

and everywhere are sounds
and smells
and crowds

densely packed trains
rumble the ground
carrying the millions
under the river

then
suddenly
bursting from the depths
on the other side

the blinding sun
sinking behind the skyline

there is nowhere quite like here
though some people will tell you otherwise

but this city can crush you
or make you
like no other

and once you’ve experienced it
whether for a day
or the rest of your life

you can never
forget it

(D James)

wordless languages for all the tomorrows

what can be said
that hasn’t been heard

what can be written
that we haven’t
already read

how can we move forward
with the same worn out words

where is the language
to speak what we cannot hearĀ 
write what hasn’t been read
and bring us through this day
and all the ones that follow

(D James)

silly tired

not enough
sleep tired

too many
cigarettes tired

tired all the
time tired

two in the morning
writing
poetry tired

brain tired
road tired
time for bed tired

over-tired

wishing I didn’t
have to get up
and go to
work tired

nodding off
with my fingers
on the
keyboard tired

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

(D. James)

urban scrawl

this thing strung together making no sense yet kept writing these words and not even thinking letting them flow and trying to keep up like in life when everything moves at the speed of sound and people keep moving and I seem to be in the way, slower than everyone else feeling tired and left behind it all seems a bit too much maybe I’m still on west coast time or it could be that I’m no longer interested in the rushing and running, the pushing and shoving, shouldering my way through life trying to get in front of the person in front of me assholes behind me kicking at the backs of my shoes, knocking them off skittering across the platform as the E train rushes out of the station and the next group of followers gathers in the station, and on to the next thing, the one after the one right before this one, how can anyone make sense of the world anymore when people start conversations in e-mail and end them in text, and no one, no one, answers the phone any longer, why can’t this rant end? because there are no endings and no beginnings, there’s just all this rushing around in the middle and when I go, and when you go, there will still be 6 billion and more on the planet to take up where we left off, and there is no reason for it, no meaning – it all is and it all isn’t and we’re here to sort out what it means to us now, and then we’re gone. And the sun will rise and the sun will set, and the sun will rise and the sun will set …

(D. James)

thinking thoughts of shouldn’t sayings on Sundays

whispers
of things
I meant to
say

when long ago
I watched
the sun rise

now the moon
is full

and my heart
sinks

the demons
smoke cigarettes
behind the gate

waiting
in darkness
to be let out

(D. James)

whatever you do … don’t

don’t take this
away

it’s the last
small joy
we have

like a slender shaft
of sunlight
through the basement
window

don’t take it
away

we won’t
know what
to do then

waiting,
like refugees
under a rain-soaked
tarp

hoping,
for what was
what might be

so please
don’t take it
away

they’ll be
nothing left
to say

(D. James)

before it’s too late

let’s run away
she’d say

find
a place
where they
can’t find us

let’s run away
someplace warm
where the sun
always shines

find
that spot
where time
stands still

let’s run away
before we’re too old

let’s run away
before this life
kills us

let’s run away
let’s run away
let’s run away

at least until
the morning comes

(D. James)

after the end

the power of night
the black and white

lithe and still
darkness falls

bringing the final
moment

nowhere to go
from here
but to the end

fast and painless
eyes open
but the light gone
out

those years
gathered up
then scattered
by the wind

a billion specks
of light and sound
swallowed
by darkness

then nothing

not even
the black

(D. James)

caught on a thought

like bits of paper
blown by the wind

which ones will I catch
in the net of my mind
hold onto for dear life

which ones will I let fly
laughing at what nonsense
I can come up with

what if they were all
just passing

like a small spark
or bolt of lightning

electric and fleeting
shinning a momentary light
then gone

instead of being turned
into the truth

(D. James)

over before you know it

where does it
go
the time

seems like it
used to crawl

now I lose
track
of the days

and memories
are like stories
someone once told

I’m not even
certain
I’ve not written

this poem
before

(D James)

climbing the mountain

the blank page
stares back at me

silently mocking
my attempts
to scribble
something

of weight

the blank page
like a snow-covered
mountain

challenges my ability
to communicate
and whisper-laughs
at my thoughts of words

until I say
to the blank page
“ok, you write something”

then there is silence
and I can finally settle down
to begin the work of stringing words
together into something that makes sense

to someone
somewhere

(D. James)