Aaron Belz’s interest in the short form arises partly from his love of literature, partly from his study of comedy, and partly from his inveterate fixation with new media.
Belz has published two books of poetry, The Bird Hoverer (2007) and Lovely, Raspberry (2010), written a 190-page dissertation entitled “Something Mechanical: Popular Comedy’s Influence on Modern American Poetry, 1900-1960,” and his first writings about new media appeared during the late 1990s in a column for The Riverfront Times-St. Louis covering then-emerging phenomena such as eBay and Expedia.
Twitter, at first scorned by Belz, then entertained by him as plausible, has come to represent a shared horizon for all three of these interests. His first foray into Twitter was in response to a horrifyingly banal Justin Bieber tweet (see "A Month of Tweeting"). Now he’s hooked but wants to define standards. What can/ought to be communicated in 140 or fewer characters? What is the fate of an individual tweet or feed? Is Twitter a viable medium for "real literature"? And so forth.