ABOUT SCARRIET

SCARRIET IS A STRANGE NAME, ISN’T IT?  WELL, THERE’S A FUNNY STORY ABOUT THAT…

SCARRIET is a Poetry & Culture blog of original poems and provocative essays, well-known for its Poetry’s Hot 100, ‘March Madness’ tournament (virtual poetry competition) —we even had an elaborate ‘baseball season’ one year—and other Zeitgeist gems. We are the only poetry site who defended Valerie Mason (NC laureate forced to resign) with her own poems. We champion Poe and the Romantics and Edna Millay and look at the Modernists (those villains) full in the face. We duel with Ron Silliman. We have articles that never die, either because they are taught in school, are ‘Best Of’ Lists, or own controversial subjects: “Why Poetry Sucks Now,” “Was Poe Murdered?” “Sex Sex Sex” etc etc.  Right now everyone is reading “The Avant-garde Wants a New Boyfriend.”

SCARRIET is well into its sixth year of publication, and has evolved into a fine example of how high literary merit and critical acumen can work as an exciting, topical, general interest magazine.  We publish something new every couple of days or so!

SCARRIET is for both the lay reader and the academic; its pages are sophisticated but accessible.   Publishers and academics, as well as the general public, are welcome to use these pages.

SCARRIET was originally set up, in a quick stroke of genius, by Alan Cordle, in September, 2009, as an alternative to the Poetry Foundation of America’s Blog:HARRIET.

On September 1st, 2009, four individuals were banned from Blog:Harriet without explanation, and found refuge here. They were:

Thomas BradyEast Coast U.S.A.
Alan CordleWest Coast U.S.A.
Desmond Swords, Dublin, Ireland
Christopher Woodman, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The four simply felt an aversion to the cant, cronyism, and special interests hindering the enjoyment of poetry today.

These posters were followed by a large number of Harriet regulars who also found Harriet’s managerial style, combined with its “thumbs down” voting system, intolerable.

Travis Nichols, ex-Harriet Comments chief, who found the Comments kitchen too hot, is releasing a novel in 2013 inspired by the Scarriet Rebellion.  Nichols now works for Greenpeace.  Apparently, for Nichols, free speech is pollution.

The comments section on Blog Harriet was a wonderful meeting place: poets like Annie Finch, Michael Robbins, Kent Johnson, and Eileen Myles were regulars, but too much of a good thing apparently had to be suppressed.

Scarriet welcomes comments, of course.

Back in 2009, the writing and editing of Scarriet was taken on by Christopher Woodman and Thomas Brady.

Initially, Scarriet shadowed Harriet, and whenever new posts appeared on the latter, one would  find an excerpt here, along with a discussion.

As Scarriet’s commentary was often more interesting than what it shadowed, Scarriet began to dictate the pace and direction of Harriet, and indeed Scarriet is now more popular—and far more original.

Harriet abandoned reader commentary altogether in April, 2010, as it followed up the banning of  ‘the Four,’ with the banning of all comments.

In April, 2010, there was an editorial disagreement between Christopher Woodman and Thomas Brady over “March Madness,” which made Scarriet even more popular, but which Mr. Woodman felt was offensive to the Muse.   Everyone thought it best that we part ways, and now I, Thomas Brady, am the sole administrator/editor of Scarriet.

Unless otherwise noted, all the Scarriet posts are written by me, Thomas Brady, including the poems.  My real name is Tom Graves.  I teach English at Lesley University and have developed an on-line course, Poetry v. Painting.

I was originally Monday Love on Foetry.com, Alan Cordle’s po-biz consumer protection site, launched in 2004, and available for persusal in archive.

Robert Creeley came on Foetry.com, and Alan’s site recieved national attention and major press notice.

I was given the nick-name Thomas Brady–in a fit of pique, during  a prosody debate–by Colin Ward an administrator on Poets.Org.

Scarriet is not a continuation of Foetry.com, per se, but it would be untrue to say the spirit of Foetry.com does not linger here.

Scarriet has enjoyed visits, and even debate, from Reb Livingston, William Kulik, Bernard Welt, Lewis BuzbeeBilly Collins, Bill Knott, Ron SillimanSeth Abramson, Gary B. Fitzgerald, Marcus Bales, Franz Wright, Robert Tonucci, among others.

The following, a recent post, is our Poetry Standard policy:

A poem is an imaginative fiction, and though it may aim at a kind of truth, it is not real; it is not the truth.

The poet never necessarily endorses what he imagines in his poems.

A poet is essentially a playwright or a story-teller. Shakespeare is not himself guilty of mayhem, because he put mayhem in his plays.

The mind that imagines is not the hand that does. The author is never the persons imagined.

Countless authors have used their own experience to recount crimes in the first person. Of course this does not mean they are guilty of anything. A society would not be free if it prevented authors from making imaginative fictions.

Think of all the songs that sing of things not necessarily condoned by the singer or the songwriter. Poems, like songs, like stories, like plays, are finally not real; that’s why they belong to creative writing.

There are some, who have almost no imagination themselves, who would judge a poet harshly by that poet’s fictions—fictions meant to shine light on life by dint of imaginative thought, seeking to understand and cure the world’s ills, the very ones which most afflict those who have no imaginations, those who, ironically, imagine that a fiction is entirely real.

Unfortunately, poetry is increasingly taught in our schools as something which is not imaginative, but either a collection of facts or the real voice of a real person speaking. The imaginative virtue, in this case, is replaced by a different virtue, a virtue that is virtuous precisely because it has no imagination at all.  Either the poem makes no sense (without sense, there is no imagination) exhibits some political opinion found in any newspaper, or is a kind of memoir in which the poem’s speaker is precisely relating a real incident from real life. The imagination is nowhere to be found.

The virtue which is virtuous because it has no imagination is a necessary virtue, and there should be no objection to it: ‘virtue without imagination’ accompanies duty and loyalty and obedience of every kind, and society as we know it would be impossible without this kind of simple virtue.

But this kind of simple virtue has nothing to do with imaginative writing.

This does not mean that the imaginative cannot be moral and virtuous, in the final analysis, and in fact, it should be, but it is moral in a different manner; it arrives at the good in a more round-about way; as in Dante’s famous poem, hell may have to visited before heaven is gained. In the imaginative fiction, “hell” is both real and not real.

Great poets have been exiled. Mixing real with unreal, the real they include may still offend. Imaginative writing, which comes close to the real, includes this risk. The ‘scary’ real mingles with the ‘scary’ fiction.

But in the end, it is fiction, and, if it is good fiction, it overcomes the scary, it does not support the scary, for the imagination is guided by the ultimate truth or good, if it is good. The imaginative writer, using the bad occasionally, strives to be good. Not because the writer is ‘honest,’ as in writing a truthful memoir, or because the writer expresses a desire to ‘save the whales,’ but because the fiction is a fiction which participates in a truth expressed in a highly imaginative manner, so that the expression itself is as important as the thing expressed, the power of the expression giving a kind of license to say what people may think but are afraid, or too embarrassed to say, the embarrassment existing not because of who the poet is, but because of the world’s shortcomings. The poet is not expressing his thoughts, but in the imaginative act of the fiction, the thoughts of everyone. This is the purpose of imagination: to go out of ourselves in a moral act and identify with the world, to identify with the intrigues and secrets and welfare of the world, for the sake of the world.

We  have been influenced by the work of Dorothy Parker, one of the best poets of the 20th century. The last stanza of her poem, “Love Song,” goes like this:

My love runs by like a day in June
And he makes no friend of sorrows.
He’ll tread his galloping rigadoon
in the pathways of the morrows.
He’ll live his days where the sunbeams start,
Nor could storm or wind uproot him.
My own dear love, he is all my heart,—
And I wish somebody’d shoot him.

Parker is madly in love with a man who will not sit still long enough to love her, and the torture is such that she wishes somebody would kill him. We don’t know how real, in this particular case, this sentiment is, but we do know that this precise sentiment could be real, and this very sentiment could be Parker’s precise state of mind.

But since, as readers, we know it is a poem, we identify abstractly with its sentiment; we call it real and yet unreal, and don’t equate it with any actual behavior of Parker’s. As we live in a free society, we do not censor; we allow both Dorothy Parker and her poem complete freedom, with the democratic conviction that a society which suppresses fictional expressions of this kind will be a society which has less creativity and more violence.

Scarriet holds to this principle of free expression: we carefully and deliberately produce work that could be true, but which is not true; no person, place, or thing is ever identified so that a stranger might identify the truth of its content in any way; only its truth as an inspired fiction exists; a Scarriet love poem could be about any love; the universal sentiment is always the subject, never a particular individual in a particular circumstance. The imaginative poem is the only poem we allow to be published here.

Shelley said the secret of morals was love, for love makes us passionately identify with another person.

Romantic attraction, or love, used to be the staple of lyric poetry, but imagination is required to make love interesting, and the non-imaginative poetry of today is not up to the task.

First, since love has been written about so often, the challenge to be original is greater.

Second, romance has become problematic in modern times, just as romance.

Third, since poetry now exists most influentially in the college classroom, it behooves professors to make poetry a subject that feels more modern, and expresses the sort of social change college campuses are simmering with; thus love poetry is tacitly rejected as too simplistic and old-fashioned, too associated with popular music, and so essentially not serious.

Fourth, social media has created a firestorm of private-turned-public, take-no-prisoners, gossip which pries into slightly uncomfortable private feelings with a judgmental animus never before seen in history, and since original romance effusions are bound to entertain slightly, or even deeply, uncomfortable private feelings, the love poet may just throw in the towel altogether, and instead write poems on very simple subjects, like history, politics, and philosophy.

Imagine if the Beatles were told they couldn’t write love songs; the Beatles simply would not exist.

The result, today, is that poetry finds itself in a state of confusion, exiled from all song, or lyric, elements, and struggling, as “poetry” to make a prose more meaningful than—prose. Which, obviously, cannot be done.

Look at these lyrics from one of the Beatles’ best-known albums, Rubber Soul, released in 1965, the height of Beatlemania, in which the Beatles were also striving to be more sophisticated:

“Well I’d rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man, you better keep your head, little girl, or I won’t know where I am.” —Lennon & McCartney

This is from the songwriters that would go on to produce “Imagine” and “Let It Be” and “Here Comes The Sun.” Imagine if a would-be John Lennon wrote a poem like that today, and it ended up on Facebook. “Run For Your Life” was influenced by an Elvis Presley song, and has been covered numerous times. What is the difference between a song and a poem? Should poets be held to the same standards as songwriters, recording artists, and other ‘creative writers,’ and what should those standards be? Should all creative writing, whether a movie script, a short story, a song, or a poem, be held to the same moral standard, whether or not it appears in a cinema watched by millions, or on some poor wretch’s blog?

If I make something up, which nonetheless has some resemblance to reality, in a poem, is this not the same as a major-release film depicting precisely the same thing, with the only difference that the latter costs millions of dollars to make, and employs thousands of people? It may just be that the film will be considered an elaborate fiction, no matter how horrific the content, but with the way poetry is increasingly read and judged these days, the poet, it will be assumed, is somehow responsible in his own person, as the filmmakers are not, for any offensive content that is part of the fiction.

Can censors say, “You may write about love, but you may not depict hateful things like jealousy?” No poems or songs like “Run For Your Life?” No ambiguity of desire allowed? Where do we draw the line, when it comes to imaginative fictions, in keeping a society creative and free? And can we ever justly assume something about an author’s personal character—think of our Shakespeare example—based on their imaginative fiction?

Look at what Plato demanded for his Republic: poems that only praise. (Plato, contrary to popular opinion, did not ban all kinds of poetry from his ideal society.) A song like “Run For Your Life” would be banned, because threatening to kill your girlfriend is not praising her.

It didn’t matter to Plato that Lennon wrote a song about an unnamed girl. What mattered was purely the bad emotions involved. Yet Aristotle would say these “emotions” are a vital part of art’s expressive good.

Was Plato right?

How imaginative/expressive/creative are we allowed to be?

We believe we have made it clear where Scarriet stands.

You can write me directly at dooxy.graves@gmail.com

Thomas Brady, Site Administrator

353 Comments

  1. Chuck Godwin said,

    February 9, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I wanted to read what Christopher Woodman wrote about Franz Wright to get Mr. Wrights knickers in such a tight knot, though I realize that is not a difficult feat. But I was routed to the House of Sweet Smelling Herbs in Thailand. This is surely not what got Mr.Wright so out of joint.

  2. bluehole said,

    February 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Chuck,

    Multiple Wright posts, main one is here: https://scarriet.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/for-franz-wright/

    Also, I was a guest of Christopher and Homprang at the House of the Sweet Smelling Herbs in December 2008. One of the best weeks of my life.

    • Anonymous said,

      February 10, 2010 at 2:30 am

      Bluehole,
      Thanks for the message. I didn’t spend much time on the House of the Sweet Smelling Herbs, thinking I had been misdirected, but it looked like a wonderful to live.. or visit.
      Best,
      Chuck

  3. Christopher Woodman said,

    February 10, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Chuck,
    Thanks for alerting me to the link to Baan Hom Samunphrai in Thailand where I live, which I didn’t mean to be visible on Scarriet. I’m just a bit naive, blog-wise, and when I went in to clean up my profile entered the address of my website. I didn’t realize that if I entered it the URL would be linked to my name on Scarriet.

    I’ve now removed it.

    The irony about Franz Wright is that I was, in fact, trying to unknot that tight twist in his knickers which, if you’ve read the various comments he has left on Scarriet, were in a “perfectly awful” state. I didn’t succeed, needless to say, partly because he didn’t bother to read what I wrote — he acknowledges that himself in his last post.

    Perhaps he will come to Baan Hom Samunphrai too — he’d be welcome.

    Christopher

    • Anonymous said,

      February 10, 2010 at 2:27 am

      Christopher,
      Thanks for your message. I sent a long reply to the message in my gmail box and it was rejected. Am I only to reply here? Let me know and I will decide if what i wrote is cogent enough to post here or if I will just let it go.
      Part of it was “Wow! It’s cool you live in Thailand”.
      take care,
      Chuck

  4. Chuck Godwin said,

    February 10, 2010 at 2:31 am

    hmmmm, Now I am anon! i will get this posting thing down.. eventually.
    I suppose I have to insert my name in the box each time.
    sorry to waste space on this nonsense.

  5. Christopher Woodman said,

    February 10, 2010 at 4:00 am

    I don’t know what your’re referring too when you said you sent your post to your gmail box. Is that suposed to reach me? Because I’d be very pleased to receive your message — but even more pleased if you just posted it here on the site. We’re very open and very tolerant, and write in order that we may be engaged by others in return.

    C.

  6. Giles Wynne said,

    June 15, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Saw you contribution in the BP.
    Well done
    Have you seen my website?
    Send me poetry or articles if you wish

  7. Giles Wynne said,

    June 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

    See the Quick Links list
    http://www.rightsandwrongs.co.uk
    A Pocket Version of A People’s History of England

  8. Christopher Woodman said,

    July 19, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I don’t really recognize myself in this new “About Scarriet” by Thomas Brady.

    Those of you who followed the dialogue between Tom, Bill Kammann, myself and Alan Cordle last March can see plainly that the issue was not about March Madness, Tom’s basketball series, but about attitudes toward poetry. And one of those attitudes was about sheer quantity — Tom posted over 30 basketball articles in as many days, and the actual discussion of poetry got pushed out of sight. On top of that, Tom’s friend, Bob Tonucci, posted up to 9 poems a day for weeks on end, poems which were not only unrelated to the general discussion but pushed the comments that were relevant off the Recent Comments list. This meant that anyone who was trying to follow the dialogue didn’t know where to go. Even I didn’t!

    Facts: there were 59 poems posted on the last 5 ‘March Madness’ articles on the ‘Final Four,’ and not one of them got discussed. During the same period there were 4 poems posted specifically to illustrate points in the wider discussion, “In the Amish Bakery” by Arnold Wallace, “The Red Wheelbarrow” and “The Crowd at the Ballgame” by William Carlos Williams, and “Thrushes” by Ted Hughes, and all four were trashed by Thomas Brady in crude mono-syllables. No, the intolerance, the insensitivity, that was the issue.

    To get a bit of a feel for how that issue distorted the discussion of poetry on Scarriet you can have a look at one particular ‘March Madness’ post https://scarriet.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/margaret-atwood-bores-into-franz-wrights-bright-in-fight-which-will-cut-it-to-eight/. It wasn’t Tom Brady putting Margaret Atwood and Franz Wright on the basketball court that I found distasteful, it was the assumption that Margaret Atwood’s poem was about boredom because it was called “Bored,” or that Franz Wright’s poem was a happy one because it was called “A Happy Thought.” It was this sort of reading, half-baked, impatient, on the most superficial level, that I found so off-putting — particularly when you realize what was going on at the same time on Scarriet that was so much more subtle, compelling and open-ended.

    To see what the alternative was you might want to check out Bill Kammann’s articles here https://scarriet.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/pop-goes-the-weasel/ and here https://scarriet.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/ich-weiss-nicht-was-soll-es-bedeuten-dass-ich-so-traurig-bin-2/ , or my articles here https://scarriet.wordpress.com/2010/03/11/poems-that-have-spoken-to-us-in-the-past/ and here https://scarriet.wordpress.com/2010/04/11/the-adoration-of-anything-you-think-you-own-is-fire/.

    Tom was very aware that my complaint was not with the basketball per se, or any sport for that matter, or coarse language or behavior, but with criticism so stuck in a groove that poetry was no longer discussable.

    I loved my time on Scarriet, but I simply couldn’t continue with a partner who read so two-dimensionally, had so many axes to grind, and dismissed every modern poem as “crappy.” So I simply stopped — there was no agreement between us on this.

    I just went away.

    Christopher Woodman

    • thomasbrady said,

      July 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm

      Christopher,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      It’s great to keep ‘About Scarriet’ as accurate as possible, and this helps.

      Tom

  9. Christopher Woodman said,

    July 20, 2010 at 4:13 am

    “I encourage all to contribute, and, of course, I love you all,” you write.

    “Scarriet has enjoyed visits, and even debate, from Billy Collins, Bill Knott, Ron Silliman, Seth Abramson, Gary B. Fitzgerald, Marcus Bales, Franz Wright, among others.”

    All but two of these important visitors have gone away, and if I read Gary B. Fitzgerald’s last comment on “Pop Goes the Weasel” correctly, he too finds the foolishness underwhelming.

    You don’t even mention Desmond Swords, W.F.Kammann and Christopher Woodman, your partners from the very beginning, all of whom gave up trying to discuss poetry with you at all.

    ~

    What your new “About Scarriet” doesn’t mention is the disappointment many of the original participants felt when you and Bob Tonucci railroaded our irrepressible, funny and eclectic site down your one narrow track. “Scarriet” began as a bizarre collaboration — now it’s alone with your clones.

    The sense of disappointment shared by many needs to be part of “About Scarriet” if what it says is to be “as accurate as possible.”

    Of course that’s life, the survival of the fittest, and if your numbers are good you’ve obviously found a market for your goods. But poetry inhabits other realms than just common song and nature. It can be dumbed down to those worlds, to common sense, natural philosophy and feral chatter, of course it can, but that’s only a tiny bit of the story.

    And that part is lonely.

    Christopher

    • thomasbrady said,

      July 20, 2010 at 11:47 am

      I’m not sure which position you’re taking here: Ruskin’s or Whistler’s?

  10. Dawn Potter said,

    July 20, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Amen, Christopher.

    • thomasbrady said,

      July 20, 2010 at 11:53 am

      Dawn,

      Scarriet has a Salon des Refuses.

      Everybody can be happy here.

      Tom

      • Christopher Woodman said,

        July 22, 2010 at 1:41 am

        Dawn Potter wasn’t happy here, Tom — she had a look in a number of times and fled. She couldn’t forget how you observed on Foetry that she should get “de-educated,” and realized that you would say anything to justify what you hung up in your own Academy, and that furthermore you actually felt your Academy was the brilliant new Salon des Refusés of our times!

        I wasn’t happy here because you hung up so much dreck I didn’t know where to look, or where to find the air to breathe.

        I think that’s the word, “dreck” — I learned it from you along with “crappy.”.

        I was also not happy because you had only two notes with which to respond to people who were hurt by you, sarcasm and sentimentality.

        Christopher

  11. July 20, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Hey…don’t drag me into your sordid affairs!

    I’m only into poetry for the money.

    • thomasbrady said,

      July 20, 2010 at 8:08 pm

      and dead monkeys?

  12. Christopher Woodman said,

    July 21, 2010 at 2:35 am

    For the last three days an article called “Koch Me If You Can” (March 20th, 2010) has held a place among the 5 most popular articles on the Scarriet Top Posts list. It contains 8 comments, 4 of which are by Bob Tonnucci — and one of which is a massive ‘Marla Muse’ commentary-comment by Bob Tonnucci as well, even though the ‘Marla Muse’ series was by Tom Brady.

    Is this really why Scarriet visitors come here? Is this superficial article with 8 comments really the place that most Scarriet visitors go to read what they like best on the site, even after 5 months have elapsed? Or is this Bob Tonnucci still up to his old tricks, jacking up the posts he wants to be most visible?

    I made the same point in a comment at the time (March 29th, 2010), And if You Had to Choose Now, Harriet or Scarriet. I said that what Tom Brady and Bob Tonnucci were doing to the other regulars on the site was similar to what Travis Nichols had done to us on Harriet with his little red and green thumbs. Like Travis, Tom and Bob were deliberately discouraging active participants that they wanted to leave.

    So that’s my real complaint about this site. Scarriet became highly manipulative last March, toxic like Harriet, and all of the regulars were pinched, side-lined and kept on the bench. That’s what it felt like, an insult, a cold shoulder, a thumb in the eye, and as it was impossible to play on we all left.

    I agree, Tom — “It’s great to keep ‘About Scarriet’ as accurate as possible,” and I hope this helps too.

    Christopher

  13. thomasbrady said,

    July 21, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Ah, Travis Nichols, our George III…

    Let’s break out an old vintage and drink to Philip of Spain, George III, and Travis Nichols!

    Those were wonderful old days…

    “Koch Me If You Can” is one of my favorites…great, great piece…

    You were a Scarriet Founding Father, Christopher, and you always will be…

    A toast!

  14. July 22, 2010 at 2:55 am

    North Korea, South Korea.
    Sunnis, Shiites.
    Israel, Palestine.
    Arabs, Jews.
    Russia, Ukraine.
    Catholics, Protestants.
    India, Pakistan.
    Turkey, Greece.
    Hindus, Muslims.
    Etc, etc., etc.

    Two old friends, and no less than poets, at that. Is the chaos in this world a wonder to any?

  15. Christopher Woodman said,

    July 22, 2010 at 6:13 am

    It shocked me as much as anyone, Gary — and you were there so you will also know how suddenly the site became unbalanced. Suddenly there were 3 articles a day posted by one partner with nary a nod to the other. At the same time the Most Recent Comments list was swamped by that same partner’s interests so the rest of the site was invisible. Worst of all, that partner entrenched himself in positions that unsettled all the holy-land’s best banks, and poetry was squeezed down to a trickle.

    Look up at your list above. Is there any dispute there that started equal, or that didn’t have a tilting point that was obvious and unacceptable to almost everyone outside? Should all those injured parties have been told at the start not to be silly — hey, just sit down and be quiet, we’re friends?

    And where’s the chaos you’re talking about, Gary? I mean, there’s Franz Bonkers, but he’s more a flower behind than a flea in the ear. Or Desmond Swords, my dear protean friend — who’s now gone too, boo hoo. Or Bill with the music and the flatulence.

    (That was rare.)

    So that’s a lot to have lost for what might have been gained.

    Or perhaps you’re referring to my own unacceptable language, my disruption, my betrayals, my small-minded back-stabs, threats, black-mail and cyber-revenge?

    ~

    Let’s be clear about it, I only came back in because of the recent About Scarriet revision — I wrote the previous version for Tom myself just as I was leaving, and it was fair to everyone, sweet and positive. The present makes me look, as Alan put it elsewhere, and ungenerously I might add, “green.”

    Like saying to a Palestinian, “You’re just jealous!”

    Christopher

  16. Marcus Bales said,

    July 22, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Online Squabbles

    Ah God! The petty fools who race
    To shriek and sweat in pygmy flames
    And fill indifferent cyberspace
    With incoherent language games;

    Who hate each other for a phrase
    And do their little bests to spite
    Their interlocutors in frays
    That even lightweights think are light;

    Who strain to make shrill voices heard
    And just to get attention will
    Devoutly swear to what’s absurd
    Or swallow any poison swill.

    We need good-will to disagree
    Agreeably if we would speak
    When reason’s lost in passion’s fee
    Or rage makes resolution weak.

    Since I, too, speak before I think —
    Or think I’ve thought when I have not —
    And throw in even the kitchen sink
    Instead of the towel as I ought,

    I’m sorry, then if I have played
    Too fast with slow, or slow with fast ones —
    And hope whatever nerves I’ve frayed
    Were not some asshole’s very last ones.

  17. notevensuperficial said,

    July 22, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Duck, Duck, Gosling

    Not Karma yours to fear, wee Marcus Bales:
    Thy Love-taps mimic Gusts in mellow Vales.

  18. Marcus Bales said,

    July 23, 2010 at 1:50 am

    I’ve read, and read about, the stuff
    With which the lot of you have frayed
    Administrator nerves enough,
    Or posed as a poetic tough
    And called a moderator’s bluff,
    When they had warned you cause you’d played
    Too rough.

    But I’m not that impressed with those
    Credentials — anyone can get
    Evicted for a tough-guy pose,
    Or yelling that the sys-op blows,
    But such redaction only shows
    That you know how to fuss and fret
    In prose.

    I don’t know if my record’s worse
    At getting moderator goat,
    But when they see my name and nurse
    A grudge, and grunt a feeble curse
    At someone they cannot coerce,
    At least it’s for a piece I wrote
    In verse.

  19. Christopher Woodman said,

    July 23, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Disappointment, like I said, that’s all, particularly when opportunities are so few and life is so short.

    In the end I’m sorry I tried.

    I’m sorry for us all, good people who didn’t realize what they had or what they were losing — like all of the above.

    Disappointment, and grief.

    Christopher

  20. Christopher Woodman said,

    July 23, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Grief like this.

  21. Christopher Woodman said,

    July 26, 2010 at 5:19 am

    and still this, I’m afraid.

  22. thomasbrady said,

    July 26, 2010 at 11:33 am

    “Koch Me If You Can” has won the 2010 Blogging Prize.

    We thought it was a terrific piece, but this is just great…

    I’m really grateful for this award…

    Wow.

  23. Bob Tonucci said,

    July 26, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    And lest we forget:

    https://scarriet.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/dean-forever-young-takes-on-tarzan-and-lewis-buzz-buzbee/

    Never such innocence again….

    • thomasbrady said,

      July 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

      Or, never such insolence again…

  24. Christopher Woodman said,

    July 27, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Tom and Bob,
    This sort of response is precisely why I gave up at Scarriet. I said just above that Tom had only two notes when he felt he was being asked for a sincere response to a difficult question, sarcasm and sentimentality. I should have added one more.

    Insouciance. Being “happy” he calls it.

    For the record, here’s what we actually said to each other. I don’t think you’ll ever get to hear any such regrets from Tom at this point, as vulnerability is not in his range of emotions.

    From: Christopher Woodman
    Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 11:08
    To: Graves, Thomas; Alan Cordle
    Subject: Re: more stats

    I think that’s enough for me, Tom — this is not a world I understand or function well in. I think your reply to Franz is just plain adolescent and rude, however much experience you have. You’re brilliant but you’re brittle, and frankly I’m embarrassed for Scarriet now. I have no idea what you want except never to be vulnerable — and we’ve had a lot of good chances but blown them all.

    I don’t think March Madness is worth dying for, I’m afraid — or even being rude for.

    So I’m stepping out. That will be my last post and comment.

    Good luck.

    C.

    ~

    From: Graves, Thomas
    Sent: March 11, 2010 11:20:18
    To: Christopher Woodman, Alan Cordle
    Subject: Re: more stats

    Christopher,

    You shouldn’t let these up-and-down vicissitudes get to you. They are just moments in the mix.

    You don’t think we should have any sort of satiric, barbed, provocative edge—-at all?

    Please take time to ponder what you are doing.

    Are you aware of how rude Franz was? Do you really think he respects you, or me—at all?

    Christopher, think about what you’re doing, here.

    I’m not saying you have to respond to him like I do!

    Of course we can have different approaches. This has always been the case. You’ve always known this.

    Who said we had to “die” for March Madness?

    Believe me, I would prefer a 1950s classroom with professors wearing tweed, discussing only the poetry, too. I can play that as well as anyone.

    OK, I have no idea where this is coming from, but I hope you’ll reconsider.

    Alan, what’s your take on this?

    Was I too rude to Franz?

    Christopher, we’ve been through so much together.

    I hope you’ll tell me what you are REALLY feeling and thinking. I’ll listen. I know this isn’t just about Franz Wright & March Madness.

    What’s going on?

    Do you really hold a torch for “Red Wheel Barrow?” Is that it?

    You can talk to me.

    I know it’s probably your bedtime now.

    Sleep on it.

    I apologize if I said the wrong thing.

    Let’s not let some silly, momentary argument destroy us!

    Tom

    ~

    Just for the record — to show precisely how a silly, momentary argument did destroy us.

    And Scarriet will now go from strength to strength too just like Harriet did in the 7 months after we left (September 1st, 2009 to April 1st, 2010. R.I.P.).

    For never again will Harriet or Scarriet reverberate like this or like this . Shop talk and blather don’t fly.

    Christopher

  25. Christopher Woodman said,

    July 30, 2010 at 10:59 am

    I don’t like to leave this discussion dangling like that — I’d like it to flame up a bit before it goes out.

    Here’s what Martin Earl said about Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Bishop in the Harriet article called The Fish II I referred to in my last sentence just above. Annie Finch went on to quote it a few comments later, and everything just flew from there — for two whole months!

    “It is only natural that after a few readings of the poems I have just mentioned, the veneer of naturalness becomes increasingly thin and we are forced to look at them as pure aesthetic constructs, assembled with a watchmaker’s care, rather than realistic narratives of the poet immersed in the act of examining her world. We know there won’t be a crisis – things in a Bishop poem are always very precise, emotions always a bit gauzy. How unlike Emily Dickinson, another naturalist, where the movement from natural to metaphysical is always a sharp, somewhat insane leap of faith. [emphasis mine]

    Without that sort of commitment, poetry is just baseball cards, it seems to me, and talking about it just talking about baseball statistics.

    Christopher

  26. Christopher Woodman said,

    August 1, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Read Scarriet today – look down the Recent Comments list and skim the names of the Recent Posts. Then ask yourself where Scarriet is today, and how it got there from here.

    Of course, you may like the site as it now is, and indeed may have come in later and stayed because it was just what you were looking for. Fair enough. On the other hand, you may be one of those who liked it better as it was before, who felt it was a breath of fresh air, unique, just what you’d always been looking for.

    If anyone reading this has some idea where we might meet on-line again as we did before during those few blessed months a year ago on Harriet, and more recently on Scarriet, please leave the address below.

    Christopher

      • Christopher Woodman said,

        August 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm

        Thanks, Bob, that’s truly helpful.

        Not my world at all, but full of thoughts that help me to understand the questions I’ve been asking on this thread. And that’s a real service.

        C.

    • March 26, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      What do you all think of this bit of juvenilia – the first poem I ever wrote, in second grade at Dundee School in Omaha, Nebraska.

      Summer, winter, spring–tht’s all– /
      Start and end before it’s fall. /
      Cherries ripen in the spring,/
      When lillies of the valley ring.

      I actually composed the verse at home, then excitedly showed it to my father. He praised my little effort. But then in a few minutes I was back, and I said, “Daddy, I got the order of the seasons wrong, didn’t I?” He said, “Aw, poetic license.” And then I was happy again.

      Well, this little story of mine usually gets a rise out of people.

      • thomasbrady said,

        March 26, 2013 at 10:31 pm

        That’s an adorable little poem! That’s great for a second-grader, too.

        • March 30, 2013 at 1:32 am

          Dear Tom, I’m sure you don’t want to give out your street address, but is there a P.O. Box where I could send two quite long poems (too long for me to enter here, and I don’t have a scanner, either) that I have burning questions about? I can tell you right now that one is Vachel Lindsay’s poem, “The Eyes of Queen Esther and How They Conquered King Ahasueros,” and the other is a poem titled “Just Whisperin’ Bill” about a disabled veteran of World War I. It’s marked (in a 1927 book of verse I found in an old book store) “Author unknown.” Thanks, by the way, for your positive comment about my second grade poem. Yours, David Bittner

          • Bunny said,

            March 30, 2013 at 8:27 am

            If your deformed, retarded, mentally ill skank whore hillbilly continues to harass me she is going to prison.

            • Bunny said,

              March 30, 2013 at 8:47 am

              If you both want to live your lives in wheelchairs hooked up to the computer with wires and steampunk goggles on, I think that’s really great. Honestly. Really a beautiful thing. I’m happy for you.

              Please find something to do with your wonderful, magical, poetical lives, other than harassing me. This hillbilly has been harassing me for three fucking years….I really think if any of you people actually loved one another you would find each other more interesting than *me* – who you are *not qualified* to discuss or represent, on any level. I am more than happy to remove myself from your company. Please remove yourself completely from MY LIFE. I will continue to go to the police every time I am threatened, and I will continue to work with my lawyer who specialises in cyber stalking, and defamation.

          • thomasbrady said,

            March 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm

            Hi David,

            I was never a big fan of Vachel Lindsay. Frankly, I don’t think it would be worth your time to mail that to me. Post as much as you’d like on Scarriet and I’ll look at it. Most sites get annoyed at digression—but I love it. Use Scarriet as your note pad. I don’t mind.

            Tom

          • April 7, 2013 at 12:25 am

            In this poem titled “Was Merely Whisperin’ Bill,” that I found in a 1927 collection of poetry called “Pat Barnes’ Pick-Ups,” Bill returns from World War I with his body in good shape but with his mind all but gone–destroyed by a bullet to his brain. I like the whole poem, one reason being because I had three great-uncles in Word War I, one whose grave in France I visited the first time I went to Europe, in my early 20s. But I find one part particularly interesting. Speaking of Bill, a simple farm boy, as he was before the war, and then going off to war, his father, the narrator says, “Oh, he was a handsome feller, an’ tender an’ brave an’ smart, / An’ though he was bigger than I was, the boy had a woman’s heart. / I couldn’t control my feelin’s, but I tried with all my might, / His mother an’ me stood a-cryin’ till Bill was out o’ sight.”
            I find it unusual that a man that long ago would desribe his son as “having a woman’s heart.” Even today, if a father wanted to say his son had some traditionally feminine qualities, I doubt he would admit more than that his son was a “sensitive guy.” I recall an episode of “Cheers” when Sam shows Diane some poetry he has written and asks her please just not to go around telling the whole world that he’s a “sensitive guy.” Is anybody else out there struck, as I am, by the narrator’s choice of words?

            • April 7, 2013 at 10:42 am

              WAS MERELY “WHISPERIN’ BILL”

              You’re takin’ the census, mister?
              There’s three of us livin’ still.
              My wife, an’ I, an’ our only son, that folks
              call Whisperin’ Bill;

              But Bill couldn’t tell ye his name, sir, an’
              so it’s hardly worth givin’,
              For ye see a bullet killed his mind, an’ left
              his body livin’.

              Set down for a minute, mister; ye see Bill
              was only fifteen
              At the time o’ the war, an’ as likely a boy as
              ever this world has seen;

              An’ what with the news of battles lost, the
              speeches an’ all the noise,
              I guess every farm in the neighborhood
              lost a part of its crop o’ boys.

              ‘Twas harvest-time when Bill left home;
              every stalk in the fields o’ rye
              Seemed to stand tip-top to see him off an’
              wave him a fond good-bye;

              His sweetheart was here with some other
              Girls — the sassy little Miss!
              An’ pretendin’ she wanted to whisper ‘n
              his ear, she gave him a rousin’ kiss.

              Oh, he was a handsome feller, an’ tender
              an’ brave an’ smart.
              An’ tho’ he was bigger than I was, the boy
              had a woman’s heart.

              I couldn’t control my feelin’s, but I tried
              with all my might.
              An’ his mother an’ me stood a-cryin’ till
              Bill was out o’ sight.

              His mother she often told him when she
              knew he was goin’ away,
              That God would take care o’ him, maybe,
              if he didn’t forgit to pray;

              An’ on the bloodiest battle-fields, when
              bullets whizzed in the air,
              An’ Bill was a-fightin’ desperit, he used to
              whisper a prayer.

              Oh, his comrades has often told me that
              Bill never flinched a bit,
              When every second a gap in the ranks told
              where a ball had hit.

              An’ one night when the field was covered
              with the awful harvest o’ war.
              They found my boy ‘mongst the martyrs
              o’ the cause he was fightin’ for.

              His fingers were clutched in the dewy
              grass — oh, no, sir, he wasn’t dead,
              But he lay sort of helpless an’ crazy with
              a rifle-ball in his head;

              An’ if Bill had really died that night I’d
              give all I’ve got worth givin’;
              For ye see the bullet had killed his mind
              an’ left his body livin’.

              An officer wrote an’ told us how the boy
              had been hurt in the fight,
              But he said that the doctors reckoned they
              could bring him round all right,

              An’ then we heard from a neighbor, dis-
              abled at Malvern Hill,
              That he thought in the course of a week or
              so he’d be comin’ home with Bill.

              We was that anxious t’ see him we’d set
              up an’ talk o’ nights
              Till the break o’ day had dimmed the stars
              an’ put out the northern lights;

              We waited an’ watched for a month or
              more, an’ the Summer was nearly past.
              When a letter came one day that said
              they’d started for home at last.

              I’ll never forgit the day Bill came — ’twas
              harvest-time again —
              An’ the air-bloom over the yellow fields
              was sweet with the scent o’ the grain;

              The door-yard was full o’ the neighbors,
              who had come to share our joy,
              An’ all of us sent up a mighty cheer at the
              sight o’ that soldier boy.

              An’ all of a sudden somebody said: “My
              God! don’t the boy know his mother?”
              An’ Bill stood a-whisperin’, fearful like,
              an’ starin’ from one to another:

              “Don’t be afraid, Bill,” said he to himself,
              as he stood in his coat o’ blue,
              “Why, God’ll take care o’ you, Bill; God’ll
              take care o’ you.”

              He seemed to be loadin’ an’ firin’ a gun,
              an’ to act like a man who hears
              The awful roar o’ the battle-field
              a-soundin’ in his ears;

              I saw that the bullet had touched his brain
              an’ somehow made it blind,
              With the picture o’ war before his eyes an’
              the fear o’ death in his mind.

              I grasped his hand, an’ says I to Bill,
              “Don’t ye remember me?
              I’m yer father — don’t ye know me? How
              frightened ye seem to be!”

              But the boy kep’ a-whisperin’ to himself,
              as if ’twas all he knew,
              “God’ll take care o’ you, Bill; God’ll take
              care o’ you.”

              He’s never known us since that day, nor
              his sweetheart, an’ never will:
              Father an’ mother an’ sweetheart— are all
              the same to Bill.

              An’ many’s the time his mother sets up the
              whole night through,
              An’ smooths his head, and says: “Yes, Bill,
              God’ll take care o’ you.”

              Unfortunit? Yes, but we can’t complain.
              It’s a livin’ death more sad
              When the body clings to a life o’ shame an’
              the soul has gone to the bad;

              An’ Bill is out o’ the reach o’ harm an’
              danger of every kind.
              We only take care of his body, but God
              takes care of his mind.

              Irving Bacheller

              • thomasbrady said,

                April 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm

                What a lovely poem! I’m not ashamed to say it had me in tears. Not a poem a modern sophisticated reader is supposed to like, but this poem, in addition to its sentiment, has art.

                • Alan Kaplan said,

                  July 8, 2015 at 5:50 pm

                  Malvern Hill was a Civil War battle, July 1, 1862, in Henrico County, Virginia. Not World War One.

                  • thomasbrady said,

                    July 13, 2015 at 11:07 am

                    Hi Alan, thanks for the info. Yes, this does not feel like a WW I poem. Are you referring to my word “modern?” I meant it more loosely than ‘1914 Modernist.’ Tom

        • April 22, 2014 at 3:27 am

          xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx This is a little light verse about the Passover holiday, which is currently ending. Far be it from me, as a convert to Catholicism of only 13 years’ standing, to attempt such a treatment of Easter. I leave that to professional satirists like Vaughn Meader (“The Second Coming,” 1971), and Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner (“The Two Thousand Year-Old Man,” 1960). But for anyone who has ever taken an undergraduate Survey of Hebrew Literature and Culture course, like the one I took at U.W.-Madison in 1972, I think they may say, “Oh, yeah, it’s been ages since I thought about those Hyksos, Habiru, and Tell-el-Amarna Tablets. Let’s see what a poem based on all that stuff sounds like.”
          So….here is a little number I call “The Real Meaning of Passover in Rhyme.” I wrote it in the late 1990’s, and I had it published in “Jewish Currents” in 1999. Note the poem’s beginning with a scientific reference to the above-mentioned prototypal Jews. Then it moves on to Freud’s well-known theories stated in his book, “Moses and Monotheism,” but, reluctant to make a break with all traditional teaching, finds a way to include “parting waters” in the story. It ends by stating a solid moral teaching, much more important than Yul Brynner muttering, “Curses, foiled again.”

          “The Real Story of Passover in Rhyme.”
          By David Bittner

          Around 1600 B.C.E.,
          Before the Jews’ real history,
          There was a Semitic invasion grand
          Of ancient, Hamitic, Egyptland.
          Our remote ancestors were less like slaves
          Cringing under the whips of Confederate
          knaves,
          Than minorities in the contemporary USA,
          A depressed class who cursed the dawn
          of day.
          Nothing could be fairer
          Than to quote Tom Lehrer:
          The ancient Pharaohs
          Exploited Hebrew brasseros.
          These laborers ate unleavened bread,
          The “poorbread” of all peoples underfed.
          Think! In any poor Hindu venue,
          Was Wonder Bread ever on the menu?

          Lo, an ancient civil rights movement grew.
          Who knows what leader spurred the crew?
          Lest Freud’s fine theory be forgotten,
          Perhaps Moses was none other than
          great Akhenaton!
          At any rate, the Semites said,
          “Right on!
          Let’s join our brethren in Canaan.”
          They split the scene, and water parted–
          Tears from the eyes of the happy-hearted.
          They could now look very forward to
          Independence in the land of the Jew.
          (There were doubtless glitches for the
          trekking nation,
          But 40 years seems an exaggeration.)

          And when our people wrote the Bible,
          They remembered their epic experience tribal.
          (Surely there need be no Jewish schism
          Over such simple, basic atavism.
          Edna Ferber said with a smile,
          That she was once a little slave girl
          on the Nile.)
          Our fathers said, “We, too, knew stress,
          So the stranger let us not oppress,
          But let us know a stranger’s heart
          And remember why we did depart
          The land of mummies
          And empty tummies.”
          From man’s lips to the mouth of God
          Were the famous words put–not a fraud,
          But a kind of shorthand to reach the masses,
          A precursor to Sunday school classes.
          They remain a beautiful ideal for all,
          So let’s never forget the ancient call.
          And that, friends, with no reaching,
          Is Passover’s real and simple teaching.

          finis

  27. August 12, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Scarriet, unfortunately, is usually a week or two behind what’s going on in the internet poetry community, so I just wanted to let you know that ‘genuine’ contemporary poetry has (finally) been justly vindicated by Anis Shivani at the Huffington Post (see link, below).

    Here is a sample:

    “John Ashbery

    Exemplary Lines: “The sheiks protest use of / aims. In the past / coal has protected their / O long, watchful hour. / the engines had been humming / stones of March in the gray woods / still, the rods, could not they take long / More anthems until dust / flocks disguised machine.”

    More responsible than anyone else for turning late twentieth-century American poetry into a hermetic, self-enclosed, utterly private affair. Displays sophomoric lust to encode postmodern alienation into form that embodies the supposed chaos of the mind. Though he has somehow acquired a reputation for the visionary (especially among the Brits, who think he’s the greatest American poet), John Berryman’s Dream Songs are infinitely more on the mark. Another amateur philosopher, like Jorie Graham, another acolyte of what he thinks is Wittgensteinian logic. Ran away with postmodern irony, eccentricized it to the point of meaninglessness. Now we have no working definition of irony anymore–thanks, John Ashbery! Mixes low and high levels of language, low and high culture, every available postmodern artifact and text, from media jargon to comic books, to recreate a reality ordered only by language itself. When reality=language (as his carping cousins, the language poets, have it, just like him), politics becomes vacuous, and any usurper can and will step in. Has been a Mannerist after his own outdated manner at least since Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. Among the writers listed here, I want to like him the most–it’s too bad he’s been a parody of himself for so long.

    Mary Oliver

    Exemplary lines: “My right hand / was holding my left hand / which was holding the tree / which was filled with stars // and the soft rain– / imagine! imagine! / the long and wondrous journeys / still to be ours.”

    America’s best-selling poet along with Billy Collins, and that tells you all you need to know about how the public views American literature. A “nature poet” whose poems all seem to follow the same pattern: time, animal, setting, observation, epiphany. For example, 5 a.m., opossum, backyard, broken, it ran. Or 3 p.m., kitten, field, how real, peace. Only has to mechanically alter the variables, to get the same desired effect. United with other writers on this list by showmanship, calling attention to her own skills, putting herself at the center of epiphanies and moral goodness. Publishes a book a year with interchangeable contents–how she has put on the brakes on her own evolution is the real wonder. Poems are free of striking images, ideas, or form. Animals and natural settings are described in the vaguest of terms. Has long been enrolled in the Dale Carnegie school of winning friends and influencing people. As far removed from Emerson as Stephen King is from Melville. Here she is communicating with the snow crickets: “I looked down / into the theater of their perfect faces– / that frozen, bottomless glare.” Communicating with the hermit crab: “Once I looked inside / the darkness / of a shell folded like a pastry, / and there was a fancy face.” Her optimism, like Billy Collins’s, is a slap to the face of history. Again and again, she happily wonders: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” One suspects, she knows the answer.

    Sharon Olds

    Exemplary Lines: “If anyone had ever told me / I would sit by him [her father] and he’d pull up his nightie / and I’d look at his naked body, at the thick / bud of his glans, his penis in all that / sparse hair, look at him / in affection and uneasy wonder / I would not have believed it.”

    Stylistically invariant since 1980, she writes about the female body in a deterministic, shamanistic, medieval manner. Infantilization packaged in pseudo-confession is her specialty. Her gory imagining of every single stage of her father’s death from cancer in The Father gives Jerry Springer exhibitionists a run for their money (incidentally, the whole thing was imagined). Her poetry defines feminism turned upon itself, chewing up its own hot and bothered cadaver, exposed since the 1970s. Female poets in workshops around the country idolize her, collaborate in the masochism, because they say she freed them to talk about taboo subjects, she “empowered” them. Likes to pile on gratuitously, well after she’s made the point about whatever bodily dysfunction is bothering her. Favorite poetic technique is disruptive enjambments–ending on prepositions, for example–to add to the exhibitionist content of the poems. Childbirth, her father’s penis, her son’s cock, and her daughter’s vagina are repeated obsessions she can always count on in a pinch. Has given confessionalism such a bad name it can’t possibly recover.

    Jorie Graham

    Exemplary Lines: “[suddenly] / [breathless with excitement she] / [best not to] / [is different now] / [crown the color of] / [hearing the wild birds in their] / [although it’s early morning, I] / [dark forelock combed back, damp] / [days].”

    The Boylston Professor of Rhetoric at Harvard imagines herself a great philosopher, an heir to Wittgenstein. Would have spared the poetry world a lot of misery if she’d been able to get a job as a deconstructionist in the literature department–her actual skill. Started off modestly, but with increasing official recognition, her abstractions, pseudo-philosophizing, self-importance, and centerless long lines have completely spun out of control. Gives magazine and book designers headaches with her self-indulgent unhinged lines–sometimes they print the poems sideways to accommodate her. After Ashbery, one of the poets who has most helped to reduce the public to the private sphere. With her last few books, this philosopher of language has sought to become more and more unreadable. Her biggest promoter has been fellow Harvardian Helen Vendler–who else? Like Ashbery, her acolytes justify her indulgences as being in the cause of accurately representing the chaos of the postmodern mind itself. For a really funny book of criticism, check out Thomas Gardner’s Jorie Graham, a collection of essays by groupies lauding Graham for having rediscovered “consciousness” itself–because how else can you justify her impenetrable abstractions? Apparently, she doesn’t need images, or any of the traditional paraphernalia of poetry–it’s a new consciousness evolving before our eyes!

    Billy Collins

    Exemplary Lines: “I woke up this morning, / as the blues singers like to boast, / and the first thing to enter my mind, / as the dog was licking my face, was Coventry Patmore.”

    Court jester to America’s grief-stricken royal poets. Pioneered the poet as the stand-up comedian, to which concept many other poets have taken like ducks to water. America’s best-selling poet (makes sense, doesn’t it?), along with Mary Oliver–the clown and the “nature-lover,” taking us hand in hand to oblivion. Part of his carefully nurtured persona is not to take himself too seriously (Louise Gluck, take note, if you want to sell more books), so he says he’s not a “great poet.” Has perfected, over twenty years, a brand of poetry candy–take a few variables about known facts, alter one of them, and see where that takes you. A one-trick pony who acts in every poem as if he’s discovering the trick for the very first time. Typical questions posed: What would it be like to walk across the Atlantic? If the members of a creative writing class were to come back as citizens in a city, what roles would they play? Embodies yet another form of antihumanism, like all the writers on this list. His never-discarded mask of humility is how he shows off in his poetry–and outside it. Imagines he is a container for childlike wonder, but actually exemplifies childish incomprehension. Like the others, escapist denial of death is pervasive. His poems have lately become mostly about writing poems–in his pajamas, with a cup of coffee in hand. He’s busy doing nothing–this Seinfeld of American poetry–while you thought poetry was all obscure and defeatist and negative.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anis-shivani/the-15-most-overrated-con_b_672974.html#s123763

    • The Noochie-Coochie Man said,

      August 12, 2010 at 11:31 pm

      An egregious lapse, Thomas,
      Not sure how you’ll parry it.
      But Gary seized the day, and
      Didst gloriously carry it.
      O Tempora! O Mores! O Scarriet!

      • June 2, 2015 at 11:34 pm

        Question for Jorie Graham; I don’t think you could be the same Jorie Graham who wrote a very good guidebook to Chicago, called “Jorie Graham’s Chicago,” could you? But could you be related to that Jorie Graham, then? Yours curiously, David Bittner

  28. August 12, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    “poetry’, that is. Sorry for the typo.

  29. August 12, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    “Billy Graham”????

    I think that should be Billy ‘Collins’, no?

    • thomasbrady said,

      August 13, 2010 at 2:25 am

      fixed

      Jorie Graham, Billy Graham, Billy Collins

      nice.

      Thanks, Gary, great stuff from Anis Shivani, attempting to join William Logan and Thomas Brady as the most reviled critics in po-biz.

      This is especially good on Mary Oliver: “time, animal, setting, observation, epiphany. For example, 5 a.m., opossum, backyard, broken, it ran. Or 3 p.m., kitten, field, how real, peace.”

      I wonder what Shivani would say about Jim Morrison’s work?

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking the worst of a poet’s output and mocking it to hell; I have, at one time or another, enjoyed some of the poetry by these poets, but that doesn’t mean Shivani is not spot on.

      There are some, however, who find mockery cruel and don’t allow it to exist as a critical tool. Either they adore something, or if they don’t, they pass over it in silence; what is left is adoration and nothing, which equals adoration. I’m not one of those who is offended by well-aimed and truth-telling mockery, but I have to admit this formula is not a bad one. In a world of hurt and pain and suckitude, why not cultivate a formula which produces only adoration?

      Tom

  30. thomasbrady said,

    August 13, 2010 at 2:52 am

    I saw the article…he slams Vendler and Gluck, too. He takes a swipe at Adam Kirsch for being a Vendler-in-waiting, but doesn’t mention Stephen Burt, who is a much bigger kiss-ass to Vendler than Kirsch is; but he’s so right in calling Vendler “banal.”

    Just like Logan, though, he uncritically venerates the Modernists and the New Critics while damning their inevitable offspring.

    He gives ‘credit’ to po-biz by dividing it 50/50 with fiction. I guess the poet targets were just too much to resist…

    Oh, and those large unflattering photos…those are bound to enrage, as well…

    Lots of comments, too…go, Shivani, go!

  31. August 13, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Anis Shivani should be given the Presidential Medal of Freedom for cultural honesty.

  32. thomasbrady said,

    August 13, 2010 at 3:22 am

    i thought you liked mary oliver, gary.

    surely it must give the poets schadenfreude that serious novelists are becoming as unread as the poets, and a lot of this is being blamed on the mfa and the award/prizes system…

    i read a lot of the comments…no one thinks to blame the modernists/new modernists for this mess…everyone seems to think of modernism as some great golden age of promise that was betrayed….how wrong they are…

    i don’t know why billy collins gets such rough treatment…he’s far wittier than people give him credit for…he’s actually one of the ways to escape from this ashbery/jorie graham hell we’re in…

  33. aeoi said,

    December 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    What is the human importance of flying round dead litterature like flies round shit? Is it to maintain and perpetuate the values of a very narrow and increasingly anachronistic set of bitter old chronies, or is there a broader human purpose to your blog?

    • thomasbrady said,

      December 19, 2010 at 2:30 am

      aeoi,

      (shrug) hey, flies and shit perpetuate life…

      I dunno, o wise one, with your hair flying behind you, face to the sun, staring at the future with your great vision, what sort of literature do you like?

      What is the future of it all? Tell us!

      Tom

  34. Wfkammann said,

    December 19, 2010 at 3:58 am

    His site at least shows evidence of an active brain behind it which, truly, is more than you and the noochies have to offer Tom.

    • Noochness said,

      December 19, 2010 at 12:21 pm

      Yes, Mr. Kammann, an active brain,
      From which both poems and music rain.

      • tom said,

        December 13, 2011 at 7:19 am

        oh my god these videos. I’m dying.

      • Diane Roberts Powell said,

        May 25, 2013 at 5:39 am

        OK, I know this is an old post, but here it goes. Tom, that is you singing and playing above in the links by Nooch, right? I’m kind of wondering why you have a somewhat British accent. Now, are you from the old Boston Brahmin Graves family? I hope you don’t mind me teasing you.

  35. thomasbrady said,

    December 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I’ll say this again:

    Scarriet is no snobby or uptight censor.

    We welcome ALL.

    I count myself extremely fortunate to have Nooch as a friend.

    He’s mucho humble and off-the-wall brilliant, funny, witty.

    I suggest we open our eyes to this.

    Merry Christmas.

    • Noochness said,

      December 19, 2010 at 11:10 pm

      “A modest man, but then he has so much to be modest about.” — a description of Clement Atlee attributed to Winston Churchill

    • Noochinator said,

      December 20, 2010 at 11:16 am

      Here’s a lovely holiday wassail:

  36. December 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I have just had a 16-page memoir of college published in the current issue pf the Journal of Religion and Health (Decemer 2010,Vol. 49: No. 4), a publication of Springer Science-Business Media. It is actually my second article pblished in JORH in a year’s time, a sequel to the first in some ways, and it happens to contain some stories about Prof. Ernest Samuels, whose course in American Lit.1870-1914 I took my freshman year at Northwestern. I think you’d find these stories about Mr. Samuels amusing, and I could tell a few others from the course that I didn’t use in my article. Just tell me what E-mail address to use or how to get the articles to you otherwise, and I’ll be happy to send you one or both articles and write up my few other little anecdotes about Mr, Samuels. The stories are all good-natured, in wnich I probably poke more fun at myself than him. So Mr. Samuels was Jewish! well, I am, too, but I wondered, because although his name and physignomy certainly fit the profile, some other things about him didn’t. Yours, David Bittner

  37. James Hecht said,

    December 23, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    See what that foul mouthed troll, aeiou or whoever, has posted on his filthy blog:

    http://closinginvectives.blogspot.com/2010/12/art-vs-dysesthesia-misty-rainwater.html

    This confirms he has neither taste nor sanity.

  38. Mike Stein said,

    January 10, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Firstly thanks for your site. It so very informative.

    I recently found this album that bridges the generational gap, as it relates to poetry. Far too often, we have cliques of poets (the old, the Black clique, the white, the young, the hip hop, the classics). We’re all actually directly related, just with different skin, nationalities, socio-economic levels, levels of educational attainment.

    See video for Shakespeare, Lord Byron, Dunbar, etc. Wow, interesting:

    Have a sensational day.
    Mike Stein

  39. worldpeacewarrior said,

    January 10, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Greetings fellow poetry lovers. Enjoy.

  40. Mark said,

    April 2, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Could someone link to the comments/posts/debates-entered-into by Ron Silliman? He’s mentioned in the initial post and I’m sort of curious to see.

  41. April 4, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Before there was
    Billy Collins & Ted Kooser,
    there was Edgar Guest

    Silliman links – 3/22/11

  42. Mark said,

    April 5, 2011 at 2:05 am

    Gary,

    I was actually asking when Silliman had posted here. I was hoping someone would link me to a Scarriet thread that RS commented in… Just morbid curiosity, that’s all.

    The initial post here says: “Scarriet has enjoyed visits, and even debate, from Reb Livingston, William Kulik, Bernard Welt, Lewis Buzbee, Billy Collins, Bill Knott, Ron Silliman, Seth Abramson, Gary B. Fitzgerald, Marcus Bales, Franz Wright, Robert Tonucci, among others.”

    I guess I was just wondering how the “visit” (which Scarriet “enjoyed”) went down…

  43. Mark said,

    April 16, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Have I been banned?

    I can’t post in the last thread and would like to do so in an attempt to correct Tom’s gross misrepresentation of my position. What gives?

    Mark

  44. Mark said,

    April 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Last month I broke my leg and, as such, have had more free time than I know what to do with. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve spent much of this time arguing about poetry with a pedantic failed-poet named Thomas Graves here on Scarriet.

    Well, this is perhaps not quite true: Tom has refused to talk about poetry at all instead focusing on who “hated” who, playing Ron Silliman’s psychoanalyst and engaging in other non-issues… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

    So I happened across a post where Tom was making outrageous accusations based on some minor, off-handed comment of Ron Silliman’s about Billy Collins. I had never read Scarriet before and had planned on just making one off-the-cuff post to point out what I felt were some obvious inaccuracies.

    In the post in question, Tom apparently felt like he could read Ron Silliman’s mind and was (literally) reporting on what Ron Silliman fears and secretly wants. The effect was creepy and disconcerting. Why would this Tom Graves fellow, a person who has never met Ron Silliman, think himself insightful enough to tell his readers about the inner workings of Ron Silliman’s mind? And why would he want to? And why would he think that was appropriate for a self-described “reporter”? Part of my reply was as such [the quotes are quotes from Tom]:

    Mark said,
    March 26, 2011 at 11:01 am

    This whole post is so absurd… Just strawman after strawman.

    “[Silliman] and his friends are not popular, and he fears they never will be popular” – what other fears does Ron Silliman have? Spiders? Balloons? Clowns? (don’t scoff, that white makeup is friggin’ terrifying!)…

    “But if Silliman and his friends are to ever have the popularity Billy Collins enjoys, and that they so obviously want, they will need to reach out to the public” – how do you know what they “so obviously want”?

    Clearly I was right to call Tom out on this – even if Tom suspected these points to be true, these are simply (and obviously) assumptions. To pass them off as “simple facts” (which Tom called them) was absurd. Tom could not and does not know whether what he’s saying is true but that didn’t stop him. My position was not to defend Ron Silliman (whose work I am somewhat unfamiliar with) – hell, maybe Tom was correct – but just to call a spade a spade and point out that when one resorts assumptions and personal attacks the argument ceases to hold much water.

    This is the problem: the possibility of it being true doesn’t excuse a complete lack of standards or integrity. Tom’s argument could have been made in a much more interesting way without resorting to such shlock tactics. He could have actually – brace yourself – engaged with the poetry and based his analysis on that. This is, ultimately, the change I was hoping to affect on Scarriet. However, it would require more work and more serious thinking from Tom and he seems to be allergic to such things in the same way that I’m allergic to bullshit and bad arguments.

    Tom’s response to my concerns, which would continue to be his only response, was to not respond. He simply avoids question that call him on his bullshit. He avoids them or he misrepresents them and the person asking them. Every question I asked that hit too close to home was simply turned around on me.

    In this first instance Tom avoided the question by answering with another question: “If tomorrow Silliman had 10 million more readers, he wouldn’t be happy?”

    This is the sort of response a child would give. I would be happy if I woke up tomorrow and there were 10 million dollars on my balcony in a old wooden pirate chest but such a thought doesn’t have any effect on the way I live my life. He responded to the problem I had with his making speculations devoid of any proof by making an even crazier speculation. Maybe the stress of suddenly having such a wide audience would be too much for Ol’ Ronny to bear and he’d go Cobain on us. Who’s to say? Certainly not me, CERTAINLY not Tom and maybe not even Silliman himself. Hypotheticals are fine and useful but I’m asking about things that are concrete.

    I believe that if you don’t know something to be true – no matter how fervently you feel it in your gut – then it shouldn’t be printed. Stephen Colbert has made a career out of lampooning people who feel as though their gut feelings and suppositions are the same as facts. There are many ways to make an argument without resorting to such crass, bottom-feeding tactics. These tactics are simply not good enough and have no place in a real discussion.

    The arguments of Thomas Graves = The arguments of Glen Beck.

    It’s absurd to imagine Tom saying “I’m just a reporter here,” but that’s exactly what he said. Reporters have certain standards that need to be followed. If they make up stories or are unable to corroborate their facts they get fired. The problem with blogs, in general (and Scarriet is no exception), is that there are no journalistic standards being imposed. Sometimes this is a good thing – in the case of Scarriet it is not. Beneath “reporter” there is “paparazzo” and beneath that there is “conspiracy theorist” – Thomas Graves vacillates between the latter two but is usually closer to the conspiracy theorist who is never called on to PROVE his arguments in any concrete ways. At least the paparazzi get sued when they make statements they can’t back up. Tom has never backed up a single statement he’s made as far as I can tell – and he’s had literally years to do so.

    I’ve asked Tom probably close to a dozen times over the last month to present something that represents the site in terms of solid reporting, a clear argument and no knee-jerk nonsense the likes of which I found so objectionable in the Ron Silliman article – he has been unable to do so. He has not even tried.

    I’ve found dozens of examples of Tom’s unsupported/unsupportable propaganda. When Tom claimed that “the Modernists hated the Romantics” I was able to cite about a dozen major Modernist poets who did not hate the Romantics – Tom was only able to find one example of a major Modernist poet who did (and that poet was TS Eliot whom almost everyone in the movement worked hard to distance themselves from). Apparently, for Tom Graves, one person hating something is the same as everyone doing it.

    These are the sort of unsupportable generalizations I’m talking about. Tom has since admitted he was wrong about the Modernists hating the Romantics but he continues to make the same TYPE of arguments. It’s frustrating because the only reason I engaged this particular debate was not because I cared to save the reputation of the Modernists (I don’t and couldn’t even if I wanted to) but to show the sort of specious logic that was masquerading as fact on Scarriet. Tom, in seeing his argument completely dismantled, still missed the point. The argument can be made in nuanced ways – to resort to ad hoc sensationalism like “Modernists hate Romantics” cheapens poetry as well as discourse…

    X hates Y is the sort of headline you’d see in the National Enquirer, for chrissakes. Is that what passes for discourse here?

    Tom has made statements about the quality of Charles Olson’s Maximus Poems but I’ve been able to prove that Tom has never even read them. I suspect the same goes for Tom’s comments on HD – they sound like someone who read two or three poems but has never bothered to read an actual collection of her work.

    This is what confuses me, the need to say “this is bad” when a statement like “I started reading it and didn’t like it” is so much more nuanced and has so much more potential to generate debate… if, that is, the person making it is open-minded and has what Plato described as a never-ending desire to learn. Tom clearly doesn’t have this – he simply disregards wide swaths of poetry without having even tried reading them.

    This is a big problem in discussing literature (for me, at least). People have such insecurity about their reading (and Tom is nothing if not insecure) that they end up trying to sound like experts and inevitably fall short. For some reason it’s not good enough that they don’t like something – they have to invent reasons why it’s “bad”. Perhaps if you’ve read extensively from the work of that poet and can make a compelling case, saying “this poet is bad” could be interesting – Tom Graves has not done this. There are many poets I’m not interested in or don’t see the appeal of but to take the step from “I don’t care for this” to “this isn’t good” is a slippery slope. Scarriet has ridden that slope to the bottom of the hill and is now, I fear, unable to get back up.

    To slag a poet among friends over drinks is one thing but to do it in a public forum is another entirely. I can’t believe no one has bothered to hold Tom’s feet to the fire and make him answer for the things he’s said until now… Actually, I retract that. Given Tom’s cowardly avoidance, subterfuge and blindingly yellow belly I fully understand why someone would have tried, deemed Tom not worth bothering over and given up on him. Tom has said that me politely asking him to clarify his points represented me being too demanding, he has pretended he shouldn’t have to define his terms in a debate and has claimed he didn’t know what “burden of proof” meant. I also caught him lying outright twice. These are the debating tactics of a coward. I now understand that Tom is a delicate daffodil but I’m not ready to give up just yet.

    A few days ago I said this [which I’ve edited just slightly]:

    Mark said,
    April 15, 2011 at 5:47 am

    By putting yourself in the public eye you make yourself accountable for the things you say…

    If I may be indulged to extend this point:

    Tom,

    If your congressman, comptroller, or president of the school board was caught making disparaging statements and was accused of fraud and corruption by a former co-worker – they would be asked about it. Point blank and in public. If the accused simply ignored the question would that be good enough for you or would you see them pressed on the issues?

    I’m asking you point blank to clarify your statements and I’m outright accusing you of fraud (I don’t want to speak for him, but I think Christopher is as well).

    Whether you like it or not, you’re in the public eye with this blog. If you don’t like having to answer for what you write then get a facebook account. If you want to open up the discussion you damn well better be able to stand behind what you write. If I’ve taken you out of context or if any of these questions are unfair, tell me and I will take them off the table. If they’re fair questions (and what’s so out of line about asking your opinions on poetry on a poetry blog?) then answer them.

    I stand by this, Tom. I stand by everything I’ve written. Will you? Could you even if you wanted to?

    Let’s finish this. Here are the questions to start us off. None of them are out of line. Tell me why any of them are and I’ll retract them. I’m posing them here in the “About Scarriet” thread as they are “about Scarriet”. Don’t try and get us off track with one of your lame little tangents. We’re not here to talk about Modernism. Don’t try and muddy the water with the bad metaphors you’re so fond of. Let’s go into real-talk mode for a while if, that is, you’ve got the balls to try.

    1) You have been accused of not finding any value in poetry, how do you respond? Has your life been enriched in any way by your familiarity with poetry or is it just something to pass the time for you?

    2) What, in your mind, is the point of Scarriet? Is it to improve poetry or to wallow in its failings? Is it something else entirely? Can you link to anything you’ve written that is indicative of the spirit of Scarriet as well as being substantial, based on concrete points and in some way worthwhile?

    3) How do you respond to charges that you are nothing but a common internet troll? Is such an assessment fair or unfair and why?

    4) How do you justify the hyper-reductive view of literature you present here (that literature be purely sentimental and that your reviews need not be based on facts or even on having finished reading the work you are purporting to review)? Are you content merely to pass off your crude speculations as facts? Why or why not? [I feel as though this is the most important question of them all but I am willing to table it for now if you want, Tom. I think by answering the rest of these questions this one will answer itself]

    5) You’ve repeatedly attacked Bernstein’s “Official Verse Culture” and Silliman’s “School of Quietude” for being too vague but your own attacks on “incoherent” poetry are just as vague (perhaps more so). What do you think about this seeming hypocrisy?

    6) Where do you realistically see poetry going in the 21st century? Where would you ideally like to see poetry going in the 21st century? What have you done to help facilitate any forward movement?

    To this list, following a recent altercation between Tom and Christopher Woodman, I would add:

    7) You have been quick to deem something “not a poem” but are unwilling to define what IS a poem. Without resorting to your flowery language and corny metaphors how do you define a poem and what makes the poems you don’t like “not poems” in your estimation?

    Plus:

    8) You have at least once, and likely more often, commented on works that you have not actually read. How do you justify this?

    [FWIW, I can provide background information on any of these questions – they are all predicated on actual statements made by Tom and his former Scarriet colleagues (who uniformly seem unable to stand being around him)]

    • Mark said,

      April 17, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      [note: what was supposed to be #8 has been turned into a smiley face by the emoticon function. I would ask Tom to change it but I feel like it offers a bit of comic relief after my long and boring post…

      so 8)!]

  45. Mark said,

    April 18, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    So in to my last post in another thread Tom said: “Bring your defensive posture down a notch”

    This is probably good advice for both of us.

    ~

    Here’s my point about that Silliman/Collins debacle boiled down:

    You say Silliman takes a jab at Collins because he’s jealous.

    The first question I ever asked you, which you avoided, was “how do you know?” Simply, you don’t.

    I could just as easily take your jab at Silliman (or any of the other dozens of jabs you’ve made over the years) and say “oh, you’re just jealous.” Are you jealous of Pound, Williams, Silliman, Bernstein, Armantrout et al?

    Maybe on some level but such a statement is not a very nuanced assessment and, in fact, probably has more to do with your simple dislike for their work than jealousy. You’re simplifying things and the discourse suffers because of it. Your readers are not chimps or children – they can handle nuance.

    ~

    Now, I’m not interested in getting you to retract your statement or anything – though I think you had no right or basis upon which to make it – but your insistence that your opinion is a fact is baffling. It’s simply not a good argument. If you were an English prof and your student handed you a paper with that as the argument you would fail said student. I don’t even think the editor of a tabloid would accept a piece on such specious evidence.

    If you had engaged the poetry of Guest, Collins and Silliman to make your point I may not have agreed with you but I wouldn’t have had a problem. Crass sensationalism is good for cheap laughs but I hope/think you want more than that from poetry and from the discourse thereof. You’re better than these strawman arguments.

    I regret being so confrontational throughtout this – we both lost our patience a few times – but I would still like to discuss those questions I asked you. We can nix the first one – that was something Christopher said but I like to think that, despite your weird antiquated views, you do actually like poetry and ascribe it some worth (maybe even too much worth…).

    So whaddaya say?

    Mark

    • thomasbrady said,

      April 19, 2011 at 1:44 am

      Mark,

      If it’s not jealousy, what is it?

      Silliman v. Collins is…what?

      Silliman: (Guest = Collins) looks like jealousy, because the only category shared by these three poets is two of the poets are popular, and the poet who equated the other two very different poets, is not.

      What say you?

      Tom

      • Mark said,

        April 19, 2011 at 1:48 am

        I’ll pull a Graves and answer your question with a question (though the real answer is “I don’t know and neither do you”):

        You say a lot worse than Silliman’s offhanded remark a lot more often, so what is it when you do it?

        ARE you jealous of Ron Silliman?

      • Mark said,

        April 19, 2011 at 1:49 am

        Also you’re avoiding the real questions. This is what I meant when I said: “Don’t try and get us off track with one of your lame little tangents”

        We both know you’re in the wrong here, Tom. I’ve already moved past it. The questions are the thing. Let’s get to them.

      • Mark said,

        April 19, 2011 at 1:52 am

        Oh, but what you said is a misrepresentation of Silliman’s comment. Silliman’s joke that you’ve taken out of context was to find a continuum connecting Collins and Guest not to equate them ad hoc. RS never said one equals the other.

        Seriously though, the questions Tom. Get on it.

      • thomasbrady said,

        April 19, 2011 at 2:18 am

        It wasn’t a comparison, Mark.

        Silliman equated Edgar Guest, a dogerrelist who wrote about friendship and loyalty, with Collins, a free verse poet with a far more self-consious, sophisticated, ironic, historical, outlook—who shares only Guest’s ability to sell a great more books than Silliman.

        “We can never know what Silliman was thinking,” you keep repeating, but this is to persist in the fog of mystical thinking; you want to leave human feeling and motivaton out of the picture when it is never wise to do so—even when one is reading the most mystical kinds of poetry.

        Tom

      • Mark said,

        April 19, 2011 at 2:25 am

        Tom

        I don’t care about this at all. I’m not a big fan of Collins, Guest or Silliman.

        A bad argument is a bad argument. That you can’t back up your points except by appealing to your own gut feelings just proves this. You have nothing concrete here nor do you usually… have you ever made a concrete point that could withstand even the slightest critique?

        Well, that’s question the second part of question #2 actually!

        So let’s get to the questions and let’s add “Are you jealous of Ron Silliman to the list?” just for shits and giggles.

      • Mark said,

        April 22, 2011 at 11:50 am

        Tom has admitted, on another thread, that he was in the wrong to call his mind-reading of Ron Silliman a simple fact.

        He has admitted that it was no more than a supposition (and, if I may add to that, a supposition from a position of extreme ignorance).

        I’d still like to know if Tom is jealous of Ron Silliman and everyone he’s ever spoken poorly of on Scarriet so I’m going to keep the question related to this but it’s nice to know that Tom realizes he doesn’t have a leg to stand on here.

  46. Mark said,

    April 19, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Tom,

    If you can’t figure out why your assumptions are not facts then I don’t think me explaining it in any more detail is going to help. It’s really a shame that no one ever bothered to teach you how logic works or how to present an argument. I’m hoping, however, that by examining the level of discourse on Scarriet you’ll be inspired to improve it and, in turn, take it upon yourself to finally learn how to participate in a debate. I believe that it’s good to have your views challenged every once in a while. We all risk stagnation if this does not ever happen. I have full faith that this is going to help make Scarriet better in the long run, Tom.

    As such, I’ve revised the list of questions. I feel these really get at the heart of the matter where Scarriet is concerned. Again, if you feel that any of these questions are unfair, please let me know why and I will retract them.

    These 6 questions can probably be answered in 10-15 sentences total. Some of them are yes/no. Please refrain from using nonsensical metaphors – I want to hit this up real-talk style, Graves. Let’s keep it simple to start; we can add complexity as we proceed.

    Give ’em a shot:

    1) Our initial debate was over you blowing a passing negative remark Ron Silliman directed towards Billy Collins and Ted Kooser absurdly out of proportion. You submitted, without any proof to back it up, that the sole reason for this remark was Ron Silliman’s jealousy towards Collins and Kooser. However, your own website is full of negative remarks about Ron Silliman and many other poets. By your logic, Tom, your negative remarks can only be ascribed to your own jealousy at the success these poets have enjoyed. How do you respond? Are you actually jealous of every poet about whom you’ve ever made a negative remark?

    2) What, in your mind, is the point of Scarriet? Is it to improve poetry or to wallow in its failings? Is it something else entirely? Can you link to anything you’ve written that is indicative of the spirit of Scarriet as well as being substantial, based on concrete points and in some way worthwhile?

    3) You’ve repeatedly attacked Bernstein’s “Official Verse Culture” and Silliman’s “School of Quietude” for being too vague but your own attacks on “incoherent” poetry are just as vague (perhaps more so). What do you think about this seeming hypocrisy?

    4) Where do you realistically see poetry going in the 21st century? Where would you ideally like to see poetry going in the 21st century? What have you done to help facilitate any forward movement?

    5) You have been quick to deem something “not a poem” but are unwilling to define what IS a poem. Without resorting to your flowery language and corny metaphors how do you define a poem and what makes the poems you don’t like “not poems” in your estimation?

    6) You have at least once, and likely more often, commented on works that you have not actually read. How do you justify this? Do you feel that reading ABOUT a work is sufficient grounds upon which to judge it? Why or why not?

  47. Mark said,

    April 19, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Oh, and just to clarify, I said: “These 6 questions can probably be answered in 10-15 sentences total”

    but please feel free to answer at any length. Really, longer more nuanced answers will make for better jumping-off points from which to begin our debate.

    I just wanted to make it clear that the task here is not Herculean or anything. You had previously accused me of being too demanding for asking topical questions about your position in our previous debate – I feel confident that this is not the case here. If you disagree with this and feel that me asking questions which directly pertain to statements made by you and your former colleagues IS too demanding, please let me know why and I will consider modifying my strategy to something you’re more comfortable with.

    Mark

    • Mark said,

      April 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      Still nothing, Tom?

      I guess I understand that you would want to take your time answering these questions and do so in as much detail as possible so as to make our debate as good as possible but sometimes first thought is best thought.

      If we’re going to move forward we should probably start. So don’t stress over the details and feel free to skip the ones that are giving you a hard time.

      I look forward to having an open and honest conversation with you. I’m ready any time you’re ready!

      Mark

  48. Mark said,

    April 20, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Tom,

    You said to me in another thread:

    thomasbrady said,
    April 20, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Let’s see what you’ve said in ‘About Scarriet…’ (I can’t wait!)

    ~

    Still no response, though… What gives, Tom?
    A couple weeks ago you said:

    thomasbrady said,
    April 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I’m the pig who loves the mud and loves to wrestle.

    ~

    But you’ve been avoiding this wrestling match for almost a month!

    This is your chance to actually wrestle with someone! Usually the people who come in looking to debate you are so digusted with your cowardly tactics and avoidance of their points that they just leave. Is that wrestling to you? What you do is the equivalent of shrieking “not in the face! not in the face!” then curling up in the fetal position.

    I’m still here though. If you still want to talk big then now is the time to back it up. If you have a defensible position then defend it in plain language. It should be easy.

    The questions I’ve laid out are the big issues, the ones that we need to wrestle with. Have at ’em, Graves!

  49. Mark said,

    April 21, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Just bumping this because it’s off the “Recent Comments” now…

    So… BUMP

    • Mark said,

      April 21, 2011 at 3:59 am

      And I’m off the “Recent Comments” again

      Bump-ola!

      • Mark said,

        April 21, 2011 at 10:34 am

        Off the “Recent Comments” yet again and still no reply from Gravesy.

        Bumpity Bump

      • Mark said,

        April 21, 2011 at 10:39 pm

        Still more quietude from Thomas Graves

        Guess I have to go BUMP in the night one more time.

      • Mark said,

        April 22, 2011 at 3:23 am

        Maybe quitetude isn’t the right word for you, Tom.

        Chickenshitism might be more appropriate.

        Bump

  50. Mark said,

    April 22, 2011 at 11:46 am

    thomasbrady said,
    April 22, 2011 at 11:04 am

    “Meanwhile you presume to ask me a bunch of inane ‘when did you stop beating your wife’ questions”

    I’ll be honest. I don’t know what Tom means by this.
    Of the 6 questions I’m posing, 4 are about specific points Tom has made (for which I can provide links if called upon to do so). Should a person be unaccountable for the things they say?

    Of the other 2 questions, 1 is a general question about poetry for which anyone interested in poetry would naturally have an answer and the other is a general question about the blog that Tom runs.

    I don’t get what’s so objectionable about these questions.
    Can you tell me without your weird melodramatic metaphor, Tom? Help me out here. I’ve said already that I’ll retract any of them if you give me a reasonable explanation for why I should do so. We’re all waiting.

    Here’s the questions again in case you’ve forgotten them or don’t know where to look:

    1) Our initial debate was over you blowing a passing negative remark Ron Silliman directed towards Billy Collins and Ted Kooser absurdly out of proportion. You submitted, without any proof to back it up, that the sole reason for this remark was Ron Silliman’s jealousy towards Collins and Kooser. However, your own website is full of negative remarks about Ron Silliman and many other poets. By your logic, Tom, your negative remarks can only be ascribed to your own jealousy at the success these poets have enjoyed. How do you respond? Are you actually jealous of every poet about whom you’ve ever made a negative remark?

    2) What, in your mind, is the point of Scarriet? Is it to improve poetry or to wallow in its failings? Is it something else entirely? Can you link to anything you’ve written that is indicative of the spirit of Scarriet as well as being substantial, based on concrete points and in some way worthwhile?

    3) You’ve repeatedly attacked Bernstein’s “Official Verse Culture” and Silliman’s “School of Quietude” for being too vague but your own attacks on “incoherent” poetry are just as vague (perhaps more so). What do you think about this seeming hypocrisy?

    4) Where do you realistically see poetry going in the 21st century? Where would you ideally like to see poetry going in the 21st century? What have you done to help facilitate any forward movement?

    5) You have been quick to deem something “not a poem” but are unwilling to define what IS a poem. Without resorting to your flowery language and corny metaphors how do you define a poem and what makes the poems you don’t like “not poems” in your estimation?

    6) You have at least once, and likely more often, commented on works that you have not actually read. How do you justify this? Do you feel that reading ABOUT a work is sufficient grounds upon which to judge it? Why or why not?

  51. thomasbrady said,

    April 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Mark wrote:

    “I don’t care about this at all. I’m not a big fan of Collins, Guest or Silliman.”

    This is why you’re a twit, Mark. This is your problem.

    You don’t care.

    But you gotta care.

    That’s the first thing.

    • Mark said,

      April 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      You’re really going all out with the personal attacks and insults these last couple days, Tom. It’s funny to me but it’s also a sign that you’re at your wit’s end (not that you have much wit to begin with)

      The questions stand and calling me a twit and trying to divert the flow of the conversation won’t make them go away.

  52. Mark said,

    April 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Mark said,
    April 22, 2011 at 11:46 am

    thomasbrady said,
    April 22, 2011 at 11:04 am

    “Meanwhile you presume to ask me a bunch of inane ‘when did you stop beating your wife’ questions”

    I’ll be honest. I don’t know what Tom means by this.
    Of the 6 questions I’m posing, 4 are about specific points Tom has made (for which I can provide links if called upon to do so). Should a person be unaccountable for the things they say?

    Of the other 2 questions, 1 is a general question about poetry for which anyone interested in poetry would naturally have an answer and the other is a general question about the blog that Tom runs.

    I don’t get what’s so objectionable about these questions.
    Can you tell me without your weird melodramatic metaphor, Tom? Help me out here. I’ve said already that I’ll retract any of them if you give me a reasonable explanation for why I should do so. We’re all waiting.

    Here’s the questions again in case you’ve forgotten them or don’t know where to look:

    1) Our initial debate was over you blowing a passing negative remark Ron Silliman directed towards Billy Collins and Ted Kooser absurdly out of proportion. You submitted, without any proof to back it up, that the sole reason for this remark was Ron Silliman’s jealousy towards Collins and Kooser. However, your own website is full of negative remarks about Ron Silliman and many other poets. By your logic, Tom, your negative remarks can only be ascribed to your own jealousy at the success these poets have enjoyed. How do you respond? Are you actually jealous of every poet about whom you’ve ever made a negative remark?

    2) What, in your mind, is the point of Scarriet? Is it to improve poetry or to wallow in its failings? Is it something else entirely? Can you link to anything you’ve written that is indicative of the spirit of Scarriet as well as being substantial, based on concrete points and in some way worthwhile?

    3) You’ve repeatedly attacked Bernstein’s “Official Verse Culture” and Silliman’s “School of Quietude” for being too vague but your own attacks on “incoherent” poetry are just as vague (perhaps more so). What do you think about this seeming hypocrisy?

    4) Where do you realistically see poetry going in the 21st century? Where would you ideally like to see poetry going in the 21st century? What have you done to help facilitate any forward movement?

    5) You have been quick to deem something “not a poem” but are unwilling to define what IS a poem. Without resorting to your flowery language and corny metaphors how do you define a poem and what makes the poems you don’t like “not poems” in your estimation?

    6) You have at least once, and likely more often, commented on works that you have not actually read. How do you justify this? Do you feel that reading ABOUT a work is sufficient grounds upon which to judge it? Why or why not?

    • thomasbrady said,

      April 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      Mawk,

      These questions are stupid beyond belief.

      Let’s take the first one: I had fun with Silliman equating Billy Collins with Edgar Guest. I pointed out a number of facts: the vast differences of approaches, sensibilities and styles (doggerel v. free verse) between Collins and Guest, the well-known disparagement of Quietism and Official Verse Culture by Silliman, combined with the fact that Quietism sells and Silliman’s alternative does not, that the only point of similarity between Collins and Guest is that they sell, UNLESS you also count that they are both coherent (and we must assume that Silliman would not contest the poetry he admires is incoherent)—so we are left with Silliman equating two poets WHO SELL, and Silliman and his friends DO NOT, so what are we to infer?

      So…let’s just take the above for what it is: a very strong hypothesis. Now according to Mawk, one is not allowed to have a hypothesis. One must have proof. One must ASK Silliman if he has ever had a jealous thought. LOL

      Now Mawk, protesting this, makes a far greater leap, sans proof, by saying Thomas Brady makes “negative remarks about other poets” and therefore Thomas Brady must be jealous. Does Mawk show us any of these “negative remarks?” No! A “negative remark” can be factual, can it not? Just as my Sillman/Collins/Guest remarks contain facts. But these “negative remarks” that I have made are not forthcoming, so we’ll never know whether they are factual, or not. Mawk is satisfied with merely mentioning them, without ANY PROOF. Yet Mawk is shouting from the rooftops that no facts support my Silliman/Collins/Guest remarks, when there ARE facts to support my remarks: I just gave them, above.

      Where are your facts, Mawk? Where is your proof, Mawk?

      Are you only capable of asking ridiculous questions?

      Tom

      • Mark said,

        April 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm

        “So…let’s just take the above for what it is: a very strong hypothesis.”

        Oh, and lol… it ain’t that strong.

      • Mark said,

        April 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm

        “Just as my Sillman/Collins/Guest remarks contain facts”

        And sorry to nit-pick, but remember, this is “fact” not “facts”

      • Mark said,

        April 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm

        “there ARE facts to support my remarks: I just gave them, above.”

        Again, “fact” not “facts”… and you didn’t give “it” not “them” above…

        And it’s pretty weak as far as facts go

  53. Mark said,

    April 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Tawmas Graves,

    I think it’s funny that I have to begin every post I make by scolding you for misrepresenting my position and using cheap strawman tactics. Obviously I never said this or anything like it: “Now according to Mawk, one is not allowed to have a hypothesis.”

    I’ve said literally the opposite and have done so in the last few hours. Stop trying to paint me as a pedant. My argument isn’t that you can’t have a hypothesis but that you should make an attempt to prove it. What an entitled little sissyboy you are, Mr. Graves, that you think you should be able to say whatever you want without backing it up.

    Now, moving on, what you give here is almost an answer and we’re getting on track now. You’re still trying to avoid the question but that’s just your inborn cowardice showing through. We’re getting somewhere. I can feel it.

    You’re getting off topic again though since I’m not interested in discussing this particular instance. I’ve never seen someone wriggle so hard to try and avoid answering for the things they’ve said. It’s starting to be more pathetic than funny, Tom.

    That said, I’m glad you’ve admitted that you were wrong about the first part of my objection. You’ve admitted that what you called “simple facts” were simply suppositions on your part. Obviously facts are better but if you’re ok with suppositions and are ready to stop masquerading them as facts then we can move past this. Of course you realize that using suppositions instead of facts makes you a gossip columnist rather than a reporter…

    Anyway, here’s where it all falls apart.

    I think maybe in your mind you feel that you “pointed out a number of facts: the vast differences of approaches, sensibilities and styles (doggerel v. free verse) between Collins and Guest”…

    …but in actuality you didn’t. If you had I probably still would have still objected to the crass simplicity of your conclusion but it might have been an interesting argument (even excusing your suggestion that poets are getting into poetry to sell units which is beyond moronic).

    You didn’t really point “out a number of facts” unless that number is one. Your whole argument is that Collins writes in free verse and Guest doesn’t. Did I miss your other “facts” when I read the post? Please post them if I have.

    Your one “facts” purposefully misses Silliman’s point in a really dickish way. Just because a poet uses a different metre doesn’t mean there are no similarities in the work beneath the surface. It’s convenient that you never try to point out the facts of the vast difference in sensibility (lol) between Kooser, Collins and Guest since they share a sensibility as far as I can tell. This is Silliman’s point. The funny thing is that you make Silliman’s case for him when you say: “A popular poet, as instanced by Edgar Guest, may not be original or intricate or profound”

    It’s pretty much inarguable that Billy Collins and Ted Kooser are not original, intricate or profound. I think Silliman is saying he prefers his poets to have what Collins and Kooser lack. Is that jealousy?

    You attack me saying:
    “Thomas [Graves] makes “negative remarks about other poets” and therefore Thomas [Graves] must be jealous.”

    How is that any different from your argument in the first post that:
    “Ron Silliman made a “negative remark about two other poets” and therefore Ron Silliman must be jealous.”
    ?

    Now, you say:
    “Does Mawk show us any of these “negative remarks?” No!”
    This is almost a fair point. However, I feel that if I were to bring in any “negative remarks” you’d just spend all day trying to explain them away and we wouldn’t get anywhere. You expend so much energy in avoidance that it’s little wonder you write such dreck. You must be burnt out. I guess that explains all the spelling mistakes.

    I’m going to ask you, Tom, before I post any of your many and constant “negative remarks”: do you feel that you DON’T make negative remarks about Silliman et al?

    You’re right to say: “A “negative remark” can be factual, can it not?” Ron Silliman’s remark about Collins and Kooser being like Guest was certainly factual. Kooser and Collins are in the tradition of Guest just as Silliman is in the tradition of Olson. A clear and obvious lineage can be drawn. Yet you still ascribe it to simple jealousy.

    If jealousy is the only reason to slag another poet (or in your case “a poet” because you’re not one) then are you jealous? If it’s not the only reason then why is it the only reason Silliman could have had?

    This is the question that you’re too scared to answer…
    Well, one of them at least. We can keep dancing around it for another week but there it is.

  54. Mark said,

    April 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    The best part of all of this, though, is:

    “Now Mawk, protesting this, makes a far greater leap, sans proof, by saying Thomas [Graves] makes “negative remarks about other poets” and therefore Thomas [Graves] must be jealous.”

    Tom didn’t understand that I was making fun of his argument with this point. Tom states that the only reason to make fun of someone is jealousy but when I turn it back around on him he acts like it doesn’t make any sense.

    Guess Tom doesn’t like having to take his own medicine.

    Pretty awesome… all things considered.

    • thomasbrady said,

      April 22, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      Mark,

      I did post more facts: I also pointed out Billy Collins had a self-consciously Romantic/Modern view of history, an ironic sense of humor, a philosophical precision not elicited by Edgar Guest. If anyone has read just a little of Collins and Guest, their differences (plural) are immediately apparent. We have to assume that Silliman’s equation must pre-suppose some familiarity with both poets.

      Mark wrote: “It’s pretty much inarguable that Billy Collins and Ted Kooser are not original, intricate or profound. I think Silliman is saying he prefers his poets to have what Collins and Kooser lack. Is that jealousy?”

      This takes the cake: “inarguable” that Collins is not “original,intricate or profound.” You don’t need proof??? You can just say this is “inarguable?” And are you saying Silliman “prefers” his poets to have this, or that they DO have this? We all “prefer” originality, etc. But ARE the poets Silliman likes MORE “original, intricate and profound” than Collins? This is certainly NOT an “inarguable” point, and there’s no hope for you if you think it is. Do you think because a poet is popular and accessible they CANNOT THEREFORE be “intricate, original, or profound?” Is this why you are so quick to pronounce your nutty supposition “inarguable?” Good God, man, now I see why I struck such a chord, and why you are so agitated and why you so vociferously defend Silliman. You really believe this nonsense, don’t you? That the “difficult, Modernist/Post-Modernist” school of Silliman/Bernstein is, by its very nature, MORE “intricate, original, and profound” than anything popular and accessible. This is your default reading, isn’t it? Of course I suspected this all along, but excuse me while I chuckle up my sleeve.

      Tom

      • Mark said,

        April 22, 2011 at 11:05 pm

        “I did post more facts: I also pointed out Billy Collins had a self-consciously Romantic/Modern view of history, an ironic sense of humor, a philosophical precision not elicited by Edgar Guest.”

        You didn’t. This is a lie. It’s pretty easy to locate the article in question so I don’t know why you’re lying. Feel free to copy-paste where you said these “facts” – I can’t find them. If you had post these facts and backed them up with examples I wouldn’t be so bent out of shape. What you imagined yourself writing here sounds like a sort of interesting article. Stop being so fucking lazy, Graves.

        Oh and I said “inarguable” to be a dick because I’m tired and I thought it would be funny. You do the exact same thing all the time when you make up your “simple facts” (i.e. your “gossip”). I can see the appeal. I really can. I was just making fun of you but sometimes I forget that irony doesn’t always show in the printed word. I do think what I said to be inarguable to be true… but it’s my opinion, it’s not a fact.

        You say: “Do you think because a poet is popular and accessible they CANNOT THEREFORE be “intricate, original, or profound?”

        Almost all the poets I really like were “popular” poets. Poe was a popular poet and he was certainly all three. Again you’re using a strawman argument. Me not liking what I’ve read of Billy Collins doesn’t mean I think this. I have never said anything like this… and neither has Ron Silliman. So you have no basis to pose such a question but for your sad little reductio ad absurdum. Is that all Scarriet is capable of?

        The only way you can support your points are with these strawman arguments, Tom. That the ONLY thing I found objectionable about your initial post and the ONLY thing I mentioned on in my initial comment. You’ve twisted my words and tried to make me a caricature of myself but it’s bullshit, Tom. I’m happy to read an argument that challenges my way of thinking – your hypothesis was WEAK and your argument was nonexistant. Simple.

        Mark said,
        March 26, 2011 at 11:01 am

        “This whole post is so absurd… Just strawman after strawman.”

        ~

        You’ve been avoiding this for almost a month now. Grow a spine.

        You said that the only reason that Silliman would have made fun of Collins was jealousy. If that’s true then the only reason you make fun of Silliman must be because you’re jealous since Ron Silliman is INARGUABLY more successful than you (he does sell a lot more books than you, Tom… like a lot).

        Maybe it’s a lot simpler to say that you don’t like Silliman and Silliman doesn’t like Collins – that you all have different taste and expectations from the poetry you read. I dunno. I’ve never met any of you so I can’t say.

        I’m just going to assume that when you speak on behalf of others you’re actually revealing yourself and that you’re a petty, jealous little man. I hope that isn’t the case though and I’ve been trying to give you all the outs I can over the last month. I want to give you the benefit of the doubt, Tom.

        Let’s get to these questions.

        Mawk

      • Mark said,

        April 22, 2011 at 11:09 pm

        and as I’ve said repeatedly:
        I have no especial love for Modernism/LangPo. Some of it is good some of it isn’t. 20th C. poetry in general is not my main squeeze. I’m not defending anyone and I’ve already said that I haven’t really read Ron Silliman’s work in any significant way (nor am I planning to do so in the near future).

        What I have is a hatred for bad arguments… and these seem to be the only arguments Tom knows how to make.

        Mark

      • Mark said,

        April 23, 2011 at 4:49 am

        I’m continually struck by how the ever-pedantic Mr Graves puts his own motivations onto others.

        Tom is jealous of Ron Silliman therefore Ron Silliman MUST be jealous of everyone else.

        Tom is a pedantic ideologue therefore I must be as well. Just because I read works before I comment on them doesn’t mean I read indiscriminately. Oh but Tom would love to pretend that this is the case. It isn’t. I haven’t even read any of Ron Silliman’s major works. I’m not defending RS the poet or RS the man – I’m simply attacking an argument that reads like a child wrote it because it reads like a child wrote it.

        Someone please correct me if I’m wrong but I’ve never said anything that would give one reason to believe that I think “that the “difficult, Modernist/Post-Modernist” school of Silliman/Bernstein is, by its very nature, MORE “intricate, original, and profound” than anything popular and accessible.” Nor have I given any reason to believe that “this is [my] default reading”

        Tom seems to think so but, like all the things Tom thinks, he has no evidence (circumstantial or otherwise) to back this up.

        The only poet I’ve outright championed without reservation is Chaucer. Chaucer was the first really accessible poet in the English language and wrote works of incredibly intricacy and profundity. I don’t think Tom has read Chaucer so this is of little use to his attacks against me.

        When I disagree with Tom his intellectual Napoleon complex kicks in – which is understandable given his abject failure as a writer – and he must ascribe my dismantling of his arguments to some sort of hidden agenda… because if that wasn’t the case then he would have to turn his gaze towards himself and we all know he wouldn’t like what he would find were he to do so.

        Let me assure any readers, Tom’s attempts to read my mind and guess my motivations fail just as miserably as when he attempts to do so with Ron Silliman. I’m neither a poet nor a critic nor an academic and I have no ties to Modernism/Post-Modern/LangPo/Avant-Garde anything. My main literary interests precede the 20th century but I do enjoy a lot of poetry from the last 100 years (in both the Quietists and the Modernist lineage). Tom likes to make poetry about picking sides but I’ve been able to find good and bad poets in every place and time period. This is one of the wonderful things about poetry.

        Tom is trying to make this personal and guess my motivations to avoid answering the questions. I will not be pigeonholed and the questions will not go away.

        Mawk

  55. Score Support -- Round Two said,

    April 23, 2011 at 7:39 am

    The Fight

    A man is fighting with a cup of coffee. The rules: he must not
    break the cup nor spill its coffee; nor must the cup break the
    man’s bones or spill his blood.

    The man said, oh the hell with it, as he swept the cup to
    the floor. The cup did not break but its coffee poured out
    of its open self.

    The cup cried, don’t hurt me, please don’t hurt me; I am
    without mobility, I have no defense save my utility; use
    me to hold your coffee.

    — Russell Edson

  56. thomasbrady said,

    April 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Mawk,

    You say I can’t prove Silliman is jealous, but you can’t prove I am jealous of Silliman, so why do you keep bringing this up? Pass over in silence what you cannot prove. Or, is this a supposition on your part? But you disallow my suppositions. So you’re back to square one, with nothing to say. And repeating the word “strawman” isn’t an argument. And Chaucer??? LOL What has Chaucer got to do with anything?? I agree he’s a great writer.

    Mawk on, mawk on, Voltaire and Rousseau,
    And you’ll never Mawk alone….
    You’ll ne-vah – Mawk alone!

    Tom

  57. Mark said,

    April 23, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Tom,

    I know you hadn’t ever heard of burden of proof but maybe you’ve heard of causality. IF jealousy is the only reason Ron Silliman has to slag on Billy Collins THEN jealousy must be the only reason you would slag on Ron Silliman. You can either modify your supposition and admit that there are myriad reasons why Ron Silliman might deem Billy Collins to be Guest-esque or you can stand behind it and admit that you’re deeply, deeply jealous of Ron Silliman. As far as I can tell those seem to be the only two options.

    See Tom, YOU’RE back at square one. I’ve been literally making this point for a month. You’ve been cowardly dancing around it.

    There’s also this thing where people project their feelings onto other people… like how you’re bitter and jealous so you assume and suppose that Ron Silliman is too (maybe he is, I’ve never met him) – or how you’re a pedantic ideologue so you assume I must be too…

    So there’s that… but that’s just a supposition on my part…
    Let’s just take the above for what it is: a VERY STRONG hypothesis.
    (LOL)

    I’m bringing up Chaucer for the reason I said I was bringing up Chaucer. Because you keep accusing me of being some shill for Modernism and I’m not sure why. Why is it Tom?

    Chaucer is the only poet I’ve ever stood behind uneviquocably during my time on Scarriet. I’ve never really championed Modernism nor, I think, any specific Modernist poet here.

    You’re accusing me of having some bias towards the least accessible of poets when my main literary interest is the first ever accessible poet and I’d like to know why. There are poets from the last 100 years that I like and some of them are “difficult” and some of them aren’t… Why do you keep accusing me of predisposition towards Modernism?

    Love,
    Mawk

    PS – Remember, this is just question #1… It’s going to get a lot more painful before we’re done.

    • Mark said,

      April 23, 2011 at 8:06 pm

      Oh and what about that lie you told about having more than one fact in your article?

      What’s the deal with that, Tom?

    • thomasbrady said,

      April 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      I never accused you of being a shill for Modernism; read back, I’ve only responded to your arguments—I’m not trying to define you. I’m sure you are OK; it’s your arguments that are the issue. I’m glad you like Chaucer, but again, that’s not relevant.

      Do you understand ‘causality,’ because Silliman’s jealousy is not a cause of mine, if that’s what you are trying to say. Silliman’s opinions and mine can easily be caused by different things—so why are you bringing in ‘causality?’

      • Mark said,

        April 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm

        So Tom said:
        “I never accused you of being a shill for Modernism”

        but earlier Tom said:
        “You really believe this nonsense, don’t you? That the “difficult, Modernist/Post-Modernist” school of Silliman/Bernstein is, by its very nature, MORE “intricate, original, and profound” than anything popular and accessible. This is your default reading, isn’t it? Of course I suspected this all along, but excuse me while I chuckle up my sleeve.”

        This is, in fact, like the eighth or ninth time you’ve accused me of having a bias towards Modernism. I like that you’re backtracking though… it shows you can’t prove what you’re saying.

        Given that you have no way of knowing what you’re talking about:

        “IF jealousy is the only reason Ron Silliman has to slag on Billy Collins THEN jealousy must be the only reason you would slag on Ron Silliman. You can either modify your supposition and admit that there are myriad reasons why Ron Silliman might deem Billy Collins to be Guest-esque or you can stand behind it and admit that you’re deeply, deeply jealous of Ron Silliman. As far as I can tell those seem to be the only two options.”

        Mawk

      • Mark said,

        April 23, 2011 at 8:16 pm

        “Silliman’s jealousy is not a cause of mine, if that’s what you are trying to say.”

        Oh, and that isn’t what I was trying to say. Nice attempt to dodge the question, though.

      • thomasbrady said,

        April 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm

        “You really believe…” was an analysis of YOUR ARGUMENT…I never said that in your life that you were a shill for modernism…in your arguments against me on Scarriet, yes, you are an apologist for modernism, generally, but that’s just in the context of your arguments here…your arguments are faulty; I’m not judging your overall tastes…if you enjoy Chaucer, that’s great…

      • Mark said,

        April 23, 2011 at 8:36 pm

        Nice try. That’s a slightly more pathetic dodge than usual.

        You still haven’t touched on this though. If the word “causality” confuses you we can take it out.

        Have at ‘er:

        “IF jealousy is the only reason Ron Silliman has to slag on Billy Collins THEN jealousy must be the only reason you would slag on Ron Silliman. You can either modify your supposition and admit that there are myriad reasons why Ron Silliman might deem Billy Collins to be Guest-esque or you can stand behind it and admit that you’re deeply, deeply jealous of Ron Silliman. As far as I can tell those seem to be the only two options.”

      • Mark said,

        April 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm

        Oh and Tom edited his last post while I was commenting so I’ll just add:

        Tom said: “you are an apologist for modernism”

        I want to know how so. I’ve never made any apologies for Modernism. All I’ve done is disagree with you and point out how deeply flawed your arguments are.

        Show me where I made apologies for Modernism.

  58. Mark said,

    April 23, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    And don’t forget about this or just conveniently avoid commenting on it:

    Mark said,
    April 23, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Oh and what about that lie you told about having more than one fact in your article?

    What’s the deal with that, Tom?

    • thomasbrady said,

      April 23, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      It wasn’t a lie, Mawk. I said Collins did not rhyme and that he had a modern ironic sensibility quite different from Edgar Guest’s…it’s obvious to all…you see, these are the facts: Collins is NOTHING like Edgar Guest, and THIS FACT is what leads one to believe that Silliman’s equation of the two poets is based on nothing…but since nature hates a vacuum…etc…jealousy, or some related emotion, fills the void…the only similarity is Guest’s and Collins’ popularity, in contrast to Silliman’s relative lack thereof…

      Why do you persist in this, Mawk? It makes you look worse and worse…

      • Mark said,

        April 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm

        Quote where you said this, Tawm.

        All you said was that Billy Collins wrote in free verse. You didn’t mention his (LOL) “modern ironic sensibility”

      • Mark said,

        April 23, 2011 at 8:33 pm

        Lies suck, Tom.

        You resorting to them is making this debate very lame.

      • thomasbrady said,

        April 23, 2011 at 8:37 pm

        I did mention that other aspect to Collins (though the many differences are obvious to all) a little later on. I swear it. The comment exists.

      • Mark said,

        April 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm

        LOL

        A little later on? Like what, a week and a half later or something? That doesn’t really make it so that your article had more facts to it if you added a fact later….

        However, I dont’ think you said it at all.

        I can’t find it. You swearing something doesn’t hold much water, especially since this is an online forum where the entire record of the conversation is there for anyone to look at.

        Quote it Tom. Copy-Paste

    • Mark said,

      April 23, 2011 at 11:12 pm

      Oh and it should be pointed out that Tom’s inability to find “facts” in his article – and his subsequent claims that they are there – becomes even more suspicious in light of this comment he made in the thread in question:

      thomasbrady said,
      April 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      “I just re-read my article”

      ~

      So where are the facts, Tom? Copy-paste them for us. We’re all dying to see them. You swore they were there. Were you lying all along?

      Ha! Instead of saving face by admitting that he lied Tom stood atop his whiny little soapbox and ignored my complaint complaining instead about: “that series of ‘have you stopped beating your wife? questions.”

      Remembering that this is now the third time Tom has referred to my questions as such, I responded in kind saying:

      “I honestly don’t know what this means. It sounds like a dodge. A reductio ad absurdum so as to make the questions I’m asking you somehow invalid.

      It’s not working, son.

      The questions I’m asking are predicated on specific things you’ve specifically said. Should you be unaccountable for what you say?”

      ~

      I stand by this as I stand by everything I’ve said here… I stand by it even though Tom won’t stand behind what he says.

      I’ve said if Tom can show me why anything I’ve said is invalid I would retract it. My questions (both here and on the other thread) remain. Tom won’t answer them for a reason. I’ll leave anyone reading this debate to speculate why…

      …but I think the reason is “obvious to all”.

      Mawk

  59. Mark said,

    April 23, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    So, a quick updaate for anyone following this and confused by Tom’s fierce attempts to muddy the waters and avoid answering for what he’s said:

    I’ve pointed out that the only difference (the only fact) Tom mentions in his article was that Collins writes in “free verse” and Guest doesn’t. Obviously this doesn’t mean much in terms of lineage – many poets use different metres to write similar types of poetry.

    Tom has since lied and said there were multiple facts in his article. I’ve asked him to produce them, as I can’t find any. He has been unable to do so at this time.

    He’s begun resorting to crap like: “it’s obvious to all”… as if this means he doesn’t have to prove his hypothesis. Fucking pathetic. The only thing “obvious to all” is the poor quality of Tom’s writing here on Scarriet which, ultimately, isn’t what we’re discussing here.

    I followed Tom’s argument. His point is that the only possible cause of a put-down is jealousy. If that’s the case then Tom MUST be jealous of Ron Silliman. If jealousy is the only possible cause of a put-down then Tom must be deeply wrought with jealousy. I’ve given Tom many chances to admit that there are myriad reasons why a person would zing another person but of course this would end up negating Tom’s original argument. Tom has begun backing away from his initial point calling it: “jealousy, or some related emotion”

    but Tom’s babystep away from his initial point isn’t good enough… not nearly…

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could render the world into black and white but remain in colour ourselves? Tom has tried and Tom’s failure at this is just as pronounced as his failure as a poet. His attacks on Ron Silliman just end up implicating Scarriet.

    Tom, just as he pretended to not know what “burden of proof” meant, has pretended he doesn’t know what I mean by “causality”. He misrepresented my point saying: “Silliman’s jealousy is not a cause of mine.” Of course in doing so he admits that he is jealous of Ron Silliman. I’d still like to know why. I suspect, since his admission of jealousy is on the record, that it’s likely Tom is projecting his own jealousy onto Ron Silliman… but I’m willing to move past this.

    So, if I can be indulged to extrapolate things a bit:

    Despite his lie to the contrary, it’s all but proven that Tom’s initial argument had only one fact in it and that the one fact in question does little to prove his hypothesis. This, of course, means the argument wasn’t very good.

    We also know that Tom is jealous of Ron Silliman (he’s admitted it) and can charitably speculate that Tom’s accusation that Ron Silliman is jealous of Billy Collins (given that Tom has no way of knowing this to be true) is likely a sympton of Tom’s own jealousy. My counter-argument that Ron Silliman said he doesn’t like Billy Collins poetry because he doesn’t like Billy Collins poetry is looking more and more poignant. The simplest answer sometimes really is the best one.

    So that’s where we’re at… and this is only question #1!!!
    Should we move on to question #2, Tom, or would you like to wriggle some more?

    Mark

    • Mark said,

      April 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm

      Though I still would like to know where I’ve been “an apologist for modernism,” Tom…

      Your inability to find a quote from the first article proves you were lying about your “facts” – can you find a quote where I make apologies for Modernism or are you lying about that too?

    • thomasbrady said,

      April 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      Mawk,

      You’ve got to get over this ‘jealousy’ issue. It’s all you’ve got, and it makes you sound small and foolish—over and over again. LOL

      Everyone feels jealous from time to time, and they would be liars (or saints) if they did not admit this, but only some of us allow it to lead us into gross errors of judgment.

      Tom

  60. April 24, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Jabberwocky

    T’was brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought—
    So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
    And stood awhile in thought.

    And as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

    One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    “And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
    He chortled in his joy.

    T’was brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    – Lewis Carroll

    • Mark said,

      April 24, 2011 at 1:53 am

      pfff

      That poem is incoherent… No wonder it’s not popular.

      The public has not taste for incoherence. They demand works be totally accessible at all times. Mystery and elusiveness are just crutches used by poets who are jealous of Billy Collins.

      • thomasbrady said,

        April 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm

        Mawk,

        That poem is not incoherent at all. The story is very clear. You can’t grasp the simplest things.

        That’s the problem here.

        That’s why you’re flat on your back, yelling, “I won!” LOL

        Tom

      • Mark said,

        April 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm

        I actually really like Lewis Carroll…

        I would say the real problem here is that you’re lying to make your points, Tom.

        Just sayin’…

  61. Marcus Bales said,

    April 24, 2011 at 2:21 am

    The Jabberwonks

    ‘Twas bush league, and the slimy droves
    Of rightwingnuts loved condibabe
    While powells, ashcrofts, cheneys, roves,
    And rumsfelds abu ghraib.

    “Beware the Jabberwonks, my son!
    Its clauses mean, its verbs agree –
    Beware the tax!” said Forty-one;
    “… the facts!” heard Forty-three.

    He took his verbal word in mouth
    Long time the media he conned:
    He grinned and quipped “If there’s no script
    Then I need not respond!”

    He stood there not responding when
    The Jabberwonks showed photographs
    Of tortured captives Rummy’s men
    Had tormented for laughs.

    “Just one or two! At most a few!”
    The verbal word denied, denied,
    Denied command of those it canned
    And, in courts martial, tried.

    “And hast thou gamed the Jabberwonks,
    With talk of honor where there’s none;
    Is oil still squirtin’ for Haliburton?
    Oh, what a good job you’ve done!”

    ‘Twas bush league, and the slimy droves
    Of rightwingnuts loved condibabe
    While powells, ashcrofts, cheneys, roves,
    And rumsfelds abu ghraib.

    • Mark said,

      April 24, 2011 at 2:28 am

      Very topical, Marcus.

      Ripped right out of the headlines.

      But if you don’t have anything to add then maybe you could avoid cluttering up the thread while I’m trying to have a discussion with Tom.

    • Excerpt support said,

      April 24, 2011 at 11:09 am

      The Reagan

      Once upon a cold November, back in `80, you’ll remember,
      Came to pass a great election, with a wondrous change in store;
      By a landslide, one was winning, promising a new beginning;
      Tall and proud, he stood there, grinning, like so many times before;
      Who was he, this cool one, grinning, like so many times before?
      ‘Twas The Reagan, nothing more.

      Once he was inaugurated, Reaganomics he created,
      Promising a balanced budget, like we had in days of yore;
      “Though,” he said, “our debt is growing, and a bundle we are owing,
      “I’ll cut taxes, ’cause I’m knowing this will save us bucks galore”;
      “Please explain,” a newsman asked, “how will this save us bucks galore?”
      Quoth The Reagan, “Less is more.”

      Pushing for defense, he pleaded, brand-new missiles would be needed:
      “That’s the only way,” he said, “to keep the country out of war”;
      “True,” he said, “they’re not required, and they’re not meant to be fired;
      “In five years they’ll be retired—still we must build hundreds more”;
      “Tell us why,” a newsman asked, “we must be building hundreds more?”
      Quoth The Reagan, “Jobs galore.”

      Was he real or from a movie? “Make my day” sure sounded groovy,
      Standing up to Congress or the rebels in El Salvador;
      Flicks like “Rambo” he promoted (sev’ral times, it should be noted);
      Once John Wayne he even quoted, when Kaddafi threatened war;
      “Does this mean,” a newsman asked, “we’re heading toward a Mid-East war?”
      Quoth The Reagan, “Hit the shore.”

      During times he wasn’t dozing, many plans he was proposing,
      Dealing with the deficit, which he no longer could ignore;
      “Cuts,” he said, “I’m recommending, pending our ascending spending,
      “With attending trends suspending, then extending as before.”
      “Does this mean,” a newsman asked, “a balanced budget like before?”
      Quoth The Reagan, “Nevermore!”

      Frank Jacobs

      • Mark said,

        April 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm

        Couldn’t resist, could you Bob?

        🙂

      • April 24, 2011 at 12:30 pm

        He’s the supporter, Mark — I guess.

        But who is he supporting, exactly, that’s the question. Indeed, I’d say this poem makes both Poe and Tom look ridiculous.

        C.

  62. April 24, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Methinks over many heads this went,
    unless Kaltica/Pirvaya/CW/Mark caught on and is being sarcastic.

    • Mark said,

      April 24, 2011 at 2:30 am

      Sigh

      I couldn’t be being more sarcastic, Gary.

      If CW is Christopher, I’m not him. I don’t know who the first two are.

      Mark
      (aka Mawk)

  63. Mark said,

    April 24, 2011 at 3:12 am

    Remember Gary and anyone reading: Tom lies to make his points and that can’t be left unchecked.

    From subtle distortions of the truth like calling me an apologist for modernism to outright lies like swearing he made a point that he didn’t make (this latter point is the second lie I’ve caught Tom in since my time at Scarriet – that is, the second I’ve been able to clearly prove).

    Anyone can check and see that Tom is lying when he says these things but no one bothers and this is why Tom is allowed to continue. He tries very hard to distract and divert attention with his tangents – even here on this thread – but Thomas Graves is a liar and we can prove it.

    He makes a mockery of poetry by turning poets into pawns with which to launch his half-baked polemics.

    I want to see him held accountable for the things he says.

  64. April 24, 2011 at 3:25 am

    CW is Colin Ward, an old friend from the old days. My apologies if not you.

    • Mark said,

      April 24, 2011 at 3:42 am

      No Gary, I’ve actually never posted online about poetry before anywhere.

      I may stop after this, though. Arguing with a pathological liar like Thomas Graves is enough to sour anyone.

      Cheers,
      Mark (which actually is my name, incidentally)

  65. April 24, 2011 at 3:33 am

    So why did you list him twice, then, Gary as Colin Ward is ‘Kaltica,’ and everybody that matters here knows that?

    But frankly, I don’t get “Jabberwocky” either.

    CW

    • Mark said,

      April 24, 2011 at 3:44 am

      I assumed Gary posted it for the conclusion:

      “And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?”

  66. April 24, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Mark,
    God damn it, I’ve got it. Gary thinks you’re Kaltica/Pirvaya — those are both names used by Colin Ward, a well-known online poetry critic and workshop-polisher on Poets.org.

    Gary,
    Mark’s prose style and all his interests are entirely different from Kaltica’s. Mark is also much funnier and not at all cynical. Also Mark gave you his e-mail address when you asked him who he was — did you check it out?

    (I didn’t myself, by the way — but I will when he’s out of bed, I can use my left arm, and we’re all enlightened by some answers.)

    Christopher

    • Mark said,

      April 24, 2011 at 4:30 am

      Feel free to drop me a line Christopher.

      My cast comes off on the 29th but I’m not sure how long it’ll be before I’m 100%… I dont’ suppose I should be giving my cane to good will just yet.

      I actually clicked on your name by accident and ended up at your website. I sent you an e-mail through there… dunno if you got it or not.

      Mark

  67. April 24, 2011 at 4:12 am

    The horse is now dead.
    Throw away your sticks or find
    another to beat.

    • Mark said,

      April 24, 2011 at 4:27 am

      Nice haiku, Gary…
      But here’s what the horse said earlier today:

      ■thomasbrady said,
      April 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      “You deserve credit for hanging in there with me, however. I respect a fighter, even as I pummel him, as I’ve pummeled you.”

      ~

      Obviously Tom is the only one who doesn’t realize he’s been dead for weeks (agh! Did I just accidentally make a reference to that awful Bruce Willis movie?!?!?!)… but he’s sure still cocky for someone who’s taken such a drubbing.

      You seem like a good dude, Gary and I’m sure it’s painful to watch Tom get massacred like this (even as Gravesy calls me bozo, twit and all sorts of other lame old-people insults I can’t help feeling bad for the guy) but Tom will say uncle when he’s ready.

      I know you’re looking at Tom with his eyes swollen closed and you want to be the ref who steps in and stops the fight, and I understand why, but Tom’s going to have to say uncle himself. I’m not a sadist or anything… I just don’t like liars.

      Sometimes you have to squash the troll and sometimes it isn’t pretty to watch while it happens.

  68. Mark said,

    April 24, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I’m going to bed now but there’s been a lot of action on the ol’ About Scarriet thread tonight… I just want to make sure Tom doesn’t miss these posts so I’m dropping them again (though I’ve tidied up one or two of my (possibly many) typos):

    Mark said,
    April 23, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    So, a quick update for anyone following this and confused by Tom’s fierce attempts to muddy the waters and avoid answering for what he’s said:

    I’ve pointed out that the only difference (the only fact) Tom mentions in his article was that Collins writes in “free verse” and Guest doesn’t. Obviously this doesn’t mean much in terms of lineage – many poets use different metres to write similar types of poetry.

    Tom has since lied and said there were multiple facts in his article. I’ve asked him to produce them, as I can’t find any. He has been unable to do so at this time.

    He’s begun resorting to crap like: “it’s obvious to all”… as if this means he doesn’t have to prove his hypothesis. Fucking pathetic. The only thing “obvious to all” is the poor quality of Tom’s writing here on Scarriet which, ultimately, isn’t what we’re discussing.

    I followed Tom’s argument. His point is that the only possible cause of a put-down is jealousy. If that’s the case then Tom MUST be jealous of Ron Silliman. If jealousy is the only possible cause of a put-down then Tom must be deeply wrought with jealousy. I’ve given Tom many chances to admit that there are myriad reasons why a person would zing another person but of course this would end up negating Tom’s original argument. Tom has begun backing away from his initial point calling it: “jealousy, or some related emotion”

    but Tom’s babystep away from his initial point isn’t good enough… not nearly…

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could render the world into black and white but remain in colour ourselves? Tom has tried and Tom’s failure at this is just as pronounced as his failure as a poet. His attacks on Ron Silliman just end up implicating Scarriet.

    Tom, just as he pretended to not know what “burden of proof” meant, has pretended he doesn’t know what I mean by “causality”. He misrepresented my point saying: “Silliman’s jealousy is not a cause of mine.” Of course in doing so he admits that he is jealous of Ron Silliman. I’d still like to know why. I suspect, since his admission of jealousy is on the record, that it’s likely Tom is projecting his own jealousy onto Ron Silliman… but I’m willing to move past this.

    So, if I can be indulged to extrapolate things a bit:

    Despite his lie to the contrary, it’s all but proven that Tom’s initial argument had only one fact in it and that the one fact in question does little to prove his hypothesis. This, of course, means the argument wasn’t very good.

    We also know that Tom is jealous of Ron Silliman (he’s admitted it) and can charitably speculate that Tom’s accusation that Ron Silliman is jealous of Billy Collins (given that Tom has no way of knowing this to be true) is likely a sympton of Tom’s own jealousy. My counter-argument that Ron Silliman said he doesn’t like Billy Collins poetry because he doesn’t like Billy Collins poetry is looking more and more poignant. The simplest answer really is the best one sometimes.

    So that’s where we’re at… and this is only question #1!!!
    Should we move on to question #2, Tom, or would you like to wriggle some more?

    Mark

    ~
    & also this one:

    Mark said,
    April 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Though I still would like to know where I’ve been “an apologist for modernism,” Tom…

    Your inability to find a quote from the first article proves you were lying about your “facts” – can you find a quote where I make apologies for Modernism or are you lying about that too? [update: I’m pretty sure he is]

    ~
    So have at ‘er, Tom. While you’re at it maybe you could finally tell me why you keep equating me asking you topical questions about the points you’re making within the confines of an internet discussion site with domestic abuse.

    Is it purely an act of avoidance designed to make reasonable questions seem absurd or are you actually that laughably melodramatic?

  69. Mark said,

    April 24, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    thomas[Graves] said,
    April 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    You’ve got to get over this ‘jealousy’ issue. It’s all you’ve got, and it makes you sound small and foolish—over and over again. LOL

    ~

    but Tom, I’ve also got that you’re a liar… and I’m going to be saying so “over and over again”… believe me.

    ~

    The funny thing is that I don’t actually think you’re particularly jealous of Ron Silliman. I think you genuinely don’t care for his work (or rather, don’t understand it and haven’t made any effort to do so)… but the same goes for Ol’ Ronny and Billy Collins.

    You’re such a starry-eyed Billy Collins fanboy that you can’t conceive of someone not liking your hero – you have to construct elaborate plots of jealousy and intrigue… Far more elaborate than necessary, Tom.

    The fact is that Billy Collins is a boring poet whose insights are sub-grade-school. If you were 20 years younger you’d think so too. He writes gentle poetry for old people of the 21st century just like Edgar Guest wrote gentle poetry for old people in the 20th. I’d encourage you to post some poetry from Collins alongside Guest’s that would disprove me here – which is, you know, what you should have done in the first place. I’d actually love to change my mind on Collins. From what I’ve read, however, Collins and Guest are pretty much just different version of the same syrupy dreck and you’re just too clouded with fandom to see it.

    That’s why you didn’t make an argument, that’s why you only presented one fact (and a specious one at that) and that’s why you tried to lie to cover it up when I pointed this out.

    You haven’t presented any facts because you can’t… at least that’s my hypothesis for the time being (and a VERY STRONG hypothesis at that)

    Your argument traps you, Tom. Your constant strawman arguments are far less supportable than Silliman’s statement. Unless you want to admit the possibility of simple distaste then by your own logic you MUST be lashing out at RS and making indefensible statements about him because he is much, much, MUCH more successful than you.

    Ron Silliman and Billy Collins are at different rungs of the monkey bars – a talentless hack like you isn’t even allowed on the playground.

  70. Mark said,

    April 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Oh and Tom, you probably ought to address these points too. It’s funny that you think all I’ve got is you being jealous of Ron Silliman (which I do think is funny but is hardly the point). You being a liar is of much greater concern than you being a petty little man with a worldview completely clouded by jealousy (which again, I do think is funny but nevermind).

    Here’s the rest of what I’ve got that you conveniently avoided like the coward that you are:

    ~

    Mark said,
    April 24, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Tom has since lied and said there were multiple facts in his article. I’ve asked him to produce them, as I can’t find any. He has been unable to do so at this time.

    He’s begun resorting to crap like: “it’s obvious to all”… as if this means he doesn’t have to prove his hypothesis. Fucking pathetic. The only thing “obvious to all” is the poor quality of Tom’s writing here on Scarriet which, ultimately, isn’t what we’re discussing.

    Despite his lie to the contrary, it’s all but proven that Tom’s initial argument had only one fact in it and that the one fact in question does little to prove his hypothesis. This, of course, means the argument wasn’t very good.

    ~

    I still would like to know where I’ve been “an apologist for modernism,” Tom…

    Your inability to find a quote from the first article proves you were lying about your “facts” – can you find a quote where I make apologies for Modernism or are you lying about that too?

    ~

    While you’re at it maybe you could finally tell me why you keep equating me asking you topical questions about the points you’re making within the confines of an internet discussion site with domestic abuse.

    Is it purely an act of avoidance designed to make reasonable questions seem absurd or are you actually that laughably melodramatic?

    ~

    & remember this is just question #1!

    Cheers,
    Mawk

  71. Mark said,

    April 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    So Tom has lied about me being an “apologist for modernism” and about having “pointed out a number of facts.” We’ve shown this here.

    Here are some of Tom’s other lies. Again these are just lies I can prove concretely.

    thomasbrady said,
    April 7, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Your entire case against me (that I can discern) is that I haven’t read the entirety of Olson’s Maxi-pad Poems. That’s why I brought up Olson. Oh, and you keep bringing up Chaucer…something about ‘he’s not sentimental…’ which isn’t true…I already defined my use of that term.

    We have two lies here. First Tom did not define his use of the term “sentimental.” Neither in the initial article, the ensuing thread nor in any of the threads that followed. There was some convoluted metaphor about sentiment being clay (which it isn’t) but no definition of the term was ever attempted. As above I asked Tom to show me where he had said this and he refused.

    The second lie, this one slightly smaller, is Tom’s claim that my “entire case” against him was because he hadn’t read Olson (though when we get to question #6 here that will come back into play). This is a flagrant misrepresentation of my “case” given that I had said throughout the debate and as recently as eight hours earlier:

    Mark said,
    April 7, 2011 at 3:49 am

    I’m not asking you to read [Olson’s work]. Quite frankly I don’t give a shit if you do or not. I’m asking you to prove your points. Stop dodging the questions.

    Finally, here’s another of Tom’s lies from that same post:

    “I said Olson’s Gloucester poem was influenced by ‘Our Town’ and you reacted as I knew you would, rejecting the comparison”

    Obviously Olson is nothing like ‘Our Town’ – and obviously Tom took me having read Olson to mean I was some sort of Olson scholar (I guess since Tom never reads anything he would make that mistake). Tom thought I would be offended by this and was trying to get a reaction because he’s a petty little man who can’t handle a real debate… but here’s what my actual reaction was:

    “Is there a scene in Our Town where the protagonist watches a man with a shifting face fuck his wife? I must have caught the abridged version.”

    When Tom tried to call this an “objection,” I said:

    “I’ve never read “Our Town” – my comment wasn’t really an “objection”, per se, but then what you said wasn’t really a “comparison”. Your comment was drive-by generality designed to get my ire up (didn’t work, btw) – is that all you’re capable of, Tom? I’d ask what SPECIFICALLY reminds you of Masters and I’d ask that you back up your claims but I know that’s a lot more work than you’re used to doing…
    Oh, is that too demanding for Tom “Delicate Daffodil” Graves?”

    So where in these posts do I “reject the comparison”? The answer is NOWHERE because Tom was LYING when he said I rejected the comparison.

    (I’m going to have to start calling Tom a Delicate Daffodil again… that’s a pretty good nickname for him. Fit’s ol’ Gravesy to a T)

    So that’s five. Two of them just subtle distortions of the truth and three of them outright provably incorrect.

  72. Mark said,

    April 24, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I wonder if Tom’s kids read Scarriet…

    I wonder if when they were growing up Tom told them not to lie but then they come on here and read Tom’s posts and find lies on top of other lies and don’t know what to think.

    That would be fucked up.

    • Mark said,

      April 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      This post perhaps takes things too far.

      I was wondering this and I do think it’s fucked up that someone’s father would be on the internet lying to strangers – I know my father never was – but I probably should have kept it to myself.

      Apologies, Tom, if I’ve stepped over a line here. The frustration of spending an entire month trying to get you to answer a simple question and being met only with lies and subterfuge is beginning to show.

      Tom, I don’t hate you or anything. I’m sure you’re a perfectly nice guy in real life and I’m sure if we met in a bar we’d talk sports and literature and have a few laughs – not friends but definitely friendly – I find your online persona highly contradictory and carefully constructed to offend. Offending the establishment is fine – and even necessary in this world of academic poetry – but you have nothing to back it up. You pose as someone who seeks discourse but you sabotage it. You are condescending even as you resort to lying. You clearly haven’t read much or any of the work you spend all your time attacking.

      And this recent bout of personal attacks on me: are you just trying to save face? Are you insecure about having people like Gary watch and comment on the intellectual beatdown you’re receiving? What are you gaining by not answering those questions I asked you?

      They’re all highly topical and eminently reasonable.

      I know you’re just waiting for me to go away so things can go back to normal and you can go back to saying unsupported things unchallenged… but is that really what you want? Wouldn’t it be better if we made things better? Don’t you want to be more than the circus sideshow of poetry?

  73. April 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Dear friend Tom,
    If you always play on your silly strengths and nothing more, old friends like me will come along and say you make them throw up.

    You can do Lists with your eyes shut — the 100 Best of This or That, and then Another 100, and Yet 100 More — with your good Nooch along to fill out the glorification-of-poets-and-poetry details as if everyone were so excited, and following your remarkably fertile poetry-mind with still bated breath. Whereas what you really want is, admit it, just to be a poet, just to be a poet still in love.

    ~

    The fact is your memory and your wit are your slave-masters, and they’ve squeezed you into a tiny tight niche where only you can function at such speed — and it’s your prison, and it’s called Scarriet, and it’s entirely devoid of companions and admirers.

    But you’re so much bigger than that, Tom, what with your wife and your lovely children and your poetry, baseball and music. Why do you just want to be poetry’s Arnold Shwarzenegger, and pump your muscles up bigger than all the others and pretend that your the crowned King of Poetry-Pops — the most popular, the most unflappable, with the fastest critical dick ever flashed on Parnassus at high noon?

    Take a deep breath and pull back, Tom. Take a deep breath, touch the earth, and admit how difficult it is to write poetry at all, and how hard we all try — and still we can’t do it. And I mean almost all of us who have the courage to try.

    No poet worth his salt doesn’t feel this way, Tom, with the possible exception of William Shakespeare and Edward Guest.

    So come down, Tom.

    Cry, Tom.

    Cry, Mr Wizard of Oz behind your chintz curtain.

    Cry for those innocents strung up on your clothes line in Ithaca.

    Christopher

  74. thomasbrady said,

    April 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Mawk, Woodman,

    I’ve listened to your words of advice—
    Thank you, both, you’re both very nice.
    But do you think you’ll knock me off my throne?
    Mawk on, mawk on, Voltaire, Rousseau,
    And you’ll never Mawk alone!

    Tom

    • Mark said,

      April 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      Gravesy,

      A person who lies in arguments can hardly be said to be on a throne.

      I’ve pointed out five concrete examples of lies you’ve told and that’s only going back two weeks.

      I’m still curious how you respond to this point. Are you ok with being known as a liar? I really thought you were better than that, Tom.

      Mark

      • Mark said,

        April 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm

        *Three weeks, pardon me

  75. thomasbrady said,

    April 24, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Mawk,

    Your inability to understand simple concepts is transformed into blaming another for telling “lies.”

    This is nothing but a case of clinical paranoia.

    Your curiosity is turning into trolling.

    Tom

  76. Poem support said,

    April 24, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Schwarzenegger

    By the shores of the Pacific,
    In the town of glitz and hustle,
    Strode the mighty Schwarzenegger,
    Baring chest and flexing muscle;
    Biceps twitched in perfect rhythm
    Through his skill with isometrics,—
    Feats that Letterman, on seeing,
    Sought to use as Stupid Pet Tricks.

    But the bulging Schwarzenegger
    Set his sights on goals much higher,
    As the lure of movie stardom
    Pumped him up with great desire;
    Soon he found himself in epics,
    Slaying enemies like vermin,
    Tearing dialogue to pieces
    With his accent, Anglo-German.

    Clenching jaw, he raged as “Conan,”
    Who, upset by double-dealing,
    Slaughters half the population
    To express his depth of feeling;
    Next “The Terminator” starred him
    As a droid bent on aggression,
    Killing victims for two hours
    Without changing his expression.

    As a soldier in “Commando,”
    On whole armies he was feasting,
    Shrugging off a hail of bullets
    Like a flea-bite or a bee-sting;
    Not Stallone in Panavision
    Matched the fury of his scowling
    When in “Predator” he thrilled us
    In the art of disemboweling.

    In a further quest for glory
    As “The Running Man” he bore up,
    Bringing down the rule of evil
    While assorted foes he tore up;
    See him punch out his oppressors,
    Rip apart a villain’s torso,
    Bludgeon killers into meatloaf
    Like Chuck Norris, only more so.

    Yes, the massive Schwarzenegger,
    Muscles rippling, tendons straining,
    Now, through fame and sky-high grosses,
    As a superstar is reigning;
    Let the critics crucify him
    When his lines he seems to louse up;
    If it’s brains that wins the Oscars,
    It’s the beef that fills the house up.

    Frank Jacobs

  77. Mark said,

    April 24, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Tom

    I’m not curious about you, you are impossibly easy to figure out: “Offending the establishment is fine – and even necessary in this world of academic poetry – but you have nothing to back it up.” If you did, and I really wish you did, you’d be able to answer those questions. You’re a nihilist, Tom. And granted, nihilism is pretty cool but you for all your ability to pick things apart but you have not the intelligence nor talent to put things back together.

    If I asked anyone who cared about poetry where they thought poetry was going and what poetry needed to move forward they’d be able to give me an answer. You can’t because you don’t have any answers – all you have is your questions and your jealous vitriol.

    Your “simple concepts” are lies:

    When you “swear” there are “other aspects” to your argument, anyone can simply go look and see that these “other aspects” don’t exist. That means it’s not true. This is all on the record, Tom. Your smoke and mirrors only goes so far.

    When you call me an “apologist for Modernism” you are misrepresenting the truth – I am an apologist for the truth, Tom, something for which Scarriet is desperately gasping. I have made no apologies for Modernism and have no special bias towards it. You accusation is an intentional distortion of the truth.

    When you say I’ve “rejected” one of your points and I can clearly copy and paste my response where I did no such thing you are not only lying but delusional.

    When you accuse me of chastitsing you for not reading something and I had actually, several times and as recently as 8 hours earlier, said “I’m not asking you to read it”: you are misrepresenting the truth. You are lying because you are a liar.

    When you say you defined your usage of a term and I (or anyone) can go back to the article in question and see that you haven’t – you are lying.

    ~

    You’ve pretended throughout this discussion that you don’t know the meaning of simple terms like “burden of proof” and “causality” – are you pretending you don’t know what a lie is?

    This is pathetic but let’s go to wiktionary again:

    “Noun
    lie (plural lies)

    1.A deliberately false statement; an intentional falsehood.
    2.A statement intended to deceive, even if literally true; a half-truth”

    When you say things are there that aren’t there you are making “deliberately false statements.” When you accuse people of things that are clearly untrue you are making “a statement intended to deceive.”

    You can try and turn this back on me and accuse me of “paranoia,” Tom, but the examples I’ve given are clearly lies made by you and are easily defined as such. You’re welcome to show me where you did define your terms (you didn’t), where I’ve made apologies for Modernism (I haven’t), where you presented more than one fact (not true), where I rejected your comparison about Olson (I didn’t) or where the “other aspects” of your argument disappeared to. If you’re this quick to resort to lying during a debate then it’s a pretty short jump to assuming you’re lying in your articles.

    I am sorry I brought your family into this but I sincerely hope none of them read Scarriet because it’s clear to anyone who reads this site that you are a liar.

    Mark
    (aka Mawk)
    (aka Anonymous)

    • Mark said,

      April 24, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      You’re insisting on going down with the ship, Tawm (sigh… and being so melodramatic about it… you really are a Poe reader, ain’t ya?), but I’m here showing you how to patch the leak so we can all get back to port.

  78. Mark said,

    April 25, 2011 at 2:08 am

    [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8E_zMLCRNg]

  79. April 25, 2011 at 2:50 am

    I always forget…do we open our eggs on the big end or the little one?

    • Mark said,

      April 25, 2011 at 3:19 am

      Afraid you’ve lost me here Gary.

      I was right with you through the Jabberwocky (it doesn’t seem that I’ve slain the Jabberwock, fwiw) but I’m not sure what you’re driving at here…. are you trying to say that there’s more than one way to crack an egg?

      When Tom lies he limits the ways the situation can be approached.

      Am I beating a dead horse by trying to hold Tom to some degree of accountability for the things he says? Maybe Tom being a liar is so widely known in the poetry world that my saying so really IS beating a dead horse – but I have no way of knowing that to be true.

      When Tom lies or misrepresents facts he should be called on it. He shouldn’t be allowed to just wait it out and hope it goes away so he can go back to lying some more. I’ve invested this much time and I’m going to see it through.

      I understand that the regulars want Scarriet to go back to normal – and there are certainly good things about this blog – but let’s all remember what normal is on Scarriet:

      Normal is Tom lying, using strawman arguments, misrepresenting facts, and bullying people who disagree with him until they leave. That’s just not good enough.

      A precedent needs to be set. When you lie, someone will call you on it.
      When you try and avoid being called on it, that person will persist. People, and not just Tom, seem to think different standards of discourse apply on the internet – that since a certain degree of anonymity is allowed they should be cowards and abuse that anonymity. Even as I, an anonymous poster, write this I have never refused to answer for what I’ve said and I’ve never taken the coward’s way out. When I’ve made statements I can’t back up I’ve retracted them. I will continue to do so. Tom is welcome to challenge any of my points and I will happily retract anything I’ve said that’s incorrect.

      If Tom were a public figure and he lied on the record then someone would call him on it. By having a blog Tom becomes a public figure whether he likes it or not. His remarks are on the record and his lies are easily proven.

      It all seems very simple to me.

      Mark

  80. April 25, 2011 at 3:36 am

    “The novel (Gulliver’s Travels) further describes an intra-Lilliputian quarrel which involved a quarrel over the practice of breaking eggs. Formerly, in Lilliput, all eggs were broken on the larger end; but a few generations in the past, an Emperor of Lilliput had decreed that all eggs be broken on the smaller end. The differences between Big-Endians (those who broke their eggs at the larger end) and Little-Endians had given rise to “six rebellions… wherein one Emperor lost his life, and another his crown”.

    From Wikipedia

    Let’s try this, then:

    “Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, ‘Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.’

    ‘What giants?’ asked Sancho Panza.

    ‘Those you see over there,’ replied his master, ‘with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.’

    ‘Take care, sir,’ cried Sancho. ‘Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone.’”

    – Miguel de Cervantes

    Get it, yet?

    • Mark said,

      April 25, 2011 at 4:05 am

      You’ve been on Scarriet too long Gary – you’re starting to be nearly as melodramatic as Tom.

      I’m inferring a very condescending ‘tude from you though, Gary, and I’m not sure where it’s coming from.

      I’m not trying to destroy anything and I didn’t come here looking for a fight. Tom is trying to make people believe that this is a debate – that I’m on one side and he’s on the other and we’re duking it out. That isn’t the case. Tom and I are actually on the same side on a lot of issues. He’s insisting on making this a drag-out fight when i have little interest in such. All I’ve been trying to do since my first post was raise the standard of discourse – if my best friend wrote an essay that was predicated on a weak, unproveable, strawman argument I’d tell him so. If he got mad when I said so it would be too damn bad. I wouldn’t coddle him and pretend it was ok for him to publish lies. I’m not going to coddle Tom, either.

      I actually have no beef with Tom attacking modernism (though he’s a little late to the game) nor do i have a beef with him attacking LangPo (though he hasn’t read any of what he attacks): I didn’t come here to fight and I didn’t come here to troll.

      Tom obviously doesn’t want to play anymore and you’re bothered by my insistence but it’s not nearly as complicated as you’re making it. This isn’t a schoolyard thing.

      I pointed out the fallacy of Tom’s argument. He lied to protect his argument. I’ve called him on these lies.

      I’m going to keep calling him on his lies. Sorry man, but if you don’t like, or it offends your delicate sensibility, then stay the hell out of the way. If ANYONE lies to me I’m gonna call them on it. Online or otherwise. If that person tried to evade my comments I would call them on that too.

      Tom is a public figure. His comments are on record. Why are you so willing to look the other way on simple standards of discourse?

      Mark

      PS – I really do mean no offense to you Gary, you seem like a nice guy and your posts are usually funny and clever. This isn’t beating a dead horse. This is holding someone accountable for what they say. There’s a difference even if you can’t see it.

  81. April 25, 2011 at 5:11 am

    The point I was trying to make with my reference above, Mark (which, unfortunately, relects on your literary education) is that you are tilting at windmills.

    Allow me to be more precise:

    You’re spinning your wheels. Throwing good money after bad.

    “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”

    – Marcus Aurelius

  82. April 25, 2011 at 5:14 am

    81.Gary B. Fitzgerald said,
    April 25, 2011 at 5:11 am

    The point I was trying to make with my reference above, Mark (which, unfortunately, reflects on your literary education) is that you are tilting at windmills.

    Allow me to be more precise:

    You’re spinning your wheels. Throwing good money after bad.

    “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”

    – Marcus Aurelius

  83. April 25, 2011 at 5:17 am

    (first post defective…please delete).

    Tpyos reayll Scuk!

  84. Mark said,

    April 25, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Gary,

    I knew what you were tilting at but I still think it’s awfully melodramatic and cynical. That’s what I was saying was rubbing off on you here at Scarriet. I’m not looking to fight a giant and ending up with a windmill – I’m not looking for a fight at all.

    Is the idea of Tom listening to reason really such a far-gone conclusion in your mind? Is the idea of getting Tom to stop lying such an impossibility? Maybe I’m naive but I don’t think this is necessarily the case…

    And if it is the case I want it to be well-documented here. I want to give Tom every chance to improve things before I walk away.

    If you think Tom/Scarriet is bad why do you support him/it with your usually-excellent posts?

    Mark

    PS – I agree that typos scuk…

    • April 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      Dear Gary,
      I too know what you mean about “tilting,” and perhaps you are, as Mark suggests, titling at something — but I suspect you mean Mark is the Don Quixote and that it is Mark who is tilting at something which isn’t really there, or at least is not what he thinks it is. So I’ve tried to think my way through this, to put myself in your shoes and see Mark’s quest for the Truth here on Scarriet as a futile, naive, romantic and essentially ridiculous quest.

      So do you mean that Mark sees Tom as a giant when in fact Tom is just a windmill, or that he is mistaking Tom’s ideas as gigantic ones that he must confront with rigor and prowess when in fact Tom’s ideas are just windmills?
      Or do you mean, whatever they are, Tom’s ideas don’t really matter in the real world, and that Mark is foolish to spend time confronting such chimeras as real because a.) they’re not, b.) they’re not worth it, and b.) they don’t have the value or significance Mark lends them by spending so much effort trying to fight them?

      I’d love you to look at those alternatives and tell me which one you had in mind.

      I’d also like to point out that as far as I can see Mark has not been tilting against Tom’s ideas yet at all, that indeed the dialogue hasn’t got that far. Mark makes it very clear in the following post that he hasn’t really got a position on Modernism or even on Olson, for that matter, whom he obviously knows very well — but that he finds Tom’s methods difficult to deal with as Tom changes the goal-posts, the side-lines and the rules all the time, so it’s hard to know even what the game is or where it’s being played. So this would let his Don Quixote off the hook because sometimes Tom’s giant is a windmill and sometimes his windmill is a giant, and it’s hard to know whether to fight it or quit in despair.

      As I read it, and I don’t know Mark any better than I know Tom, I would suspect that Mark/Don Quixote, far from tilting, has not yet even found a way to enter the lists!

      Christopher

  85. Mark said,

    April 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Tom,

    Just in case my last real post is buried I wanted to make sure you saw this and had a chance to comment on it:

    “Ma[w]k said,
    April 24, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    You’ve pretended throughout this discussion that you don’t know the meaning of simple terms like “burden of proof” and “causality” – are you pretending you don’t know what a lie is?

    This is pathetic but let’s go to wiktionary again:

    “Noun
    lie (plural lies)

    1.A deliberately false statement; an intentional falsehood.
    2.A statement intended to deceive, even if literally true; a half-truth”

    When you say things are there that aren’t there you are making “deliberately false statements.” When you accuse people of things that are clearly untrue you are making “a statement intended to deceive.”

    You can try and turn this back on me and accuse me of “paranoia,” Tom, but the examples I’ve given are clearly lies made by you and are easily defined as such. You’re welcome to show me where you did define your terms (you didn’t), where I’ve made apologies for Modernism (I haven’t), where you presented more than one fact (not true), where I rejected your comparison about Olson (I didn’t) or where the “other aspects” of your argument disappeared to. If you’re this quick to resort to lying during a debate then it’s a pretty short jump to assuming you’re lying in your articles.”

    Thoughts?

    Cheers,
    Mawk

  86. Mark said,

    April 25, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Earlier today in another thread Tom said:

    “Mark’s m.o. is to decontextualize actual discussions by posting remarks after the fact, such as ‘you haven’t answered my questions!’ I don’t expect anyone to read back over myriads of comments to find who said what when—nor does Mark, so he levels charges of “lies” and so forth, and leaves them hanging there, without any support or proof, except perhaps some highly edited extracts—and with enough persistence, hopes to convince readers that I’m a fraud…

    I don’t expect you to go back and read every comment, but I have answered questions and replied to Mark.”

    ~

    I suspect a casual reader might see this and think Tom’s assessment to be reasonable but I hope we all read carefully – it doesn’t really make sense. My charge that Tom hasn’t answered my questions was not posted after the fact – it is ongoing. If I’m asking questions he’s already answered then surely he could just link to his previous responses and be done with this.

    The examples of Tom’s lies I’ve posted are contextualized above in post #71 in this thread. I’ve included as much context as possible. The thread quoted from most liberally was titled “ON DIFFICULTY: A PRETENTIOUS JEST” (lol). The pertinent parts start in post #9 of the comments section.

    Unfortunately when Tom speaks on my behalf he really speaks for himself. Tom is banking on people not bothering to check. Since I, for some reason, can’t post links (Tom, I’m looking at you here) it’s hard for me to make this easy for the casual reader.

    I can tell, not knowing much about him, that Tom is much older than me. When he argues he forgets that everything is on the record. He forgets that we all have access to Google and can find out exactly what was said in a matter of seconds. If Tom could defend what he has written he would do so and it would take him 1 minute with a Google search. He has not because he cannot.

    ~

    Granted, when Tom accuses me of being an “apologist for Modernism” and I say “prove it” – this is a hard thing for anyone prove without a tiresome contextualizing. I’ve made no apologies for Modernism here or anywhere but to find a quote that sums this up would be difficult for either of us.

    However, Tom says here, referring to his article “BEFORE THERE WAS TED KOOSER AND BILLY COLLINS THERE WAS EDGAR GUEST,” that he “pointed out a number of facts.” He says in the discussion following the “ON DIFFICULTY” article that he defined his use of the word “sentiment.” I’m calling these lies and these are easy to prove or disprove. 40 seconds of reading, Google and use of the ctrl+f function would be all it takes.

    So why hasn’t Tom done so? Why won’t Tom stand behind what he says? Why won’t he defend his points?

    First he says:
    “I also pointed out Billy Collins had a self-consciously Romantic/Modern view of history, an ironic sense of humor, a philosophical precision not elicited by Edgar Guest.”

    Then he says:
    “I said Collins did not rhyme and that he had a modern ironic sensibility quite different from Edgar Guest’s”

    This is the backpedaling of a liar. Anyone can read the article and see that there is no mention of a “self-consciously Romantic/Modern view of history” nor an “ironic sense of humor” nor any mention of “philosophical precision.”

    I ask that Tom, if he will not show me where in his article he made these claims, post a link to the article in question so that readers can see proof of Tom’s lies for themselves.

    ~

    I think I’ve outlined clearly that Tom has said things that were not true. I ask that any readers who are skeptical read my post (#71 in this thread) then read the article on Billy Collins and Edgar Guest and see for themselves.

    Really, if ANYONE can find Tom’s lost comments – the ones he “swears” are there but hasn’t yet managed to copy-paste into this thread – please post them. I would much rather be proven wrong than know this site is run by a liar.

    Mark

  87. Mark said,

    April 26, 2011 at 2:45 am

    We’ve fallen off the “Recent Comments” again and Tom still hasn’t responded.

    Tom said that I’ve “[leveled] charges of “lies” and so forth, and [left] them hanging there, without any support or proof”

    I disagree.

    I asked “that Tom, if he will not show me where in his article he made these claims, post a link to the article in question so that readers can see proof of Tom’s lies for themselves.”

    I hope Tom will post that link and allow people to see for themselves.

    Tom claims here that in his article he “pointed out [that] Billy Collins had a self-consciously Romantic/Modern view of history, an ironic sense of humor, a philosophical precision not elicited by Edgar Guest.”

    I’ve read the article and he says none of those things. It is a lie. Open and shut case, really. I’m “decontextualizing” (hehe) insofar as I’m quoting it without the text that surrounds it but I’m taking it from Tom’s response to post #54 of this thread. Anyone can go see what Tom SAID was in the article and if Tom doesn’t mind posting a link to the article (and if he’s not a liar, why would he mind?) then anyone will be able to go check the article.

    I think the disparity between Tom’s claims and reality constitutes a lie by any definition.

    What do you think, Graves?

  88. Mark said,

    April 26, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Today, in an earlier post, Tom said:

    “I’m not “stonewalling” Mark, or avoiding his serious questions. I will not reply to things like, “What do you say to the charge that you are a liar?””

    Oh, but you are stonewalling me, Tom. You are very much avoiding my questions. What’s more, you are “decontextualizing” (hehe) my claims by reducing them. It’s not as if I’ve just accused you of lying off-hand or without reason.

    I won’t ask what you say to the broad charge that you are a liar – rather how you respond to the SPECIFIC charge I’ve made that in swearing your article was other than it was, you are lying.

    The questions I’m asking you are more complex than you’re making them seem. When you attack something for being vague then turn around and create something even more vague I see it as hypocrisy. I want to know how you see it.

    Your own logic states that for you to make an unfounded attack on Ron Silliman you must be motivated purely and completely by jealousy. I’m charging that this jealousy is biasing your reading and causing you to draw conclusions without evidence. I want to know how you respond to that.

    When you read a poem and say “that’s not a poem” without any further commentary – I want to know what IS a poem by your estimation.

    You often comment on poems you haven’t read. Gary said somewhere (though he should probably take his own advice here) that one ought to read the book before they write the book report. Do you disagree?

    The slack standards of Scarriet aren’t good enough anymore, Tom. We need to up your game.

    ~

    Mark said,
    April 26, 2011 at 2:45 am

    I asked “that Tom, if he will not show me where in his article he made these claims, post a link to the article in question so that readers can see proof of Tom’s lies for themselves.”

    I hope Tom will post that link and allow people to see for themselves.

    Tom claims here that in his article he “pointed out [that] Billy Collins had a self-consciously Romantic/Modern view of history, an ironic sense of humor, a philosophical precision not elicited by Edgar Guest.”

    I’ve read the article and he says none of those things. It is a lie. Open and shut case, really. I’m “decontextualizing” (hehe) insofar as I’m quoting it without the text that surrounds it but I’m taking it from Tom’s response to post #54 of this thread. Anyone can go see what Tom SAID was in the article and if Tom doesn’t mind posting a link to the article (and if he’s not a liar, why would he mind?) then anyone will be able to go check the article.

    I think the disparity between Tom’s claims and reality constitutes a lie by any definition.

    What do you think, Graves?

    ~

    You’ve been stonewalling me in this thread for a few days now, Tom. You’ve gotten pretty quiet in general. If you haven’t lied then post the link and let people see for themselves.

    If you have lied (and you have) then admit it so we can move on to the real questions.

    Mawk

    • thomasbrady said,

      April 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm

      Mock,

      I didn’t say I said that in the article. I added that point in a comment addressed to you and your little brain. You need hand-holding and guidance, so I helped you out.

      And look at the thanks I get! Hrrumph!

      Scarriet is a flowering, ever-changing garden.

      Get with the program, sir.

      Tom

  89. Mark said,

    April 26, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Bumpski

    • Mark said,

      April 27, 2011 at 7:33 am

      Bippity Boppity BUMP

  90. Mark said,

    April 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Tom said:
    “I didn’t say I said that in the article.”

    Well clearly I was asking about the article, Tom. Wouldn’t the article have been the place to make your argument?

    Are you saying, Tom, that your facts came after the fact (hehe) and that the article itself had no facts in it?

    I guess this means that, in comment #13 of the Collins/Guest article, when you said that your points were “simple facts” you were lying then.

    I hope I’m not “decontextualizing” you (LOL).

    More to the point, do you feel that your articles should be devoid of facts? You’ve attacked Ron Silliman for being vague with his arguments and not backing up his points w/r/t the School of Quietude but aren’t you doing the same thing by not bothering to support your hypothesis?

    Doesn’t that make you something of a hypocrite?

    ~

    More to the point your other “facts” are pretty specious:

    You say: “I also pointed out Billy Collins had a self-consciously Romantic/Modern view of history, an ironic sense of humor, a philosophical precision not elicited by Edgar Guest.”

    I’m having trouble finding where you said any of these things, Tom, perhaps you can direct me to where you made these points. I don’t want to disregard them offhand but these sound more like opinions to me than they do facts.

    I’ve asked you several times now to post a link to the initial article so that people can see for themselves and make up their own minds.

    Your backpedaling is just sad but your unwillingness to post the article is actually sort of disturbing.

    Mark

    • thomasbrady said,

      April 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      Mark,

      There are literally hundreds of Scarriet articles where I elucidate my thesis. As far as I know, Silliman has written very little on the Quietist controversy.

      Tom

      • Mark said,

        April 27, 2011 at 5:27 pm

        Tom,

        I’m not 100% sure what “thesis” you’re referring to here.
        I hope you realize your theses are not what I have issue with – its your methodology I have a problem with.

        That said, if you want to link me to an article on Scarriet that avoids strawman arguments and has a strong hypothesis supported by facts I would encourage you to do so.

        I’ve asked you to do this before. I feel like maybe you’re hesitant to present one because you think that I’ll be pedantic and just tear apart any article like a dick. That isn’t the case. I give credit where credit’s due and have no axe to grind with you specifically.

        Good writing is good writing – even if I don’t agree with the conclusion.

        I would still like to address the issues I mention in posts 90 and 91. I also hope you will be willing to post a link to the Collins/Guest essay so that readers can be informed of the discussion here (maybe it’s because I don’t have an official wordpress account and I’m just on here as a guest that I can’t post links? I dunno).

        Mark

      • thomasbrady said,

        April 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

        Mark,

        You asked for a link to a Scarriet article with facts. They all have facts. But try this article on for size.

        https://scarriet.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/uncle-kevin-v-the-world/

        Secondly, I am working on a reply to your question about our ‘sentimental’ debate. I am aware of the current usage of ‘sentimental’ as ‘mawkish,’ but I was reaching for something less pejorative. I have entertained myself so much in coming up with an answer (and even found a great quote from Pound that you’ll love) that I will put it up as a post. I beg your patience. Stay tuned.

        Tom

      • Mark said,

        April 28, 2011 at 12:33 am

        I look forward to your next one and I’ll read the article you linked to in a little bit.

        One point of contention though: by your own admission the Collins/Guest article contains only one fact in support of your hypothesis. So you are incorrect in saying “they all have facts.”

        Perhaps “they all have FACT” would be more accurate. 🙂

        I’ve asked you several times to either copy-paste the rest of the “facts” from the Collins/Guest article or to link to it so others can see it without having to dig.

        How ’bout it?

        Mark

  91. Mark said,

    April 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Also, you say: “I already defined my use of that term” speaking of the term “sentimental”

    I maintain that you didn’t and haven’t. I maintain that this is a lie. Could you show me where you defined your use of this term.

    ~

    Also, you say: “Your entire case against me (that I can discern) is that I haven’t read the entirety of Olson’s Maxi-pad Poems.”

    When I had said mere hours earlier: “I’m not asking you to read [Olson’s work]. Quite frankly I don’t give a shit if you do or not.”

    I maintain that this represents you lying by misrepresenting the truth. Was this simply a mistake on your part or a purposeful lie?

    I’m inclined to think the latter as it seems as though every post I make has to begin with reprimanding you for misrepresenting my position. You claim that I don’t allow you to have hypotheses (to which I said the opposite), you claim I make apologies for Modernism (when I’m just as aware of the problems as anyone else), you claim I said Moby-Dick wasn’t popular when I actually said it wasn’t sentimental… I could continue here but I won’t.

    These all seem like lies to me. You are fully aware that you are dodging questions by misrepresenting my points.

    I realize this is a broad accusation but I am hoping for a response to it.

    ~

    Also this: “I said Olson’s Gloucester poem was influenced by ‘Our Town’ and you reacted as I knew you would, rejecting the comparison”

    I feel like this is a lie a purposeful misrepresentation of the truth. I would like you to show me where I “rejected” “the comparison”

    The comments in question are #’s 16 & 17 of the thread you are too frightened to link to.

    Mark

  92. Mark said,

    April 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Tom

    The article you linked to was pretty good. True to the spirit of foetry.com.

    What was good about Foetry was that it made connections and presented them as such – some of them elicited only suspicion, some of them rightly elicited outrage. It let people make conclusions for themselves where you often jump to conclusions that you cannot support.

    Surely you must see a difference between the article you linked where you follow a train a thought (however convoluted it might be at the beginning) and end up at pertinent conclusion versus your Collins/Guest article which I would summarize as: “This guy said something I don’t agree with, I’m not going to bother disproving him because he must be jealous.” That’s grade-school level shit, Tom.

    The world is more complicated than that, Tom. If you want to be taken seriously you have to do the work. Some of your articles are good, others are lazy and resort to strawman arguments.

    I repeat:
    “by your own admission the Collins/Guest article contains only one fact in support of your hypothesis. So you are incorrect in saying “they all have facts.””

    ~

    Surely you must see a difference between addressing a specific problem versus making a boogeyman out of “po-biz.” The former makes you a reporter, the latter makes you a conspiracy theorist.

    You say:
    “The problem is that po-biz hasn’t a clue which of its children are glorious and which are not. Po-biz is bereft of executive wisdom. Po-biz, when not publishing poems, is a maggot-bucket of egos, unable to sort gems from dross—given its philosophical penchant for intellectually hating the popular.”

    My response was to say:
    ““Are you advocating a carefully selected canon of modern literature picked by an elite group of authorities?”
    “Who specifically should do something? What specifically should be done?”
    “You speak of poetry like it’s run by some shadowy cabal. “Po-biz” is even less of an entity than “the government.” If you have a problem with “po-biz” then define “po-biz”.”

    We need specifics. You need to define your terms. If you want poetry to separate good poems from bad poems then you need to say how it would do that. It’s a nice idea but that’s never been the case and it never will be and that crap won’t do, Graves. When you bite off more than you can chew you falter. Your Collins/Guest article was written with broad strokes and no facts. That’s not a good thing. It makes you sound fucking crazy.

    Saying you know what Ron Silliman secretly wants and fears is not just shoddy writing but sort of creepy. You’ve been trying to justify it for a month now but we both know it’s weak and we both know that if an English student handed in a paper with that argument you’d fail him/her. I’m trying to hold you to a higher standard.

    (speaking of which, you still haven’t posted a link to the Collins/Guest article nor have you posted the “facts” from the comments section… I’m still hoping you will)

    Mark

  93. Mark said,

    April 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    “Harriet abandoned reader commentary altogether in April, 2010.”

    And now, in April of 2011, Scarriet has done the same.
    Travi… I mean Thomas must be getting scared.

    What does this mean for the future of Scarriet? Things look very bleak indeed. The shame is that Tom’s article wherein he turned “comments off” is not bad but for a few glaring omissions and mistruths. It’s much better than Tom’s writing normally is. He actually tried on this one.

    So why turn off comments?

    • thomasbrady said,

      April 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm

      Scarriet would never turn off comments.

      Tom has not turned off comments on any article.

      Not sure what you mean…which article…if there’s a tech. glitch I’ll look into it…

      • thomasbrady said,

        April 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm

        Fixed. Comments on “Sentimentalistic” now allowed. It was a glitch.

        Sorry!

        Po-Biz can breathe again.

      • Mark said,

        April 29, 2011 at 1:49 am

        Cool

        It seemed very un-Gravesy to turn them off

  94. Mark said,

    April 29, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Mark said,
    April 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Tom

    The article you linked to was pretty good. True to the spirit of foetry.com.

    What was good about Foetry was that it made connections and presented them as such – some of them elicited only suspicion, some of them rightly elicited outrage. It let people make conclusions for themselves where you often jump to conclusions that you cannot support.

    Surely you must see a difference between the article you linked where you follow a train a thought (however convoluted it might be at the beginning) and end up at pertinent conclusion versus your Collins/Guest article which I would summarize as: “This guy said something I don’t agree with, I’m not going to bother disproving him because he must be jealous.” That’s grade-school level shit, Tom.

    The world is more complicated than that, Tom. If you want to be taken seriously you have to do the work. Some of your articles are good, others are lazy and resort to strawman arguments.

    I repeat:
    “by your own admission the Collins/Guest article contains only one fact in support of your hypothesis. So you are incorrect in saying “they all have facts.””

    ~

    Surely you must see a difference between addressing a specific problem versus making a boogeyman out of “po-biz.” The former makes you a reporter, the latter makes you a conspiracy theorist.

    You say:
    “The problem is that po-biz hasn’t a clue which of its children are glorious and which are not. Po-biz is bereft of executive wisdom. Po-biz, when not publishing poems, is a maggot-bucket of egos, unable to sort gems from dross—given its philosophical penchant for intellectually hating the popular.”

    My response was to say:
    ““Are you advocating a carefully selected canon of modern literature picked by an elite group of authorities?”
    “Who specifically should do something? What specifically should be done?”
    “You speak of poetry like it’s run by some shadowy cabal. “Po-biz” is even less of an entity than “the government.” If you have a problem with “po-biz” then define “po-biz”.”

    We need specifics. You need to define your terms. If you want poetry to separate good poems from bad poems then you need to say how it would do that. It’s a nice idea but that’s never been the case and it never will be and that crap won’t do, Graves. When you bite off more than you can chew you falter. Your Collins/Guest article was written with broad strokes and no facts. That’s not a good thing. It makes you sound fucking crazy.

    Saying you know what Ron Silliman secretly wants and fears is not just shoddy writing but sort of creepy. You’ve been trying to justify it for a month now but we both know it’s weak and we both know that if an English student handed in a paper with that argument you’d fail him/her. I’m trying to hold you to a higher standard.

    (speaking of which, you still haven’t posted a link to the Collins/Guest article nor have you posted the “facts” from the comments section… I’m still hoping you will)

    Mark

    • Mark said,

      April 29, 2011 at 2:37 am

      Of course, it’s not un-Gravesy in the least to say things you can’t back up and then avoid answering for them…

  95. Mark said,

    April 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    So we have 4 threads going and you’re too scared to debate me in any of them, Tom. I keep bumping and you keep chickening out.

    I guess those count as forfeits and I guess that means I win 4-0

    You must be scared of me in the same way you’re jealous of Ron Silliman.

    Cheers,
    Mock

  96. Bill said,

    April 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Mark, if you want to ratchet up a few more notches, you can play Rupert Pupkin to Tom Brady’s Jerry Lewis — since you’re his biggest fan. Cheers, Bill

    • Mark said,

      April 29, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      “Bill”,

      Scorsese’s a hack.

      Mark

      • Bill said,

        April 29, 2011 at 10:03 pm

        Good self-parody, Mark! You are learning from the master!

      • Mark said,

        April 30, 2011 at 7:53 am

        Here’s the difference: I’ve actually seen Scorsese’s movies.

        Tom was claiming to like Edgar Allan Poe but wasn’t even aware that of the current Poe renaissance going on in contemporary scholarship and hasn’t read any of the books that have come out on Poe in the last 20 years.

        Tom isn’t even informed about the things he likes – at least my not liking Scorsese is me being informed about the things I dont’.

        Mark

  97. thomasbrady said,

    April 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Mr. Bump,

    STILL harping on this?

    The profound difference between Edgar Guest and Billy Collins is SELF-EVIDENT. Why did Silliman equate them, then? That’s the question. You can’t seem to grasp my m.o., can you? I don’t have all the answers—I ask provocative questions. When the smoke clears, it doesn’t really matter whether Silliman was jealous or not, because unpopular Silliman equating popular Edgar Guest and popular Billy Collins points to a certain comtemporary attitude (I dare not call it a thought or an idea) from a certain quarter…

    Why are you stonewalling on Modernists v. Romantics? I’m up 2-0. Do you want to do another writer?

    As far as “Po-biz being bereft of executive wisdom…” no, not a cabal. You’re taking this remark way too seriously. It’s true, though.

    Tom

    • Mark said,

      April 29, 2011 at 6:34 pm

      We should probably have the Guest/Collins debate on the Guest/Collins thread, Tom.

      If your remarks about “po-biz” are true then defend them.

      This post doesn’t count as a response. I’m still up 4-0

      Cheers,
      Mr Bump

    • Mark said,

      April 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm

      Oh, but your m.o. re: Collins/Guest is that you’re jealous of Silliman. You’ve already admitted it. That’s what’s distorting your viewpoint and causing you to ignore the points I’ve raised.

      Still 4-0

  98. Mark said,

    April 29, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Oh and:

    “Mark said,
    April 29, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Mark said,
    April 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    (you still haven’t posted a link to the Collins/Guest article nor have you posted the “facts” from the comments section… I’m still hoping you will)”

    Why won’t you post the link, Tom?

    • thomasbrady said,

      April 29, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      4-0? What are you talking about? LOL

      Our debates have spread to a number of threads…I’ll have to look for it…it’s there, don’t worry…if it’s so important to you… (sheesh)

      A link to that article? Why?…it’s easy to access on this site…It didn’t appear all that long ago…

  99. Mark said,

    April 29, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Tom,

    Today I bumped 4 threads. You’ve refused to debate me on any of them. Those all count as forfeits and that means I’m up 4-0.

    The Collins/Guest article is off the Recent Posts and a search for it takes a bit of digging. I can’t post links or I’d do it myself. It should be here for posterity so that someone coming across this debate years from now can contextualize the debate. The only reason you wouldn’t post it is if you know it implicates you… It does.

    I’m asking you to be a man and post it anyway. If you believe in what you’re saying and stand behind what you’re writing then it should be no problem on your part.

    Mark

  100. Mark said,

    April 29, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    The four threads are:

    About Scarriet – where we are discussing Scarriet in general and you are refusing to stand behind what you say or defend your positions.

    The Collins/Guest thread – where I’ve posted a bit of Guest that is strikingly similar to Billy Collins.

    Sentimentalistic – where you’ve avoided my points completely and purposefully because you’re too scared to engage with them

    & Dirty Rat – where you make a bunch of ludicrous claims that you can’t back up and are ignoring my questions about the specifics of your paranoid imaginings.

    Those are the four threads. You are forfeiting all of them by refusing to debate me in any of them. Therefore I win.

    4-O for me

    Get it?

    • Mark said,

      April 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm

      If one team is too scared to show up then it’s a forfeit, Tom. If you want to forfeit, I don’t blame you. You’re very much over-matched here.

      But I’m going to keep bumping those 4 threads so you can’t say you didn’t know after the fact.

      Mark

  101. Mark said,

    April 30, 2011 at 7:56 am

    See, Tom, it’s telling that you keep pushing this:

    “Why are you stonewalling on Modernists v. Romantics? I’m up 2-0. Do you want to do another writer?”

    because what you’re proposing isn’t a debate – it’s a cataloguing. Even putting aside that “who likes who” is the sort of thing the girls in my grade 7 class did, what I’m interested in is the former.

    You’re scared to have an argument with me. You’re overmatched and you know it.

    I’m saying: let’s get some of the big things out of the way first. Things like the list of mistruths I posted above or the questions you’re too cowardly to answer.

    Then we can chit-chat about modernism (which I’m not THAT interested in, generally speaking) afterwards.

    Whaddaya say?

    Mock

  102. Mark said,

    April 30, 2011 at 8:02 am

    “Mark said,
    April 29, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Oh and:

    “Mark said,
    April 29, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Mark said,
    April 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    (you still haven’t posted a link to the Collins/Guest article nor have you posted the “facts” from the comments section… I’m still hoping you will)”

    Why won’t you post the link, Tom?”

    Still 4-zip Tom. I guess I’ve got a pretty nice shutout going on here.

  103. thomasbrady said,

    April 30, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Mark,

    You are counting threads and saying you are ‘winning’ 4 threads, which is pure delusion on your part. You are flat on your back, knocked out by Brady, and yelling, “I won!” It’s funny. You’re amusing and I admire your…er…spirit.

    The real score is 2-0. That’s an actual score. Eliot hated the Romantics, as did Pound. Hatred of the Romantics is the fingerpint of the Modernists, in fact. This is not an idle point, but a crucial one. Eliot. Pound. 2-0 Brady. And you won’t go on to the next writer. How are you going to have a chance at avoiding a shutout unless you do so? Whatsa matter? Scared? Your 4-0 score is just you saying you’re ‘winning’ in 4 threads, which is laughable. You are avoiding playing the real contest. Coward! LOL

    Uh…it seems that WC Williams is like Edgar Guest, too, check out the other thread….and WC Williams is Silliman’s god…ooops. Didn’t see that coming, did ya, Mock? Now Silliman’s equation of Guest and Collins looks even more ridiculous. LOL

    As for your bossy demands, asking me to link for you, and find a quote that you and I both have been reading and to which we both have access, that’s just another distraction on your part…

    hey, it’s 2-0!

    What ya gonna do?

    Tom

    • Mark said,

      April 30, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      I’m giving you four different venues through which to debate me. You’re still refusing. That’s a forfeit. You’re overmatched.

      I repeat:
      “what you’re proposing isn’t a debate – it’s a cataloguing. Even putting aside that “who likes who” is the sort of thing the girls in my grade 7 class did, what I’m interested in is the former.”

      LOL @ “bossy demands.” I said “I’m still hoping you will” post the link. What a bossy demand from me and what a little nancy boy you are. You say “I did mention that other aspect to Collins (though the many differences are obvious to all) a little later on. I swear it.” I can’t find them. They’re not there because you’re a liar. The Collins/Guest thread is already hard to find – you’re making it harder to find because you’ve failed so miserably to defend it.

      Seems pretty simple to me.

      Mark

      • Mark said,

        April 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm

        When you don’t show up to debate you forfeit. When you forfeit you lose. Four forfeits and that’s our series.

        4-0

        Mark

    • thomasbrady said,

      April 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      I notice you post more comments and make more bossy demands the more you are getting smashed in an argument…

      LOL

      • Mark said,

        April 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm

        I think maybe you need someone to look up the words “bossy” and “demands” for you, Tom.

  104. Mark said,

    April 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Tom calls this a “bossy demand.” I call it wanting to allow for the debate to be contextualized.

    “Mark said,
    April 30, 2011 at 8:02 am

    “Mark said,
    April 29, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Oh and:

    “Mark said,
    April 29, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Mark said,
    April 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    (you still haven’t posted a link to the Collins/Guest article nor have you posted the “facts” from the comments section… I’m still hoping you will)”

    Why won’t you post the link, Tom?”

    Still 4-zip Tom. I guess I’ve got a pretty nice shutout going on here.”

  105. May 1, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Tom,
    I’ve also been asking you for a whole month to fix the “‘Before There Was Billy Collins & Ted Kooser, There Was Edgar Guest’-Ron Silliman” thread, which has now run through 115 Comments in Bold from here .

    No joy from the Editor– just red herrings and insults. Since Mark’s initial complaints against your logic were expressed on this thread, as editor you should have tried to create a logical playing field. But all you gave us was a one-note, self-serving asphalt car park.

    Doesn’t look or feel good.

    ~

    I don’t know Mark at all, Tom, and have not participated in his examination of your arguments, a critique which is often quite over my head, to be frank. What I’ve done is try to draw attention to your insensitivity to creative language, and your insensitivity to creative language in poetry in particular. Which was why we split up in the first place, of course.

    “And why are you still trying, Christopher,” you might ask.

    I suppose it’s because I still believe in you. Yes, maybe that’s it.

    But now I’m tired — tired of the noise, stonewalling, repetition, inflation and a whole belly-full of déjà vu. You’re so much like Ezra Pound, Tom, with your bombast, pedantry and pretension. And what an irony that is — that you’ve become everything you despise about the man you despise, even your obsession with privilege is like Pound’s, Oxbridge, Boston Brahmins, old Virginia, Professors etc. etc. And the last laugh is that Scarriet has become the Mother of all Manifestos, The Manifesto To End All Manifestos in Poetry and the Institutions That Teach It!

    And the biggest irony of all is that you’ve now entirely lost contact with poets and poetry. Yes, there are people still interested in your angles on Scarriet, would-be graduate students who are nervous about not knowing enough dirty tricks, spurned malcontents, successful failures, frustrated lawyers, people who long to be part of the scene but aren’t so love to see someone kick the hell out of it. All men, and then only men who a.) aren’t old and b.) aren’t women or poets.

    A niche, yes indeed. So you go, boy — you go for it! (You taught me to say that about girls, do you remember? And who you lost then?)

    Christopher

  106. May 1, 2011 at 3:48 am

    Tom,
    I left out one further irony — you’re giving Foetry a bad name!

    Of course Foetry always had a bad name, which was part of it’s attraction, at least initially. Visitors crept in and sneaked a look, that’s the way it was — indeed only now are we beginning to realize just how many sneaks there actually were, and how much those sneaks contributed to changing the whole poetry playing field in America — or at least the perception of the playing field, the discourse of it. It changed not just the contests and the hiring, but how poets feel about the way they achieve their reputations and their jobs, and how much credit they themselves give to the different elements in their Bios, and how they feel about success and failure.

    I for one was very moved when the well-known poet and poetry thinker, Diane Manister, came in on the recent Scarriet on Foetry thread and proclaimed, in her own name too, that Alan Cordle was one of her culture heros.

    Mine too, Diana!

    On the other hand, I feel very sad that no-one else came in on that occasion — that there were only 5 comments on a thread about Foetry, of all subjects, on Scarriet. Wow, just one external visit! An article devoted to Alan Cordle and his brave, lonely mission on Scarriet, Foetry’s direct descendant, attracts just one external comment!

    The problem is, Tom, that Scarriet has become a rag. Foetry itself wasn’t a rag but a consumer protection site, as you rightly state in the article, and it had to be to some extent adversarial because its adversary was the whole American poetry establishment. Foetry had to throw its weight around just to stand still what is more to be heard over the howls of outrage and ‘righteous’ indignation!

    And I threw my weight around for the cause too, for what an old man’s weight is worth — and I carried the torch too right on here to Scarriet (you can read my earlier articles to see how proudly I stood for a new, more even, more human playing field, having been so abused myself, this old man on his rice paddy in Thailand trying to get his poetry read in Georgia and Vermont. Do you remember?)

    But it doesn’t help just to become more and more anti-poetry, as Scarriet has — and to run round and round biting everybody who happens to be a poet. Foetry was for tolerance, Foetry was for a fairer playing Field, and Scarriet is just covering the whole field of poetry in half-assed asphalt.

    Horrible to bury Foetry like that, Tom, and to make your own curious crusade against all poetry written after c. 1900 a plot against the “good” poetry that can’t get published.

    That’s absurd, that’s a travesty. And Foetry is in danger of being kinked by your kink.

    Think about it.

    Christopher

  107. thomasbrady said,

    May 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Christopher,

    Thanks for your patience with the technical glitches. Sometimes when you comment with mutliple links it goes into moderation. I’m not sure why. I always approve your comments, though, as quickly as I can.

    As for ‘this is the 12th time the previous comment does now show up on the recent comments list,’ that ‘recent comments list’ is sure moving fast these days…I’m not sure about those glitches either. Thanks for your patience.

    April was quite a month—more views than the first 6 months put together. Scarriet is going gangbusters. As Nooch points out, we love to feature all sorts of poetry here, old and new. March Madness is a love affair with contemporary poetry. There’s lots of great contemporary poetry—but it gets lost in the shuffle, sometimes. Anthologies which choose the best poetry have always been a part of that process—getting the best out there is not always easy.

    I remember in the Foetry days people wanted to quit, because they’d get demoralized: not enough comments, not enough visitors, and I’d always rally them, pointing out great poetry movements in history have often involved just a handful of people. I never like to give up, Christopher. No, Scarriet isn’t Foetry, but I’m proud to carry on the spirit and broaden that spirit into a more historical perspective.

    Thans for your visits and comments and feedback.

    Always appreciated.

    Tom

  108. May 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Tom,
    The 12 times happened over the year that has just past, and you know that very well. You also know what to do about it as we have discussed this. I’m not for a moment accusing you of having tried to sabotage me deliberately, just of negligence. Like the Bold Font corrupting the Billy Collins/Edgar Guest thread. Just negligence — not caring.

    ~

    During the first 3 months we averaged 30 visitors a day most of the time, or less, so outstripping that is hardly a surge. In any case, who cares. If what you’re putting up serves an interest you’ll get visitors, and if it serves a big interest you’ll get big visits. Ask MacDonalds about that, or Hot Titties on Parnassus.

    ~

    I still feel sorry for the Foetry Movement, to have ended up serving a kind of Poetry Protocols of Zion . And I don’t mean by that anti-semitism either, or any kind of social prejudice or discrimination, just the weird idea that there’s a conspiracy out there that has warped the whole history of Modern Poetry, and forced almost all poets since c. 1900 not only to write bad poetry but to like it!

    Mark has been constantly at you to deal with this question, and you haven’t even answered.

    It’s crazy, Tom. It’s damaging.

    I think that’s why all of us have made this final effort to get through to you. I can’t speak for the others, but at this point I give up.

    Christopher

    • Mark said,

      May 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      Christopher’s most recent post here sort of mirrors what I’m about to say but what the hell:

      Christopher said:
      “I left out one further irony — you’re giving Foetry a bad name!”

      This is the point, Tom.

      “Po-biz” is not an entity like “The Oil Industry”. There are no lobbyists for “Po-biz” in Washington (though maybe it would be better that there were). It’s a very VERY loose group of people – many of whom have no direct connection to one another. Some of these people are good, some of them are bad and most are probably in between. The same can be said of any group of people. When you start writing or publishing poetry you don’t suddenly become evil or corrupt.

      You’re not willing to define “po-biz” because you can’t. It’s easy to fight against an abstract concept (“the jews” are the classic historical example) and you’re very lazy. I honestly think it’s that simple.

      Foetry fought against individuals which took guts. You fight against abstract concepts of your own imaginings which is pathetic.

      It’s telling, Tom, that when asked to present an article that summed up the spirit of Scarriet you linked to an 9-month-old article that did exactly what Foetry tried to do. It really was a good article because it addressed a specific person without the over-arching conspiratorial bullshit we’re all used to from you. If you wrote an article like that more often than once every 9 months Scarriet might be something worth reading.

      Marcus – who I suspect has not been following this discussion and is therefore in a poor position to comment – wants to call me a troll. A troll drills holes in the boat: I’m pointing out the holes that already exist so that you might patch them.

      When you title an article HOW MODERNS MADE SENTIMENTAL A BAD THING and then don’t bother to say HOW they did it – that’s just bad writing. If Marcus wants to give you a pass because you’re being “provocative” that’s fine. He’s wrong of course because there’s nothing provocative about bad writing and poor arguments.

      When you make a strawman argument you can’t be expected to be taken seriously. When you refuse burden of proof and ignore pertinent questions about specific things you’ve said then you’ll always be looked at as a joke.

      Being provocative for a reason is very different than being provocative for its own sake. There is an audience for both but when your targets are either nonexistant (HOW MODERNS blah blah blah or “Po-Biz”) or ones that haven’t existed for 20 years (i.e. Poe’s negative treatment by academia which you rail against despite having not read any of the books related to the current Poe renaissance going on in academia) you’re the latter. And that’s a shame.

      Mark

      • thomasbrady said,

        May 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm

        Mark,

        You linked that video of Bernstein’s friend, Jerome McGann, a textual scholar presenting in the spirit of the “current Poe renaissance” and I responded not with a shrug, or a dismissal, but with a pretty detailed critiqe of the error-filled presentation, which featured the same snide, ‘damn-with-faint-put-downs’ of Poe. And then all you do is repeat that I “haven’t read any of the books.”

        Your m.o. is pretty transparent: damn me whatever I say or do. You want me to read every single last bit of commentary on Poe before I’m allowed to speak, even if my own reading is miles ahead of this ‘renaissance,’ as you yourself term it—without knowing anything yourself on the whole subject, as you admit.

        On the second point: If you can’t connect the dots on the recent etymological history of “sentimental” and how it relates to Pound and his clique rejecting the 19th century for its “sentimentalism,” I don’t know what to say to you, Mark. You seem unable to interpret a thesis: you want every detail put before you; you are either a moron or your attempt to damn me at all costs has reached ludicrous proportions.

        Thirdly: Woodman, because I don’t like The Red Wheel Barrow, claims I don’t like poetry after 1900, the last refuge of the Red Wheel Barrow-ers. Of course this is a complete lie, and you know it, but you’ll not contradict him, because you’re in his mad camp. The March Madness feature at Scarriet, and the Poetry Hot 100 List is all over contemporary poetry—Scarriet rejoices in contemporary poetry, even as it takes part in an honest look at the flaws of the Modernist founders—yet Woodman claims this petty falsehood, that I don’t like poetry after 1900…a total load of crap.

        I realize that many in Po-biz resist what Scarriet is doing—they feel I’m blowing up their boat, but eventually they’ll realize that life goes on after Modernism and that an honest appraisal of the last 100 years can only be a good.

        Tom

        • Mark said,

          May 2, 2011 at 4:50 pm

          Tom

          Your “pretty detailed critiqe of the error-filled presentation” was you pointing out three errors, none of which had anything to do with the topic. I was hoping you were going to engage with his thesis which you didn’t even attempt to do. My inference is that it either went over your head or you couldn’t find any fault in it.

          McGann is clearly a big Poe fan and is no way “‘damn[ing]-with-faint-put-downs.’” He was praising-with-overt-praise. There is a difference. McGann mentioned probably 10-12 books written on or directly concerning Poe from the last 20 years. I asked you if you’d read any of them – I wasn’t trying to trap you I just know you like Poe – but you hadn’t. If I really liked Poe I probably would have read at least some of them. That’s a very telling example of your commitment to literature.

          Even with a writer he likes, even as that writer is undergoing a critical renaissance, Thomas Graves is nowhere to be found – instead he’s pouting over some crap someone said 100 years ago.

          My m.o., if you’ll recall, hasn’t been to “damn [you] whatever [you] say or do.” I’ve praised your writing when its deserved it. Remember? One of the instances of this is right above your comment.

          Can you simply not imagine that someone would disagree with your unfounded opinions and lazy methodology? It’s unfortunate that you have to play make-believe and pretend that someone pointing out an obvious flaw in your badly rendered argument means that person has some vendetta against you. Maybe I’m objecting to your arguments because there’s something worth objecting to. Maybe your unwillingness to discuss any of these points with me means you’re aware of this. I’m not going to coddle you, Gravesy. Why do you have to play the victim like this? It’s really pathetic.

          “On the second point:” (hehe) you don’t show the “recent etymological history of “sentimental”” you just said you looked it up and given how you butchered that quote from Pound so horribly out of context, I’m not inclined to believe you (you’re also misusing the word “etymological” here). When you title an article “HOW THE MODERNS MADE SENTIMENTAL A BAD THING” or whatever, I expect you to show HOW they did it. Copy-paste where you said how they did it, Tom. I can’t find anything even resembling an explanation.

          What’s sad is that you don’t seem to realize that Poetry isn’t and wasn’t the driving force of meaning in words. Poets don’t write the OED. Dictionary definitions change all the time – gay used to mean happy – one marginal figure in an artform that no one reads doesn’t have that kind of pull. What you prove by quoting from the OED (well you didn’t actually quote from it because you’re a hack) is that the “Pound clique” were actually reading the Zeitgeist of the times (LOL) by mirroring the prevalent cultural mores in their poetry… which actually works to validate their writing.

          You say I “want every detail put before” me: that’s a pretty huge overstatement but showing the details is how a thesis works, son. You gotta prove it. You lie all the time on Scarriet, I’m not just going to believe you at face-value.

          Thirdly: I dont’ think “Woodman, because I don’t like The Red Wheel Barrow, claims I don’t like poetry after 1900.” I think that’s a pretty crass reductio ad absurdum. Again, why do you have to play the victim, Tom? Can’t you ditch the make-believe and just be a man for once?

          Only Thomas Graves could confuse lying about something no one cares about with an “an honest appraisal of the last 100 years.” This is why Scarriet is a joke.

          Mark

          • thomasbrady said,

            May 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm

            Mark,

            McGann didn’t mention 10-12 books. He mentioned a handful of obscure university press books—essentially doctoral papers. Do you know how many thesis papers are published a year?

            There is no Poe renaissance going on—major press publications reviewed by major presses refuting the lies and slander of a 150 years. Nope.

            I’m championing Poe, but I’m not so naive to think because I’m doing so, there’s a Poe renaissance, though I might be sowing a seed or two for the future…

            I read widely. You’ll never find me down a well.

            You, on the other hand, don’t seem to read much at all. No thesis sticks to you. All you can do is jump up and down and yell, “Prove it!” You’re a bore. I’m not going to hold your hand.

            Woodman claims I don’t like poetry after 1900. This is a flat out lie, and he knows it. You know it. The work on Scarriet proves it. Yet, you interpret this as me playing ‘victim.’ One more reason to think you’re either a cretin or a moron, or both. I’m leaning towards the latter.

            Tom

            • Mark said,

              May 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm

              Tom

              When a major figure in poetry like Charles Bernstein is championing Poe studies and Jerome McGann (who I gather is fairly well-known) is able to list off 10-12 major publications I’m inclined to think there is a Poe Renaissance going on and that you have nothing to do with it because you have nothing of interest to say on it.

              I don’t really see you as “championing Poe” – you’re really just using him as a pawn. Tomae-to Tomah-to, I guess.

              If you read so widely how come you haven’t read any of the mjor works McGann mentions?

              I may be a bore but I’m not here to entertain you. I’m here to hold you accountable for the things you’re saying which, as of now, you have avoided.

              I’ve never heard Woodman say you don’t like poetry after 1900. Could you copy-paste where he said so?

              When you claim I “damn [you] whatever [you] say or do” you’re playing the victim like a pathetic nancy boy. I praised one of your articles in the post you were responding to. How is that damning you whatever you say or do? I’m damning what I see as worthy of damning and praising what’s worthy of praise. It just so happens there’s much more of the former because you’re a lazy hack.

              Mark

  109. wfkammann said,

    May 2, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Tom slithers like old Proteus. Who can hold him?
    And if you did, would you get the truth?
    He’s a bully and vengeful weasel.
    He’ll intimidate you if he can and if not, he’ll flip
    and show the soft underbelly and whine and cry.
    If only he had a well-thought-out position to defend
    And the education to defend it.

    • wfkammann said,

      May 2, 2011 at 3:01 am

      “The March Hare will be much the most interesting, and perhaps as this is May it won’t be raving mad — at least not so mad as it was in March.”

    • thomasbrady said,

      May 2, 2011 at 6:43 pm

      “Vengeful?”

      How am I so? Are you saying this because I translated a Heine poem better than you did?

      How am I “vengeful?” Please tell me. “Bully” and “weasel” are equally silly, but I’m just curious…are you saying I took revenge on you, somehow? Or are you just throwing words around?

      • Anonymous said,

        May 2, 2011 at 8:26 pm

        You are so vengeful you pretend it’s the settings. Would passive-aggressive weasel suit you better?

        You can’t read a Heine poem, let alone translate one. Das ich nicht lach’.

        • thomasbrady said,

          May 2, 2011 at 8:51 pm

          Oh…the settings…yes, it was the settings. The site was blocking all comments with more than 2 links. CW often used many links in his comments. I honestly didn’t know how to fix this, and didn’t know exactly what the issue was. I always approved CW’s comments, and now that the issue has been resolved, it won’t happen again. To call this “vengeful” borders on paranoia. Believe me, I’m very happy the problem was caught.

          • May 3, 2011 at 1:24 am

            The issue has not been resolved as you put TWO of my comments on moderation on May 1st but you have posted only one of them.

            I have asked you to remedy this twice now, and you have simply stonewalled the whole issue by saying you didn’t know even when you admit now that you did know.

            I have a snap shot of it in place on Scarriet. It was dated May 1, 2011 at 1:44 am and it’s URL was https://scarriet.wordpress.com/about/#comment-6291.

            It should follow Mark’s Comment 104.

            Please do get it up or tell me why not.

            Christopher

            • thomasbrady said,

              May 3, 2011 at 1:58 am

              I have no desire to block your comments. I have never blocked or stonewalled any of your comments.
              I have no idea what you mean by ‘i have a snap shot of it in place on scarriet.’ I thought it wasn’t on scarriet. Please tell me what the comment begins with so I can identify it and release the right one. I thought I had released them all, but I’ll go check my records. Thanks.

              • May 3, 2011 at 2:30 am

                You know very well that when a comment is put “on moderation” it is visible to the poster and the editor but not to anybody else.

                You know this and yet you pretend that you don’t — but then that’s you’re m.o., as you like to call it. (Why?)

                The suspended Comment is right there on your Dashboard awaiting “Approval” — unless of course you have deleted it and plan to pretend it never appeared.

                Or you can look down below and see it in place, as I’ve reposted it myself in despair.

                Looking back on it, I can see now why it touched such a raw nerve. What I say about Pound, and The Manifesto, and the girl.

                Scarriet’s wheels have sunk right down to the axles, Tom, and, whoever this Brady guy is, he’s just spinning.

                But seriously. I know you, Tom-at-home, and still like and respect you. I just wish you’d get back to your own poetry and yourself.

                So that’ll be it.

                Christopher

  110. May 2, 2011 at 4:15 am

    Tom,
    You still have a comment of mine from yesterday “on moderation.” It’s this one: (May 1, 2011 at 1:44 am)
    https://scarriet.wordpress.com/about/#comment-6291.

    it should immediately follow Mark’s Comment #104 (April 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm). https://scarriet.wordpress.com/about/#comment-6274

    I’d appreciate it if you could get it up ASAP.

    Christopher

  111. May 2, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Just a bit more on that.

    The comment you did release today from “On Moderation” begins

    May 1, 2011 at 3:48 am

    Tom,
    I left out one further irony — you’re giving Foetry a bad name!

    It’s pretty obvious thatthose words were building on a pervious comment, and I’m very surprised you didn’t notice it among the suspended comments either. Perhaps you found the sentiments of it hard to feel, or something like that.

    I have a copy, but I’d rather you put it up where it belongs.

    Christopher

  112. Christopher said,

    May 2, 2011 at 4:38 am

    My first comment, #comment-6322, also isn’t on the Recent Comments list, so obviously it’s been put “on moderation” as well. It reads:

    Christopher Woodman said,
    May 2, 2011 at 4:15 am

    Tom,
    You still have a comment of mine from yesterday “on moderation.” It’s this one: (May 1, 2011 at 1:44 am)
    https://scarriet.wordpress.com/about/#comment-6291.

    it should immediately follow Mark’s Comment #104 (April 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm). https://scarriet.wordpress.com/about/#comment-6274

    I’d appreciate it if you could get it up ASAP.

    Christopher

    If I’m the only visitor to Scarriet with this “on moderation” problem, you should look at your settings. If you can’t figure out what’s wrong yourself you should go to WordPress Support for help.

    As soon as you have rectified all this you can delete all the little comments with my complaints about the problem. I don’t want them to distract anybody from main discussion.

    Christopher

  113. Fan Support said,

    May 2, 2011 at 7:03 am

    TO THE SCARRIET EDITOR.

    HOW TO CHANGE YOUR DISCUSSION SETTINGS SO POSTERS DO NOT END UP ON MODERATION.

    1.) Go to ‘Dashboard’

    2.) Go to ‘Settings’ (left hand margin)

    3.) Go to ‘Discussion’

    4.) Go to “Hold a comment in the queue if it contains —2— or more links.”

    Change this setting from what it is now, probably 2 , to 4 at least. (If it is only 2, any comment containing more than one URL will be put on moderation.)

    5.) Write a note to WordPress Support thanking them for this help.

    6.) Bow to the fans. Blow a kiss. Promise better.

    The Fan Supporter

  114. MORE Fan Support said,

    May 2, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Get Christopher Woodman’s suspended #comment-6291 up as soon as possible.

    Delete all the complaint comments.

    Be happy the guy’s so old and gentle.

  115. thomasbrady said,

    May 2, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks, Fan Support!

    I apologize to everyone, especially to Mr. Woodman.

    The solution was in my settings the whole time.

    Now we can talk about poetry? Or other things…

    • wfkammann said,

      May 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm

      “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
      But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

  116. Mark said,

    May 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Oh and Tom said:
    “You want me to read every single last bit of commentary on Poe before I’m allowed to speak, even if my own reading is miles ahead of this ‘renaissance,’ as you yourself term it”

    In addition to being laughably melodramatic and not at all what I said:
    How do you know, Tom, that your own reading is miles ahead of the current Poe renaissance if you haven’t read any of the books that have come out?

    Gary was talking about ASSumptions on the other thread – this is so far beyond that I don’t even know what to call it!

    Mark

  117. Mark said,

    May 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Also, Tom, you forgot to respond to my main point – maybe like McGann’s thesis it went over your head – but you probably ought to.

    Here it is again, in all its poorly-written glory, because you seem to have missed it:

    Christopher said:
    “I left out one further irony — you’re giving Foetry a bad name!”

    This is the point, Tom.

    “Po-biz” is not an entity like “The Oil Industry”. There are no lobbyists for “Po-biz” in Washington (though maybe it would be better that there were). It’s a very VERY loose group of people – many of whom have no direct connection to one another. Some of these people are good, some of them are bad and most are probably in between. The same can be said of any group of people. When you start writing or publishing poetry you don’t suddenly become evil or corrupt.

    You’re not willing to define “po-biz” because you can’t. It’s easy to fight against an abstract concept (“the jews” are the classic historical example) and you’re very lazy. I honestly think it’s that simple.

    Foetry fought against individuals which took guts. You fight against abstract concepts of your own imaginings which is pathetic.

    It’s telling, Tom, that when asked to present an article that summed up the spirit of Scarriet you linked to an 9-month-old article that did exactly what Foetry tried to do. It really was a good article because it addressed a specific person without the over-arching conspiratorial bullshit we’re all used to from you. If you wrote an article like that more often than once every 9 months Scarriet might be something worth reading.”

    Cheers,
    Mark

    • thomasbrady said,

      May 2, 2011 at 6:53 pm

      Mark,

      Have you got some names? Whistle-blowing can be done by anyone, (though Alan Cordle was especially good at it.) Scarriet will take them.

      Why isn’t Po-biz like the “Oil Industry?” I’m sure “Oil Industry” experts will tell you the “Oil Industry” is more “loose” than you realize. What you are objecting to, finally, is me talking about anything. You are simply a crank, who brings nothing to the table.

      Scarriet’s not perfect. Thanks, Mark!

      Tom

      • Mark said,

        May 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm

        As to me not bringing anything to the table:
        What am I supposed to bring to the table in response to nutty conspiracy theories and unfounded, unproven points? What do you say to the guy in the tinfoil hat? How do you bring something to the table when the table is a cardboard box?

        I’m trying to help you build a table, then I’ll bring whatever you like to it (I make a mean alfredo sauce, fwiw).

        As to “po-biz”: you’re still not addressing the point, Tom.

        “Foetry fought against individuals which took guts. You fight against abstract concepts of your own imaginings which is pathetic.”

        Could you refute this even if you wanted to?

        Mark

      • Mark said,

        May 2, 2011 at 7:22 pm

        Oh and no one is asking Scarriet to be “perfect.” Again you’re misrepresenting what I’m saying.

        What I’m saying is that it would be nice if Scarriet stood behind what it said, defended its positions by fielding questions about them and stopped resorting to speculation when facts are so much more satisfying.

        I’m sure you’ll twist this to mean that I’m an apologist for modernism who is saying that you’re not allowed to have hypotheses but there you go…

        Mark

  118. Mark said,

    May 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I also said to Tom:

    “Surely you must see a difference between addressing a specific problem versus making a boogeyman out of “po-biz.” The former makes you a reporter, the latter makes you a conspiracy theorist.

    You say:
    “The problem is that po-biz hasn’t a clue which of its children are glorious and which are not. Po-biz is bereft of executive wisdom. Po-biz, when not publishing poems, is a maggot-bucket of egos, unable to sort gems from dross—given its philosophical penchant for intellectually hating the popular.”

    My response was to say:
    ““Are you advocating a carefully selected canon of modern literature picked by an elite group of authorities?”
    “Who specifically should do something? What specifically should be done?”
    “You speak of poetry like it’s run by some shadowy cabal. “Po-biz” is even less of an entity than “the government.” If you have a problem with “po-biz” then define “po-biz”.”

    We need specifics. You need to define your terms. If you want poetry to separate good poems from bad poems then you need to say how it would do that. It’s a nice idea but that’s never been the case and it never will be and that crap won’t do, Graves. When you bite off more than you can chew you falter. Your Collins/Guest article was written with broad strokes and no facts. That’s not a good thing. It makes you sound fucking crazy.

    Saying you know what Ron Silliman secretly wants and fears is not just shoddy writing but sort of creepy. You’ve been trying to justify it for a month now but we both know it’s weak and we both know that if an English student handed in a paper with that argument you’d fail him/her. I’m trying to hold you to a higher standard.

    (speaking of which, you still haven’t posted a link to the Collins/Guest article nor have you posted the “facts” from the comments section… I’m still hoping you will)

    Mark”

    • thomasbrady said,

      May 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm

      Mark,

      Are you still busy wrapping your little brain around the canard that I must PROVE Silliman is jealous, otherwise his remark equating Edgar Guest with Billy Collins should simply stand without comment? You know who is more embarrassing to Silliman right now? You. Silliman made a silly remark, Scarriet pointed it out, and now we can all go have a laugh about it at the bar. But no—Mock won’t let it go. LOL

      Tom

      • Mark said,

        May 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm

        No one was “equating” anything.

        You claimed to speak on his behalf and told your readers what Ron Silliman’s secret fears and desires were and that’s creepy as hell.

        I don’t care what Ron Silliman thinks and am not that big a fan of his.

        Your argument is a microcosm of Scarriet in general. That you’ve never been able to defend it says to me that you are aware that it wasn’t very strong and was predicated on strawman logic.

        The point of that post was to equate (see that’s how you use the word properly) your strawman argument in one thread with your strawman argument in another thereby showing how often you resort to terrible, unsupportable arguments.

        Did you not get that?

        Mark

        • thomasbrady said,

          May 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm

          “no one was equating anything.”

          Yes he did.

          “secret fears and desires” LOL

          Hey, how’s your leg?

          • Mark said,

            May 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm

            “Yes he did”

            No he didn’t. You’re smart enough to know the difference so stop pretending you have a case on this one, Tom.

            “Hey, how’s your leg?”

            Actually really sore – I overworked it the last couple days whilst out gallivanting

  119. Marcus Bales said,

    May 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    The Troll’s Song

    If you’re anxious for to shine as obnoxiously online
    As you do when you are off,
    You must contradict them all, all those jerks with minds so small
    That they read your stuff and scoff.
    You must say they’re wrong, they lie; that they’re ignorant or high;
    That they cannot understand
    How your complicated mind made ad hominem refined
    All the places you’ve been banned.

    And everyone will talk
    You young puppy with your sock,
    “If this young troll expresses himself too obnoxiously for me,
    Why what a very singularly bad young troll
    This bad young troll must be!”

    And though eloquent you’re not you still can be a snot
    With an adjectival jeer,
    While you put them firmly down with a filthy verb or noun
    And a stereotyping smear.
    Of course you will deny that it’s personal, and cry
    You’re the only honest one,
    And though your speech is free you’ll forbid the same for me
    If you think I’m poking fun.

    And everyone will talk
    As you worry that damned sock
    “If calling names is good for him which isn’t good for me,
    Why, what a sheer uncultivated kind of troll
    This kind of troll must be!”

    Then with sanctimonious passion of a pious pompous fashion
    You declare that you have won –
    With a victory so factual there’s no need for an actual
    Account of what you’ve done.
    Whether blog or board or email, whether you are male or female,
    You believe the lie within —
    Though logicians may object, you know your chutzpah will protect you
    If you just repeat “I win!”

    And everyone will talk
    Now that you’ve subdued your sock
    “If he’s content with a victory which would certainly not suit me,
    Why, what a most egregious little lying troll
    This lying troll must be!”

    • thomasbrady said,

      May 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      Gilbert and Sullivan?

    • Mark said,

      May 2, 2011 at 7:13 pm

      Marcus,

      By the sort of things you write here I’m forced to assume that you’re very young. I’m also assuming that you haven’t followed this conversation from the beginning.

      Tom is the one who wanted to make this about winning or losing. I’ve said probably no less than a dozen times that I have no interest in winning or losing. If I’ve said I’m winning it’s only as a sarcastic response to Tom.

      I’ve never contributed to a online board/blog/what-have-you before. I find the idea sort of silly but I’m nursing an injury and have too much time on my hands. My initial post was simply to point out some obvious strawmen in Tom’s argument. I was happy to let it go but Tom has wanted to continue.

      I repeat: “Marcus – who I suspect has not been following this discussion and is therefore in a poor position to comment – wants to call me a troll. A troll drills holes in the boat: I’m pointing out the holes that already exist so that you might patch them.”

      When Tom has written things that are praiseworthy I’ve been (literally) the first to say so. When Tom doesn’t bother to formulate an argument I’ve been the first to say so there as well.

      Since poetry obviously isn’t your strong suit maybe you could tell me in plain prose why you object to my presence here.

      Mark

      • thomasbrady said,

        May 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm

        Mark,

        I think that poem is directed against me/us.

        You are my “sock (puppet)” as it were. I’m arguing with myself to get attention.

        Marcus isn’t going to engage you because he thinks you’re a troll. Marcus, like Woodman, doesn’t like March Madness and thinks it beneath the dignity of poetry. I’m on his shit list, too.

        I don’t think you’re a troll. I think you are well-meaning…in your way.

        Tom

        • Mark said,

          May 2, 2011 at 8:11 pm

          I really am well-meaning, Tom

          Certainly more moron than cretin 🙂

          • thomasbrady said,

            May 2, 2011 at 8:29 pm

            In all seriousness, Mark. I think you do want to make Scarriet better—and I appreciate that. Right now this is mostly a pissing contest running on wounded pride, but I think you sincerely want me to see that Scarriet could be better, and I’m resenting the way you are telling me this.

        • wfkammann said,

          May 3, 2011 at 2:03 am

          He’s a bully and vengeful weasel.
          He’ll intimidate you if he can and if not, he’ll flip
          and show the soft underbelly and whine and cry.
          If only he had a well-thought-out position to defend
          And the education to defend it.

          • thomasbrady said,

            May 3, 2011 at 1:57 pm

            “a well-thought-out position to defend and the education to defend it”

            Like what? Please point to one, if you dare. Robert Lowell’s “raw & cooked” formula (never proved)? T.S. Eliot’s claim that two centuries of poetry suffered from a dissociation of sensibility (never proved)? Ezra Pound, who never read the Russians, did he have any? Do you have one? Please, whatever you’d like, pick one, anyone at all.

            • wfkammann said,

              May 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm

              IN A STATION OF THE METRO

              The apparition of these faces in the crowd ;
              Petals on a wet, black bough.

              Let’s pick Pound. What do you know about him except that you think you can dismiss him out of hand as an anti-semite?

  120. Bill said,

    May 2, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Marcus, are you wrestling your way deeper into this tar baby? Beware!

  121. May 2, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Shyp of Foles

    Thus am I a foole and all that sewe that guyse
    That in this shyp the chefe place I gouerne
    By this wyde see with folys wanderynge
    The cause is playne, and easy to dyscerne
    Styll am I besy bokes assemblynge
    For to haue plenty it is a plesaunt thynge
    In my conceyt and to haue them ay in honed

    But what they mene do I nat vnderstonde
    But yet I haue them in great reuerence
    And honoure sauynge them from fylth and ordure
    By often brusshynge, and moche dylygence
    Full goodly bounde in pleasaunt couerture
    Of domas, satyn, or els of veluet pure
    I kepe them sure ferynge lyst they sholde be lost

    For in them is the connynge wherin I me bost.
    But if it fortune that any lernyd men
    Within my house fall to disputacion
    I drawe the curtyns to shewe my bokes then
    That they of my cunnynge sholde make probacion
    I kepe nat to fall in altercacion
    And whyle they comon my bokes I turne and wynde

    For all is in them, and no thynge in my mynde.
    Tholomeus the riche causyd longe agone
    Ouer all the worlde good bokes to be sought
    Done was his commaundement anone
    These bokes he had and in his stody brought
    Whiche passyd all erthly treasoure as he thought
    But neuertheles he dyd hym nat aply

    Unto theyr doctryne, but lyued unhappely.
    Lo in lyke wyse of bokys I haue store
    But fewe I rede, and fewer understande
    I folowe nat theyr doctryne nor theyr lore
    It is ynoughe to bere a boke in hande
    It were to moche to be it suche a bande
    For to be bounde to loke within the boke

    I am content on the fayre couerynge to loke
    Why sholde I stody to hurt my wyt therby
    Or trouble my mynde with stody excessyue
    Sythe many ar whiche stody right besely
    And yet therby shall they neuer thryue
    The fruyt of wysdom can they nat contryue
    And many to stody so moche are inclynde

    That utterly they fall out of theyr mynde
    Eche is nat lettred that nowe is made a lorde
    Nor eche a clerke that hath a benefyce
    They are nat all lawyers that plees doth recorde
    All that are promotyd are nat fully wyse
    On suche chaunce nowe fortune throwys hir dyce
    That thoughe one knowe but the yresshe game

    Yet wolde he haue a gentyllmannys name
    So in lyke wyse I am in suche case
    Thoughe I nought can I wolde be callyd wyse
    Also I may set another in my place
    Whiche may for me my bokes excercyse
    Or else I shall ensue the comon gyse
    And say concedo to euery argument

    Lyst by moche speche my latyn sholde be spent
    I am lyke other Clerkes whiche so frowardly them gyde.
    That after they ar onys come vnto promocion
    They gyue them to plesour theyr stody set asyde.
    Theyr Auaryce couerynge with fayned deuocion.
    Yet dayly they preche: and haue great derysyon
    Against the rude Laymen: and al for Couetyse.

    Though theyr owne Conscience be blynded wt that vyce.
    But if I durst trouth playnely vtter and expresse.
    This is the special cause of this Inconuenyence.
    That greatest foles, and fullest of lewdnes
    Hauynge least wyt: and symplest Science
    Ar fyrst promoted: and haue greatest reuerence
    For if one can flater, and bere a hawke on his Fyst

    He shalbe made Person of Honyngton or of Clyst.
    But he that is in Stody ay ferme and diligent.
    And without al fauour prechyth Chrystys lore
    Of al the Comontye nowe adayes is sore shent.
    And by Estates thretened to Pryson oft therfore.
    Thus what auayle is it, to vs to Stody more:
    To knowe outher scripture, trouth, wysedom, or virtue

    Syns fewe, or none without fauour dare them shewe.
    But O noble Doctours, that worthy ar of name:
    Consyder our olde faders: note wel theyr diligence:
    Ensue ye theyr steppes: obtayne ye such fame,
    As they dyd lyuynge: and that by true Prudence.
    Within theyr hartys they planted theyr scyence
    And nat in plesaunt bokes. But nowe to fewe suche be.
    Therefore in this Shyp let them come rowe with me.

    – Alexander Barclay – 1495

    Ship of Fools

    Went to see the captain, strangest I could find,
    Laid my proposition down, laid it on the line.
    I won’t slave for beggar’s pay, likewise gold and jewels,
    But I would slave to learn the way to sink your ship of fools.

    Ship of fools on a cruel sea, ship of fools sail away from me.
    It was later than I thought when I first believed you,
    Now I cannot share your laughter, ship of fools.

    Saw your first ship sink and drown, from rockin’ of the boat,
    And all that could not sink or swim was just left there to float.
    I won’t leave you drifting down, but woh it makes me wild,
    With thirty years upon my head to have you call me child.

    Ship of fools on a cruel sea, ship of fools sail away from me.
    It was later than I thought when I first believed you,
    Now I cannot share your laughter, ship of fools.

    The bottles stand as empty, as they were filled before.
    Time there was and plenty, but from that cup no more.
    Though I could not caution all, I still might warn a few:
    Don’t lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools.

    Ship of fools on a cruel sea, ship of fools sail away from me.
    It was later than I thought, when I first believed you,
    Now I cannot share your laughter, ship of fools.

    It was later than I thought when I first believed you,
    Now I cannot share your laughter, ship of fools.

    – The Grateful Dead – 1975

    Ship of Fools

    Scarriet – 2011

  122. May 3, 2011 at 2:10 am

    The following comment was posted on May 1st but was held for “moderation” along with a second comment which immediately followed it. Scarriet has now released the second as Comment 105. It begins, “Tom. I left out one further irony — you’re giving Foetry a bad name!

    I’ve given up on the editor now so will just post it again myself — I’m trying to get out of here, but the place is like treacle!

    ~

    105. Christopher Woodman said,
    May 1, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Tom,
    I’ve also been asking you for a whole month to fix the “‘Before There Was Billy Collins & Ted Kooser, There Was Edgar Guest’-Ron Silliman” thread, which has now run through 115 Comments in Bold from here. [URLs omitted in this repost for obvious reasons.]

    No joy from the Editor– just red herrings and insults. Since Mark’s initial complaints against your logic were expressed on this thread, as editor you should have tried to create a logical playing field. But all you gave us was a one-note, self-serving asphalt car park.

    Doesn’t look or feel good.

    ~

    I don’t know Mark at all, Tom, and have not participated in his examination of your arguments, a critique which is often quite over my head, to be frank. What I’ve done is try to draw attention to your insensitivity to creative language, and your insensitivity to creative language in poetry in particular. Which was why we split up in the first place, of course.

    “And why are you still trying, Christopher?” you might ask.

    I suppose it’s because I still believe in you. Yes, maybe that’s it.

    But now I’m tired — tired of the noise, stonewalling, repetition, inflation and a whole belly-full of déjà vu. You’re so much like Ezra Pound, Tom, with your bombast, pedantry and pretension. And what an irony that is — that you’ve become everything you despise about the man you despise, even your obsession with privilege is like Pound’s, Oxbridge, Boston Brahmins, old Virginia, Professors etc. etc. And the last laugh is that Scarriet has become the Mother of all Manifestos, The Manifesto To End All Manifestos in Poetry and the Institutions That Teach It!

    And the biggest irony of all is that you’ve now entirely lost contact with poets and poetry. Yes, there are people still interested in your angles on Scarriet, would-be graduate students who are nervous about not knowing enough dirty tricks, spurned malcontents, successful failures, frustrated lawyers, people who long to be part of the scene but aren’t so love to see someone kick the hell out of it. All men, and then only men who a.) aren’t old and b.) aren’t women or poets.

    A niche, yes indeed. So you go, boy — you go for it! (You taught me to say that about girls, do you remember? And who you lost then?)

    Christopher

    • thomasbrady said,

      May 4, 2011 at 12:48 am

      Why do you make these grandiose statements like “you’ve now entirely lost contact with poets and poetry.” How can anyone take you seriously? How can anyone even begin to contemplate what this means? What if I admitted right now, “I have lost all contact with poets and poetry! Help me, someone! I have lost all contact with poets and poetry!” What would people think? What would people do? Tom has lost all contact with poets and poetry! Poor guy! Someone help him!

      When poets drive to the hoop, when poets rebound, when poets defend, when poets drip sweat on the floor, when poets set picks, when poets block shots, when poets shoot from outside, when poets dive into the stands for loose balls, I marvel at their play! How can you say I’ve lost contacts with poets and poetry?????

      Really, Woodman!

      sheesh!

      • May 4, 2011 at 5:39 am

        I should be leaving this now, but I’m a fool and can’t ship my oars.

        ~

        You write: “What if I admitted right now, “I have lost all contact with poets and poetry! Help me, someone! I have lost all contact with poets and poetry!” What would people think? What would people do? Tom has lost all contact with poets and poetry! Poor guy! Someone help him!”

        So what do you think I’m trying to do? Do you think it’s just “March Madness” and “Sport” that makes me hang in here? Do you really believe that? Certainly you say it over and over again, just like you also say “Christopher’s just jealous” whenever you can.

        And I reply over and over again that my outrage is at what you do to poets and poetry, Indeed I’ve spent almost two years trying to explain to you what you are doing, at first gently but then as you hardened in your positions more and more confrontationally. Most recently I demonstrated your abuse of the delicate poetry of Jack Myers, for example — there’s a whole thread on that — but I’ve also worked in great detail very recently into your abuse of Williams Carlos Williams, Seamus Heaney, Margaret Atwood, Franz Wright, and many others.

        Here’s what you say about James Wright, for example, the father:

        “A Blessing” by James Wright is maudlin crap, perhaps the worst poem ever published.

        The lust for horsies and the ’break into blossom’ trope is embarrassing in the extreme.

        “Northern Pike” is a close second: “we prayed for the muskrats”

        “I am so happy.” Good grief.

        His football poem isn’t much better; “gallup terribly” is a trite way to describe the violence of football. One can tell he’s just a nerdy observer.

        “Their women cluck like starved pullets,/Dying for love.” Lines like these are destined for the ash heap.

        Don’t get me started on the treacly, self-pitying exploitation of George Doty, the executed killer.

        What to do with James Wright, who is nothing more than smarmy Whitman-haiku?

        [Note: No woman poet seeking entrance to the canon would be permitted to get away with Wright’s metaphorical slop.]

        “Depressed by a book of bad poetry…”

        “I have wasted my life.”

        Yea.

        https://scarriet.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/i-gave-up-everything-everything-to-be-a-poet-franz-wright/

        And as to the second paragraph in your previous comment beginning “When poets drive to the hoop”, I think it’s wonderful. Indeed, I’ve always praised you for your sport writing and would encourage you to do more of it. I loved your article on Tim Lincecum, for example, and thought your article on the discourse of football reffing was superb. On the other hand, I thought what you did with Seamus Heaney, Jack Myers and Philip Larkin on the basketball court last month was not only deeply flawed in it’s understanding but ugly and demeaning!

        ~

        I’m interested that you focus on what I say about your losing contact with poets and poetry. I would have thought you’d be more incensed by what I say about how similar you are in character to Ezra Pound, and in particular about the way you throw around Manifestos. Because it’s you’re abrasive Pound-like hectoring combined with your Manifestos that so undermine your feeling for modern poets and poetry.

        So was I wrong, that you’re not just like Ezra Pound, and that you don’t deal in Manifestos?

        Christopher

      • wfkammann said,

        May 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm

        IN A STATION OF THE METRO

        The apparition of these faces in the crowd ;
        Petals on a wet, black bough.

  123. Mark said,

    May 3, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    “thomas[graves] said,
    May 3, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    “a well-thought-out position to defend and the education to defend it”

    Like what? Please point to one, if you dare. Robert Lowell’s “raw & cooked” formula (never proved)? T.S. Eliot’s claim that two centuries of poetry suffered from a dissociation of sensibility (never proved)? Ezra Pound, who never read the Russians, did he have any? Do you have one? Please, whatever you’d like, pick one, anyone at all.”

    See Tom, this is what I’m talking about. This is a dodge.
    If I were to try and translate this response I would do it as such: “Yeah, I can’t defend my position but neither could these other people – let’s all focus on them and not pay attention to what I’m doing”

    You have to be better than the people you rail against. You can’t respond to a bad argument with an equally bad argument and expect it to count. If you find poorly-thought-out positions objectionable you can’t have a poorly-thought-out position yourself or you become a hypocrite. If you attack vaguery (vagueness?) in another’s position you can’t expect that no one will notice the vaguery in your own.

    You have kids, Tom. You must know that “well he started it” is a bullshit excuse that kids use as a last resort when they’re caught doing something they know they’re not supposed to be doing. Every time you try and turn a question back on the person asking it, this is what you are doing…

    and yet the question remains whether you like to accept it or not.

    No one is asking about Lowell, Pound or Eliot. We’re asking about you. You can hide behind your rhetoric but in hiding you expose yourself for what you really are.

    This is what I’ve been trying to tell you for a month now, this is why you won’t address questions being asked of you directly and this is why Scarriet often sucks.

    Mark

    • Marcus Bales said,

      May 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      This is like arguing that the stationary rotary sander won’t turn the wood post that has been set end-to against it like a clutch turns a drive-train, while Tom has been trying to sand the end smooth. The metaphorical thinking that goes on in the arts is simply not like the sort of thinking that goes on in philosophy and the sciences. You’re using the wrong tool to measure the output, Mark. You’re looking at the pile of sawdust and the smoothly-sanded end of the wood post as the problem, while Tom is looking at it as the desired result.

      • Mark said,

        May 4, 2011 at 2:25 am

        Marcus,

        Your attempt at metaphor here is just as clumsy and poorly-rendered as your earlier attempts at verse.

        I sincerely don’t think you have any idea what I’m “looking at.”

        Perhaps you should just stay out of this as you clearly have nothing to add and seem very much out of your depth.

        Mark

        • Marcus Bales said,

          May 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm

          In other words, Mark, you once again didn’t understand what the poets are talking about. Well, who didn’t see that coming?

          This is just more trolling on your part — just like all the other trolling you’re doing, whether you’re Tom’s sock-puppet or whether you’re simply someone who likes to troll for fights.

          You’ve got the wrong end of the stick, here, Mark. You haven’t got a point of view, you’ve only got an attitude, and it’s grating. Of course, “March Madness” is grating, too, but at least it’s an attempt to talk about the poetry it presents.

          You, on the other hand, sound like what you claim to be: a bored but aggressive person who dislikes the arts as a whole, and poetry in particular. I don’t want to insult you, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you actually write free verse.

          • Mark said,

            May 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm

            When you say “the poets” you aren’t referring to yourself, are you? That would be a laugh.

            All I’ve seen from you are hackneyed attempts at wit, condescension and general failure (sure Northrop Frye is American – just like Wayne Gretzky and Pierre Trudeau were). I have little doubt that you haven’t been following this debate so I’m not sure why you feel like you’re in a position to comment on it or try to speak to what I “claim to be.” How arrogant of you – you must be one of those Americans who gives Americans a bad name.

            You’re welcome to not read my posts if you find them “grating” (LOL). I suspect I’ll be giving up slogging through your unreadably bad attempts at verse and metaphor pretty soon. You’re welcome to do the same.

            Someone should explain to you what “trolling” is, though. A “troll” is not just anyone that says something you personally don’t like and a “troll” is not someone who disagrees with a point being made.

            When I say that “your attempt at metaphor here is just as clumsy and poorly-rendered as your earlier attempts at verse” – it’s not “trolling,” it’s the indisputable truth.

            Stop “trolling” me with your “trollery,” “troll” (hehe). Seriously though, you’re getting in the way and you’re cluttering up the thread with your inanities.

            Mark

    • thomasbrady said,

      May 4, 2011 at 12:52 am

      But why aren’t they asking about Lowell, Pound, or Eliot? We are these guys. Nothing more, nothing less. You’re asking too much of me, Mark. I’m them—that’s all I am. That’s all we are.

  124. Mark said,

    May 4, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Tom,

    I’m trying not to be a dick here but I can’t think of a nice word for cop-out, so…

    What you say is nice but in a very real sense you are NOT Robert Lowell. You are Thomas Graves and Thomas Graves is saying things and I want to contest them with Thomas Graves. Robert Lowell doesn’t factor in. What I’m asking is for you to stand behind your words – why is that asking too much?

    When someone accuses you of something and your only response is to say “yeah well Pound did it too” then your response is pretty weak. You have to be better than Pound. We all do.

    There is no love lost for me when you attack Pound, Eliot or Lowell (I’ve barely even read the latter). Remember: my problems are not with your motives and only partially with your ideas – my problems are with your lazy methodology.

    If you want to attack a position for being poorly-thought-out and vague then turn around and espouse a position that’s just as poorly-thought-out and even more vague then you’re a hypocrite and that sucks.

    I expect better from you and from Scarriet, Tom. That’s not asking too much.

    Mark

    • thomasbrady said,

      May 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      Mark,

      As Bales mentioned, this is poetry, not science.

      My m.o. is basically the following:

      I take Exhibit A, which cannot be proven, but which is getting a lot of press, or is generally accepted as the truth, or is accepted as the most plausible explanation, or is repeated as ‘the way things are.’

      Exhibit A offends my philosophy or aesthetic taste or who knows why? It offends me.

      I then construe Exhibit B, using a combination of fact, rumor, opinion, and speculative philosophy, which also cannot be proven, and wave it about, saying ‘why not B?’ Why should we simply accept A?

      That’s all I’m doing.

      Even though neither A nor B can be proven, you, Mark, assume A can be proven and take the myth of A and beat me over the head with it, and also assume I have no right to be offended by A, and further, you say that if my offense at A is driving my construal of B, this discredits B even more.

      It is actually your methodology which is at fault.

      Tom

  125. May 4, 2011 at 6:14 am

    Since I see it’s up there on the Top Posts list, why I don’t know but which pleases me, I would draw your attention to my thread called “The Adoration of Anything You Think You Own Is Fire.”

    It was written just before I quit Scarriet, and if you go to the Scarriet Archives for April 2010 you can see how it got swamped by Tom’s new Baseball Series.

    I built the article around William Carlos Williams’ poem, “The Crowd at the Ball Game,” one of the greatest baseball poems ever written, because Tom had not only dismissed it as “bad” but said it made baseball fans look “stupid!”

    If further proof is needed, the article casts light on the two most important issues — how superficially Tom reads poetry, and how he pigeon holes poets in order to make them look ridiculous.

    Christopher.

  126. Kevin said,

    May 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    ‘Exhibit A offends my philosophy or aesthetic taste or who knows why? It offends me.’

    This statement is indicative of a current proclivity among many in the po-biz commentariat, who talk about poetry on a platform from which to broadcast, not their thoughts on how the language in a poem works (or fails to), but how the author offends their ‘aesthetic’ or ‘philisophical’ sensibilities.

    The danger is of course is when the writer comes across as being from the Donald Trump school of criticism, their argument based not on what the speaker purports it is, but merely an exercise in rehearsing and re-inforcing one’s literary prejudices and aesthetic bigotries under the guise of inquiry and debate.

    History, perhaps, will not reserve a space in the canon for those who speak of what poems and personalities offended us, the internet clerks and self-styled poetry police of the early 21C. This is because posterity will recognize what we do not; that the undeviating and daily outpouring of doctrinaire public statements on X, Y & Z being blah blah blah and ‘offensive’ to our superior aesthetic; happens not because it is incumbent on us to set some record straight, right a poetic wrong and enoble ourselves via the vehicle of poetry and praise; but by the unadmitted truth of our own jealousy in the face of those who the universe returned, the life in poetry we covet.

    What is noticeable about all this, Tom, is you rarely or never, sing from the gladsome, joyous siide of your brain. Always you are talking why such and such ‘offends’ you and doesn’t work, or is fake or rubbish or whatever; but never what is brilliant and fantastic and turns you on. This is what Mark and Chris are so riled about, I suspect: that you only ever talk in two dimensional space; your ideas expressed in a cartoon shorthand, Good v Bad, black and white complexity that proves, to them at least, that your arguments are not written with a view to open up genuine discussion and debate, but for the purpose of getting yourself noticed by the in-crowd you rail against as the inheritors of Eliot’s crown. That poetry for you is merely a shallow, American Idol kind of popularity contest, po-biz, careerism: that what you want is a place as ‘famous’ ‘celebrity’ critic, unconcerned about the validity of your arguments and wanting only to be ‘respected’ in the terms you understand. Blog hits, advertsing, the owner of a busy, superficial and shallow forum in which, at the first scent and sight of a few hundred hits, you drop the pretence this place is about serious discussion, and lose all run of yourself.

    The problem with cultivating only the bitter fruit of satire is, one loses the ability to praise and be joyous about a poem. Like the Fox-GOP money-as-God commentators like Trump, Beck and the rest, who are now finding fault with BO because of blah blah blah, even though he’s just proven himself the first American poet-pres since Kennedy; those used to speaking only negative, armchair expertist waffle; are exposed when the real poetry arrives to place ijn stark relief, the imposters who misunderstand what poetry is all about: balance. A balance between sight and sound, sweetness and tragedy, sorrow and joy; satire and praise. The problem with your method is it’s all doom, gloom and depressing arguments; suggesting not that what you say has validty, but that what you say is founded on reasons you do not express. A jealousy of the transcendentalist minded folk whose eloquence and literary elegance, outshines your own.

    There are no morals with language ona page, Tom, no ‘offending’ letters to outrage the detached artistic mind; only a host of phantom listeners, that dwell in the house of men, hearing in the quiet by a frond-fringed sill, the power of sound combined with silence, to move and reveal what truth poetry is and so, think on. Give us a laugh. Be happy. Write about what you love now and again. Rebalance.

    • thomasbrady said,

      May 4, 2011 at 7:32 pm

      Smile buttons are not my bag, Kevin.

      We can do ‘close readings.’ I sometimes do. I welcome them (unless they are tedious)

      We can go round and round with this: I say ‘shallow bigotries’ characterize much of po-biz. You say the ‘shallow bigotries’ lie with me. Point taken. Maybe I am shallow. Maybe I’m being shallow in order to attack the shallow. But your point is taken.

      But as I told Mark, unless you have a counter-thesis on… Robert Lowell, for instance…what IS your take on him? …if all you do is compare me to Donald Trump (??) what will readers of this site take away re: yr opinion?

      Respectfully,

      Tom

  127. Kevin said,

    May 4, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Saying, ‘smile buttons are not my bag’, only reiterates the criticism above, Tom. You show with this flippant comment that you don’t have the capacity or inclination to be joyous about poetry; that in itself suggests your grasp of what poetry is all about, is flawed. Poetry is, among other things, about praising existence, expressing God within, the unconscious order of unknowable tune; call it what you will; the essence of positive life, revealing insights expressed as poetry, not prose, that dilineate, if only for a brief few words, that which is ne’er well expressed by the superficial language of celebrity and transient fame founded, not on an appreciation of the potential for beauty and brilliance to be realized via ourselves; but on the poetic sorrow of jealousy.

    Poetry is not a question of Eliot’s or anyone else’s aesthetic being ‘wrong’ ‘right’ ‘offensive’ or not, but on how well we express what it is we think and feel as human beings, all the same, few of us in the artistic sphere – and certainly the targets you go after – having lived a life in which others can claim we are as morally bankrupt as people whose ideas carry over into the physical realm of torture and killing.

    You think Eliot sucks; fair enough, but simply saying, ‘Eliot sucks’ is not enough, because language being the medium and end-result of our interest here, our gut instinct and opinions are worthless to the reader and posterity, unless they appear in eloquent forms which transcend the contemporary prosaic vernacular and mindset. That speak through the ages imparting a deeper knowledge and ultimately, poetic wisdom true, not to the fickle wind and tide of transient schools and politically correct ideologies, but to ourself, as a human being who communicates in English.

    You think Eliot is this that and the other. That’s fabbo, but unless you are more eloquent and convincing than him in letters, your arguments fail, because it’s not about the physical person, but the psychological entity who lives not in mortal corporeal form, but as a living breath upon the page.

    It’s ironic that the language you use to hoist yourself up as the champion of (your shorthand for ‘poetry’) ‘sentiment’, enemy and smiter of a modernism you interpret as being Bersteinian incoherency; is so anti-poetical. The very mathmatical formulae-like approach you sneer and deride in your opponents, is the very same one you have as your primary method of engagement with this thing called ‘poetry’, that in your world, seems more a vehicle with which to merely rant and rail against those with whom your tender sensibilities take umbrage with, are offended by. Not because you care anymore for the art than they do, but simply because you are jealous of their perceived success, measured exactly as they measure it; not in terms of an inward personal joy writing a ‘successful’ poem brings one as its own reward; but by how much superficial, strategic and shallow ‘success’ the placing of a poem brings. Appearing in Poetry magazine, for example, or winning a ‘prize’ and being talked about as a ‘real’ poet by those in the fame game with the sensibility of an accountant, as opposed to an artist.

    All your carnical barking, mathmatical sizings and evaluations, measuring this poem against that, weighing up reputations with specious logic and dispatching the greats with trivial throwaway lines, playing the po-biz outsider, snarky, ungracious and behaving exactly the same as those you mock in your sportive pantomime in which complexity, tone and serious discussion, is sacrificed on a smart-alecky, black and white binary, merely theoretical altar, where poetry’s cold-blooded carcass is tortured in this chamber of gas, attended to by a sermon faced sophist conjecturing your hypotheses in unpoetic speech.

    To dismiss as smile-buttoning, the activity of waxing lyrical about the poetry we find exciting and which moves us intellectually and emotionally, suggests you do not have the capacity or desire to speak sincerely about poetry as it is, at its best, but only as it is not; which is not poetry at all, only the ouward manifestation of a person seeking celebrity as a carnival barker.

  128. thomasbrady said,

    May 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Kevin,

    The smile button remark was not meant to be flippant, just concise, but perhaps in my haste, I did give the wrong impression. I should have said: I am joyous when it comes to poetry. Attacking guys like Eliot is probably what i do best, but this does give me joy—unmasking frauds. Look, these icons like Eliot and Pound and Lowell need to be taken down a notch or two, don’t you agree? And I don’t just say “Eliot sucks.” You object to my ‘smile button’ remark, but what of your “Eliot sucks” remark? I do say more than that, despite your hyperbole about “torture” and “snarky,” etc. I’m better than that, Kevin, and you know it. I’m proud of Scarriet and grumbles that aren’t specific make no impression on me—though I feel obligated to respond, as I am doing now.

    Tom

  129. May 5, 2011 at 2:11 am

    thomasbrady said,
    May 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    “I am joyous when it comes to poetry.”

    Where, Tom? Cite one instance.

    You weep now and then, it’s true, and you even on occasion warble, but so do crocodiles. And in case you hadn’t noticed, crocodiles don’t really mean it, or at least they don’t mean it in the way those who can feel joy or sorrow normally feel it. Crocodiles use vulnerability as a weapon, you see, when everything else fails.

    “I am joyous when it comes to poetry.” You dare to say that, Tom? You broke my heart with your cynical negativity and clutter:

    1.) — “negativity” in stuffing one post after another up in such quick succession in March and April 2010 (basketball and then immediately baseball, despite your promise), yes, and the heart of Scarriet, poetry, suffocated. The light went out in your deluge of smarm and cute smut, and you felt it was a triumph, and that I was just jealous.

    Whereas I was heart broken.

    2.) — “clutter” in allowing your friend, Bob Tonnuci, to fill up all the remaining space on Scarriet with poems which had nothing whatever to do with the discussion. You made Scarriet into a place where you went to read poems furtively like the notes in a toilet. At that point there were only 9 spaces on the Recent Comments list and you let Bob take them all over even when I, your friend and partner, not to speak of the regular contributors, all asked you to stop it.

    “LOL,” you said.

    thomasbrady said,
    May 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I’m proud of Scarriet and grumbles that aren’t specific make no impression on me.

    Tom

    And what about grumbles that are specific, like the grumbles about Bob making it impossible to follow the discussions just before all the regulars quit? Did that make no impression on you?

    Because I wasn’t proud of Scarriet and told you so, and begged you not to stuff it. I guess my grumbles just made no impression on you. I guess you knew you were going to do yourself proud on Scarriet, and fuck your partner and the regulars.

    But my work is still there below you even now, Tom — your feet are standing on it. Because it was my good-will, my life-juice even, that was the moisture we used to make the cement that lies at the very heart of Scarriet’s foundation.

    LOL, you said.

    But hey, I forgot. You’re joyous. You don’t want to be distracted by grumbles. You’re just here for the fun, not the numbers.

    LOL in your face. You go, boy, you go Scarriet.

    Christopher

  130. May 5, 2011 at 3:20 am

    “I am joyous when it comes to poetry.”
    ……………………………………..Thomas Brady

    “I am joyous when it comes to poetry,” Tom says. Well, Bill Kammann wants to engage him on this bit of poetry, so let’s see:

    In a Station of the Metro

    The apparition of these faces in the crowd ;
    Petals on a wet, black bough.

    ………………………………………Ezra Pound

    Here’s a bit of Tom’s joy in poetry bubbling over in March 2010:

    thomasbrady said,
    March 12, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Pound’s crappy haiku has had no “success.” It is the worst poem ever written. It received mention by his friends in the press following its appearance and is occasionally trotted out for school children by sadistic school masters, I suppose, and to anyone who reads it and is impressed by it, it kills poetic appreciation brain cells. It is a worm feeding on and killing the rose. How is this “success?”

    I’m sure this will be a grumble Tom won’t feel it’s worth responding to, particularly as he’s already said this so many times before, and of course, Pound-types know that repetition makes a Manifesto irrefutable.

    But if you wanted to hear more of Tom’s arguments, you could review the thread, Poems That Have Spoken to Us in the Past — it was a seminal one at the time.

    Indeed, if I had to choose one comment of my own that could reply to Tom’s accusation that I was “just jealous,” I would choose this one from the same thread:

    Christopher Woodman said,
    March 14, 2010 at 4:24 am

    There’s been so much turmoil on Scarriet in the last few days, such a jarring dissonance between the cynicism of the March Madness series and the uncertainties, vulnerabilities, absurdities even of articles like Pop Goes the Weasel, Nit-Picking Apples, Legs in the Air, and now Poems That Have Spoken to Us in the Past, that it’s hard to take the next step. Franz Wright was responsible for the appearance of this particular thread, of course — I’d planned to post it only after the Contest was finished, sigh, but he came in like God’s grace and forced my hand like Bob Tonucci.

    Now everything has changed, for better, for worse. We’re all scrambled up here on Scarriet, hard at each other’s throats in every word we write, yet you, our friends, seem even more interested than before. Our numbers are way, way up – thank you or curse you I’m not sure. Whatever, I know I have to dig in now to get out of here in one piece — to let some light in, to be true to what I started, to give you the space to judge, to place my neck on the block, to find out if I’m right — that most of all, of course, for how should I know unless I read it here?

    And I am reading it now on Scarriet at last. Of course it’s too late to start over, but at least the remains of what was an extraordinary response to Blog:Harriet in September 2009, and was in a position to take over when that wonderful poetry community closed its doors to commentary in April 2010. Little could one have imagined that Scarriet would close its doors too at the same time, not by terminating comments altogether as Harriet did but by making itself so anti-poetry there was no room for poetry-commentary left!

    Because what can you say to such negativity but grumble?

    Christopher

  131. May 5, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I’m deeply grateful to the Dublin poet, Kevin Desmond, aka Desmond Swords, for coming back in on Scarriet and expressing his disappointment as he has just done above — you can find out more about who Kevin is if you read the About Scarriet article that introduces this thread.

    We lost so much when Thomas Brady redefined this site in March 2010. Had I realized where Scarriet was headed, and with it so much of my own work, I would never have relinquished my position as co-editor. But at the time I simply couldn’t work beside Tom Brady anymore, he was such an unreliable, feckless and chaotic partner, and that I would be wounded a little bit every day if I tried to. It was obvious Tom couldn’t care less whether I was there or not, and felt fine about the imbecility and the clutter — indeed the more agro the better as far as he was concerned. He felt that what made the site so popular was the in-your-face disrespect, but I think the popularity right now proves that what was exciting about Scarriet at the time was quite simply the genuine, well-thought-out, conscientious PASSION in all the discussions.

    After April 2010 the discussions dried up entirely and there was nothing left but Tom and Bob.

    What follows are a few excerpts from what Kevin Desmond says about all that in his two comments just above, and I thank him so much for it:

    Kevin said,
    May 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    What is noticeable about all this, Tom, is you rarely or never, sing from the gladsome, joyous side of your brain. Always you are talking why such and such ‘offends’ you and doesn’t work, or is fake or rubbish or whatever; but never what is brilliant and fantastic and turns you on.

    …The problem with your method is it’s all doom, gloom and depressing arguments; suggesting not that what you say has validity, but that what you say is founded on reasons you do not express. A jealousy of the transcendentalist minded folk whose eloquence and literary elegance outshines your own.

    .
    May 4, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    …It’s ironic that the language you use to hoist yourself up as the champion of ‘sentiment’ (your shorthand for ‘poetry’), as the enemy and smiter of a modernism you interpret as Bersteinian incoherency, is so anti-poetical.

    …To dismiss as smile-buttoning the activity of waxing lyrical about the poetry we find exciting, and which moves us intellectually and emotionally, suggests you do not have the capacity or desire to speak sincerely about poetry as it is, at its best, but only as it is not — which is not poetry at all, only the ouward manifestation of a person seeking celebrity as a carnival barker.

    …………………………………………Kevin

    If people didn’t care they wouldn’t notice, Tom — this protest has built up because there are quite a few people out there who feel what you’re doing is really destructive. Indeed, even your friends feel that, Gary, Marcus, and Bill Carpenter, for example, but when they defend you personally they don’t have much to say that’s positive about what you’re doing!

    If you didn’t have so much of me personally here in your hold I would just turn away in despair — but Scarriet is carrying precious cargo, and even someone like Mark who was not here at the beginning can recognize that. Scarriet was started in so much hope, who’s going to give up on that?

    Christopher

  132. Bill said,

    May 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    To quote Polonius, “This is too long.”

  133. Marcus Bales said,

    May 5, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Ah, Bill, I should have listened to you!

  134. May 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Woodman said:

    “Indeed, even your friends feel that, Gary, Marcus, and Bill Carpenter, for example, but when they defend you personally they don’t have much to say that’s positive about what you’re doing!”

    Don’t put fucking words in my mouth, Woodman. As usual, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Just leave me out of this

    • wfkammann said,

      May 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm

      Das ist der milde Gary B. Fitzgerald, den ich in errinerung habe!

      Sounds a little ad hominem to me Gar.

  135. May 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Good memory, Mr. Kammann. This is not ad hominem because I don’t challenge what Christopher says as right or wrong simply because it’s Christopher saying it. It is a simple fact. He has been hoisted by his own petard.

    Christopher Woodman is welcome to express his opinions anytime he wants. He is just not welcome to express mine. He has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth on a regular basis.

    Christopher still doesn’t realize (and I tried to tell him at the time) how his very own contributions to the blog Harriet resulted in his (and Tom’s) being put on moderation. It wasn’t really Tom, although Tom likes to take credit for it. It was because, while people enjoy reading comments on blogs, nobody wants to read a fucking novel in every post! I joked at the time that Harriet should put a 600 paragraph limit on the replys thread.

    Unfortunately, some people just don’t get it.

    • wfkammann said,

      May 9, 2011 at 2:42 am

      It’s the “As usual, you have no idea what you’re talking about” that is ad hominem.

      • May 9, 2011 at 2:57 am

        Maybe you don’t know Christopher as well as I do.

        • Christopher Woodman said,

          May 9, 2011 at 3:42 am

          Gary,
          The Reply function has got us jumping all over the place, so you obviously missed my reply here. https://scarriet.wordpress.com/about/#comment-6421

          I think what I say may clear up some of the out-standing issues between us, though I suspect there are some, like your tendency to feel that any response I make to your poetry is a put-down, that are beyond rational discussion.

          I try my best to keep out of your hair, Gary, but that hair dryer you use leaves you with such a celestial bouffant, like Sai Baba!

          (Can we still do jokes?)

          Christopher

          • May 9, 2011 at 4:03 am

            I saw your reply, Christopher. Maybe you didn’t see my reply to yours.

            Gary

            • May 9, 2011 at 4:35 am

              P.S. You may remember that the ‘reply to the reply’ function was the first ‘innovation’ introduced by Harriet, even before ‘Thumbs up/thumbs down’. I vehemently opposed it at the time. For those of us who print out the dialog to read in order to avoid frying our retinas staring at the monitor, it was extremely inconvenient. We had to go back to the same comment stream over and over again just to find an additional comment that may or may not have been worth seeking.

              It was so much better just to follow a continuous sequence of comments and response. Well…here we are again.

              That’s why I prefer the other blogs I frequent…things are sequential, linear, easy to follow. As you said, there is no “jumping all over the place”. I’m too old for all this jumping.

              In fact, I think I’m too old for the internet at all and I’m certainly not going to Facebook.

              🙂

            • Christopher Woodman said,

              May 9, 2011 at 4:51 am

              Very sorry, Gary — and it meant a lot to me too.

              Indeed, I remembered just after I had posted the above, but alas had already clicked on it. I’m an old man and get easily confused.

              But you get confused too, Gary, and your account of what happened on Scarriet was way off the mark. Length had nothing to do with it, and certainly not mine — I was “on moderation” from July 14th until I was banned on September 1st, so I very scrupulously kept my posts under 500 words, and because of the time difference I wasn’t able to be very active in any of the discussions.

              I think the reasons we four were banned didn’t have a lot to do with us individually, in actual fact, and everything to do with the paranoia of the Blog:Harriet management. It was their perception of us as a group that created our threat to them, and we weren’t working as a group at all. Alan Cordle only posted 4 or 5 short comments during the whole summer, and Desmond Swords was writing from the moon!

              Neither you nor Terreson triggered off the same response — and Terreson could certainly be adversarial and was no slouch for words either. He just wasn’t controversial.

              The anger was always about Tom’s hobbyhorses, that he hammered away at the same literary-historical subject every day regardless of what was the topic. I compounded that anger by trying to shelter him with crazy metaphors like cow pats and hammers, you will remember, so much so that even you seemed to believe at one point that I must surely be him. An arch-prevaricator, you called me, and you’re still a bit into that.

              Wish you wouldn’t, dear brother.

              Wish you could let all that go.

              Christopher

              • May 9, 2011 at 5:52 am

                Christopher, it’s time to clear the air about our issues right now. You are welcome to say anything you want about my poetry. Love it or hate it! That’s your right. I don’t care. Tear it to shreds if you want.

                JUST DO NOT CHANGE THE WORDING OF MY POEMS! Do not recommend changes, re-write or substitute words that you think would be better. That is what you always did. Go write your own God-damned poems! I’ve told you this before, several times. When I post a poem it is finished, fini, complete. If I think it should be revised some day, I will…not anybody else! Don’t touch my daughters and don’t touch my poems. Get it?

                I prefer plague-infested fleas on rabid rats to editors, but I would rather be attacked by rabid vampire bats infected with Ebola virus than have people try to rewrite my poems.

                This is as clear as I can make it. Fair enough? That has basically been my entire beef with you all these years. Say all the dumb things you want, just leave my poems alone.

                Then we may be friends.

                • Christopher Woodman said,

                  May 9, 2011 at 6:05 am

                  Got it, Gary — you’re a brick.

                  (What does that mean, you’re a brick — though I mean it.)

  136. May 6, 2011 at 2:10 am

    THE FISH II (following a recent post by Camille Dungy)
    Martin Earl

    June 30th, 2009
    122 Comments

    On July 6, 2009 at 12:02 am mearl wrote:

    Thomas [Brady], Gary [B. Fitzgerald], Christopher [Woodman], Camille [Dungy], Annie [Finch], Michael [Robbins], Don [Share], Cathy [Halley], others…

    I certainly don’t see a problem, and I second Thomas’s drift in this comment. The thread is about open space, cornfield, Nebraska style space. Thomas has a point. You read what you want to read. Volume can only be stimulating, especially when the discourse is conducted at such a high level. I’m sure this is exactly what Ms. Lilly had in mind, free and open forums which grow organically. Any given post can sustain pointed commentary for only so long before drift, meta-commentary, opinion, personal ideology and the gifts of individual experience begin to take hold. I, for one, feel extremely lucky, as one of the hired perpetrators these last few months that the threads unfold the way they do. Maybe Gary has a point – some people could be scared away by the clobbering breadth of the most enthusiastic threaders. But perhaps not. I suspect a lot of people are reading just for the fun of it, for the spectacle, without necessarily feeling the need to contribute. And I’ve seen enough examples of people, late in the day, breaking in without any trepidation. Thomas has brought up a lot of good points here about the way things are supposed to work. And I would say, having observed this process over the last six months, that, given the lawlessness, there has always been a sense of decorum, even decorum threaded into the syntax of insult (a wonderful thing to see). We are all at a very lucky moment in the progress of letters. A kind of 18th century vibrancy is again the order of the day. We should all thank the circumstances that have led to this moment. We should drink a lot of coffee and get to work.

    Martin

  137. May 6, 2011 at 3:22 am

    Woodman, you remind me of my parents: you constantly disappoint me, you irritate the shit out of me,

    but still I somehow can’t help loving you

  138. May 6, 2011 at 3:45 am

    As I once told Michael Robbins on Harriet, I apologize for always commenting on the internet when I’m drunk, but, then, who the hell would even bother commenting on the stupid internet if they weren’t drunk?

    🙂

    • Nooch & Excerpt support said,

      May 6, 2011 at 11:32 am

      Drunkenness in a poet’s
      A quality of promise—
      Consider, por ejemplo,
      One Dylan Thomas:

      “His pubbing became relentless. He would go out in the evenings with a chrysanthemum in his lapel, pretending to be a queen. He would dress up in fancy clothes, saying that he was ‘an actor from the BBC’, then offer to bite the caps off bottles of beer if he could have the beer. Some of his pub games were incredibly childish, if not embarrassing. One was called ‘cats and dogs’: he would get down on his hands and knees and crawl round a bar, biting people’s ankles and howling like a dog (which I don’t consider funny in any circumstances). He would pour drinks into other people’s pockets; and once I heard that he unbuttoned his trousers and offered a girl his penis (although I never saw him do that myself; he would never have behaved like that in front of me). Dylan also had an enormous repertoire of obscene songs, dirty limericks and ‘blue’ stories, which he would tell when he had a helpless audience. Most of them have gone for ever, because no one can remember that sort of thing the morning after, but Rayner Heppenstall recalled one:

      There was a young bugger called God
      Who put a young virgin in pod.
      This amazing behaviour
      Produced Christ our Saviour
      Who died on a cross, the poor sod….”

      — from Caitlin by Caitlin Thomas (widow of Dylan Thomas) with George Tremlett

  139. May 6, 2011 at 5:05 am

    Gary,
    That comment of Martin Earl on Blog:Harriet is superb, I think — indeed, that’s what we lost when Harriet first got out the big stick (red & green thumbs) in July, then expelled four of its most colorful participants in September, and finally, on April 1st, 2010, closed its doors to commentary altogether. Tragic — particularly if you take seriously what Martin Earl says right at the end, which I do.

    Just for the record, Gary, I was the only poster put “on moderation” — which meant that all my posts had to be approved before they were allowed to go up. Since I live at the antipodes, and usually posted just as the Harriet editors were leaving their desks to go home, there was at least a 12 hour delay — and that put me pretty much out of the picture for most of July and August.

    I was never accused of writing too much either, indeed, I was praised for the quality of my writing not only by Martin Earl and Annie Finch but by Catherine Halley, the On-line Editor, and Don Share, the ‘Poetry’ Editor.

    In the end I had 22 Comments that never went up at all — i.e. it was that number that got deleted.

    Here’s a sample, and one that is specifically relevant to what we are discussing here:

    OF LOVE AND CHAINSAWS (Borderline Ballads)
    Travis Nichols
    August 6th, 2009
    25 Comments

    08/10/2009 11:08 pm
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Gary, Kent and Terreson,

    When it comes to government, any policy has its advantages and its disadvantages, even the most liberal. Thomas Hobbes spoke of the legislator as homini homo lupus, and this ‘pragmatic’ view of the governor applies equally to the royalist and to the libertarian — to protect human beings from the wolf in each one of us, the law always becomes just another wolf — and usually very much badder.

    This is precisely what has played out on Blog:Harriet. The problems in June that encouraged the management to go for stricter controls were minor compared to the problems that face us now, all of which have been caused by the imposition of, yes, the new controls.

    ~

    So be careful, Gary. You like short, playful exchanges, but the moment you legislate in ’shortness’ you will rule out those wonderful long surprises that Harriet also delivers so often and with such relish. I think we’ve probably already lost Bill Knott because of the mess we made of his HUGE efforts on the “Hayden Carruth” thread (go look at it!), but I for one found every word he spoke of great human value even as I was climbing the wall. Ditto Seth Abramson on the “Contest” thread, a new poster who needed space to communicate an unusual position that I personally found doubtful but wanted to hear. Ditto Sheila Chambers [Joan Houlihan], another new poster with a renegade thesis that is opening up a whole new discussion (ditto my reply to her just up). Ditto Desmond Swords, our in house bardic howitzer. Ditto you-know-what’s-his-name-Brady, did you read his last post on music? Long enough? But would you be without it?

    Ditto Martin Earl, another very long poster whose every word I miss quite intensely. Or Annie Finch, who was so unselfish and always delivered.

    If you legislate Harriet so it encourages just banter, well, that’s what you’ll get!

    No, don’t make a rule about length, I beg you. Just emphasize that Harriet’s a dialogue and that we all must respect it. “Try not to exceed 500 words,” some sort of Harriet introduction might suggest — and I think everybody should be able to live with that too, but not be afraid on occasion.

    And frequency? Well, it depends on the topic and the intensity of the exchange, doesn’t it? Who would have been without Martin Earl’s wild explorations of image and language, or Joel Brouwer’s painful but riveting “Keep the Spot Sore?” I remember being very struck when Michael Robbins suddenly blurted out on the Hayden Carruth thread, “9 posts today!” i.e. his own!!! — and if you go and look you’ll see he hadn’t finished that day even then. Yet he hadn’t dominated the discussion at all, in fact he’d been struggling for his life 3/4s pinned on the floor.

    Christopher

    [483 words, 8 paragraphs]

    <a href=" http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2009/08/of-love-and-chain-letters-borderline-ballads/#comment-22082 POSTED BY: CHRISTOPHER WOODMAN ON AUGUST 10, 2009 AT 11:08 PM

    Click on that and you’ll get nowhere: while “on moderation” this post was deleted.

    ~

    Thomas Brady was never put “on moderation,” nor was he particularly controversial. I was the one who took the flak not only because I was controversial, and took on the management point-blank, but I ran interference for Tom amidst howls of protest, some people even assuming I must be his sock-puppet. That, combined with the assumption that we were in cahoots with Alan Cordle, the master of cyber-sleight on the one hand, and with Desmond Swords, the Super Leperchaun of Gutter Gaelic on the other, made us look like, tah dah, The Foetry Club, and so they decided to take us all out.

    I’m glad you brought this up here, Gary, because we’re talking about another similar tragedy in the snuffing out of Scarriet, a second failed poetry community that could have been a successor to Blog:Harriet.

    Christopher

  140. May 6, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Pax poetica, brother.

    Now, let’s both take our meds and go to bed.

    G’night.

  141. May 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Why does my name appear at the top of this page and the image that was take from a blog I currently maintain? The artwork was done by an artist by the name of Barnaby Fitzgerald. You should acknowledge this under the photo since he never gave me permission to use it and probably didn’t give you permission either. I never really thought of myself as a poet but I suppose if I did think of myself as suh it would be media poetics.

    • Link support said,

      May 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      http://www.barnaba.com/home.html

    • thomasbrady said,

      May 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks, Terry. Which photo? No there’s no photo on the About Scarriet post.

      Tom

      • Image redux support said,

        May 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm

        I think this is the image taken—
        Forgive me, Terry, if I’m mistaken:

        http://www.barnaba.com/catenary.html

        • thomasbrady said,

          May 7, 2011 at 11:50 am

          Thank you, Image Redux Support!

          I do recall stealing that masterpiece…let me credit Barnaby Fitzgerald forthwith…if I can just locate the old post…Scarriet has so many now…

          Barnaby Fitzgerald is wonderful!

          A thousand apologies for not giving credit!

  142. thomasbrady said,

    May 6, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Woodymandias
    (With apologies to Shelley)

    I met a traveler from an antique land
    Who said: A vast and trunkless website
    Stands in the cybersphere. In it, on the posts,
    Half buried, a shattered co-founder lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that his posts well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless posts,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    “My name is Woodymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my posts, ye Mighty, and be awed!”
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away,
    Away from the trackless wastes of http://cowpattyhammer.wordpress.com/.

  143. May 7, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Dear Bill Carpenter and Marcus,
    I hope you won’t mind if I make a tar baby out of your exchange a few days ago, and jump in myself with both feet. I wasn’t quite sure what you meant, to be honest, so perhaps I’m morphing your tar baby into a thorn bush, but then that’s what Br’er Rabbits do, isn’t it — like poets?

    As I did earlier with windmills
    as well, and was pleased Gary let me get away with it.

    Bill said,
    May 2, 2011 at 8:45 pm
    Marcus, are you wrestling your way deeper into this tar baby? Beware!

    Marcus Bales said,
    May 5, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Ah, Bill, I should have listened to you!

    I quoted just above something I tried to post on Blog:Harriet but failed. The comment was built around Thomas Hobbes famously cynical dictum, homini homo lupus, which implies that the Law becomes an even more wicked wolf in the process of trying to control human beings who are, by nature, themselves wolves.

    What I didn’t say is that I tried to post the homini homo lupus idea on four separate occasions on Harriet, each time in a different and, I hoped, more acceptable version. And I never did get it through the Blog:Harriet censor, not in any shape or guise, I’m afraid. On the other hand, I’d be disingenuous not to admit that I do understand why the homini homo lupus idea is so threatening at an institution called The Poetry Foundation of America!

    It’s such a tar baby, and no controller ever comes out looking good.

    Just as the same idea is threatening here on Scarriet, and perhaps even more so because this is supposed to be a brave new site that is not only free, but one that specifically exposes fraudster-controllers!

    The irony is, of course, that it can be even harder to get your mind around the homini homo lupus irony in a libertarian framework, and in particular when the owner of a poetry site like this one, the editor, policy maker, poet, philosopher and only speaker, prides himself on being able to say anything he likes, being utterly free with no hang-ups or responsibilities, perfectly balanced and reasonable right or wrong, and giggles as he stamps on the toes of every poor poet he drags out to the dance floor. Yes, and he even thinks that that’s fun, and marvels at the stats which prove that he’s doing just fine and that everybody loves him – like Garfield doing his night-act on the fence in Jon’s backyard and the boots and coke-bottles are flying!

    And that’s a big tar baby, isn’t it, to be the Garfield-like wolf who savages poets and poetry because he feels poets and poetry today are just Garfield-like wolves?

    And wouldn’t it be better to rise above all that jealousy, rivalry and spleen? And can’t human beings do that, and in particular poets? Isn’t that what poets are here for, why we human beings so value them, and love to read them alone with ourselves?

    What Hobbes actually says is: “To speak impartially, both sayings are very true; That Man to Man is a kind of God [homo sacra res homini ]; and that Man to Man is an arrant Wolfe [homini homo lupus ]. The first is true, if we compare Citizens amongst themselves; and the second, if we compare Cities.”

    Or as Jonathan Swift says: “I have ever hated all nations, professions, and communities, and all my love is toward individuals: for instance, I hate the tribe of lawyers, but I love Counsellor Such-a-one, and Judge Such-a-one: so with physicians—I will not speak of my own trade—soldiers, English, Scotch, French, and the rest. But principally I hate and detest that animal called man, although I heartily love John, Peter, Thomas, and so forth.”

    And the irony is that I feel sure Tom knows all this, but he’s got himself up on that fence like Garfield, and how do you get down from that sort of ledge in one piece?

    He’d rather keep the whole of modern poetry at arms length and mock it generically than allow one single, living poem to touch him personally. The consummate cynic, he assumes all modern poets are cynics, the consummate chat-artist hiding his libido behind a mask, he assumes all modern poets are like that too. Unwilling to take risks in his own poetry, as a poet unwilling to let himself be vulnerable on any level but the sentimental, he assumes all modern poets are incoherent and inaccessible.

    And that’s a tar baby to get into for sure.

    Christopher

  144. May 7, 2011 at 2:51 am

    “But principally I hate and detest that animal called man,”

    – Jonathan Swift

    .
    The Misanthrope

    Yes, humans are the problem, I always said,
    why so many innocent now lay dead.
    It’s the unrelenting, driving need, the primitive fire
    that consumes all required to nurture self,
    produce more seed, to achieve another birth.
    The ultimate proverbial selfish gene,
    like vermin in the pantry of the Earth.

    Malaria, diphtheria, suburbia…
    what difference among disease?
    The destruction is the same despite the size.
    The scale does not obscure the fact
    of its effect, despite the lies, prevent
    the gruesome truth of its result.
    Yes, humans are the problem, I say,
    by no selection of their own, just the unstoppable
    unthinking base desire. Some like wolves,
    some like rats, a virus in the body of the world.
    I pretty much just hate them all.
    I wish they’d pass like their empires do,
    relinquish the realm to those who truly love it.

    Later, at the store to get some beer,
    a little girl, maybe seven, maybe eight,
    made it to the door before me…little brat!
    I reached to open it for her, she being a kid
    and all, but she, being quicker, opened it first,
    held it open with a great big smile of victory.
    “Well, thank you.” I said gruffly, in my most adult
    and appreciative voice. “You’re welcome.”,
    the little angel said sincerely, without judgment,
    without fear of the grumpy old man with the beard.
    She skipped off after her mother. I stood there.
    Shit! There goes the whole damned theory.
    Maybe there’s hope for us after all.

    Copyright 2008 – SOFTWOOD-Seventy-eight Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

  145. Lennon support said,

    May 7, 2011 at 10:16 am

    “…Say you’re looking for some peace and love
    Leader of a big old band
    You wanna save humanity
    But it’s people that you just can’t stand…”

    — from “I Don’t Wanna Face It” by John Lennon

  146. Way Out Junk support said,

    May 7, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Speaking of Garfield,
    Here’s something for playback
    At a blog with free downloads
    Of records from way back:

    http://wayoutjunk.blogspot.com/2007/02/here-comes-garfield.html

  147. Marcus Bales said,

    May 7, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Woodman:

    I understood Bill to be warning me about the troll, not about the site owner. Perhaps, as you seem to suggest, I was mistaken. We’ll have to let Bill clarify that, if he will.

    There’s a flaw in your Hobbesian analysis, though — and that is that Hobbes proposed a solution to homini homo lupus: the Leviathan. It wasn’t Hobbes’s fear that the Leviathan would prove to be an unreasonably powerful example of homini homo lupus, but rather that the Leviathan was the solution to the problem homini homo lupus has posed throughout history. So, if you want to use Hobbes’s broad social analysis narrowly in a small blog culture, and your fear is homini homo lupus, then you ought to be applauding rather than criticizing what you see as Tom’s Leviathan, because you’re not offering the Lockean alternative.

    As I understand it from looking around the site, Tom’s principle seems to be to let everyone say what they will in existing conversations, but he reserves the right to start new conversations. Perhaps to you, who used to start conversations here, too, that seems to be an intolerable oppression, but to me, new here, it seems a good deal more reasonable than the “I’ll delete anything I don’t like — and maybe ban you, too!” principle that is in common use most other places.

    • Christopher Woodman said,

      May 8, 2011 at 3:14 am

      Marcus,
      Are you an English schoolboy, or been watching too much Masterpiece Theatre? My name is Christopher, and you know me and can call me that.

      The only person on the internet who sometimes calls me “Woodman” is my friend Gary B. Fitzgerald, and that’s to warn me that once again I’m really in trouble!

      So first of all let me ask you, am I in trouble with you?

      Secondly, I was not making a “Hobbesian analysis,” I was borrowing a metaphor from Thomas Hobbes, one which has come to stand for something far larger and more diverse than the original political treatise ever intended. Like ‘dust to dust,’ ‘wolf devouring wolf’ has become shorthand for a universal human dilemma that crops up in all human activities.

      And in this case, a critics attempt to legislate poets and poetry. But do take notice, Marcus, I’m doing this with the metaphor, not with Thomas Hobbes’ argument in “The Leviathan.”

      As to your argument that just moving on is preferable to deletion, I couldn’t agree more. On the other hand, any intervention by the management that limits the discussion, or puts visitors at a disadvantage, is regrettable. I would include in that stuffing the Recent Comments list so that a visitor can no longer follow the discussion — which is no longer a problem on Scarriet because the Recent Comments list has now been expanded to 15 slots for one thing, and for another Tom’s Support partner is now a lot more sensitive as well, and I thank him.

      But there is still some interference from the management. Deliberately not cleaning up threads to make the dialogue easier to follow is obstructive, as is leaving comments “on moderation” even after the poster has complained. Doesn’t happen often, but it should never.

      Tapping up threads so they reach the Top Posts (only 5 slots) also puts the visitor at a disadvantage. Somebody has deliberately promoted “Ich weiss nicht” to the list right now along with “Another Poetry 100.” These are not current hot spots, and only someone with a vested interest to hide certain threads would have elevated them.

      But by and large I would agree with you on this, Marcus — Scarriet is an admirably level playing field.

      Christopher

  148. Bill said,

    May 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Marcus, since you ask, my tar baby reference was limited to involvement in the apparently interminable controversy pushed by Mark regarding Tom Brady’s method of argument. As someone who follows a blog more like a comic book or a newspaper, I look wistfully towards those business models in which the blogger uses his editorial authority to select and shape the contributions of his interlocutors to provide a definite experience for the “community” that corresponds to his editorial purpose. I understand that in Heaven it will be different and we will all have time to read 30 or 40 20-page posts every hour in the hope of running across a two-sentence gem every six months or so.

  149. Christopher Woodman said,

    May 8, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Bill,
    I think Mark’s challenge to Thomas Brady on this site has been one of the most interesting dialogues Scarriet has ever hosted. I admire Mark for his clarity and persistence, and since his whole argument is that Tom constructs his posts on false arguments, and Tom is a master of not getting himself in the position to defend the logic of anything he says, right or wrong, this is going to take time. You’re a lawyer, and I would think that would interest you a lot too.

    I myself have learned a great deal from Mark, and would love to know who he is. I’d love to know his age, and how he got his training in logic and analysis.

    The remarkable thing is that except for a few brief exchanges on Charles Olson and Chaucer, Mark has not based his arguments on literary knowledge but on his ability to follow the intricacies of an argument. He’s a sort of medieval logician schooled in the Trivium, and he dissects Tom’s articles with a medieval razor. But Tom as a Glenn Beck-style stand-up critic fights right back with the most astonishing, often invisible, weapons, so much so that even Athene might not be able to hold on to his Proteus.

    What I also admire about Mark is his memory, which was also highly valued in medieval scholarship. The thrashing about, flight and derision goes on for whole pages, whole threads, whole weeks even, yet Mark’s still got his eye on the ball.

    I feel sure a lot of people are following, Bill, and I strongly suspect you are too.

    Christopher

  150. March 26, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I stumbled into this site today. Here is my contribution:

    Epistle Proposelamium for Louise Gluck

    Dear Louise,

    I’m ensconced on a slave ship.
    Soon I’ll be over the side.
    Imagine your Michael,
    Handsome balding and overboard
    Lost at sea. Louise,
    I’m yearning for life in Queens,
    A first floor flat
    With a fence and a terrace
    I’ll change my ways
    Work for your father
    And write for his blades,
    “Buy Exacto,
    The smart man’s marker in Harlem.”
    Your mother will love
    My charms and my wealth,
    And only for you my phallus.

    Sweet Queens Louise
    In all the best bookstores
    I write on the walls
    When I was in New York
    I dosed up Louise Glück
    Strange little bugs
    Ride out my head
    But I dreamed this gossip!
    I’ll swear it’s just an untrue lyric.
    Please Louise your hand
    Don’t gaff me,
    So what if I’ve
    A head full of graffiti,
    The hand that jerks this tool
    Will jerk you, too, It’s true.

    Louise, I want romance.
    Seize the chance
    And give me a squeeze
    I’ll teach you Louise
    I make lots of noise.
    It would be lovely
    My hand in your waist
    Soft and open
    I’ll take a taste
    Trembling sweet and unafraid
    Without any wax
    I want you.

    Michael Stephen Levinson
    [S.S. Young America
    Panama Canal Zone, 1968]

  151. March 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    and here is another:

    Iraq Anniversary War Poem

    Hell is on earth.
    For every innocent Iraqi
    Whose life Bush shorted,
    And our kids, too,
    Who died defending freedom
    Though all they defended
    Was Cheney’s Halliburton;
    For all those souls departed,
    Lives deformed, disowned
    From Bush’s ill will game
    To slay the Iraqi, The Big
    Salami, Saddam Hussein,
    George will roast in the sun,
    His throne turd blossomed
    A thousand years in stone.

    After Haley’s Comet
    Runs a dozen centuries
    Bush will get his whoosh,
    Bereft in icy Haley’s hoof,
    Cut loose at Heaven’s door
    To ask for the bless of
    Our Creator. Hark!
    Saddam Hussein, of late
    On wait at Heaven’s Gate,
    Resolutely stomps
    Our “Little Bush’s” fait,
    The cloudy floor of Heaven
    Caves again. Bush in a blink
    Shackled to a rain drop
    Plopped in fresh Katrina,
    Splat, his upper crusty soul
    Awake in crapper stink,
    Bar-Donna Bush-Corleone,
    Papa George Elder of Wimp.
    All in the same slop dump,
    Theirs, an unforgiven haven.

    Only the innocent
    Are called to Allah’s bosom.
    Heaven only has room for them.
    Michael Stephen Levinson

    http://michaelslevinson.com

    On my website find recitations of the story of Adman and Even, also the pages hand lettered. Were you to show those pages to a linguist they might tell you they see, Phoenician, Egyptian, Aramaic and Hebrew, but all you see is American lingo, with the words refracted into silly bulls.

  152. March 26, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Of course the Iraq war resolution was a bipartisan affair. Bush / Cheney led ythe way and they all said yea to cover their asses and with Bush in the lead I’m sure they will pay in the hereafter.

    My comments are moderated on The New York Times editorial blogs but I have said there often we need to Dump the 535, begin again, start anew. On the poem—I sort of drafted it when George W. published his post-presidential book and ran into it last week looking through some old word files. I reworked it at least twenty times. I like it. I stole the lines “only the innocent / are called to Allah’s bosom” from another piece, a prose requium about the Gulf war.

    One of my posts today on Scarriet is a letter to David Orr that includes my Proposelamium letter to Louise Gluck I sent her years ago. I suspect you might like it. I appreciate the feedback. Scrriet looks to be an intersting web site.

    http://michaelslevinson.com

  153. March 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    My spelling in the above response is atrocious. I will try in the future to do a better job.

    • thomasbrady said,

      March 26, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      Don’t worry about your spelling…you seem interesting. you’ll find that Scarriet is the best poetry site anywhere. Gluck working in her father’s X-acto office, that’s hilarious! From X-acto to Yale Younger judge! I lived with a poet, Antonio Giarraputo, who knew Wieners—they hated each other. You should have heard Tony hate on him! Tony, who was gay, actually knew that whole circle: Blaser, Spicer, O’Hara, was at Harvard with O’Hara, couldn’t stand any of them. Tony was an old school throw-back, sang opera, fluent in many languages, he was brilliant and gregarious, but there was something earthy and immigrant and no-nonsense about Tony; he had no trace of the ‘artsy’ and he was oil and water to those guys…perhaps he was jealous of their success, I don’t know…I remember him saying how disgusted he was by O’Hara’s restroom cruising at Harvard—that was not Tony’s style…he was much older than me and I didn’t know a lot of the context…just heard his side of things…he was a good soul, though…

      • March 27, 2013 at 6:16 am

        John Weiners was the real deal, a true poet. He was a good friend of mine. I didn’t hang out with him but he respected my poems and when we were together we were together.

        Back in the day I guess I knew a lot of people and I was publishing poems all over the place and I met an editor, over from Cape Golliard Press in England and he wanted and did submit a sheath of poems for publication of a first volume—they felt I wasn’t ready yet, the door was open to submit again— and then I was inspired to write “The Book ov Lev It A Kiss” a whole new art form, a Television Scripture, with every line a delicate sensible rhyme and a riddle, law or truth built into every line, that runs and puns in every spoken tongue—beyond poetry—I can recite many pages perhaps all with a few days review—there are a dozen explicit descriptions of world events, e.g. Nixon leaving the White House in disgrace, the name of Pope John Paul I, thirteen pages later a description of him dying. Lots more. The recent Japanese tsunami, the BP Gulf oil spill, to name a few events.

        In the meantime I get out of bed and put on one sock at a time—very down to earth—my work of art that stems from the heart to perform, like old blind Homer, from dusk until dawn, for all the worlds’ peoples to participate in together all at once. That’s my plan.

        I spent ten months twelve hours a day lettering The Book ov Lev It A Kiss, beginning with Adman and Even in the Gar Den ov Edum. Half of the writing was in the basement cafeteria at State University of New York at Buffalo—back then the school was a poetry center with a lot of heavy hitters in the English Department.

        I am in a 30 day window to file for a hearing in the United States Supreme Court, as a write-in candidate for president denied access to deliver a speech, and I have to work on that, but maybe I could show some prophetic pages and write commentary, after I do the S. Ct brief. I get a hearing with the Supreme Coats i am going to rip the tops of their heads off. Scarriet does look interesting, for sure, but i hold the view that out of every 100 poets 99 write prose which they chop up and call a poem.

        Creeley used to get pissed off at my attitude, but quietly, with Leslie Fiedler and Alan Ginsberg leading the way, I was blacklisted from performing my works. (I’m not making anything up)—I was invited to perform in lots of places and then that all dried up. Fiedler’s brother was a top doggy in CIA and that is why, in the moid sixties Leslie got appointments to teach in Italy—to profile the leading politicians, etc.). But so what. Where are they anyway? Dead buried and practically forgotten.

        Visit http;//michaelslevinson.com and see the video Lev on Late Night Television—it’s had more than 2600 views on YouTube. I’m going to try to visit this page every day. By X-acto, the smart man’s marker in Harlem. (You like that-cool.)

        • thomasbrady said,

          March 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm

          Creeley visited Alan Cordle’s Foetry.com site when I was over there, before Alan, as a laugh against Blog Harriet, set up Scarriet. Scarriet began as a little act of snarky rebellion, but it’s grown. Anyway, Creeley was talking about chicken farming as he tried to defend the general practice of establishment scamming (Judges in poetry contests awarding friends & former students, etc) which generated Foetry.com in the first place. I really had no idea what Creeley was talking about. As far as the whole Foetry controversy: Poets associate with each other, so what? But it is interesting. It is the poetry—but it isn’t. That kind of thing. There’s crooked contests, which are wrong, and there’s association, which isn’t wrong, but one shouldn’t hide it away, either. No big whoop, finally, but poets can be thin-skinned and paranoid, which is really too bad, because one of poetry’s virtues, I think, is creatively mingling private with public in healthy ways. Tony was very hurt when Wieners wrote him a note, “Renaissance Man, Go Home!” but who knows what that was all about. Tony’s gone now, too bad… As far as your big project…i wanna telly the truth on telly-vision…it sounds too big, that’s the obvious thing that jumps out at me…size matters in poetry…it might be argued that poetry is nothing but the creative use of size…or the tasteful use of size…that’s all it is, really…

          • March 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm

            On the issue of too big: Is the universe we live in too big? Nyet. The universe is ‘eggs pan ding.’ When I published The Book ov Lev It A Kiss I sold lots of copies in the student union at SUNYAB (University of Buffalo).

            One of the students said that his father worked for an Ad Agency and he was going to show it to him. Perhaps a year, maybe 8 months later – not exactly sure – the famous “this is your brain this is your brain on drugs commercial came out – with the frying pan and the eggs.

            The imagry and idea was lifted from my book:

            Sum kin tay ka
            Trip on the ass id
            Slide if you can
            But re mem burr
            Mind eggs pan ding
            drugs are not food
            for thought
            Speed kin kill bed
            Er fass tiff you wanna
            get high

            In Chinese, the word “ding” means chopped up, as in Chicken almond ding.

            The conception of all the worlds’ peoples gathering together to participate in the retelling of the story of all man kind, beginning with the story of Adman and Even in the Gar Den ov Edum, then all the generations of men and how the Cheyenne-easy people became yellow skinned, and what ha penned when Moses went up to hear the big sigh on Mt Sianai . . . well the only issue is – is the poet prophet author of prophetic works fun to listen to, and might the Television Scripture be . . . well beyond poetry which is just a try.

            Sew, I give the world (my yin tent-upon performance) a twelve “our” video trans crypt. Of course, in clue did in the performance and the written down script is the settlement of all the issues of turf on good ship mother urf. As a candidate for president I bring to the table my Television Scripture, charting toe course for world peace—whirled pizza—every buddy gets a slice.

            I did say I get out of bed and put on one sock at a time, but have a natch a rill facility for mull tie ling well rhyme.

            I cannot believe there isn’t any room for Dante, or Homer, or Shakespeare at the table. You are who you are whom ever you are.

            I sold my circa ’07 Mac laptop this a.m. on ebay and I have to transfer files. Later my friend.

            • thomasbrady said,

              March 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm

              The Universe doesn’t want to be big. It has to be big, so we have time to play (duration and space are one) See Poe’s Eureka. The “world’s people” is overrated. That’s a very inefficient way to transmit knowledge: the “world’s people” all at once? Are you kidding me? No, big is a necessary evil, and when I say big I don’t mean gradations of size: I mean BIG!

              • March 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm

                The universe does not “have” to be big. The universe is. . . eggs pan ding beyond the scope of individual imagination. People are underrated. That’s why so many live in true poverty while others have giant wealth.

                On the issue of all the world’s peoples gathered together to particpate in the retelling of their story – the best words in the best order – words, world orders and word hors d’oeuvres, a new word order . . . well that is what I plan – my inspiration a prophetic work of art with a couple dozen world events described in advance.

                I like to kid around but on this issue iamb knot kidding. Go to http://michaelslevinson.com, see the youtube video Lev on late night, or one near the top that is just the story of Adman and Even in the Gar Den ov Edum.

                As I see it television is a very efficient way to transmit knowledge because my proposed dusk until dawn whirled peace Thriller can be repalayed every year. Once a year one night dusk until dawn every buddy at home world wide all stores, bars, and gasoline stations closed – Mother Nature will get a chants to breath easier.

                One of my projects is to reproduce The Book ov Lev It A Kiss in a hard cover edition with a Table of Contents of the prophetic world event pages, and also a mobile device edition.

                Rennaisance Man. Go home. Sounds like John. One of these days I’m going to have to visit his grave and have a talk.

                • thomasbrady said,

                  March 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm

                  I wonder if John’s ghost and Antonio Alfredo Giarraputo’s ghost have made up? I hope so. There’s You Tubes of Tony reading poetry in Boston. The pedantic old fool. Heaven help us all. God bless ya, Tony.

                  Is the universe expanding infinitely? If the universe is finite, it can’t really ‘expand,’ except like a rubber band, and that’s not true ‘expansion.’ Plato and Poe both refuted the Lucretian, atomist idea that the universe is infinite—gravity, forces, etc would not exist if the universe was infinite in size, and thus it would have no true definition. According to Plato and Poe: Universe is finite. It has to be. But of course we cannot grasp infinity, nor can we grasp the idea of ‘not infinity.’ Thus human perception is limited and flawed.

                  • March 27, 2013 at 6:30 pm

                    We are finite the universe is knot— we are born we live and then we are gone. What I want to know is very down to earth. What’s for breakfast it’s two in the afternoon I have to eat some matzah.

                    • Paul the Gangster said,

                      March 29, 2013 at 8:47 am

                      “We are too finite” -SH

                  • Diane Roberts Powell said,

                    November 12, 2014 at 4:53 am

                    Tom, I don’t think that our technology is advanced enough to support the theory that the universe is finite. What kind of telescopes are these folks using? What exactly does the end of the universe look like? How far does one search into the void before determining the end is in sight? Isn’t that just a little presumptuous?

  154. thomasbrady said,

    March 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    It may feel like a hip thing to say the universe is not finite and to claim one is “too finite,” but one can’t be partially infinite—either you have infinity or you do not, and as Plato and others have intuited correctly, an infinite universe cannot possibly have any definition.

    • March 29, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      The universe is not “not finite.” The universe is infinite ‘ eggs pan ding.’ There is a diff rinse between not finite and infinite.

      On the one hand this concept of an ever expanding universe is beyond our scope of understanding. On the other, the door opens that “all possibilities exist in the cosmos” Therefore, the possibility of other small solar systems in the Milky Way and beyond, where there are water planets with the same gravitational make up, and fully developed life except for one creature—man is a genuine possibility, the chances of which are way better than winning the Lottery.

      Therefore, in udder woids, in the event other places with mammals are out there, Mother Nature is not just here. We can certainly “define” the infinite universe . . . by its contents, for example, good ship Mother Earth. It’s your world. We share the universe. There is room for all, in clue ding bad poets.

      • thomasbrady said,

        March 30, 2013 at 2:47 pm

        Michael,

        I have always believed in the idea: “Everything exists.” I take this saying to heart every day. But in order for this to be true, one cannot have an infinite universe, for in that case, nothing would ‘exist,’ for there could be no relation, no correspondence, of any kind, since on every possible side, you would have atoms stretching out into infinity, so that no attraction or repulsion would be possible: think about it: infinite lines of atoms in every possible direction. You’ll see I’m right as you ponder this my dear friend. I will certainly allow you other worlds, etc. You may have whatever you may imagine. But you need to concede this one point if you are to be taken seriously. If you haven’t read Poe’s “Eureka,” you’ll have not made a good start on the subject.

        Tom

  155. April 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    To whoever posted the whole poem, “Was Merely Whisperin’ Bill,” I’m very glad you did this for the nenefit of everyone on Scarriet. It also means the poem must be much better known than I thought. I thought it was just a lucky find in the old book store that used to be in my neighborhood! Maybe you also know who the author was. Do you? Can you tell us his name and mabe a little bit about him? Yours, David Bittner

  156. November 16, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    David Lehman mentioned Scarriet in a public forum—
    Say what you will about Brady, he doesn’t bore ’em:

    http://www.danagioia.net/assets/PDF/The%20Businessman%20%20the%20Statesman%20%20and%20the%20Poet%20-%20The%20Best%20American%20Poetry.pdf

  157. Micki said,

    November 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm

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    and wished to mention that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your
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  158. Andrew said,

    December 22, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Hey Scarriet – whatever happened to your search bar?

  159. Andrew said,

    January 25, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    No – really, Scarriet…I’m serious.
    Didn’t you use to have a cute little search bar?
    Please restore it so we can search out the secrets of lyrical liberation.

  160. Andrew said,

    January 31, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Nan na na na na –
    I turned all your patchwork quilt avatars into ugly little cyber-totems.

  161. forestblush said,

    October 11, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Your site is the most amazing! I am so delighted to be a reader ❤

  162. Andrew said,

    November 30, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Tom (and all Scarrieteers) – have you ever checked this great poetry site? It feels to me like a kindred spirit with Our Lady Scarriet of anti-Modernist hilarity:

    http://commercialpoetry.blogspot.com/

    • thomasbrady said,

      November 30, 2015 at 11:36 pm

      Yes, I was directed to this site some time ago…perhaps Earl Squirrel visited Scarriet…I can’t remember… Yes, it is a kind of Scarriet Lite (I hope I don’t offend) isn’t it?

      • Andrew said,

        December 1, 2015 at 2:00 am

        I just discovered it recently. Earl critiques some of the same poetic dullness and modernist absurdity that Scarriet does, and so far like what I have read there.

  163. deixis said,

    December 28, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    This thread is the most depressing thing I’ve seen in years. Have a slapfight with nine foot purple dildos next time; it’ll be more entertaining, and accomplish just as much. And, I dare say, it’ll be more poetic.


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