A Forum for Vigorous Debate, Cornerstone of Democracy

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A FORUM FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND VIGOROUS DEBATE, CORNERSTONES OF DEMOCRACY
[For the journal--guidelines, focus, etc.--go to www.theamericandissident.org. If you have questions, please contact me at todslone@hotmail.com. Comments are NOT moderated (i.e., CENSORED)!]
Encouraged censorship and self-censorship seem to have become popular in America today. Those who censor others, not just self, tend to favor the term "moderate," as opposed to "censor" and "moderation" to "censorship." But that doesn't change what they do. They still act as Little Caesars or Big Brother protectors of the thin-skinned. Democracy, however, demands a tough populace, not so easily offended. On this blog, and to buck the trend of censorship, banning, and ostracizing, comments are NEVER "moderated." Rarely (almost NEVER) do the targets of these blog entries respond in an effort to defend themselves with cogent counter-argumentation. This blog is testimony to how little academics, poets, critics, newspaper editors, cartoonists, political hacks, cultural council apparatchiks, librarians et al appreciate VIGOROUS DEBATE, cornerstone of democracy. Clearly, far too many of them could likely prosper just fine in places like communist China and Cuba or Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Russia, not to mention Sweden, England, and Austria.

More P. Maudit cartoons (and essays) at Global Free Press: http://www.globalfreepress.org

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Gary Trudeau


The cartoon below was sketched in early 2015.  A recent article, "The Comic Strip’s Heyday in ‘Cartoon County," written in the New York Times by hack cartoonist Gary Trudeau, provoked the posting.  For me Trudeau is famous not for his Doonesbury inanity comicstrip, but rather for his apologizing for the Muslim murderers of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015, which is why Long Island University ought to be ashamed for giving him an award.  According to Trudeau, "Newspaper comics are regarded as a kind of public utility—a reliable, 365-days-a-year source of light entertainment."  So, we have cooptation of poetry... and we also have cooptation of comics.  Bravo to the facilitators like Trudeau...
.....................................................................


Monday, December 18, 2017

Todd Moore

Here's a cartoon I sketched way back in 2003.  Oops!  I misspelled PROCLAIMED.  That means the target can now focus on that little error and ignore the entire message presented in the cartoon.  Ainsi soit-il.  Anyhow, perhaps the only thing nuttier than Todd Moore's Outlaw Poetry is Poets and Writers magazine "Ten Poets Who Will Change the World."  Oh, yeah, poets gonna change the world!  Sounds like John Lennon's "Imagine" bullshit.   Have the editors been taking too much LSD?  Or do they really believe the nonsense they write?  It’s a tough call, but I’m really tempted to believe the latter...

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Subj: PS 

Date: 8/12/03 5:32:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge

To: moorebt@spinn.net

CC: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge




Todd:
"Anyway, i'm always open to criticism and dialogue," you wrote.  I suppose you made a mistake there too!  You see, your faux-outlaw gang never would have accepted me.  Why?  Probably because I'm a hell of a lot more of maverick/outlaw than you or any of them.  Sorry, but since there is no law banning my criticizing of you and offspring via email, I send this letter.  The last email received from your daddy-controlled son was an absolute masterpiece.  I think it was the best in my ten years of criticizing the small press and poets.  Thank you.
G. Tod Slone



Subj: An understanding... 

Date: 8/11/03 5:44:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge

To: bluecheer@worldnet.att.net

CC: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge




Glad you, your father and I finally see eye to eye... in a sense.
G. Tod Slone, Ed.
The American Dissident
www.geocities.com/enmage



Subj: Re: To be invited to read or not to be invited, that is the question... 

Date: 8/11/03 11:27:09 AM Eastern Daylight Time

From: bluecheer@worldnet.att.net

To: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge@aol.com

Sent from the Internet (Details)




Dear Mr. Slone:
    I spoke to my father, the co-editor of our magazine, and have mutually
agreed to retract the offer of accepting an essay by you for print in the
next issue. We're also requesting that   future e-mail exchanges between you
and myself, and my father and you be terminated as well.  Thank you for your
time. Best of luck with AD.
Sincerely,
Theron Moore
Co-editor St. Vitus's Dance.


 

Subj: Re: To be invited to read or not to be invited, that is the question... 

Date: 8/10/03 11:37:38 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge

To: bluecheer@worldnet.att.net

CC: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge




Glad to see that you learning what the nightshift is about.  Too many young fellows go right into college today.  I used to be a nightshift welder outside in subzero temps here in Massachusetts.  Good damn experience but a horror of a job.  
Nothing at all between your dad and me.  True, he did offer to look at my poems.  But I wasn't sure why.  Anyhow, I did tell him I put some up on my website under "samples."  
"  You're still shocked that
rockstars and the Clintons make megabillions in income? "  Not shocked just disgusted with the inequality of wealth distribution in the USA.  It all rings of bullshit to me… the Stones, Dylan, the Dead et al with their big mansions and bullshit lines.  What hurts most is the following of ignorant youth.  
"They serve themselves and no one
else unless those folks can serve them."  So do the Stones et al.  Sure they give the occasional benefit and that sells more records.  
"I guess one word:  CORRUPTION.
Plain and simple. Always has been always will."  True, but your implication is just accept it.  I don't and won't.  That's what THEY want you do, that is, the corrupt.
I think you and I are in two different worlds.  
I'll think on the essay.  Don't really know what a bunch of hey man cool rockers would be interested in anything I have to say.  The music all sucks today.  Same bullshit lyrics as back in my day.  "There's gonna be a revolution, hey, hey…"  Yeah, John, tell us about it.  I think he really meant a capitalist revolution, the one we're seeing today, the one that is coopting everything, poetry and rock included.  Nothing like multimillionaires singing about revolutions.  
G.


Subj: Re: To be invited to read or not to be invited, that is the question... 

Date: 8/10/03 3:28:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: bluecheer@worldnet.att.net

To: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge@aol.com

Sent from the Internet (Details)




Dear Mr. Slone:

            Read your e-mail yesterday and checked it out. I work night
shift so a lot of work and e-mail exchanges I do are in the wee hours when
normal folks are sleeping. Except for me. My curse.  blows.  Had a bad week
that sucked on a phenomenal scale. Like a 5 on the tornado fugita scale.
Didn’t feel like doing shit yesterday except sleeping and dreaming that I
didn’t have to work last night, but alas poor me, I did.  But im here and I
want to pay the courtesy back to by responding to your e-mail.  so, I’ll
respond to it as is. Bear with me here.  Cool?


Well, I know sometimes I'm damn harsh, often probably… but that's me.  It's
not that I'm trying to win enemies.  On the contrary, I'm trying to win
friends but not at any cost and certainly not to the truth.  I know I was a bit
harsh with your father, but when it comes to truth and logic versus being kindly,
I always opt for the first.  Have you read the emails I sent him this morning?
They were pretty strong, but I didn't really mean them at all as a personal
attack.  You might wish to read them first, then let me know if the offer
still stands.

Dude. Outspoken is good.  Critical is good. Question the system. That’s the
way to go.  Going along with the status quo is boring, even in the small
press world.  Shake things up, stir the pot, put an opinion out there that’
ll make people think, piss folks off, that kinda thing.  Make ‘em stop in
their tracks and take attention.  You got something to say then say it.
That’s what this is all about unless the rules have changed.  But you, dear
e-mail friend, tend to do that quite abrasively.  Now, personally, I like
abrasive and strong.  It rings of punk rock and Jello Biafra and Henry
Rollins and all the punk Ive been listening to since ’83. so that’s fine.  
And I figure if you zing me with a personal attack then I’m right back
atcha!  But I don’t think you’re like that.  You got something to say and I
wanna listen and I think your point of view is quite interesting. So let’s
do it.

Whatever business you have between you and my dad, it’s between you two. He
offered in his first e-mail response back to you to submit to the magazine.
He showed it to me, I followed up with an e-mail to you and here we are.  I
love SVD.  It’s a freshman mag but it has longevity written all over it.  Im
in for the long haul. It makes me happy and keeps me out of trouble. That’s
good.  I like doing the mag and writing and putting it out there and man I
gotta tell ya, im having a blast doing it.  No politics involved, no
anything, just creativity X 10. it’s just me and my dad making the decisions
and wingin’ it.  Best part about it is, it looks homegrown, it looks kitchen
sink, not something pro and slick.  Its indie in the best sense of that
corporate owned rock N roll word.  And it still gets out there!  That rocks.


Did you want a critique of your magazine?  I'd rather not do that, at least
not directly.  You seem like a good man.  And I am not good at holding
punches.
I'd rather just walk away.

Um, yeah. Let’s not do the critique of the magazine right now. I’m actually
going thru a high self esteem phase currently that should last at least for
the next week. Let’s not ruin that for me. I get these phases about as often
we get a full moon or a steady rise in the stock market.  How about I
imagine your critique, get really inflamed and then revert to some “I’m ok,
you’re ok” corporate sensitivity training and get over it?  Cool?  Well
damn, I feel better already.



However, I would like to take the points made in this letter and your dad's letters and present you with an essay stemming
from them.  Your dad did not respond to some of the questions I posed.
Thanks
again for maintaining an open head.  Look forward to hearing from you.

You’re more than welcome to write the essay and submit.  That offer is wide
open. My father and I will read it and go from there. Fair?  Cool?  We could
always say you suck and then publish it anyway and kiss your ass.  No wait.
That’s not good.



BTW, I
was a 60-70s kid, so am particularly angry at those mulimillionaire rock
stars,
changing like spineless chameleons according to the times for continual
celebrity and bucks.  I also have a particular disdain for the other
ex-hippies
(and Beatniks) who cashed in, including the Clintons.  I'm not sure what
happened…
but how the hell did their children end up being wannabee entrepreneurs and
celebrities?  How did the female children end up as if back in the 50s,
willingly becoming pieces of sex property (pieces of ass) for the male
children?  I
would be confused, if I didn't have an answer.  And I do have an answer.
Best,
G. Tod Slone

Rockstars, Clintons, wow, you got me there.   You’re still shocked that
rockstars and the Clintons make megabillions in income?  Is there really a
difference there?  Dude, where have you been living all these years?  As for
billy bubba and hillary trailer trash, well, that’s a whole other opinion
right there.  In a nutshell. They suck.  They serve themselves and no one
else unless those folks can serve them.  Take that as you will.   Don’t know
what to tell you or rebutt or anything here.  I guess one word:  CORRUPTION.
Plain and simple. Always has been always will.  Here’s my age talking
now—just take a look at the rap music industry.  Corrupt and vulgar to say
the very least.  To me, that’s porn.  That should be outlawed.


PPS:  Why the title Saint Vitus, which is a disease?  Just curious.

Ah.  Great question.  “Saint Vitus’s Dance” was a Black Sabbath song.  Very
cool, very heavy.  Next, St. Vitus is the name of one of my all time
favorite bands (#5 on the all time greats list).  99% the band, 1% the song,
that’s the reason the title was chosen.  St. Vitus the band Is heavier than
shit.  Fucking steamroller your ears man.  They crush.  That’s the VH1
Behind the Scenes version of the title here.   Heavier than thou.  I'm out.
later.

--Theron



Alright Mr. Slone. I’m out.  I await your response. Later. It was good
talking to you.

--Theron



Subj: Re: To be invited to read or not to be invited, that is the question... 

Date: 8/10/03 3:28:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: bluecheer@worldnet.att.net

To: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge@aol.com

Sent from the Internet (Details)




Dear Mr. Slone:

            Read your e-mail yesterday and checked it out. I work night
shift so a lot of work and e-mail exchanges I do are in the wee hours when
normal folks are sleeping. Except for me. My curse.  blows.  Had a bad week
that sucked on a phenomenal scale. Like a 5 on the tornado fugita scale.
Didn’t feel like doing shit yesterday except sleeping and dreaming that I
didn’t have to work last night, but alas poor me, I did.  But im here and I
want to pay the courtesy back to by responding to your e-mail.  so, I’ll
respond to it as is. Bear with me here.  Cool?


Well, I know sometimes I'm damn harsh, often probably… but that's me.  It's
not that I'm trying to win enemies.  On the contrary, I'm trying to win
friends but not at any cost and certainly not to the truth.  I know I was a bit
harsh with your father, but when it comes to truth and logic versus being kindly,
I always opt for the first.  Have you read the emails I sent him this morning?
They were pretty strong, but I didn't really mean them at all as a personal
attack.  You might wish to read them first, then let me know if the offer
still stands.

Dude. Outspoken is good.  Critical is good. Question the system. That’s the
way to go.  Going along with the status quo is boring, even in the small
press world.  Shake things up, stir the pot, put an opinion out there that’
ll make people think, piss folks off, that kinda thing.  Make ‘em stop in
their tracks and take attention.  You got something to say then say it.
That’s what this is all about unless the rules have changed.  But you, dear
e-mail friend, tend to do that quite abrasively.  Now, personally, I like
abrasive and strong.  It rings of punk rock and Jello Biafra and Henry
Rollins and all the punk Ive been listening to since ’83. so that’s fine.  
And I figure if you zing me with a personal attack then I’m right back
atcha!  But I don’t think you’re like that.  You got something to say and I
wanna listen and I think your point of view is quite interesting. So let’s
do it.

Whatever business you have between you and my dad, it’s between you two. He
offered in his first e-mail response back to you to submit to the magazine.
He showed it to me, I followed up with an e-mail to you and here we are.  I
love SVD.  It’s a freshman mag but it has longevity written all over it.  Im
in for the long haul. It makes me happy and keeps me out of trouble. That’s
good.  I like doing the mag and writing and putting it out there and man I
gotta tell ya, im having a blast doing it.  No politics involved, no
anything, just creativity X 10. it’s just me and my dad making the decisions
and wingin’ it.  Best part about it is, it looks homegrown, it looks kitchen
sink, not something pro and slick.  Its indie in the best sense of that
corporate owned rock N roll word.  And it still gets out there!  That rocks.


Did you want a critique of your magazine?  I'd rather not do that, at least
not directly.  You seem like a good man.  And I am not good at holding
punches.
I'd rather just walk away.

Um, yeah. Let’s not do the critique of the magazine right now. I’m actually
going thru a high self esteem phase currently that should last at least for
the next week. Let’s not ruin that for me. I get these phases about as often
we get a full moon or a steady rise in the stock market.  How about I
imagine your critique, get really inflamed and then revert to some “I’m ok,
you’re ok” corporate sensitivity training and get over it?  Cool?  Well
damn, I feel better already.



However, I would like to take the points made in
this letter and your dad's letters and present you with an essay stemming
from them.  Your dad did not respond to some of the questions I posed.
Thanks
again for maintaining an open head.  Look forward to hearing from you.

You’re more than welcome to write the essay and submit.  That offer is wide
open. My father and I will read it and go from there. Fair?  Cool?  We could
always say you suck and then publish it anyway and kiss your ass.  No wait.
That’s not good.



BTW, I
was a 60-70s kid, so am particularly angry at those mulimillionaire rock
stars,
changing like spineless chameleons according to the times for continual
celebrity and bucks.  I also have a particular disdain for the other
ex-hippies
(and Beatniks) who cashed in, including the Clintons.  I'm not sure what
happened…
but how the hell did their children end up being wannabee entrepreneurs and
celebrities?  How did the female children end up as if back in the 50s,
willingly becoming pieces of sex property (pieces of ass) for the male
children?  I
would be confused, if I didn't have an answer.  And I do have an answer.
Best,
G. Tod Slone

Rockstars, Clintons, wow, you got me there.   You’re still shocked that
rockstars and the Clintons make megabillions in income?  Is there really a
difference there?  Dude, where have you been living all these years?  As for
billy bubba and hillary trailer trash, well, that’s a whole other opinion
right there.  In a nutshell. They suck.  They serve themselves and no one
else unless those folks can serve them.  Take that as you will.   Don’t know
what to tell you or rebutt or anything here.  I guess one word:  CORRUPTION.
Plain and simple. Always has been always will.  Here’s my age talking
now—just take a look at the rap music industry.  Corrupt and vulgar to say
the very least.  To me, that’s porn.  That should be outlawed.


PPS:  Why the title Saint Vitus, which is a disease?  Just curious.

Ah.  Great question.  “Saint Vitus’s Dance” was a Black Sabbath song.  Very
cool, very heavy.  Next, St. Vitus is the name of one of my all time
favorite bands (#5 on the all time greats list).  99% the band, 1% the song,
that’s the reason the title was chosen.  St. Vitus the band Is heavier than
shit.  Fucking steamroller your ears man.  They crush.  That’s the VH1
Behind the Scenes version of the title here.   Heavier than thou.  I'm out.
later.

--Theron



Alright Mr. Slone. I’m out.  I await your response. Later. It was good
talking to you.

--Theron


Subj: To be invited to read or not to be invited, that is the question... 

Date: 8/8/03 10:13:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time

From: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge

To: bluecheer@worldnet.att.net

CC: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge




TM:
Well, I know sometimes I'm damn harsh, often probably… but that's me.  It's not that I'm trying to win enemies.  On the contrary, I'm trying to win friends but not at any cost and certainly not to the truth.  I know I was a bit harsh with your father, but when it comes to truth and logic versus being kindly, I always opt for the first.  Have you read the emails I sent him this morning?  They were pretty strong, but I didn't really mean them at all as a personal attack.  You might wish to read them first, then let me know if the offer still stands.  
Thanks much for your letter and, well, compliment.  In reality, I do not consider you the enemy.  I'd just like to shake poets up, if at all possible… and usually it isn't.  That's been my experience.  I do say bravo to you for opening your door to a voice like mine.  Already, that would have to make you much more friend (even if per chance are views were to differ radically), than enemy for 99.9% of the doors are closed tightly to any sort of real criticism, real questioning and challenging… that's been my experience.   
It's not that I like to piss people off so much, as you say.  True I've pissed off a number of characters, including Poesy Mag (who was going to do an interview on me but decided against it when I spoke rude truth) and director of Skidmore College's writing center.  But stir them up, sure, I like that much better as a term.  If people get pissed off, it's usually bec. they're so used to being praised right and left-huge applause for a vacuous poem about a loose shoe-lace or a butterfly.  Get my drift?  
I'm not crazy about the terms "rail and rant" bec. they are often used by the enemy to kill debate.  When does logical reasoning equal "rail and rant"?  It equals "rail and rant" when the one who calls it that is incapable of showing how the criticism is not logical.  Get my drift?  
Often, I do put myself "on the line" as you call it.  Hell, isn't that what a poet ought to be doing?  Yet, if we were to examine poets, we'd probably find 99.9% of them doing anything but that.  
My experience has been that most FOLKS, as you call them, clearly do not tend to agree with me.  But I'm not trying to win a popularity contest.  I'm not trying to gain fame by being a polemicist.  The nature of society has made me a polemicist, not some burning desire to become a celebrity.  I just see poetry differently.  
Did you want a critique of your magazine?  I'd rather not do that, at least not directly.  You seem like a good man.  And I am not good at holding punches.  I'd rather just walk away.  However, I would like to take the points made in this letter and your dad's letters and present you with an essay stemming from them.  Your dad did not respond to some of the questions I posed.  Thanks again for maintaining an open head.  Look forward to hearing from you.  BTW, I was a 60-70s kid, so am particularly angry at those mulimillionaire rock stars, changing like spineless chameleons according to the times for continual celebrity and bucks.  I also have a particular disdain for the other ex-hippies (and Beatniks) who cashed in, including the Clintons.  I'm not sure what happened… but how the hell did their children end up being wannabee entrepreneurs and celebrities?  How did the female children end up as if back in the 50s, willingly becoming pieces of sex property (pieces of ass) for the male children?  I would be confused, if I didn't have an answer.  And I do have an answer.
Best,
G. Tod Slone
PS:  Thanks much for checking out my website.  99.9% of the poets and editors would not be at all curious.  Here's Lummox Press (San Pedro) editor Raindog's recent response, for example:  "I've no reason to go to your website.  No reason to engage you in
poinit/counterpoint.  In fact my time is more prescious to me than
that...I'll mosey over sometime and check it out, but not right now."
PPS:  Why the title Saint Vitus, which is a disease?  Just curious.



Subj: have a question for you 

Date: 8/8/03 9:16:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time

From: bluecheer@worldnet.att.net

To: pastedGraphic.pngenmarge@aol.com

Sent from the Internet (Details)




Dear Mr. Slone:

I’m writing in response to the e-mail you sent my dad, the co-editor of the magazine we publish entitled, “Saint Vitus’s Dance,” and I’d like to make it clear from the start that I’m approaching you from the standpoint of a co-editor and not my dad’s kid.  He’s an old dude, been around the block, he can take care of himself.   Also, I’m the guilty party who sent you the magazine. I found your address listed in the current issue of Staplegun and, well, here we are. 

Your e-mail to my dad was, to say the least, interesting, but it hooked me enough to log on to the internet and check your website out. I was real curious as to where you were coming from as a writer, your views, etc., and I have to say honestly that I really liked what I saw. Lot’s of fire and venom there.  I like that.   you like to stir folks up, piss people off, i like that too. 

You definitely hold some pretty strong viewpoints re: the state of modern poetry, the small press world, etc., how about considering writing an essay for SVD on this?  If we are indeed the enemy for which you perceive us to be, why not sneak across enemy lines and get your viewpoint out there?  I would really welcome that.  

  My personal opinion is, go for it. Rail and rant and basically just hold the small press world, the state of modern poetry, etc. under a microscope and criticize and dissect and destroy and go for it!  Put yourself on the line (outside of your website and magazine of course) see where it ends up. You've got a viewpoint, you believe in it, i say put it out there and let the games begin!  

 I think it’d be rather interesting to see this point of view expressed outside of your website and magazine and see what kind of reaction you get from it.  You might even find folks who agree with you, probably to a much lesser extent than you do, but still.  

What do you think about this?  if you think we suck or could do better here's your chance to put in your two cents and do something about it.  Let me know. 

Thanks for your time though. Later.

 

Sincerely,

Theron Moore

Co-Editor Saint Vitus’s Dance





Subj: Re: (no subject) 

Date: 8/8/03 8:53:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time

From: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge

To: moorebt@spinn.net

CC: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge




T.
I'll dump that word 'army' and replace it with "hierarchy-free, loosely-knit corps."  Hell, you've got to start small.  Well, anyhow, you know where I stand and why many poets do not like me.  In a sense, my very viewpoint tends to implicate them as cowardly.  And nobody likes to be called a coward, especially not a poet coward.  Enjoy the day.
G.


Subj: Re: (no subject) 

Date: 8/8/03 6:51:19 AM Eastern Daylight Time

From: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge

To: moorebt@spinn.net

CC: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge




PS:  If only poets could be something more than "working the poem."  My dream, my reverie, is an army of poet activists injected with the courage to speak truth to power.  And I don't mean only to George Bush-no courage at all needed there.  Let the poet be known as the one in the mob MOST PROBABLE to manifest the courage to "stand up and go vital and speak the rude truth in all its ways" to all the little corrupt bosses and public-servant crook-cronies festering the nation.  Infused with uncanny courage, the poet might indeed be looked upon by the public as really a special kind of person, not some diversionary entertainer holding a mike at the public library or on HBO.  I suppose mine is a take on Nietzsche.  But that's my dream.  That's my focus.  Today, at least in America, the poet is nothing more than a scribe, a scribbler.  He is no more courageous than Joe-average.  He IS average. 



Subj: Aux armes, poetes... 

Date: 8/8/03 6:33:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time

From: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge

To: moorebt@spinn.net

CC: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge




T,
Well, you did avoid responding to a number of points in that last letter I wrote, mostly regarding your reasoning, which I do at times find curious… as in "Locklin gets the readings but he's welcome to them."  Of course, he's welcome to them-he doesn't make waves.  AND that is not what poesy is supposed to be about… that is, if you go back to Rimbaud, Villon, Rutebeuf, Ferre, Jeffers and even Bukowski.  WAVES ought be made in poetry... and not just style-wise.    
"At one point I suppose i had some big arguments with the world of poetry," you say.  It seems to me things have gotten worse and worse, more corporo-aca-demised suit and tie poesy than ever before.  So, why the end of your "big arguments"?  
Why send you a chap?  I don't think you would like my poetry.  As said, it is far too critical or dark for most poets to digest.  Most would rather simply ignore it and do as you do:  "now, all I really care about is working the poem."  You can check out my website.  I've thrown up some of my poems under SAMPLE  S (www.geocities.com/enmarge).  
Best,
G. Tod

Subj: Re: (no subject) 

Date: 8/7/03 6:43:27 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: moorebt@spinn.net

To: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge@aol.com

Sent from the Internet (Details)



G. Tod,

yeah, poetry's a game.  no argument there.  i think you and i pretty much
agree on that score.  me, i guess i see Locklin and Bukowski in a different
light.  Locklin gets the readings but he's welcome to them.  at one point i
suppose i had some big arguments with the world of poetry.  now, all i
really care about is working the poem.n

send me a book of yrs when you can.

T


Subj: Re: (no subject) 

Date: 8/7/03 2:30:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge

To: moorebt@spinn.net

CC: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge




Well, I haven't read since 2001 at that Festival in Quebec.  I never get invitations and I don't look for them either.  The last time I was on stage was last December to debate 4 angry and quite indoctrinated black students in an all black audience regarding 3 essays I'd written and published in the local press.  Yes, I did get out alive somehow.  The good thing about fame of course is that you have the mike when you want it.  I would love to have it for my criticisms.  "a poor dumb shit."  I've been called a lot of things too.  And agree with you.  Don't call the guy an asshole, point out with logical argumentation why his discourse is nil.   
Well, I am essentially unknown in the poesy world... or if known, known as a "poor dumb shit."  It is an everyone for himself arena, which does not favor the best poetry at all.  It might favor the loudest or most extravagant or best performed, but not the best.     "Why for
example does Gerald Locklin get the readings and the publications and so and
so does not?"  He knows how to play the game and play it well.  I have never been a game player.  The whole poesy thing favors the game player, not the loner.  Contrary to popular belief, Bukowski WAS a game player.  Only reason I was invited to that International festival was because I contacted the guy and challenged him, telling him he'd never invite a poet apt to criticize poets and the poet scene.  He took me up on the challenge, to my surprise, but evidently regretted it later.  
"It's kinda sad that i'm the only poet or editor who ever replied to you."  You miss read me here.  I've had tons of angry replies.  Some day when you have not much to do, check out my web site under Literary Letters.  You find about 100 pages of letters to and from all kinds of poesy and academ types.  You'll also see what The American Dissident is about.  And, yeah, it's damn possible you won't like it… BUT it's still poetry et al, even if on the fringes.  
G. Tod
www.geocities.com/enmarge 


Subj: Re: (no subject) 

Date: 8/7/03 1:07:36 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: moorebt@spinn.net

To: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge@aol.com

Sent from the Internet (Details)




G. Tod,

When it comes to the subject of readings, i can only speak for myself.  Back
in the 80's for maybe a year i made a little money, maybe all told a
thousand bucks.  That was when Dillinger was being published perfect bound.
But in the last 12 years i doubt that i've made made a hundred bucks total.
Mostly, if i read it's local and i rarely if ever get paid.  i don't try to
promote myself through readings.  i guess i'm just tired of the hustle and
con involved in poetry.  Lifshin does this shit and she always has.  And, a
lot of the other people you mentioned.  There's no doubt Bukowski was sucked
into the fame game.  The strange thing with him is that privately he had an
extreme case of stage fright which is one of the reasons he puked before
each reading.  After he started making big money off his books he stopped
reading.  The last few years i've been less and less enamored with doing any
kinds of readings.  i still give them occasionally but they are mostly for
free.

True, we live in a pernicious society, one which is totally fascinated by
fame.  But the more i see of fame the farther away i want to get from it.
As for trying to keep certain other poets' names alive, i have a pretty good
gut feeling none of these people will become famous during their life times.
Huffstickler is already dead but deserves to be remembered.  Most of the
others i mentioned are past fifty and i don't think have the appeal or
machinery going to create personal fame tho, after Bukowski go figure.  Talk
about a very repulsive ugly man who suddenly becomes famous.  Hard to
figure, right?  But i'm
mostly interested in helping deserving poets get some kind of attention no
matter how small it is.

Griffin/Outlaw.  I'm not sure how he went about looking for poets for the
Outlaw.  Why didn't he pick you?  That's a tough one.  Maybe he didn't know
your work.  Personally, I may have heard your name, but then and that was
six or seven years ago, I don't think I knew your work.  Right now, I know
your name but don't know your work.  From a personal standpoint all I can
say is that even a good editor can't know everyone's work.

Packard meant well, but he had some odd quirks.  He featured me in one issue
of NYQ but then would never publish even one poem of mine afterward.  Still,
all in all, I believe he was a good editor even if he was on some levels not
easily approached.  Bukowski was lucky to link up with Packard. Also, some
people are thin skinned and don't like criticism.  i can live with criticism
if it doesn't descend to personal attacks.  A language poet critic about ten
years ago wrote a review of Dillinger in which he called me a poor dumb
shit.  Those were his exact words.  i never forgot it and vowed that if i
ever met the guy there would be trouble.  Unfortunately or maybe fortunately
he died a few years later.

Anyway, i'm always open to criticism and dialogue.  At my age, i probably
should closed off to all ideas and opinions not my own but contrary to
biology all my neurons are still firing.

What this all comes down to is that we're all human and make some pretty
fucken stupid mistakes.  Even the best of us, even the best intentioned and
the brightest of us.  And both the small press scene and the mainstream
scene are governed by subjective decisions.  I make a lot of decisions based
on what I like.  I guess I can't get away from that.  It's just me.  I know
what I like.  It hits me viscerally and I know what I don't like because it
has no effect on me.  That's as close as I can get to it.

And, whatever I write, poetry or prose, I write out of how I feel, I write
out of the body.  My essays come out of a felt passion, out of the way that
I feel.  And, that's about all I can say.

Here's a little story about being left out of an anthology.  Back around
1979 or 80 Ed Field was putting together an anthology called A Geography of
Poets.  At the time Kirk Robertson, a Nevada poet who I knew very well, got
in and he had never told me that Field was looking for representative poetry
from all over the US.  So, i felt betrayed.  And, it changed the way  i
thought and felt about Kirk.  But, looking back i can see that it really
wasn't his fault.  i'm sure he showed Field the chapbook of mine that he had
recently published.  And, at the time Field wasn't interested.  i've noticed
that back maybe the first ten years that i worked as a poet whenever i'd get
rejected, i'd think, how can anybody pass this stuff up.  Who the hell do
they think they are?  And, i'm talking about small press editors here.
Well, it finally sank in.  This is a big world.  Not everybody thinks the
way i do, sees the world the way i do, feels the way i do.  So, the best
thing is to do your own personal best, take the knocks as they come, and
keep doing what you do.  i don't know if this makes any sense or not.  Or
even if there is anything that i said that makes any sense.

If i had known you or your work back in around 97 or 98 i would have
recommended you to Griffin.  And, when i say that i am not bullshitting you.
The underlying questions here are deeper and more profound than we may
realize.  Why not me?
Why not you?  Not necessarily to become a famous poet or writer but just to
be valued, to be recognized for the value of your work?  Why not?  Why for
example does Gerald Locklin get the readings and the publications and so and
so does not?
Or it can be any well known ( not necessarily famous) small press poet.  Why
does this guy get published by xyz press and i do not?  i wish i had the
answers to all of this, but i don't.

Getting into the Outlaw i'm sure created some hard feelings with some of my
friends who did not.  And, these were people i tried to help be included.
And, i am truly sorry about that and if i could go back i would have asked
Griffin to have included any one of those people over me.  See, right now
i've reached a stage where i think it's more important just to write a good
strong poem than to be in some famous or infamous anthology.  i also think
it's more important to write one good poem than to write ten thousand essays
because i am first and last a poet.  And always a poet.

And i don't have any quick fix advice to give, no easy rants to rave, it's
the way the dice fall.  i used to think if a poet wrote powerfully enough
long enough he or she would receive recognition.  Not fame.  i really don't
want fame.  i don't want some crazy drunken poet calling me at 3 in the
morning or coming over to the house with a six pack, or any of that shit.
i'm kinda happy just being left alone to write.  If i'm lucky enough to get
things in print, that's good.  And, if it comes down to nobody wanting to
publish me, then i'll reinvent another little press of my own and do it
myself and send it out zerox style in the mail to a few friends which is the
way i started back in the early 70's.

It's kinda sad that i'm the only poet or editor who ever replied to you.  i
guess i'm more readily accessible than most.  i don't think i've spoken to
much of what you've written.  All i can write you abt is out of my own
experience.  Such as it is.  Hit or miss that it is.  Do you have a chapbook
or book of poetry you could send me?

Best,

Todd


Subj: Re: (no subject) 

Date: 8/7/03 10:25:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time

From: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge

To: moorebt@spinn.net

CC: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge




Todd:
"The 'because if you are a poet in amerika' statement was really
relating to small press poets and I made a mistake not specifying that."
Well, I'm not convinced that your statement is appropriate for all small press poets either.  Lyn Lifshin is certainly cashing in on all fronts, for example.  So did Bukowski.  And there are no doubt many others, including Locklin (what does he make from readings and publications?  I have no idea).  
I suppose I differ from you regarding the pushing of NAMES.  I'm against it.  It always results in FAME GAME.  I'd much rather push a poem, than a poet.  Poetry has been sucked into this corporate celebrity game.  It's deplorable.  Small press poets today seem to be striving desperately not so much to create a nice poem but to become KNOWN… and often at cost to integrity.  They seek gimmicky names in that endeavor (Raindog, Normal).  Backslapping is part of the process.  You slap mine, I'll slap yours and maybe we'll both become KNOWN.  I've seen it.  I once read a poem criticizing it at Stone Soup Poets society and was never ever invited back.  I have learned to detest poets, rather than love them like you.  I spent 10 days in Quebec as an invited paid poet (yes, the first time ever, and yes, the organizer evidently made a big mistake in doing that, but I had warned him!) at an International Poetry Festival.  Poets jabbered behind the scenes critical of the Festival and its organizers.  I was the only one out of 150 invited paid poets (budget = $700,000 for the event) to openly criticize the organizers and invited poets.  The act essentially banned me from reading or publishing in Quebec.  I sent out my criticism to over 60 Quebec editors and not one would publish it.  
Poets to me can be the worst of gregarious cowards all too eager to capitalize on the Raimbaud, Bukowski stereotype of the poete maudit.   So you see it seems the two of us have quite different perspectives on the Poet today.  Perhaps it would be interesting to publish a sort of dialogue between you and I (not a contest, not a battle, just a dialogue to present our different views) on that subject, which we've essentially done in this correspondence.  I have made many enemies in the world of poesy… and of course you can see why.  
I think it is never a good thing to make a judgment on a category of people as in blacks are oppressed (Oprah? Jordan?) or small press poets are relegated to the anterooms of forgetting.  
"Griffin wanted to see good unknown and marginalized small press poets included."  Why wasn't anybody, whom I've published in The American Dissident even considered for inclusion?  Why wasn't I?  That's a question for you to ponder.  I think the Outlaw thing was really a celebrity thing on a tiny scale of course.  Why were you able to recommend and I, as editor/publisher, was not?  
There is a great problem with the following sentence, and it is a sentence that you employ continuously:  "(I would edit a version that left out) the very best of those small press poets who should have been in there in the first place."  You continually state the very best of poets, but what the hell does that mean?  What criteria have you set up to make such a determination?  What is a very best poem?  It becomes your opinion and nothing else.  Yet when you make the statement it comes off as utterly OBJECTIVE, when it is anything but.  This kind of thing pisses me off (not at you but at the statement).   It is similar higher up as in the Pulitzer prize for poesy.  There are no criteria at all.  Yes, I've checked the site.  FAQ #19 declares that there are no criteria.  Three academic judges decide to nominate one of their academic friends.  That's the Pulitzer.  YET we are all blinded to react in AWE regarding it.  
BTW, I think I liked your essay in NYQ on poesy a while back… I think.  I sent copies of THE AD, harshly critical essays, the works periodically to NYQ, and could not even obtain a response from Packard made famous bec. he published Buk.  Not even a thanks.  And that was before he was sick.   He refused all criticism of NYQ… and I think that's cowardly.  I always publish in The AD the harshest criticism anyone lodges against it or its editor, AND NEVER publish words of praise.  That's self-serving and that's one thing I fight against.   

You are the first poet or editor I've criticized who has written back intelligently.  Thank you.  Perhaps there is hope… and hope of course is in dialogue similar to what we have been doing now.  
The famous BEAT poets, the ones I've heard of, were anything but loners.  They were queens of the backslapping movement… and made a  lot of money (Ferlinguetti, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Waldemann, Corso, McClure).  What they succeeded in doing is bloating their image, their own myths.  I find that reprehensible and repugnant.  They are like millionaire rock stars singing about the ghetto (and themselves)... because that sells.   Yes, at one point, they were mavericks.  But the corporation quickly purchased them, didn't it.  I find the following statement contradictory:  "Sometimes it doesn't hurt to be associated with a group
even though you are a maverick."  Yet if the maverick does his job right, the group won't want anything to do with him.   
NOT TRUE:  "As for Bukowski's being published by university presses, yes he has.  But,
it's been since his death."  Besides, universities were inviting him to read.  What's the difference?  NOW THIS IS A GREAT STATEMENT:  "Actually, and ironically John Martin used all the money Bukowski's
books have brought in to publish academic poets.  Sort of like a vampire
sucking Bukowski's blood so he can use it to reinfuse really shitty poetry."  I'm of course curious as to what's up with Linda.  Is she now a jetsetter?  
Again this is not necessarily bad, it is a job:  "But he [Ginsberg] was a perfesser, yessir."  It is bad when you hold that position and don't fight academe, the hand that feeds.  When I hold it, I fight.  
Well, I chuckled at this, and goddamn I can always use a chuckle:  "And, you amigo, are an outlaw whether
you like it or not."  Thanks.
G. Tod

Subj: Re: (no subject) 

Date: 8/6/03 8:29:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: moorebt@spinn.net

To: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge@aol.com

Sent from the Internet (Details)




G.T.

The whole goddam situation in amerika is overwhelming and fucken appalling.
And, I know you know that.  I think we're fighting on the same side of the
barricade.  The "because if you are a poet in amerika" statement was really
relating to small press poets and I made a mistake not specifying that.
But, if the culture nut was cracked in this country and the wrong people
decided the intelligentsia somehow constituted a threat, every poet ---
large press or small press --- would be lined up against a wall and shot.
Lorca, Mandelstam, Gumilyov could certainly speak to that question.

That Dennis Gulling is a very little known poet is not my opinion.  It's a
fact.  Try to find a review, not written by me, about him and try to find a
chapbook of his not published by him or me.  It would probably be nearly
impossible.  I'm not a professional back slapper but I am a loyal friend to
those small press poets whose work I know and respect.  I have written many
reviews of Gulling, Kell Robertson, Ann Menebroker, Tony Moffeit, Mark
Weber, and on and on.  I live by a personal code.  Poets in the small press
are for the most part relegated to the anterooms of forgetting.  I am out to
oppose that problem.  I would rather openly support the little known poets
who are also among the best poets in the small press than remain silent and
by my silence condemn them all to a continuing marginalization.

Let me tell you a story about The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.  This
anthology became an open battlefied even before it hit the presses.  S.A.
Griffin was one of two editors and was the one who supported my inclusion in
this book.  Alan Kaufman was the other editor who supported the inclusion of
rappers, movie stars, and pop culture figures.  Griffin wanted to see good
unknown and marginalized small press poets included.  Some were.  Many, some
I had recommended were not.  In order to see some of Griffin's choices
included he agreed to have his name taken off the title page and book cover
as coeditor.  It has only been recently that his name, mistakenly, was again
added.  I personally have had it in mind that if I could interest a
publisher, I would edit a version that left out the very best of those small
press poets who should have been in there in the first place.  But I don't
know if that realistically will ever happen.  In the meantime I can keep the
names of those left out alive in my essays.  And, I think that's part of
whatever it is that keeps poetry alive.  That we don't forget the best poets
of our time even though they are mostly forgotten by the critics and the
anthologists and official undertakers of contemporary thought.

You say you are a loner and don't belong to groups.  Mostly, so am I.  I've
always been a little leery of tags.  But, I also know that many of the so
called Beat poets are mavericks and only on the surface subscribe to being
Beat poets.  Look at Robert Duncan.  He's grouped into the Black Mountain
School and was really his own person, not affiliated with any group or
school of poets.  Sometimes it doesn't hurt to be associated with a group
even though you are a maverick.  And other times if you are a towering
maverick like Bukowski, then it doesn't really matter at all.

As for Bukowski's being published by university presses, yes he has.  But,
it's been since his death.  His primary publisher has always been Black
Sparrow.  Actually, and ironically John Martin used all the money Bukowski's
books have brought in to publish academic poets.  Sort of like a vampire
sucking Bukowski's blood so he can use it to reinfuse really shitty poetry.

I can't really defend Ginsberg.  I think his later poetry really sucked and
sucked bad.  Howl was a media thing and I find now that it really is kind of
funny when it isn't totally unreadable.  His best poem was Kaddish and it
still stands up.  But he was a perfesser, yessir.

Waldman, pretty much ditto.  Her best poem Fast Talking Woman was a knockoff
from a Mexican shamaness.  If it wasn't a complete theft, it came damned
close.

The Pinskys, Collinses, and Gioas are the enemies of poetry.  That's why a
Pinsky or a Collins is made a poet laureat of these united amerikas.  They
work in concert with academia to continue an art that has all but lost its
power, that is sterile in all of its aspects, that lacks any semblance of
truth, passion, power, or feeling.  Their kinds of poetry is dead at
inception, a wall relic, a perfectly sculpted marble turd.  And, I stand
against all the institutions that support it through prizes and fellowships.
And that's what makes an outlaw poet.  And, you amigo, are an outlaw whether
you like it or not.

Always good to hear from you.  Glad I didn't say fuck you.

Todd



Subj: (no subject) 

Date: 8/6/03 5:04:10 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge

To: moorebt@spinn.net

CC: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge




T,
Well, I know.  I even had a few regrets writing.  But it just seems so overwhelming to me… what goes on in the world of poesy.  
Yes, good for you, that ole primal instinctive 'fuck you.'  Good for you that you didn't heave it.  That's always the easy way and you didn't take the easy way.  I've gotten the ole 'fuck you' from professors.  
Yeah, the Gulling chap.  "Gulling is abt the least known poet in the world."  Well, that of course is nothing but your opinion.  I did like your knocking of poet laureates.  I'm just confused about this "outlaw" stuff.  Hell, Lummock Press attempted to insult me by calling me one of those "outlaw Bible" poets.  But I'm not one of them at all.  I'm a loner.  I don't belong to groups, outlaw, academic, or whatever.  It's not being affiliated with a college that is bad, it's being affiliated and not speaking truth to the leaders of the college.  
Well, as you know, I've got a strong aversion to backslapping.  I've been suffocated by it many times. Blurbing is a dreadful activity.  Yes, I kind of like your definition of outlaw poet.  Just the same, a lot of those outlaw poets (in that Bible book) were and are published in the college presses.  So what do you say about that?  Bukowski for one.  Ginsberg became a college prof and never spoke truth to the hand that was feeding him.  Ann Waldman is also a college prof and published by college mags.  So there's a problem here… a point of hypocrisy RE this outlaw poet thing… not on your part but on their parts.  
I never had a lit career either.  I meant risking my job career as French and Spanish professor.  I taught high school four years ago and did the same.  I dared speak truth to power at that high school.  And god only knows how they hated me for it.  I was called into the principal's office and put on immediate leave of absence, then discharged, and that was that.  What did I do?  I spoke visceral truth to power.  I wrote a book on it and somehow found a publisher for it.  She sold one book and sent me a one-dollar royalty check.  Was the book bad?  I don't think many people ever saw it to express an opinion.  I am glad to hear that you too stood up in your own way.  Not many of us do that.  
Now, regarding this, I don't think you got my drift:  "the only reason i bothered
here is that you kinda remind me of me say about fifteen years ago when i
was all geared up to take on the world.  i was running on rage, booze, &
caffeine and i was going to rewrite the whole history of poetry in america
and i was going to do it baby.  well, i did something but am not sure what.
when i look back i see a lot of dustdevils where i'd been."
Never did I state that I was out to change the history of poetry in america.  God all mighty, the things people will accuse of when you CRITICIZE.  I'm simply trying to establish a little forum of hardcore criticism RE poetry amongst other things.  That's THE AMERICAN DISSIDENT.  Sure I have rage, sure I like my wine, but also sure I like my prose as clear and logical as possible.  I thus challenge critics of my work NOT to criticize me via denigrating epithet BUT rather to point out precisely where I am wrong or have lied.  RARELY if ever do I get such feedback.  Lummock Press noted that I spelled Pulitzer wrong.  Well, that's cool, but Jesus can't you comment on the points I made.  AND yes I admitted the mistake.  NOW how hard is that to do?  Apparently it has become unbearably difficult for many literati.  
ALL RIGHT, Todd, you've convinced me, Tod (with one T) that you're not really a bad guy at all.  Still, I do hope I might get you to rethink this kind of statement:  "Because if you are a poet in America you are also an outlaw.  It can't be helped it just happens."  How can I not think of the Pinskys and Collins and Gioias in their fancy hotel rooms making $10,000 plus for an hours reading… AND NOT GET PISSED OFF at that statment?  Glad you too like to keep that door open.  Sorry, if I came down on you too hard.  I'm sure it was unmerited… and yes, I too am human and make mistakes and on occasion send a blaster that might not be merited.  Thanks for your response.
Best,
G. Tod Slone, Ed.
The American Dissident

Subj: Re: Hot air... 

Date: 8/5/03 3:21:29 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: moorebt@spinn.net

To: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge@aol.com

Sent from the Internet (Details)




should i call you G. Tod or just Tod or is that important?  since yr email
started with P.S. was there more before this or less or nothing.  my first &
primal instinct was to just say fuck you.  but i guess i understand yr rage
or anger or whatever you wanna call it.  those words of mine you quoted i
recognize but am not sure which piece they came out of.  hot air?  well,
pal, sometimes you gotta get up on the stump & say something as opposed to
all the vacuous shit that comes out of the mainstream area --- APR, Poetry
Mag, etc.  Locklin i grant you is much closer to academia.  Lifshin is well
Lifshin.  i don't promote either one.

that bi authored chapbook --- are you referring to the one i published with
Dennis Gulling.  boy you are way off base there as far as backslapping is
concerned.  or at least the kind you see in the mainstream press.  Gulling
is abt the least known poet in the world.  i've known him for thirty years,
in fact he was a student of mine in high school and one of the best ones i
ever had.  i'd like to think i had something to do with his writing poetry.
if anyone is an outlaw Gulling is.  he's never been affiliated with any
college or university & has rarely been published outside of his little
press or mine.  so, yeah, backslapping but only to try to give him a little
attention.  it's not as tho he's the editor of the Paris Review and i am the
editor of APR.  we're just a couple of old friends who bounce poems off each
other & try to encourage each other thru the hard and the slow and the bad
times.

as far as the poet as outlaw thing, everyone is welcome to his own opinion.
as for me, when i say outlaw poet, i'm talking about people whose work is
not welcome in college or university magazines or presses.  i'm also talking
about people who probably will never receive a National Book Award or a
Pulitzer Prize.  i'm talking about people who are more often forgotten, not
because their work merits it but because they will never be acceptable to a
Perloff or a Bloom or any of the other prestigious critics who write for the
New York Times.

the part of yr email where you write that you wrote poems and essays and
risked yr job and career.  well, i never really had a literary career to
speak of.  i was a high school english teacher for thirty years.  some years
i had a lot of trouble trying to reconcile the day job with the writing but
i got thru it.  risking job and career, what there was of it.  there wasn't
a year that went by that i wasn't written up by some administrator or
superviser because i tried to teach or continue to be a human being in the
public schools.  working in the public schools is a little like trench
warfare.  you are caught in a crossfire.  but i did survive and now that i
look back i am proud of many of the things i did in spite of all the
mediocrity there.  

and, if you think i have a literary career now, you really are confused.  i
write as always and have been lucky enough to be published but i don't kiss
any ass to do it.  as for the New York Quarterly, i guess those guys can
take care of themselves.  i did admire Bill Packard and still do.  years ago
i used to edit a little mag called Roadhouse.  it was my first intro to what
it meant to be an editor.  now that i look back, i'd be the first to admit
it was a flawed undertaking.  if i had the opportunity to go back and change
things, i wd.  but the one thing i am glad i never did was teach at the
college level.  there was a time when i used to think twice abt that but now
i know i wasn't cut out for that life.  i was too much of a maverick.

i am also the first to admit that i am a flawed human being.  i am and have
been very capable of making mistakes in judgment and over the last thirty
some years of writing i have made more than my share.  but i think there are
some people out there writing today who can be considered social outlaws.
they don't fit into any neat patterns.  yet, they are fine writers and are
being overlooked.  i'm talking about the late Albert Huffstickler, i'm
talking about Kell Robertson, i'm talking about Ann
Menebroker, i'm talking about Dennis Gulling.  these are all people who have
no literary clout, no real voice anywhere except in their work.

and, i will promote these kinds of poets because they don't very often have
the opportunity to promote themselves.  in fact,
i will promote any unrecognized and deserving poet who comes to my
attention.  it has nothing to do with trying to push myself or my work.  it
more or less hit me ten or fifteen years ago that i cd stand on my head on
the steps of congress reciting Hamlet backward to the music of Tupac Shakur
and no one wd give a shit.  i think that's when i realized that it didn't
matter and the only thing that did matter was just the writing.  fuck the
oligarchs & the lackeys.

looks like i've written another gasbag essay.  the only reason i bothered
here is that you kinda remind me of me say about fifteen years ago when i
was all geared up to take on the world.  i was running on rage, booze, &
caffeine and i was going to rewrite the whole history of poetry in america
and i was going to do it baby.  well, i did something but am not sure what.
when i look back i see a lot of dustdevils where i'd been.

you know that old saying, what comes around goes around.  now, my oldest son
Theron has decided to write poetry.  he also edits a poetry mag called St.
Vitus Dance.  and, no i didn't put him up to it so i cd somehow finagle one
more credit to my already overnotched pistol.  he just decided to do it.
and before i knew it he'd dragged me in as coeditor.  funny how it all
comes back around in different configurations.

so, with that in mind, the question is what do you wanna do?  do you wanna
argue with me about all of my warts, fuckups,
weaknesses, and should have beens or do you wanna write some poems for St.
Vitus Dance?  no strings attached.  you can still call me an asshole in
front of the whole she/bang (and i will probably have to fight you in print
everywhere and on all fronts because i will take one on one side of my face
but i won't stand still for the other) or do you wanna write some poems?  in
fact i really don't give a shit what you think of me.  if you write good
poetry there will be a place for it at St. Vitus.

Todd Moore
The American Outlaw






Subj: Hot air... 

Date: 8/4/03 8:07:02 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge

To: moorebt@spinn.net

CC: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge, Jhkendig4




PS:  What irks is your pushing of the inane myth of poet as outlaws.  "Because if you are a poet in America you are also an outlaw.  It can't be helped it just happens."  What a mega-turd of bouze de vache!  Just how much of an outlaw is Gerald Locklin, Lyn Lifshite, or you and your son, for that matter?  Why the need to push such garbage?  Poetry is so banal today that it won't upset anyone but old ladies fearful of the hyper-banal usage of muthafucka and opening the veins.  Much too much hot air in your writing, dear sir!  Yes, it often flows, but… just like hot air.  I just don't understand the blatant backslapping as in your bi-authored chapbook.  Christ, I fought that kind of shite at the last college where I worked, an all black female joint.  The president was grotesque with backslapping and congratulatory statements.  That's all that came out of her pitiful mouth.  I almost puked, but instead wrote poems and essays and sent them to her and published them in the local newspaper AND thus RISKED my job and career.  But, baby, it was worth it!  You must really try it!  
BTW, New York Quarterley is loaded with shite and utter void of the faux-outlaw, faux-opening the veins, faux-muthafuck talk genre.  Poetry needs to do something, not simply entertain poets and their coteries of admirers.  Make poetry challenge the oligarchs and their myriad lackeys!  Well, I guess we're not about to become friends now, are we…  Nevertheless, I always keep the door open.
Best,
G. Tod Slone, Ed.
The American Dissident



Subj: Garbage heaps and reams of diversionary, vacuous poesy... 

Date: 8/4/03 7:12:19 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge

To: moorebt@spinn.net

CC: pastedGraphic.pngEnmarge




Dear Todd Moore:
Saint Vius's Dance?  Well, my woman friend's friend had that disease.  Why call a poesy mag a disease?  Do you think it will please people who have the disease?  I'm just curious.  Just the same, thank your son for the copy of the mag and your chap as well.  However, I'm not sure why you or he would think, I'd be interested, as editor of The American Dissident, in pushing cult of millionaire noise personalities, including the Beetles, Bob Dylan or whomever, and cult of name poets of having attained name recognition, including Gerald Locklin, Lyn Lifshite, Alan Caitlin or whomever.  I deplore literary journals that have no other purpose or focus than publishing junk poetry by well-known junk poets or unknown junk-poetlets.  I deplore the poesy scene of tedious incestuous backslapping,self-congratulating, and minor-celebrity imbecility, a veritable nadir indeed for poetry today.  Regarding your son Theron's write-up, how can you encourage such a thing?  "From a son's point of view, it's great to work with your dad, but from a writing perspective, it's pretty incredible to be working with someone of his caliber and stature in the small press world."  Talk about tedious incestuous backslapping!  Is that all you got from the 60s?  What a sad, sad joke, the 60s!  Yeah, man, I'm in my 50s but I didn't give up the fight.  I am focused and ever critical and willing to RISK with my writing.   Whatever happened to the other fellows of the 60s, not the limousine-driving millionaire noise icons, but the Joe average hippies?  
Why don't you teach your son to use his writing as a goddamn truth sword to open up the American belly of ubiquitous garbage, not as a means to gain friends, minor-celebrity, numerous vacuous chapbook publications, and entrance into the flaccid, though oft noisy, poesy readings?  God help us!  The corporation has swallowed even poetry today.  Is there any hope at all?  We now have an army of functionary networking poets creating veritable garbage heaps and reams of diversionary, vacuous verse in service of the oligarchs.  Quantity over quality-always in America!!!  Why don't you teach your son to write from experience and personal involvement and RISK?  Tell him to stand on the edge-once in a while-, to be that one man against the mob (against the poesy mob, if need be!), and to speak the rude truth in all its ways.  Let him feel the fear as he writes something he knows should not be written and not be proferred in public.  Let him feel that fear, then take the courageous step in RISKING, and overcoming that fear.  Doubtfully, these words will hit the target.  But, you never know…
Best,
G. Tod Slone, Ed.
The American Dissident
www.geocities.com/enmarge