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Arsonism Issue #1 or Poets Say The Darndest Things

If nothing else all the controversy around Arsonism Issue #1 has shown the ugly side of poets. Reading the comments from Harriet Blog,, and this article by Ron Silliman (Thanks, Bryan), "I might note that the last time I felt ripped off by an on-line stunt, I sued..." brought to light a lot of the asshole-y-ness surrounding poets. Look, being ripped off is one thing, but this is kind of like having your bush toilet papered on Halloween.

Alright, it sucks, but you don't prosecute, you don't hunt down those vandals, sneak into their room at night, and then stab them to death. You laugh it off and maybe next Halloween you spray them with a hose or scare the shit out of them. You don't file a lawsuit. These kinds of lawsuits are one of the many reasons our justice system seems like a farce. It reminded me of living in southern California, and I don't think the poetry community should remind me of that.

And for those people (like Mike Young and Kendra Grant Malone) who didn't lose their cool and made a joke of it, Thank You. I'm glad sane people still exist.

I'm just pissed I wasn't on the list.

Update: K. Silem Mohammad posted about the Issue #1 and it's the best article I've read yet. And it also made me kind of feel like a dick. Was it supposed to? Way to trump me...


  1. I feel you Alex... why the fuck are we not on that list? That is some bullshit!

  2. Exactly. Out of what, over 3,000 poets, we couldn't be misrepresented. Fuck.

    We need to publish a 3,000 page document of "our poetry".

    We need to take over Lucas. Together we can rule over all!

  3. First of all, Alex and Luke, I suggest you sue them because you WEREN'T on the list.

    Second, I think it is funny that the older poets are clinging to their "identities" for dear life. People in our generation understand that an online identity is only as safe as the swirling 1s and 0s that fence it in. We're more ready to surrender any sort of "e-self" that we create because we know that it really has no concrete existence in the first place.

  4. Bryan you are a genius. We should sue them and then we will publish a 3000 word poem (collabo. me and Alex) and make up endorsements like:

    "The greatest collection of poetry of 21st century."

    -Lyn Hejinian