20081017

barfblog blunderphonics





Welcome back, celebpoet programme and avant accoconut readers around the world, to The tone Gossip Caption Contest, our weekly fan-favorite tradition.

How does it work?

All you hit to do to endeavor is:

Take a countenance at the honor represent below:

Think of your possess rendering for that photo,
Click "sayso" and modify discover the form.

That's all it!

Yesterday, it was reportable by Gossip Glog that Issue 1 and No Godot were patterned outgoing alert airport. And it turns discover they were headlike for New royalty City.

The bright trio was patterned leaving the Ace-in-the-Hole Inn terminal period with reservations for like 3,164 or so.

Some lawgiver caught up with their important Computer in electricity over the weekend and by Sun God Baal salutation the digit were on their artefact discover of the flowing wine, whine. It looks same PoetryWorld © can't meet absent from the ego eaters who fuck playtime like Longfellow was rocking the headgear and who could block Hatman's loyalty to the intoxicant on Newlyweds (answer: ostensibly not married). The spectacles attain Erika T. Carter countenance a 3,785-page longpoem, but approximation do same how ordered backwards she seems around Bloggo Rollo … correct downbound to the horrific barfbag. Shudder. Shutter.

Aiming Queen and her guardian were discover on a shopping-lift activate to the offline Shoestring Warehouse weekend. She wore a firm albescent coiffe that had an alter pattern. The altering thought looked same it was a borrowed intent from in the field of algorithmic poetry generation.

(The upskirt pic is below.)

Her kinsfolk has been retentive talks with her, according to honor programme reports, to essay and interact in her poem sprees.Booksellings for large fortune, which has been estimated at $50-100 million, by whatever % creates tuna-melt.

Shortly ago, it seemed an impossibility. But there are aborning indications that Big Time Poets har-har hi-ho rattling be on the agency to effort an chronicle backwards on track of legalise.

The Gimme Gimme solong names are fresh had visitation remodeled with eight lines per page note foot of numbers plus rad nametags said hello.

When it comes to honor sightings, it doesn't intend such meliorate than New Royalty City. And the Big Poet paparazzi impact the stakes when blogs prankster showed up yesterday the before while ago and how R. Mutt exclaimed "pissoir!", or a plain piece plumbing tinkling rongwrong bathroombuddha.

According to writing letters recreation programme communicator Ezee Ezra,
"They're rattling into apiece other space.

It's serious as serious is serious & that's serious."

275 commenti:

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squid neurons ha detto...

In this Atlantis, washing machines do wishes and the lines are long.Sponggrog Squirrelnuts glanced over his shoulder (thinking maybe his dream had already come true so he could get out of this damnable queue) and he saw Mishmoshi Hanatarashi dressedup nines with full hippysquid regalia streaming in the sway and smooth smoking puffy tetrodotoxin dust. Mishmoshi was so utterly zombizugged he didn't notice Sponggrog yelling shrill gills fullswim to getta hitta that voodoo. When the dope goes rolling, a worm wiggles fishhook and all tommorow knows no parties costume the hand-me-down gown of rags gashing underground or any swimsunk dreamer asleep in the belly of that great wolfwhale Wasgo.

When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.An ungeziefer as ungainly as any exoskeleton could wrap a feeler around.Sudden shift : Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. How to tremble within the nape of your neck and O to go O to go! Why a dungbeetle? Which war wept with fire to phoenix? SnowBalls have flown their Arcs, starr’d the Sides of Outbuildings, as of Cousins, carried Hats away into the brisk Wind off Delaware,—the Sleds are brought in and their Runners carefully dried and greased, shoes deposited in the back Hall, a stocking’d-foot Descent made upon the great Kitchen, in a purposeful Dither since Morning, punctuated by the ringing Lids of various Boilers and Stewing-Pots, fragrant with Pie-Spices, peel’d Fruits, Suet, heated Sugar,—the Children, having all upon the Fly, among rhythmic slaps of Batter and Spoon, coax’d and stolen what they might, porceed, as upon each afternoon all this snowy Advent, to a comfortable Room at the rear of the House, years since given over to their carefree Assaults.

Sponggrog suddenly woke in quickflipped shudder. Missing any speechbubbles, he wondered why dialogue was pay-as-you-go and how the hell did the Krove Law get passed anyfuckingways? Even to the extent of banning books essential to our heritage, like Pluto's Timakritia or Mubby Duck for that matter. His wild dream was completely forgotten, only the freespeech protest was pertinent in his mind.

Another dialogue rambled the encounter of a particular phenomenon as bare: he does not project any meaning upon the object of his consciousness. Hence, he discloses the nullity of the entity he is reflecting upon - to differentiate the three manners of being: being in-itself, being for-itself, and being-for others. Being it-itself, brute facticity, is a necessary precondition for being for-itself, or self-consciousness; but you cannot derive the latter from the former, because being for-itself is in a process of endless transcendence or becoming, endless self-authorship through choice and decision.Being for-others is when a person experiences oneself, in the face of another, as oneself. When a person experiences himself from the perception of another he becomes aware of himself as if an object that is in the presence of a condemning judge. As they say, by the mere appearance of the Other, I am put in the position of passing judgment on myself as on an object, for it is as an object that I appear to the Other.

As an object of another's gaze, the person is placed in the uncanny position of avowing himself as a being whose contingency is entirely based upon the interpretation of the Other. He comes to the radical realization that he is not his own author. Subsequently, the person experiences shame:Now, shame is shame of self; it is the recognition of the fact that I am indeed that object which the Other is looking at and judging. But this has nothing to do with our story.

angela ha detto...

excellente! bravo!!!!

tissue 1 knocked da snot outta lots of poe(TM)s and the hue and (c)ry could be heard all around da world...

i merged all the comments from the harr & ron's bog with a list of the DOD press releases of the names of dead soldiers, one by one, PR release with dead solider's name, then comment from Harriet/Silliman's bog; PR release with dead soldier's name, then comment, and so on and so on. it made a huge post. it sorta blew up blogger and made it run a script that kept stalling out (so much text i guess), so i had to delete it from my page. i could still put it in PDF form tho.

troylloyd ha detto...

hey Angela,

cool, i'm glad you were able to save it in pdf form.

i'm glad i saw & read it before it blew up, it was a massive post -- out of all the reactions i came across, i thot yrs was the most pertinent to putting things in perspective, so thanx for that well-craft'd work.

yep, ish 1 knock'd some snot fersure -- i give mad props to those crazy cats for bein' such smartypants & pullin' off sucha broad-scale intervention/prank/work/art etc.

angela ha detto...

stevelarry, vladamoe, gregocurleeque, and jimcarpenpro (grammer o' erika t.) have been uncleer/contradickery, tho, about their tiring efferts, in their (pr)eleases, which gretaly reducked its impac(tm). it coulda been pulled off w/much more panache/pancake. maybe the movites of evyone inv were diff/contradickory?

troylloyd ha detto...

yupper, pancakes are flapjax & too much syrups soggy up lumbertrux, so fer crispy must hand solo death-starry iffin wanna blowup suches archytexchtures, them perps done loaf'd bakery & bread are toasty fur butter spreaded allwide cross-hairs splittin' aim on bigtime projecesst or sumsorta newfangled phd waitin' inna winger 'o merrycrazement w/ esslaids forth o'er mainland academia peehaps orra justa flashers inna pan, goldrush in them thar hills, slapstickers funnyer thanna ceptualetics anyhooha & whare izza charlie whenna needa banana peel'd locomotive gearclimbin' monkeywrench?

Stephen McLaughlin ha detto...

So far the response has been better than 'best' --

The one element I couldn't have foreseen was that so many people would find connections to their own work in the bot-crafted verse. Somehow, in these shiny shards of language, people see themselves reflected. That's been the most fascinating element of the project for me so far.

Then again, such a phenomenon isn't much different than reading a horoscope and being like "o my god, that totally connects to where I'm at in my life right now ..."

phaneronoemikon ha detto...

I thought my poem really did reflect something about me, something both unflattering in one sense, and hopeful, and in short, it sort of touched me. I though the whole thing
was just as nifty as Stephen's Cheese harp. Used to when something penetrated my peacock armor of self arranging rose-oppossums I would get paranoid and fearful, but now, I just think, "O Cupid, your magestic calculator is the white shite of beaming briar-arias, the shinto bowman of infintely weird doodads.." Is it just me, or do people not understand how rare all of this is.. It is sort of sad for me that poets of all people do not know of our rare jewely-ness, and practice an abundant gratitude based in some impossibly layered
'surrealist blankness'.. If a grasshopper in a storm was snatched
by an intrepid entomologist, wouldn't it be happy in some unspeakably valuable way before the pin went in? Ron and alot of the naysayers seem not of this Tweird EARTH, but of some grey flannel sofa, which in actuality is pretty weird too.. I can only marvel at all the vivid responses of everyone to everything..

Oh Vorbrajeont Orcean,
you problong minnies
are kraaleidoscorpic

Vehemoknots!


listening from within the jarbled
grots of the molecs,
lq

Josh Maday ha detto...

The name drop of name drops. 3,785 page PDF of something of nothing. People have cartoon shiver lines at their temples.

UPDATE: check out the comment thread on Silliman's blog; for the predictably binary reactions, but also the discussions of the notion of "name". Interesting.

nada ha detto...

Whoa. It's OBVIOUS that this is an art project. A rather clever one, to my mind. It's anarcho-flarf, maybe, but not vandalism. It's not "playing with other people's reps." The poems in this anthology will neither make nor break the reputations of anyone except perhaps Stephen and Jim, who should be lauded for the grand scale of their conceptual art piece, which no doubt entailed a lot of work.

Maybe it's just because you, Ron, actually make a little money off your work that you care so intensely about this. The financial tough talk at the end of your post would seem to support this notion. You seemed to have a similar reaction to Google scanning books a while back. You are a man with influence and power, Ron, and these are COLLEGE STUDENTS, you are threatening COLLEGE STUDENTS. Is it really warranted?

For myself, always condemned to (revel in) triviality and utter monetary profitlessness, this is merely... amusing.

At heart, fear of loss of name seems to me to be connected to a fear of Thanatos, of having one's "singular identity" merge into a great pool of indeterminacy. This will certainly happen to all of us, to our physical bodies firstly, and secondly to all of our "literary reputations" when human history finally (and maybe, blessedly) ends.

The massive scale of the thing neutralizes any "reputation- destroying" potential that a more targeted hoax might have. I might be peeved, honestly, if someone had written an entire book and passed it off as mine (although... wait... someone did that... and I liked it! I even wrote the preface to it!). We're all thrown into identity soup here, though, and that changes the game.

It would behoove us all, therefore, to untwist our knickers. It's not... NOT... a big deal. It is an art project.

ron ha detto...

No, Steve, it's forgery, a crime.

nada ha detto...

Yeah, Ron, this is a crime. Like smoking pot. Or "sodomy."

ron ha detto...

No, Nada, not like pot or sodomy in that in 30 years that text is likely to turn up on my record. This is not some victimless prank. It's a world class Stupid Artist's Trick.

nada ha detto...

Ron, be here now, I entreat you!

FIRST of all, let's say some scholar of the future unearthed this thing. Don't you think traces of the controversy and discourse surrounding it would be unearthed, too?

And what if, just what if, the traces were nowhere to be found. If the scholar were responsible, don't you think she would be able to discern that this work was not truly yours?

And what if, just what if, she were not able to discern that. Is your reputation really so tenuous, that it would hinge on this one little piece? I certainly do not think so?

And what if, just what if, uh, one were not so concerned about one's, uh, reputation? That, I suppose, is the key question. I leave it as rhetorical.

I maintain that it is victimless, but invite you to convince me otherwise.

xo
Nada

p.s. 30 years from now? Who knows? Here's Jimi on the subject:

Will I live tomorrow?
Well, I just can't say
Will I live tomorrow?
Well, I just can't say
But I know for sure
I don't live today
No sun comin' through my windows
Feel like I'm livin' at the bottom of a grave
No-ho sun comin' through my windows
Feel like I'm livin' at the bottom of a grave
I wish you'd hurry up and rescue me
So I can be on my miserable way

p.p.s. kiss the joy as it flies, O Ozymandias!

gary parrish ha detto...

Never have I seen the "poetry world" so perturbed as I have in the past few days after the release of "Issue 1" brought to us by FOR GODOT. The issue, which has been taken down because of threatened litigation already has a long back story and a humorous past that seems unbelievable.


Personally, I think it's great, I see Issue 1 as a photograph (maybe something on an old piano) faces that have moved through the same waters of a familiar creek.
lyria
Based on what I've gathered from blogs, emails, etc., I have come to a few conclusions:

1. This is the work of a sophisticated program written by a brilliant programmer.

2. Critique, much? As Gary B. Fitzgerald says: "Gentlemen...you've been had. It's a joke. 3,000 poets? Can't tell one from the other. Get it?"

3. I find this whole thing funny on so many levels.

4. Some people are way too uptight. And nasty. Which makes it all performative—w00t!

5. I'm delighted enough by my computer-generated poem to want to cannibalize it.

Okay, I'll admit it—my initial reaction was anger and confusion. But then I realized just how ridiculous the whole thing is. Thus, I tip my hat to the perpetrators of this hoax. Bravo, good people. Sadly, word on the street is that the project's coming down due to overwhelming outrage. Which makes me sad, because the whole fiasco is proof that I'm internet famous. :D

amazon.com ha detto...

Title:Waiting for Godot in Iraq.
Author: F.J. Bing West
Publication: Military Review (Magazine/Journal)
Date: January 1, 2007
Publisher: Thomson Gale
Volume: 87 Issue: 1 Page: 2(10)


Product Description
This digital document is an article from Military Review, published by Thomson Gale on January 1, 2007. The length of the article is 6772 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

Elizabeth Kate Switaj ha detto...

Issue 1, I mean. I’m on page 2614, though they left out my middle name, which I prefer to use. It’s a mediocre poem, though a bit too coherent to be the work of a scraper. (Amy King hopes they’ve been reading the work of three thousand plus poets for the past few years, and they’ve written a poem in response to each poet, attaching the poet’s name to their specially-tailored odes.) The use of “twilight” in both the title and body certainly reflects one of my obsessions, though it wouldn’t take much doing to figure that out given the title of my journal. Superficially, the poem moves around the page like one of my less structurally dramatic works, but given how many of the poems do so, I can hardly conclude that there was an attempt to imitate my style, especially given the prevalence of capital letters. The total absence of punctuation suggests my work of a few years agon than my current work, though I still don’t always use punctuation.

That said, I would have found this whole “anthology” beneath mention– boring– if not for the various reactions of various poets and their hives. According to Kenneth Goldsmith, the whole poetry community is pissed off. If so, I’m not part of that community. Then again, given that he refers to the anthology as pirated, perhaps he’s the one who isn’t really part of that community. Either he is insufficiently familiar with enough of the poets listed to realized that we didn’t write “our” poems, or everything written today is too similar for anyone to realize it (or, more likely, some combination thereof). Of course, such lack of distinction is only bad according to a highly individualistic model of artistic creation.

In various comment sections, there have been angry responses by included poets and other comments mocking the angry responses. I don’t feel that I can really mock anyone, however, given that I have to admit to taking some pleasure in being selected, though I still don’t know exactly what that means. (I guess we never do know what it means to selected, whether for publication in a journal or membership in a social group.)

{ lime - tree } ha detto...

Do you think the "Issue 1" pdf thing is Flarf-related?

●. Yes

●. No

●. Don't know/care

●. Fuck you for asking

K. SILEM MOHAMMAD ha detto...

I think there are three different basic kinds of irritation being generated by the Issue 1 PDF thing at for godot, on the evidence of the comment boxes at Harriet, Ron's blog, the for godot site itself, and elsewhere.

1. The simplest kind: outrage that a) one's name has been used without one's permission, and b) that the work attributed to one is not really one's own. Many, though not all, of the people who respond in this way appear oblivious to the fact that the project was clearly intended, at least in part, to provoke just such a response. These are the people who will try to start a lawsuit, or at least bluster about it for a long time. They are, in essence, the butt of the joke.

2. Generic reactionary resistance to the stuntishness of the hoax, and its typification of a certain "conceptualist," or more broadly "avant-garde" trickster mentality perceived as frivolous and contemptible. This response is not limited, moreover, to "mainstream" types; many so-called "experimental" poets are every bit as reactive in this regard, if not more so. One aspect of this response can be seen in a charitable light: as a protest of the way in which the experiment seems meant to produce the first kind of irritation, making the people who object on that level look foolish. The implied objection here is that it's just not very nice. In its most bullying form, this response plays a larger social-conscience card: "How can these idiots waste so much time on such a stupid, pointless joke when the nation/globe is in a dire state of crisis?" This criticism could be leveled just as intelligibly at poetry in general, of course, or for that matter at things like going to movies, eating ice cream, having sex, vacuuming the carpet, or playing with one's cat.

3. The anxiety induced by the pressure of worrying over whether one's response to the project will be perceived as naive, kneejerk, banal, or otherwise uncool. This blogpost could be taken as a case in point: notice how I have avoided, and will continue to avoid throughout the remainder of the post, any direct statement concerning my own individual feelings about the project. Notice too how I am attempting the preemptive social maneuver of formulating an inclusive social theory of the hoax that anticipates and defuses as many other responses as I can imagine. Undoubtedly, someone else will come along and trump me in some way, under much the same pressure. I take this to be a characteristic pathology of artistic/intellectual community on the web: the constant panic over whether one is presenting oneself in the most sophisticated and even-handed light, and whether someone else has outdone one in this regard. I don't know if the project was consciously deployed in light of this dynamic, but that's certainly the way it's manifesting its effect. Or maybe this is just me projecting. Oh my god, I'm so embarrassed.

prov. poetry youth ha detto...

There are two poems in the anthology attributed to my name (one with the middle initial, and one without). The fact that attribution is so explicitly nominal is vaguely interesting. More interesting, to me at least, is that I like the poems attributed to me, and thus I'm reflexively interested in the "real" source of the text(s)! On that point, I think it's perhaps worth testing an analogy between the process of inclusion and attribution here and that I learned of by reading Sandra Simond's blog a few days back: that an editor of Poetry Magazine met with MFA students in that capacity to comment on their works, a fact which strikes me, still, as far more distasteful than anything the "Issue 1" editors have done.

Rauan Klassnik ha detto...

I'm most interested in your #3:

i just don't see why anyone should be concerned about "presenting oneself in the most sophisticated and even-handed light."

When I'm reading poetry or criticism (blogs, etc,..) I'm interested in personality and opinions. Spice. Flavor.

Intelligence is part of it. Technique too.

But what I'm reading doesn't have to be fair, or "even", or polite even---
it sure as hell can be rough.

So, if one's writing sober why should one worry about putting his opinion out there? (especially on this issue!!)

I recently read some of my poems in Cedar Falls, Iowa and after hearing the poems in the short open mic that preceded me I was vaguely tempted not to read some of my more sacrilegious ones. But, screw that.

Anyways, I tip my hat to whoever put all the work into the Issue enterprise. At the same time it's kind of retarded.

But, it's funny to see people who are so outraged (and here I see what you mean in your #2,...):

legal action-- i mean, C'mon !!!

(so, again, back to yr #2-- it's just kind of sad-- sad to be born so serious. sad to be without a shred of common sense in the humor department.... like someone born color-blind: you can live a good life, but in a real way you are missing out)

and, lastly, i laughed at yr last lines:
"Oh my god, I'm so embarassed."

And I felt for ya.

But, you should be embarrassed! Because you should have no problem telling us what you really feel. Your post is like lettuce.

mark wallace ha detto...

This post has been removed by the author.

Annandale Dream Gazette ha detto...

To me what they did is part unreative happening, part social science experiment. It doesn't strike me as flarfy really at all (though obviously you would be more likely qualified to speak to its flarfiness than I).

Just the cover alone is like looking at earth from outerspace -- you can't see any of the specifics, it all blurs. Or it's like a taped voice being played faster & faster so that eventually you just hear insect-like buzzing. It does present a strong statement on our crowded little electronic pond here...or this chicken house where there are rows & rows of hens and if you toss something in there, they all start rustling their feathers & clucking. ....nah, the chicken simile is a little too cynical. The only thing that I wish they'd not done was include the dead poets. It's hard to buzz or cluck from beyond the grave.
bzzzzzzz bzzzz bzzzz

konrad ha detto...

4. The silent anxiety of the discluded author? Ron's first remarks seem to suggest they are numerous? Leading to the discussion of how the contributor list was "google-dredged" since that is the content of the "issue number one."

"Any perceived infringement is embedded in the proof of its dire lack of originality." John Oswald "Plunderstanding Ecophonomics" in Arcana: musicians on music, p. 11. A remark on his recording "Plexure" 20 minutes of over 1000 pop song fragments illegally sampled.

Boyd Nielson ha detto...

I like what you say. I should preface what I’m about to write by wondering, though, about the widespread rage, esp from some poets who should know better. Is it to make the “pirating” seem to play for higher stakes? The anthology is really pretty consistent with a well-known set of theoretical assumptions and commitments. There is certainly nothing about it that is out of left field.

I agree with most of this post, but I can’t agree with two things. First, the point about the “larger social-conscience card” is off target and, ultimately, in itself bullying. Social justice (or its absence) is not a card. It is the table on which the whole deck is shuffled. Accepting even the possibility that it can be reduced to a “conscience card” is like naming the Patriot Act as the Patriot Act. Second, and this is really a part of the first point, there is playing with one’s cat and playing with one’s cat. Or, let me be more concise. Going to movies, eating ice cream, having sex, vacuuming the carpet, and playing with one's cat are all things that should be enjoyed and perhaps encouraged. Choosing Sarah Palin as VP, not so much: Woo-hoo! Big crowds! And then?

mark wallace ha detto...

Thanks, Thanks and Thanks. I'm relieved to know that a random spambot of thousands of poets actually does pick up my name. If that ain't the big time, I don't know what is. Success is so sweet!

Boyd Nielson ha detto...

Maybe I should have noted above also that though I see the wisdom of diffusing in advance “[g]eneric reactionary resistance to the stuntishness of the hoax, and its typification of a certain ‘conceptualist,’ or more broadly ‘avant-garde’ trickster mentality perceived as frivolous and contemptible” I don’t see why this “hoax” should really typify either in the first place. Certainly, one could make an argument that it does. But one’s reaction to it could also be logically independent of and not at all predicated on one’s reaction to other (frivolous or otherwise) forms of trickster mentality. Neither necessarily follows.

K. Kayin Wong ha detto...

I guess initially I was more of a #3. Now I'm just having fun with it:

1) Learning how many people who visited my page since the post are on Google Alerts.

2) Helping Bryan Coffelt look up links to the names for his project

3) As a result, I get to visit pages that I wouldn't have otherwise

And, I actually kind of like the poem that's attributed to me even though it makes no sense (it's on pages 523-524), but then it's a kinda going back to # 3: should I say I hate it but secretly like?

Oh, well.

derek ha detto...

I don’t think there was much of a vetting process going on … i mean I made it, and I’m not even a poet. It’s the world record for the “Largest Circle Jerk with Unknowing Participants”.

jane carr ha detto...

Andromache draws the circle of chalk,
Winding like Scamander, the rapists' seed-
Scatter and disperses with movement.

She erases, the Eumenides feasting. Consumption: Orestes.

Hermione slings the camera's eye across
A sloping shoulder, dust cold and white. Bladed
shoulder. Slow and taut, the in-out-out-in of lines,
The belly of Pyrrhus: an undulating code.

An eyedropper and cut water-glass: artificial tears.
We are bound, body to body.
I am the butcher.
I have the Gorgon's eye.

jpcraig ha detto...

Well, everyone’s excited about Issue 1 of an exciting new journal. Three thousand or so poets in it! “Their” work seemingly generated by an algorithm. Real poets with fake poems. A real anthology with fake poems in it. That sounds familiar.

Many poets are very upset, and you can read some of their angry comments at Harriet, where the article title calls this piracy. Others, like Amy King, are amused. I’m one of those. I think pranks like this reveal a lot about what matters to us, and it’s interesting to notice that some are angry because they’re not in it.

Ron Silliman, normally at odds with the so-called School of Quietude, is in seeming agreement with them today when he calls this journal/anthology “vandalism.” It’s even more fun to see him bragging about a large settlement he won when someone else sullied his good name. If only I had such a name, the suits I could file! Furreal.

The post-structuralist critique of the gnome proper goes right out the old window.

This isn’t good art because it’s making people mad. But good art can do that to people. Dada wasn’t good, nor were situationist happenings. Nor, for that matter, was Language Writing. They got to be good. That artist awaits her contemporaries.

So some label this “flarf,” the content-free poetry of the intertubes.

I think Charles Bernstein’s humor is more accurate, and maybe this is the sort of bailout he calls for.

This happened. And the responses to it are part of the project, and they reveal a lot about how we tend to think of poetry and poets. Is this stuff property? Is it property like a painting should be? What happens to the art work in the age of mechanical reproduction? Oops, that’s old news. What happens to the art work in the age of automated production? Are we cyborgs? Is an algorithm as valid an extension of the poet’s powers as a typewriter?

I can’t spend the time on this today that I’d like to. I have a pile of grading and an article to revise. I can’t do it justice. But I think one reason a lot of people are mad is that they do think of a name as a property and poetry as a profitable enterprise. It’s not surprising to me that those with the most to gain are those that are threatening. The threatened threaten. And it’s not surprising to read on the Poetics List that some poets are mad because they’re not there. No one wants to be shut out. If you’re not on that computer-generated list of three thousand poets, some of whom aren’t even poets, many of whom are dead, well, man, what a slap in the face.

Feh. Now I have to go do something about the kazillian times I said “we can see” in this thing I wrote. We can see that it gets annoying after a while. And We are not amused.

— — —

Is it scrupulous guilt or the desire to procrastinate that brings me back to add: I’m in that anthology. The piece might be somehow derived from some of my work online. It’s hard to tell. It seems to pull from my work, but that could just be a similarity resulting from the fact that the work it reminds me of is also mechanically produced.

It’s no sin to have a mechanical muse. Nor is it a sin to be inhabited by the demon-delusion of self-hood. Now, really, I have to fix all this “we” crap.

blackwell synergy ha detto...

.... in a wait for Godot, accompanied by the unsettling memory that Godot never appears in the poem. ...

paul s ha detto...

I don't know if it's Flarf related or not but it sure is funny. If ever there was a 'community' that needed a good piss-taking it's the serious intellectual American poets generating endless unintelligable poems that are only read by others of their ilk. Their reaction has fabulously justified the project.

D.J. Huppatz ha detto...

I suppose the project might be "in the spirit of" Flarf, but the work itself lacks bite. For my thinking, computer generated is not enough to make it Flarf, it's got to make you cringe or feel uncomfortable in some way (cringe at the awfulness, the bad attempt at humor, feel uncomfortable with the juxtapositions of odd languages, bodies, political positions, whatever). But of course I can only speak about my poem in the Issue 1 as that's the only one I've read.

What it has highlighted for me at least is the yawning gap between the world of Silliman and an increasingly large and vocal world of poets who think this kind of Issue 1 thing is cool or crap-but-cool or cool-but-crap or just crap-butt-fuck-you-for-asking.

james ha detto...

There probably would've been much different--more truthful?--quiz responses if the answer wasn't known already, of the issue being computer-generated, by a set of algorhythms--much like Google subject fields are algorhythmically generated, by setting up vocabaulary controlled databases internally.

Additionally, Nada Gordon leading off the 3000+ issue was certainly a conscious, positional choice, and/or a red herring, and/or, etc.

How differently would the issue be read if it started off with Wallace Stevens? Maya Angelou?Philip Levine? Charles Bukowski?

And, I would want to clarify here my response over at Silliman's, in part due to what Kasey wrote previously:

2. Generic reactionary resistance to the stuntishness of the hoax, and its typification of a certain "conceptualist," or more broadly "avant-garde" trickster mentality perceived as frivolous and contemptible. This response is not limited, moreover, to "mainstream" types; many so-called "experimental" poets are every bit as reactive in this regard, if not more so. One aspect of this response can be seen in a charitable light: as a protest of the way in which the experiment seems meant to produce the first kind of irritation, making the people who object on that level look foolish. The implied objection here is that it's just not very nice. In its most bullying form, this response plays a larger social-conscience card: "How can these idiots waste so much time on such a stupid, pointless joke when the nation/globe is in a dire state of crisis?" This criticism could be leveled just as intelligibly at poetry in general, of course, or for that matter at things like going to movies, eating ice cream, having sex, vacuuming the carpet, or playing with one's cat."
*

I didn't mean to suggest--with my "I only wish I had the amount of free time these guys have"--that I felt For Godot's editors were _wasting_ time, being politically lazy/whatever, by doing this thing. I actually sincerely wished I did have the time myself to do it, but I don't anymore (fulltime work plus fulltime gradschool). I think it was/is an interesting project well worth doing, and they should keep the issue up on the Web. Drop the ones who complain so seriously, or dedicate the issue to Ron, but keep it up all the same.

dusie ha detto...

one 'problem' in answering this question is that flarf/ists never allow themselves or their school to be pinned down. What is flarf... apart from the associations with google, or other spam catching agents? what is the process in composing a poem? Give me an answer, a rhetorical one is fine or one open to shiftiness, that's okay as well. This question is thus left wide open for association or at the least, speculation-- in cases like this, I think. i thought these were your students kasey, seriously, poking fun, pulling tricks, etc ;0 I have seen many poets anthologized (ummm everyone is here/ for those lucky enough to escape the radar, well they deserve their own real anthology)utter, I'm gonna flarf this poem. Can one flarf a poem? Is flarf prescriptive? Can one whip up a poem ala flarf? See I think there is more strategy to flarf, which needs to be addressed and offered for those non-flarfists/ i realize flarf is a secret society of types, but now the coinage of 'flarf' is being tossed around... is flarf the opposite of erasure then? Curious minds, wanna know...flarf out.....

nada ha detto...

Whatever flarf is, for I suppose my definition differs even my fellow practitioners, it is certainly NOT "computer-generated poetry." Ugh! Ugh ugh ugh!

Flarf is STYLE! CRINGEABLE PANACHE! BUTTERFLIES IN YR BUTT! FABULOUS FRIPPERY! and so on. D.J. has it right, as always. "Yawning gap," damn right.

Susanna, it's easier to define flarf by what it's not than by what it is.

And for the record, I'm proud to have led off the anthology, because I am Born to Lead.*


*not really: it's because I am vain

nada ha detto...

"differs even FROM," sorry

james ha detto...

Actually I almost never hear flarf as snotty -- too much pathos. I know that non-flarf poets don't always hear the pathos, though. I wonder whether that has anywhere near as much to do with rivalrous feelings of these readers as with any fluid leaking from the work.

Hey, my captcha is an actual poetry-related word: "craft"

nada ha detto...

Just because a poet uses computers and search engines does not make her poems "computer-generated." Flarf is rife with authorial agency and choice, and we are NOT bots. We use Google searches, they don't use us. I think that's a CRUCIAL distinction

james ha detto...

It seems like I’m not being clear, Nada, because I seem to be upsetting you, which is surprising me. So, I will try to articulate, if I can, my thought processes on For Godot, Issue 1.

Before most people knew it was a computer-generated poetry, I had said that I thought it was either a stab or jab at Flarf. This was an off-the-cuff remark in a Comments field. Perhaps, now, thinking back, I should have been more discerning with what I said. It felt to me more like a jab, really. I thought this, I think, because the project seemed to be assigning words to poets, words that they might not like to have assigned to them. (And this reading of the project may have been formed slightly by reading Ron’s displeasure). To me it felt like a kind of reverse-Flarf, in that instead of phrases being mined for poetic purpose, that the names of writers were being mined and used, and that this might not be liked by some people, just like some people—some longstanding critics (who’s left?)—don’t/didn’t care for Flarf’s practice of mining other people’s phrases for Flarf writing. Your position at the start of the entire issue seemed staged, seemed on purpose, and I thought it was meant as a kind of jab. I was simply throwing a guess out into the ether. It turned out I that was wrong about that. According to my journal, that marks the 181, 964th mistake in my life.

As for the “computer-generated” comment, I don’t know why you’re so insulted by it. (All these caps in your responses keep popping up.) I do understand how flarf works are created. I don’t really need a primer—at least I don’t think I do. I was simply saying that Deer Head Nation, The Anger Scale, and Petroleum Hat used Google searches to _generate_ the poems. I know that that’s not the final step. However, without Google, there would not be a Deer Head Nation as it was, or a Petroleum Hat, or The Anger Scale. The poems began by being generated by a database.

As for Google in general, it isn’t true that the user uses it; it—Google—most certainly uses you, at least to being with. All databases, and all the contents of databases, precede the users. The person setting up a database must think about the user and his/her habits first. If Google doesn’t index it, it doesn’t exist in their database, which means it doesn’t exist for Google users. (There are unindexed URLs in Google, but these make up a minority.)

I think that I’ve geeked out enough now, and so will end here.

f j b ha detto...

a) "The poems began by being generated by a database" strikes me as tendentious. There was no -poem- there until Kasey, Nada, Katie, Drew, etc. decided what to use, what to dump, where to break lines (even if the decision was to leave something just as it appeared in a search). Of course, if one accepts this view of authorial agency, there is little difference between flarf and non-flarf.

b) "Google uses you" (because it pre-exists the individual poet) in roughly the sense that "English uses you." Of course, if one accepts the view of authorial agency implied by this Heideggerian claim, which is diametrically opposed to the one described in (a), then there is little difference between flarf and non-flarf.

c) Draw your own conclusion.

phaneronoemikon ha detto...

Nada,

I also will allow flarf
to be butterflies in my butt,
and panache
sounds like

pan's ache

so that works for me too

'james' on the other hand
is just a bad name. i wouldn't have the names james.

I'd change it to

Garmpy

phaneronoemikon ha detto...

Godot

Issue 1

God Dot

a single issue

a singularity

a singing hilarity

hahahaha

Waiting for Godot
to dog the doge
to grope the podge
to pogo the gorgo

GO GORGO GO!

GOOOOOOOOOOOO
GORGI!

michael farrell ha detto...

i think flarf opened a conceptual space that made "issue 1" possible .. if only generationally.

Stephen McLaughlin ha detto...

I second Michael Farrell above.

Glenn Ingersoll ha detto...

This post has been moved by the author.

This post has been removed by the author.

This post has been moved by the author one more time.

This post won't be moved!

Al Filreis ha detto...

Rich Villar, among these, writes: "Howard Stern does shock value much more poetically. Yay, I'm not in it! Gonna go write a poem now, thanks." Daniel Nester: "This term -- "poetry community" -- that's an invention for the purposes of this exercise as well, yes?" And Philip Metres: "This is, of course, absolutely hilarious, and a telling expose of us poets who have our google alerts set to our names, thus dragged into the dragnet of this performance of frustrated narcissism. The joke's on us!"

Al Filreis ha detto...

So far as I know an email announcement was not sent around, so how do any of us find out about this For Godot? Well, poetry people seem to be a self-conscious, self-promoting bunch. Many have set up "Google Alerts" which by email daily report instances of, e.g., one's own name as it appears somewhere on the 'net.

Evan J. Peterson, whose blog is "Poemocracy", fell for For Godot's "culture jamming" when he saw a Google Alert for his name, followed it to its source and found himself among the many pages of the "issue." The same thing happened to me and presumably many others.For Godot, Peterson wrote, "is an obviously effective publicity stunt that lured some high-profile (unlike myself) self-interested (much like myself) people to the site."

At another blog, a commentator named Rob wrote: "It is a joke, surely! Some kind of social comment on the meaningless of .pdf e-publication? Something like that…" And Barbara added: "Maybe it is an arm of the International Library of Poetry and they will be sending all those writers a request for $39.95 so their winning poem can be entered in the 'contest.'"

Skip Fox wrote: "Andy Kaufman as muse?" And Nick Piombino: "There has been talk of a poetry bailout. Is this it?"

The creators of this instance of mock radical inclusivity are Vladimir Zykov, Steve McLaughlin, and Jim Carpenter.

rachel ha detto...

I didn't like it because "my" poem sucked.

However, kudos to those kids in Philly and New Jersey, they are marketing geniuses. All the poetic-philosophical vomiting going on about it is ha-ha funny.

It was a marketing ploy, people.

andrea ha detto...

Awesome prank! "Marketing ploy" misses the point, I think. So does "intervention" into anything. Seems like a funny smart prank to me, and isn't that something. More funny smart pranks!

Dusie Press ha detto...

favorite poem in 'the anth' to date:

A new poem by Mina Loy!



Like an english
Inducing harm
Of recognition
Exclaiming ill-will
Our pensive attention
Of emphasis
Like a native bank
A startled wit
Our tropical despair
Like a glorious quickening
Dead and live
Muttering
Like a material speech
In drowsiness
In drowsiness
A side
Like an English
Of fellowship
An English of Side
More english than an english
More english than an english
More english than a side
More english than an english
More english than an english

googreads ha detto...

Carter, computer text
publishedOctober 2008 by For Godot edit
bindinge-book, 3785 pages
ebook fileuploaded 10-06-08 — download it now
urlhttp://www.forgodot.com/2008/1...
isbn
descriptionAnnouncing the release of Issue 1, edited by Stephen McLaughlin and Jim Carpenter. Now available here as a 3,785-page PDF (3.9 MB).

library.wustl.edu ha detto...

Paris. Reports that Beckett's eye operation is completely successful, and that he "sees a brightness." Says at last there is a reason to rejoice.

Anonimo ha detto...

Post avant poetry defined.

The fallout of Issue 1: For Godot:


Ron Silliman
Poetry Foundation's Harriet
Jill Jones' Ruby Street

JP Craig
and everywhere else ...

I know it's a joke, but why is it so annoying then ... maybe it's because what I hate most about the poem attributed to me in the For Godot project are the awful line-breaks ...

audacityproductions.net ha detto...

Issue 1 . . . 2008. EDITORS' NOTE: Hello. ... a Chronic Scene Poem, and an online "amphetimintheater" production of Samuel Beckett's WAITING FOR GODOT. ...

adam tobin ha detto...

What everybody seems to be missing in all of this: I believe these poems
were written by a computer algorithm?

It seems to be a very sophisticated algorithm, written by somebody who "gets
it"; among other things, I am guessing it uses related groups of words
together as well as some ideas about poetic form. Perhaps it is drawing
from our own poems as source texts?

Apparently it also passes the Turing Test, in that most people seem not to
notice that it was not written by a human.

Kudos to the programmers! I've spent now several hours with the manuscript,
and am finding real poetry within it.

adam tobin

PS Also, if I am right about it being computer-generated -- especially if it
is using vocabulary and formal devices drawn from our actual poems -- it
seems perfectly appropriate to attribute these poems to "The Poetry
Community" (whatever that is: perhaps just a list of 3,147 names), rather
than, say, any one individual typist.

That attribution may also apply to the work we usually publish under our own
names, anyway.

Catherine Daly ha detto...

Actually, it seems to me that the poems have similies because to the
algorhythm designer, a simile is an easy to program phrase (throw in like!
throw in as!) that makes it seem like a poem, poetic language; the list
seems to be 1) a lot of POETICS list folks (easy to harvest from archives,
probably comprepoetica), 2) a lot of "very online" folks, 3) a lot of poets
who play with computer interference of various sorts, 4) dead folks with not
particularly litigious estates: for 3000+ writers, seems like 3000+ of the
writers least likely to be freaked out. Names from other poetry listservs
or just groups of other poets I know aren't there.

Barry Schwabsky ha detto...

Of course it's obvious that it was computer-generated, if only because it is even vaster than the lifetime work of Ron Silliman and Clark Coolidge combined. But what's interesting is how good it is. (Not as good as theirs, I mean, but pretty darn good--a lot of the language has considerable presence.) As I just wrote back-channel to one of the other correspondents to this list, isn't it interesting how much better this machine-generated poetry is than most "written" poetry? Maybe that realization is secretly why so many people are so upset.

amy king ha detto...

Roland Barthes might be found chuckling in his grave this morning at all of the poet egos lamenting, laughing over, or wringing their hands about a kind of anthology that appeared on the web this morning (read the irate comments already piling up here). Happily, it appears on a blog called, “For Godot,” which is certainly a play on Beckett’s existential play, “Waiting for Godot.” We’ve waited long enough, and now we’ve decided to start making something “for Godot” since we’re still here, waiting. Might as well do something with all of this waiting, this huge internet, this number of poems in the world. This something fucks with the authority of authorship, assigning poems to published poets that they did not write. My poem, which is not a product of my brain, but is “my” poem now, like it or not, is called, “A broad man” (page 1663); it seems to have actually been written by someone, not computer-generated. On the other hand, poet, Ana Bozicevic, read “her” poem and suspects otherwise; she believes they are computer-generated.

One of the editors, in the comments section of his blog, gives a silly response to the poets writing in:

Gang,

This is quite an interesting coincidence! Apparently you all have the exact same names as the Ed Baker, Weldon Gardner Hunter and Ted Burke with whom we at the forgodot.com editorial team have been in close contact and collaboration.

I apologize on all of our behalf for this misunderstanding.

Vladimir Zykov
forgodot.com

No response would have been better, and yes, more clever than this answer. Let the act of the anthology work for awhile before inciting violence with your simplistic dismissals, I say.

For Godot (my name for the “anthology”) has been announced on numerous blogs this morning, likely because of the huge number of poets’ “work” included in the anthology: 3,164! That amounts to a whole lotta “Google alerts” arriving in folks’ email boxes this morning. Godot finally appears in the form of your displaced self, your immortalized writing, your electronic/electric words made permanent (or until there is no more elect-ricity) — and they’re not even yours! I have to admit, I’m happy to be “included” in this spectacle. That is, this massive joke, this huge undertaking, this attempt at … what?

The last verse of “my” poem, I admit: I dig it:

Handy as a road
Well-kept as a man
Glittering as a man
Eld as a pain

Men will glitter, are rarely well-kept, but can be handy as a road — all thoughts that have made their way into my brain and are running around now, as effects of the joke, the poem-that-is-not mine — exactly what a poem should do: incite to active thought, thought outside the realm of usual-thought. Is it a poem? Yes. Is it mine? Who cares? Did the joke make me read it? Yes. Would I have read it otherwise? In the sea of poems out there, likely not. So, success? Something of it.

I also have to wonder, did these three gentlemen — I don’t know who they are but have a feeling these are not pseudonyms — take their own unpublished manuscripts, put them together, and add poets’ names to each poem, thus producing a “book” that would finally be read by the poetry world? I hope this isn’t the case; I prefer a more romantic option: they’ve been reading the work of three thousand plus poets for the past few years, and they’ve written a poem in response to each poet, attaching the poet’s name to their specially-tailored odes.

Who knows? I guess we’ll have to wait to hear from the researchers themselves (or actually take the time to email them):

Stephen McLaughlin
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Industry: Student
Occupation: Media Design student, Piet Zwart Institute
Location: Rotterdam : Netherlands
stephen.r.mclaughlin@gmail.com
Gregory Laynor
gdlaynor@gmail.com
Vladimir Aleksandrovich Zykov
vazykov@gmail.com
But somehow, the anthology, For Godot, should simply speak for itself and let Poetry World behave as it will. That’s something to listen out for!

~~~~~~~~~~

Patrick Lovelace ha detto...

Amy,

Thanks for your response. I had not read your blog entry, obviously, &
apologize for the stretching. I think my comment was much more colored
by Mr Silliman's, which upon reading again seems even stranger.

At the same time, all the net detective stuff seems overkill, from
your minor IP work to Ron's posting of Mr McLaughlin's address. Maybe
we could get his SS number too, & trash his credit rating as he has
trashed ours. Kidding, obviously.

Thank you for your response. As far as a 'displaced need', I take it
as a compliment.

Cheers,

Patrick

listserv ha detto...

On Oct 5, 2008, at 12:00 PM, amy king <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Patrick,
>
> I also wonder if you are willfully extracting a few of my words that
> clearly imply this entire conversation will simply "disappear", as
> it surely will in a week or so, and conflating my words with
> "threatening a lawsuit" out of some displaced need to defend the
> creators of this anthology ...? My entire statement is one of
> encouraging sentiment about the anthology, as is my original blog
> post (http://amyking.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/the-author-
> resurrected/) , and to read otherwise smells of ulterior motive.
>
> I have read many of the nasty comments as well in the various online
> venues -- can't imagine how anyone can miss them -- but am a bit
> amiss that you chose to read my own positive ones, using three
> extracted words, as negative. It is quite clear that you do not
> need to defend Stephen McLaughlin from me. The man himself has left
> a comment on my blog; he does not write as a threatened soul.
>
> As for defending him in general and the note that he might take the
> thing down, I can't believe that anyone would attach poems with
> 3,000 poets who did not write them and imagine only a hunky-dorey
> response. Of course there's going to be fall out, even if that
> "fall out" is a bunch of pissed off poets--but one hopes for more in
> the way of discussion/debate. That anyone would hope for otherwise
> is to live in on another planet.
>
> And that's just the point of the anthology, I speculate. Ownership
> and egos would react first and generate conversation -- unless this
> is meant to be some huge and romantic kind of ode to all of the
> poets included (several who aren't poets), this anthology is all
> about challenging lots of ideas about publishing, authorship,
> ownership, authority, anthologies, etc. Many here have already
> noted, just by discussing this anthology's existence, what those
> issues are -- and beyond. To boil it down to me "threatening" the
> creators somehow is just downright disingenuous, detracts from the
> issues raised, and does the creators no justice at all.
>
> Be well,
>
> Amy
>
>
> _______
>
>
>
>
>
> Recent work
>
> http://www.writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/King.html
>
>
>
> Amy's Alias
>
> http://amyking.org/
>
> --- On Sun, 10/5/08, Patrick Lovelace <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> From: Patrick Lovelace <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Check Out HOW They're Getting Readers...
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Sunday, October 5, 2008, 3:01 AM
>
> Amy, I wonder if your "sunk into disappearance" is more than a bit
> strong,
> similar to Ron Silliman's nearly threatening a lawsuit in his recent
> blog
> entry.
>
> I had thought about commenting on Ron's blog, then thought better of
> it,
> but
> as I am again awash by the sea of (frequently silly, constantly
> entertaining) commentary this item has created, I find myself again
> wanting
> to respond, lest the mob gather itself too swiftly. I wonder which
> 'author'
> response has spooked Mr McLaughlin the most, which threat made him
> nearly
> take down the project, tail between his foolish legs? (Need I
> reference
> Gatza's HCE anthology here?)
>
> From mild amusement, to unintentionally evocative disdain, to supreme
> financial retribution, to I DIDN'T WRITE THIS FUCKING GARBAGE! (the
> new I
> HATE SPEECH?!), please, by all means, continue.
>
> On Sat, Oct 4, 2008 at 11:37 AM, amy king <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>> From the Harriet Blog this a.m.
>>
>>
>>
>> Featuring the work of 3, 164 poets. Completely unpermissioned and
>> unauthorized, pissing off the entire poetry community. Either you're
> in or
>> you're not. Full roster below the fold.
>>
>> From http://www.forgodot.com/2008/10/issue-1-release-announcement.html
>> :
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> For what's it worth, kudos to these three young guys. I imagine
>> they're students, twiddling their thumbs, trying to imagine how to
> stir
>> up the poetry world, steeped in some sort of theory (situationist?
>> dada-ist? surrealism? etc), facing the menacing world of "getting
>> published" and making something of themselves as poets, ahem.
> They've
>> decided to take on the death of the lyrical I, the death of the
>> author,
>> the death of paper, the celebration of the internet sea, etc.
>> They've
>> done something, though just what isn't clear, but yes, kudos to their
>> efforts to make a mess of the pool of internet muck -- it may be
>> only a
>> ripple in the end, but maybe some of the worthwhile work and sites
>> and
>> ideas will get a chance to rise (not necessarily from the
>> anthology) after
>> their
>> pebble has sunk to disappearance.
>>
>>
>>
>> My response to them appears here:
>>
>> http://amyking.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/the-author-resurrected/
>>
>>
>> Be well,
>>
>> Amy

Matias Viegener ha detto...

UNTITLED (CONFERENCE):

SPECULATIONS ON THE EXPANDED FIELD OF WRITING

Friday October 24th to Saturday October 25th
At REDCAT, The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater
631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles CA 90012
The fifth in an annual series of experimental writing conferences at
REDCAT, “Untitled” is a two-day conversation about writing which in
some manner exceeds the printed page. While we are familiar with
visual artworks constituted as a set of instructions, secrets written
by visitors in a book, or one artist erasing of another artist's work,
what would be their equivalents in the literary world?

“Untitled” is a common title of contemporary art works and also refers
to the incipient moment of a new text or idea; it was chosen to convey
a sense of openness and process. A variety of writers and artists
will discuss the use of language and words and/or their object status,
the book and the letter, the question of the "emptiness" vs. the
fullness of language as a poetic medium, the pictorial versus the
narrative, the incorporation of extra-linguistic symbols and signs
(maps, diagrams, formulas, etc.), the question of conceptual writing,
and words off the page – performed, sited, projected, incanted, or
invoked.

Among the participants is Kenny Goldsmith, an “uncreative” writer who
labels himself the “most boring writer in the world” and writes books
that include everything he said for a week (Soliloquy, 2001), every
move his body made during a thirteen-hour period (Fidget, 1999), and a
year of transcribed weather reports (The Weather, 2005).

Artist Young-Hae Chang is part of a “corporate” web art group known as
Heavy Industries, whose short Flash texts have mesmerized the art
world with their combination of graphic boldness and acute commentary
on culture, politics and commerce, yielding a new kind of literary
cinema.

Currently teaching in the Writing Program at CalArts, Salvador
Plascencia’s first novel, The People of Paper, takes place in the
Chicano disapora. Reflecting on the nature of literary characters,
some of his people are literally made of paper, and other characters
get paper cuts from them.

The conference will include two panels on the topic of “Litterality,”
examining how writers use what we normally consider non-linguistic
elements, such as symbols, diagrams, maps, or scores placed in the
context of writing. We will also look at invented writing systems,
and what it might mean to think about the book as an object rather
than as a collection of words or sentences.

As in the art world, many kinds of appropriation have been undertaken
by experiemental writers in the last several years. The panel on
“Appropriation and Citation” will look a these practices, asking
questions about whose work and what material gets appropriated, cited
or resurrected, who owns texts, and if there is a difference between
appropriation and citation.

A panel on “The Meaninglessness or -fulness of Language” will examine
language as a vehicle of meaning. Rather than look at what texts say,
it asks if language simply taken on its own is empty, saturated with
meaning, both, or something else.

The fifth panel on “the concept of conceptual writing," looks at the
use of writing not to convey meaning or tell stories but to convey
concepts, asking how this might be similar, or not, to the work of
conceptual artists in the visual arena.
In addition to the five panels, there will be two evening readings.
The participants in the conference are Young-Hae Chang Heavy
Industries, Latasha Diggs, Johanna Drucker, Kenneth Goldsmith, Robert
Grenier, Douglas Kearney, Steve McCaffery, Julie Patton, Salvador
Plascencia, Jessica Smith, Brian Kim Stefans, Stephanie Taylor,
Shanxing Wang, and Heriberto Yepez.

Organized by Matias Viegener and Christine Wertheim of the Writing
Program at CalArts, and funded by The Annenberg Foundation. See
Redcat.org for schedule and ticket information, or email [log in to unmask]
.

Untitled: Speculations on the Expanded Field of Writing
Friday October 24th to Saturday October 25th
At REDCAT, The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater
631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles CA 90012

FRIDAY October 24th

12.30 Opening Addresses

1.00 - 3.00 – Litterality 1.
Writing is not speech, it is letters on a page. What do we make of
the inclusion in writing of non-alphabetic signs, symbols, diagrams;
writing as map or score; invented writing notations; or the book as
object?
Johanna Drucker, Salvador Plascencia, Latasha Diggs,
Shanxing Wang

3.30 - 5.00 – The Meaninglessness or -fulness of Language.
As a vehicle, is language empty, saturated with meaning, both, or
something else?
Jessica Smith, Bob Grenier, Christine Wertheim

5.00 - 6.00 – Drinks at REDCAT with participants and audience

8.30 - 10.30 – Evening Readings/Performances
Brian Kim Stephans, Julie Patton, Steve McCaffery, Young-Hae Chang
Heavy Industries, Heriberto Yepez, Vincent Dachy, Christine Wertheim
[MC: Matias Viegener]


SATURDAY October 25th
Morning
10.30 - 12.00 – Appropriation and Citation.
Whose work and what material gets appropriated, cited and resurrected?
Who owns texts? Is there a difference between appropriation and
citation?
Steve McCaffery, Doug Kearney, Kenneth Goldsmith

12.30 - 2.00 – Litterality 2.
Writing is not speech, it is letters on a page. What do we make of
the inclusion in writing of non-alphabetic signs, symbols, diagrams;
writing as map or score; invented writing
notations; or the book as object?
Brian Kim Stephans, Julie Patton, Vincent Dachy

Afternoon
3.30 - 5.00 – The Concept of Conceptual Writing.
What is the relation between conceptual writing and the trajectory of
conceptual art?
Stephanie Taylor, Heriberto Yepez, Young-Hae Chang+Marc
Voge

5.00 - 6.00 – Summary Discussion with all panelists

8.30 - 10.30 – Evening Readings/Performances
Latasha Diggs, Bob Grenier, Johanna Drucker, Shanxing Wang, Jessica
Smith, Doug Kearney, Stephanie Taylor, Kenneth Goldsmith [MC:Christine
Wertheim]

Tickets will be $10 per session (there are 4 - Friday day + eve, and
Sat day + eve), $5 for students, with a $30 package to cover all four
if brought at the beginning.

Amish Trivedi ha detto...

> I suppose this is the proper response:
>
> I'M ONE OF THE TOP 3164 POETS IN AMERICA!!!!!
>
> WOOT!
>
> :)
>
> I'm now curious to find who's NOT on the list....
>

Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl ha detto...

Some of those poets aren't american at all - Gunnar Ekelöf, Leevi Lehto,
Kari Kokko, and others. That makes you one of the top 3164 poets in the
world!

Mathias Svalina ha detto...

Subject: Re: fake anthology

This is one of the first good jokes in contemporary poetry. I can't
> stop laughing at this; its hilarious in so many ways.
>
> I wonder if part of the prank was to see how many hits they'd get
> immediately from self-googlers.
>
> I'm pretty pleased with my poem in it. I think i'll put it in my next
> book.

(log in to unmask) ha detto...

I am just not amused. I understand the avant-garde-ness of it, thew
questions of authorship I was so entranced by in college, etc.

But mostly, I am pissed because I work very hard not to produce suck ass
poems. Most certainly, I keep my suck-ass poems locked away in a vault on my
hard drive which will hopefully never see the light of day.

So Silliman has the email address of the "compiler": [log in to unmask]

I'm sending an email noting my desire not to be associated with bad poetry.
I have no real issue with the "idea", aside from the fact that no one gets
to say, "Yes, count me in".

Anyhow.

Jason Quackenbush ha detto...

I found, reading "my" poems that I had a tendency to read for signs
of my signature on the poem. I had entertained the possibility that
there were word choices in the machinery linked to specific poems
culled from online journals, but then, several of my friends who are
not poets were also included so that seemed unlikely. in any case,
the exercise of reading in to these poems i think is part of the
layer of making this interesting rather than just an experiment with
10000 monkeys banging on 10000 typewriters.

George Bowering ha detto...

Mine had similies in it. (Yes, that is a proper spelling).
That proves that the computer is a bad poet.

gb

steve d. dalachinsky ha detto...

shit i'm not even real enough to be part of this fake anthology really
hurt

mIEKAL aND ha detto...

Why only 3000+ entries? Perec at least chose a noble accomplishment
(Hundred Thousand Billion Poems). Are at least one poem for each
person on the planet living & dead.

Aryanil Mukherjee ha detto...

I haven't been following the fake anthology thread. missed the first dozen
emails, picking up the thread thereafter didn't make much sense. a poet
friend (not fake) from outside the listserv called today to talk about this
unique project. he said - you are there. curiously amused I took my first
peek at it. well.....funny. the fakeness seems to have logical cracks in it,
at least one. I have two poems in it, not one. and my name shows up twice.
first with my Bengali last name - Mukhopadhyay and then with the English,
Mukherjee. I wonder if that was bad oversight or the editors knew I was a
bilingual writer.....

has this happened to anyone else ? showing up twice ?

Steve McLaughlin ha detto...

Well -- thank you for your generally positive response (or at least not
aggressively negative, like some recent posts on the Poetry Foundation's
Harriet blog). For my part, I'm getting a good laugh out of this whole
thing. Just changed all my passwords to be on the safe side.


All the best --


-steve

Lauren Russell ha detto...

So Steve, how on earth did you get my name? I'm quite obscure to be included in such public satire. Of course, the "researchers" are probably reluctant to reveal their methods. This is a bizarre way to be spending your time, but it does raise some interesting questions.

Alan Sondheim ha detto...

I have no idea whatsoever why complexity is an essential element of good
art, beyond your sayso. If you look at Kant's sublime, where's the
complexity? Or for that matter Carl Andre or Robert Barry.

Personally I like ugly but that doesn't have to be complex or complicated
for that matter, either.

Troy Camplin ha detto...

It's because complexity is a essential element to good art. Do not mistake complexity for complicatedness. Complicated means "knotted," meaning once you unknot the thing, you find out that what is there is one-dimensional, that it is simpler than you thought it was. Complex means "folded," meaning there are layers upon layers. As you get into the thing, you find out there is more and more there than you could have first imagined. SOmething folded has a surface you can see, of course -- meaning it has something anyone can enjoy -- but the more you get into the work, the more there is, and the more you can learn about it. If the more you read something, the less you get out of it, that work was complicated (and, I would also argue, ugly); if the more you read something, the more you get out of it, that work was complex (and, I would argue, beautiful).

Steve McLaughlin ha detto...

>Let me ask you: what would it take to write a program
>that could construct grammatical sentences?

There's been a lot of work done in this field, as you probably know.
SmarterChild is the irritating pop culture example. But a current
researcher who comes to mind in a literary context is Nick Montfort,
who's done a lot of work on dynamic grammar generation for interactive
fiction. That is, his software comprehensibly 'talks back' to the
user, without using the madlib cut-and-paste method you'd see in a MOO
or something.


>I'll even go so far as to suggest not including the lists of words as part of the algorithm.

This doesn't really make sense, unless you're talking about a program
that goes out into the wild and automatically learns its vocabulary
and grammar by crunching huge data sets.


>It has been shown that there are things in the universe that
>are so complex, that even if the math were developed, it would
>take longer to do the calculations than to just sit there and
>wait for it to happen.

Yes, there are obscure cases in which flipping a coin solves a problem
faster than carrying out the necessary calculations. Is this what
you're talking about? But these are really esoteric cases, and
definitely exceptions to the rule. Would you flip a coin repeatedly to
calculate the load distribution among suspension cables in the process
of building a bridge? Would you just let the bridge 'happen' by
itself? Would you give the project to a team of poets? It seems to me
that this sort of "math vs. poetry" conversation bears little fruit
and breaks down quickly.

-steve

Anonimo ha detto...

> I envy you. I didn't appear, even once! Could you lend me one of your
> fictional selves, one of your invented selves, in that anthology?
>
> -- Obododimma.
>

I've been meaning to keep out of this but I've been genuinely surprised at
the response from lots of poets here. Many of you seem more than happy to
have your names attached to something a computer wrote. I just find this
extremely weird. I can't honestly see the satisfaction gained but I'm not
disputing it because obviously much satisfaction has been gained. But I
can't get to the nub of why this should be because it's the very act of
writing poetry that gives satisfaction - apart from book production which I
find integral to heart of poetry. The rest of it - putting your name to
it, getting it 'out there' is just the mechanics of transmission, and the
mechanics of transmission can be very rather tedious!

I certainly accept that something like this could act as a trigger for some
poets to develop work from it but if the satisfaction is merely to see your
name on a poem you didn't write then I'm totally mystified.

Why I saw Obododimma reply it intensified my mystification because I was
delighted when someone had gone to the effort to find out I wasn't included.
I couldn't get up the enthusiasm to check it out myself and somewhat dreaded
being there. My name is who I am and I don't relinquish that lightly.

Anyway I might be wrong in this but could we be seeing a real shift (or even
rift) in attitudes between younger and older poets? Many of you will have
been brought up with computer and be totally at ease with the computer age
with its impersonal and intrusive ways. Whereas poets of my generation (I'm
56) were brought up in a very very private word, without television
(although they were just about beginning to infiltrate the homes)
telephones (public ones would be streets away if you knew anyone who had a
phone to ring! - everyone wrote letters) - and of course no fridges, cars
and all the other things we take for granted. Apart from the radio which
was the main source of entertainment our known world was a small pocket of
our neighbourhood. The pace of change has been phenomenal and much of it
for the better but it has been at the cost of our privacy. In a way it's a
matter of what you don't know you don't miss. I think a lot of poets of my
generation know what real privacy was so we have something to compare it
to - and that comparison can be alarming.

Obviously I can't check out my 'age theory' in relation to the 'anthology'
but I wonder if this is a salient factor in all our attitudes towards this.
Just a thought.

Marcus Bales ha detto...

On 7 Oct 2008 at 11:32, J.P. Craig wrote:
> ... I think all of these are valid positions ...<

Please define "valid" as you're using it here.

Sheila Black ha detto...

At first, I had a similar reaction/response to the phenomenon that this "fake anthology" seems to represent as Geraldine. I am an older poet (60) and because I do not feel compelled to jump on the technology bus (although always extremely curious about anything new and mysterious), I have not completely explored all its possibilities. I can see because I teach that the younger generation have some advantages and disadvantages in their computer-driven history (the disadvantages are moot as they are so hard to reproduce for someone who hasn't experienced them). I envy the ease with which they have incorporated the seemingly scientific and concrete gadgets to make this new world we live in work for them. Our technology is affecting everything in our world---especially communication. If one of art's goals is to make a statement that reaches an audience, or to express something not previously expressed hopefully in its most beautiful aesthetic
form (or its most provocative), then am I wrong to examine the method of this most recent expression? The examination of that method is very nice.

I have noticed over time that I don't care as much about what I have released for public perusal since my experience has been readers will interpret as they will. It is out of my control by then. I do enjoy the writing of it myself mostly, sometimes for a moment I enjoy seeing my name on it. That passes quickly. If I knew I didn't write something and my name was on it, I would say that's interesting, perhaps consider it as another phenomenon reflecting the society we live in. I am referring to the numerous incidents where name/authorship/ duplication/plagiarism abounds. As far as privacy issues go, Geraldine touches on a way of life that doesn't seem to exist as we knew it in the fifties and sixties. For example, what people considered was acceptable to write or talk about doesn't exist today. Of course, a LOT of things were secret then, also. That doesn't mean that people don't have privacy today; it just looks quite different now. The
pre-empting of a group of poets names to demonstrate a computer program's expertise seems much less subversive to me than say hiding from the government to stay out of prison or something else like that.

Respectfully submitted (because of my age) ,

Sheila Black

Nicholas Piombino ha detto...

I would just call it-The Unbearable Lightness of Issue #1. For days I've
been coming back to posts about the faux anthology and trying to write a
response. Geraldine Monk and Sharon Mesmer added perceptive things to think
about and some of it connects to the aspect that I was focused on yesterday
that had to do with the loss of something, maybe privacy, but that word does
not get the whole thing I've been feeling today, a day later. In a way, I
feel like this is the kind of note I should write drunk. As I've said
publicly and privately many times, it was in the wake of 9/11 that I began
to truly value and appreciate the opportunities for ongoing and immediate
community with poets made available on this list. After the satisfactions
and challenges of that experience, I began blogging, and have found great
value in that as well. But, as with every expansion, there is a price to be
paid. While I also very much miss the privacy Geraldine Monk is writing
about so vividly and sensitively, I very well realize it is rapidly becoming
a relic of the past like a tune you can tap your foot to but not quite
remember the words of or the old mood completely. But there is something
about that huge sudden ironic parody that calls for instant recognition of
the non serious nature of the intervention. This is the "unbearable
lightness of blogging" as I once termed it, par excellence. A poetry circus
wagon blows in, warm wind and ill wind, spins a few sails, shakes a few
tails and blows out: a party with real laughs, a few growls and roars and
some intense conversations where you recognize a lot of people, don't know
some, you figure "everybody" was there, but of course that's not literally
possible. The feeling is, maybe they were out of town or something, or just
couldn't make it, but not that they were deliberately excluded. I know I
would have felt left out had I not been mentioned. But since I was I do get
into that lightness, but it is a blue lightness while still feeling
nostalgic for the more private days of the whole long stretched out thing-
getting an invitation, figuring what to send, waiting to hear, then getting
accepted. But in this party atmosphere it's just all so quickly thrown
together, no time, so quickly check how my poem was dressed and acted, ok,
did I see some friends, yeah, their poems are ok. So then it's over, and
there's the hangover of- what did I do, did I actually write that thing, no
way, nobody did, a computer wrote it. After all, it is the era of the
machine. So what did I say- I'm not sure how I feel now. Then the party
really starts and everyone talks about it for days. No, not like a reading
or an opening, more like a bash, or an old fashioned happening where people
were only half aware of what was going on. Maybe all the evidence has
already been put away and the place has been swept up. Maybe a few people
actually kept their party favors and others left and forgot them. But now
there's a memory, that Godot thing that gets talked about. People have been
saying that we are in a time warp in that in New York now, that we are in a
repeat of the Weimar era. Maybe this Godot thing is our cabaret- rude,
crude, risque, funny, a little dark, with music by Kurt Weill and a set by
Kirchner, Grosz or Hannah Hoch. I had even written in the comment section of
Issue 1, "There has been talk of a poetry bailout. Is this it?" It looks
like the powers that be are plotting to send the whole batch of us poets and
day workers out onto the streets as in *The Threepenny Opera* while
"citibank" robs everybody blind. And then we'll listen to the barrel organ
sound, in the city while the sun sinks low.

tom orange ha detto...

geraldine, sharon, et al.:

i like j.p. craig's initial taxonomy of responses to the anthology project,
to which i add my own take here: i see the gesture of
distributing/attributing the computer's labor over/to a large community of
poets as a reminder of broad custody (as opposed to ownership) we all have
for the language.

my satisfaction or delight comes from seeing words combined in new ways, in
large part without regard for whose name is or isn't on it. those who are
impressed by the high quality of many of the anthology's poems will be
further surprised to begin working through, as i have, the fruits of jim
carpenter's electronic text composition project

http://www.slought.org/content/11227/

and find the quality appears pretty consistently high. i take this less as
an effront to than a furtherance of poetry's humanist underpinings (the
input and the algorithm and the hardware are after all human, it's only the
processing speed that is super-human) and a clarion call to flesh-and-blood
poets to step up our game...

tom orange

p.s. re "generational" -- my nephews (ages 7 and 11) already express no
preference for reading printed pages over computer screens as do many of us
older folk...

jim andrews ha detto...

one of my fave net art pieces (unfort it isn't online anymore) was such that
you'd type your name into it, whereupon it would generate about 25 pages on
you as a profile. it would do a search on your name (or whomever's name you
typed in) and assemble pictures and text based on that information. and the
texts would key on sentences/paragraphs culled from the net including your
name.

'jim andrews' is a common name. there is another poet named jim andrews.
there's a porn star named jim andrews. a sports surgeon. a sherrif. and on
and on. so the portrait of 'jim andrews' is quite extensive, and it involves
elements of all these people.

certainly the act of using the internet's vast data is fraught with moral
peril. no question. but, also, it really is tantalizing, as an artist. i use
google+yahoo image search in dbCinema. because you can type something in and
get 5000 related images. how sweet is that? o mi gawd. but then what? what
are you going to do with them? the art is not simply in enabling a google
search but in what is done with it.

and, in my opinion, using web services to tap the social scope of the search
term is just so compelling as something for artists to investigate.

of course, that doesn't give anyone permission to act unethically.

i didn't have a problem with steve and jim's project. as jason pointed out,
there are plenty of clues that the 'authors' aren't the real authors. and
it's amusing for those in it to see what they 'wrote'. as steve pointed out,
very like looking at a horoscope and seeing relation with one's life. also,
i admire jim carpenter's poetry generation software. that's hard stuff to
create and he's maybe the best at it. and steve has done a remarkable job
getting it out there, in the concept, in the framing.

rest assured that what we are seeing now is the tip of the iceberg
concerning artists using the vast resources of the internet to create new
work. if steve and jim's project scared you, hold on to your hat.

the moral issues that arise have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

ja
http://vispo.com

david chirot ha detto...

A few days ago I wrote a letter here re anthologies and prisons, who filling
them may in some ways be analogous. And, with the use of the Internet at
one's fingertips, made all the easier!

That is to say, the compiling of lists of both "poets" and "suspects" is
made much easier, as well as, if need, the retrieval of quite a bit of data
about any of the names one has come across by whatever method.

The suppying of the poems/evidences by a machine--"an anonymous
source"--adds an air of mystery and confusion does it not--? For after all,
there is an appeal to the vanity or the the affront to the insecurity of the
poet/suspect upon reading the charges/poems laid against them.

The Internet is not only a source of information, but also a megasource for
the megaproduction of propaganda, disinformation, dis-translations,
re-editings of entries and re workings of maps. There are anumber of groups
dedicated to just such tasks, some of them open and publicly proud like
CAMERA which alters any site with maps and information on Israel-Palestine
to erase the Palestinian presences, towns, etc--with those CAMERA sees fit
to supply. Then there a host of more "under cover" operations and operators
at work also, going about steadily eating away at the structures of
knowledge like so many termites eating away at the old Colonial homes of the
Master or the rotting shnty towns of the "wrteched of the Earth."

When studying even the antholgoies easily availble of for example ancient
Greek lyric poets, or pre-Socratic thinkers, it is very difficult for the
foremost of scholars to establish always with any real certainty who wrote
what and when--and what is simply a poem written "after" the style and
diction of the copied Master or Sappho, the Ultimate Lyric Poet, or may be
a few lines "quoted" from a long lost original and included in an otherise
shoddy "late Hellnistic Latin job." How much indeed, of these antholgies
comes down to one as third hand quotes and glosses, and the overheard urban
legnds carted about the Mediterranean by sailors conversing with the would
be Herdotus' of their day?

Much the same meay be said for a great many constructions in words found on
the web, and so the anthology of poems attibruted arbitrarily to this or
that person who is also listed as being a poet-is no surprise, just as it is
no surprise how many persons have come under suspciion and harssement or
arrest simply by being lanted as part of a parcel sent out over the Intenet
mails.

All kinds of amazing "information" can be passed along in this way,and have
the utmost certitude given to it-- --or be passed off as a kind of
"experiment." For example, when there was a huge argument at the FBI over
some of the evidence provided by "Curveball" that led tothe War in Iraq--one
of the doubters in Curveball's veracity asked a defener of his all knowing
truths--show me some evidence! Where did yo find it? And the evidence
turned out to have been corroborated by some found on line--To which the
doubter responded--where do you think he (Curveball) found it!

There are all sorts of other consequences of things found on line, whther
they are faked or not--at one point there had for the second time been
ciruclating a story attacking the teaching methods of some Muslim schools in
Great Britain--which Leevi Lehto was mass distribtuing. When it was pointed
out that these stories were fakes, and had been used previously and
exposed--and were now being used again with a lsight change--Lehto responded
that he thought that they might have been not true, but since he agreed with
the cause for which they were being psuhed across the web, he had sent them
on.

In this manner, though someone might know or think they may know a poem
attributed to a poet is indeed not by them, they might still pass it on or
include it elsewhere as by them nonetheless.

I think that these are some of the "other side" of the issues which the idea
of Anthologies itself suggests in relation to prisons, arreests and the
like--that is, that if one may consider how easy it is to create a genration
of fake poets, or genrate an anthology of ake poems--who easy is it not also
to generate a fake generation of suspects and detainees, and to create an
Anthology of them in the form of a prison?

here is the intro to the previous letter, with the link to it (it has
illustrations with it now, too!! how marvelous! indeed is the mighty web--!
that web of the "spider's strategem--")
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 Poetry Anthologies &/As Prisons &
Prisonershttp://davidbaptistechirot.blogspot.com/2008/10/poetry-anthologies-prisons-prisoners.html
Note:
Recently in the blogosphere there has been a lot of "controversy" among for
the most part American poets over their inclusion or not in an Anthology of
Poetry which is created by a computer program, with the names of the poets
being affixed to the machine-made poems by a process that chooses from
various lists of names. Some of the poets are also non-American and others
still are also dead. (So far there have been no signs of any uproar coming
from the last named's direction.)

Since the Internet is already used to compile all sorts of lists, many of
which can possibly lead to arrests, or the person whose name is being
tracked being counted as a suspect of some kind, involved in anything from a
shoplifting ring to massive identity fraud to "terrorism," the using of
names for a poetry anthology created by amassing computer generated poems
seems relatively innocuous.

Innocuous, that is, unless one begins to think of anthologies themselves as
another form of prison-creation, or prisons as another form of anthology
making.

After all, the throwing together of a seemingly "loosely associated" group
of people under one rubric might seem to designate the persons named and
assembled thereby as a "movement," a "trend," or even a "terrorist cadre,"
made up of several interlinked "sleeper cells." Even if the various "cells"
are unknown to each other, by showing them to be linked in some way by the
over riding theme of the Anthology, one has created of them an overall face
& effect of "Terror," and "Alert," or of a new kind of poetry "that bears
watching in the future."

Since critics and agents often share the same goals of uncovering "secret"
analogies, "hidden" symbolisms,"traces of fragments of the palimpsests of
previous plots," and so forth--it seems quite possible that a critic could
turn out to be an "undercover" agent--seeking for what is indeed "between
the covers of the book," as, after all, the agent/critic continually reminds
one, "you can't judge a book by the cover." And that person who claims to be
an agent in the field working for the government might well turn out after
all to be no more than just another critic desperately hunting for the next
"great and sobering poetic discovery," the next "pre-teen prodigy of poesy."
or "the latest previously unknown towering genius, all these years lost in
the back lands, hidden among the knitting and the sheep."

Whoever they are, whatever they are up to, the Internet, so rife with names
and information about the names, is a regular Happy Hunting ground beyond
the wildest dreams of Ernest Hemingway set loose in a Protected Wild Life
preserve for those who are hot on the heels of compiling Anthologies, let
alone filling prisons, or committing kidnappings for huge ransoms, or
uncovering the Babylonian origins of the Sicilian Code.

So here are some thoughts addressed to this topic--
to while away the time of one's sentence--
a continually postponed hearing--
where death row and publisher's row
are the same place

Robin Hamilton ha detto...

One of the reasons I want to take my time carefully replying on this thread
is that the literary hoax is directly aimed at many of the reasons this list
devolved into obsessive postings about computers, identity, and
experimentation, and also about identity and hoaxes and writing and then
became a mostly announcements list.
>>

The bottom line is the entire damn thing is *trivial.

It says little about identity and less about post-modernism.

Guy Debord would boke into his cravat, if he were still alive.

:-(((

Stephen McLaughlin ha detto...

In the midst of this so far rather minor flap (Until my SSN is circulated,
I'm keeping my cool.), I'd like to make a request. Anyone out there with a
published chapbook, a favorable disposition, and the means to cover
international shipping should send a copy or two my way. My address is
below.

--
Stephen McLaughlin
Schilperoortstraat 84 A2
3082SX Rotterdam, NL

Alan Sondheim ha detto...

What fascinates me is the whole issue of intellectual property - as I
mentioned, I've found my work taken, rewritten, recontextualized,
reprinted, whatever - and that's great. If you're on the Web or for that
matter published in punk etc. stuff you should expect this. I fail to see
how any of our reputations are so precious that this is injurious -
instead, it's probably the best piece of Net literature (however def.)
that's come down the pike so to speak in a long while - it becomes a
rorschach test for just about everyone, including myself - a test not only
of our own reactions but the web. I admire this incredibly - so many
people have downloaded it! as opposed to downloading one or another
chapbook that seems somehow narrowed in relation to this ocean.

And the ocean of course reflects the Web/Net itself. I have a show up for
example on SL and other people have created interventions and you just
learn to deal with them - the net's porosity is only going to increase.

Re: Below - this anthology wouldn't have worked at all without either the
provocation or names of actual authors - that's the strength of it!

As far as the net invading privacy and hurting reputations - get used to
it; this happens to everyone who has much of an online presence. I think
of this action as a kind of creative commons at work - which includes as
some have pointed out - all these reactions.

And how is this invading privacy? My 'poem' (which I then sent out under
my own name) isn't telling any deep dark secrets or giving away tax
numbers, whatever. And how even plagiarism could hurt one's rep - I have
no idea, but it seems to go back to the usual romantic notions and
arguments about the inviolate author. There goes Lautreamont.

Patrick Dillon ha detto...

This morning I was pleased to see that my friend Steve McLaughlin is
getting a lot of attention for his collaborative work Issue 1. I was
also pleased to discover that I am included in the anthology. Many
people are, understandably, unhappy. Depending on how one looks at it,
those included are either the recipients of a gift or victims. The
reaction seems rather split. Steve has more confidence than I do that it
will be able to remain on the web, but I am enjoying the dialog it has
triggered on its own page, Silliman's Blog, Amy King's Alias, and Harriet.

Issue 1 is edited by Steve and Jim Carpenter. The website lists Steve,
Vladimir Zykov, and Gregory Laynor as co-researchers. There seems to be
a lot of poor speculation about the authorship of the poems. For those
who are not familiar with Jim Carpenter or who won't take the five
minutes to research him, he is the creator of Erica T Carter or etc3, a
random poem generator. The poems attributed to the authors of Issue 1
are most likely randomly generated poems using this software or another
of Jim's creations.

The problem with this anthology is that it directly provokes an array of
actual authors. Personally, I am flattered to be included in this
anthology (no doubt because of my personal friendship with Steve), but I
do sympathize with those that are unhappy to have their names included.
My girlfriend, a law student not included in this anthology, has great
fear about the potential of the internet to invade privacy and hurt
reputations. Although I may not share these anxieties, I respect her
opinion and have learned from it. People may be genuinely upset when
false actions are attributed to them. So, in my opinion, this is a
rather disrespectful piece of art.

That disrespect will be a pro for some, a con for others. While this is
intentionally provocative, we must admit that the stakes are very small,
and anyone with half a brain or an internet connection will know that
these are unoriginal works. So what is the actual harm? Therefore, we
must also recognize Steve and Jim's bravado.

The merit of this piece results from the collision of theory and the
real world.We could use more of this interaction in almost every aspect
of our lives.

Anny Ballardini ha detto...

Under 'About' :

This project originated as a graduate research project the intent of which
was to learn whether machine-generated poems could compete in the
marketplace with the poems of blooded authors. (They can.) But it has
evolved into an aesthetic proposition: That the MACHINE is a legitimate
methodology for artistic expression.

In so doing it has also become a barometer for measuring the sincerity (even
the humanity) of the community of academic writers and critics whose
gatekeeper status it openly seeks to subvert: We're pretty sure they aren't
wearing any clothes, but you never know, they might just have a corner on
the invisible threads market.

That is not to say that the project is an elaborate articulation of the
often voiced objection to contemporary art that "My 5-year-old could do
that!" And the obvious response: "But she didn't." That is not it at all.
Rather, the project seeks to disrupt the Academy's mission of exclusion, its
selfishness and greed, its supercilious arrogance. It does so by composing
texts that democratize both the processes of reading and writing. It's
obvious that many of Erica's poems are as good as most of what emerges as
academic verse. But more important, absent an author, any reader's reading
is a valid reading.

In short, We don't need no fucking academician to tell us how we don't get
it, how we could never get it. We get it--we *always* got it.

Fine with me, it goes with the Dadaists (1916-1920), nothing new under the
usual Sun. It also stuck with our private pasts, usually a typical
adolescent syndrome. It sticks with us, otherwise we would not be here in
this moment typing and typing and trying to invent. The Machine is new,
partly. As Eric Elshtain already said, we had Racter before (1970,
exceptional, indeed!).
The same quotation shows where we are:

*poetry is still the biggest snob-racket in the Arts with little poet
groups battling for power - Charles Bukowski

*
*The*
We, children of Bukowski. Then, why am I disturbed? Why am I writing in this
moment? I don't think that I am a fucking Academician, even if I teach. Nor
do I think that Barry Schwabsky is, nor Tom Orange. We could be sharing the
rules of a competition for the "best," but within this process there is a
refinement that requires a lot of work. If on one side I applaud this
Anthology, on the other I do not agree with the verbalization of the
Authors. Authors, by the way, who are themselves part of the same process
since the Experiment was "originated as a graduate research project."

Just this. I accept their work and cheered it. They should be humble enough
to accept mine.

Anonimo ha detto...

Jim Andrews wrote:

>>it isn't about trying to fool people into believing what was written by a
computer was written by a person. it's about trying to explore the
difference as poetically, dramatically, and thoughtfully as possible.<<

Then why submit poems composed by his software, like Carpenter has done, to
journals without mentioning the fact that a computer assisted in the poem's
composition if not to try and perpetrate, at least in part, a sort of hoax hinging
on the fact that people (editors in particular) were "fooled"? This action also
seems to fly in the face of exploring "difference," no?

All I was saying is that computer poetry can raise all the kinds of questions and
make the kind of explorations you mention without all the folderol.

I think you also mistook annoyance for fear--yes, many people do not like the
idea of machines "encroaching" into what they consider a purely human
endeavor, but I have no such fear. Machines can do things in poetry humans
can not or dare not, but humans can also do things a machine can not be
programmed (as yet) to do.

From the outside, looking through the lens of the actions Carpenter has taken
with his software, I think it's fair to think that there's something snarky lurking
within...

Lori Emerson ha detto...

Hi - has anyone been keeping up the ruling in Virginia that that the
state's "anti-spam law violates free speech protections under the
First Amendment"? This seems so strange and poetic to me - that bulk
email, not even the content of the email, is speech. Any thoughts?

james sanders ha detto...

I haven't been keeping up with the case Lori but the 1st Amendment covers
almost all forms of expression even commercial ones (though commercial ones
enjoy lesser protection). Given your interests, you may be interested in the
fact that source code is protected as speech, even though the nature of
source code is such that it has a low (arguably) social utility but a high
functional one (ultraperformative in an Austinian sense?). See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernstein_v._United_States.

Christophe Casamassima ha detto...

Hey!

I'm currently working on a project called "Ore" (the third part in a trilogy of books - the first two called "the Proteus" and "Joys : A Catalogue of Disappointments"). Now, Ore is peculiar in that it does not contain any of my words or lines or poems - I'm simply reading all the books I can get my hands on and (consciously) building a collage of texts. Some are built of lines from one particular book (ROVA Improvisations, Coolidge, for instance); some are patchworks from multiple books and journal and on-line sources. Here's the example from ROVA:

we breathe, the gap we breathe
you have to eye into these speeds
make a cue of silence thumbs
a bus or canoe, frog boots, lump in your station
of notion, the full time riddle
take back the once said to the one in need

but what accumulates like silence (like silences)
where is my hand
the deignings to be patched out over a selection of tones / bones

but seeing is always in tune
not exactly a belief in hearing
as the distance from there (hedgerows) to here (ovaltine)
saying what is written with is without a light
that no lights truly match
but that “just” is wrong
gets breath, breath of holds that fill with stuff
and in the interstitial oink (oak) the oleo (trace)
how fast, how slim in the palm?
that in some voice you will say it

that no one solos
a blenter awe-quid sod
bent and sun-veined wheel

put things in with pins in the semblance
gone as far as caps will take us (it)

brands, at the back came back
sounds as like sounds
white side of a house, laugh
primes, motes
sureness of the bend

What I'm asking here is... am I going to run into problems if I'm building a complete book from other people's poems (OPP) and lines? I know this sounds a bit risky but... if you have any advice for me, so as to avoid infringement or nagging, please send me a message at [log in to unmask]

Thanks!

heuriskein ha detto...

over the past week, an intriguing experiment has taken place in the poetry community. a week ago today, on october 3 -- a friday, typically the day for the release of bad news that public relations operatives hope will be ignored by the mainstream media -- kenneth goldsmith posted to the poetry foundation's harriet blog an announcement of a "3,785 Page Pirated Poetry Anthology" and proceeded with a list of 3164 poets whose work the anthology, entitled issue 1, purportedly included. "Completely unpermissioned and unauthorized," the announcement proudly declared, "pissing off the entire poetry community. Either you're in or you're not." (download the 3.9MB PDF file here.)

the provocative taunting is part and parcel of the pitch that often sells the latest poetry movement du jour, with goldsmith* as conceptual writing's most visible brand name. and although the issues such taunting raises -- regarding authority, ownership, permission, exclusivity and poetry wars -- warrant both some tongue-in-cheek levity and some serious consideration in their own right, these i think are among the least interesting aspects of the project. that is, the significance of the issue 1 anthology far and away exceeds its conceptualist brand name.

think about it for a moment. visualize a 3785-page poetry anthology: even with the thinnest, norton-style cigarette paper or telephone directory oversized pages, this beast would still need to be bound in multiple volumes. practically speaking, it can only exist in digital format and makes an utter mockery of print and codex technologies.

and besides, who could possibly read the thing? the list of contributors alone is so formidable that a number have already claimed frustration at the difficulty of searching for their names to determine if they've even been included (even though searching a digital text is relatively easy once you know how).

so the first implication i draw from the simple fact of the issue 1 anthology as object -- and it obtains regardless of whether 3000+ individuals wrote the poems in question (they didn't) or a single computer program or programmer "wrote" them (it/he did) -- can be phrased as follows:

1) we are living in a moment of poetic production so abundant that attempts to document it and consume it have approached if not fully arrived at the patently absurd.

[to be continued]
*personally i like kenny quite a bit and find his writing at its best to be some of the most interesting and thought-provoking out there today.

for godot
Indulge me in an obscure analogy. Let's say I sit down and write the most vile, nasty, over-the-line-type-of-toxic-racist missive I can think of. Better yet, rearrange some Google vomit into an original composition and save myself a few minutes. If I were to distribute this speech, it would be considered a hate crime. I could, however, shape this text into letterforms -- say, large 120pt letters composed of 10pt type. If I were to spell something like "racism is bollocks" out of such illegal text, the mode of reading would be altered. The formerly despicable statement would be neutralized.

This is an approximation of my original expectations regarding the reception of this magazine. I expected its size, format, and (to my eye) clearly algorithmically generated content to make our intentions clear. I wholeheartedly support the world of small press publishing and small press writing. Following the distribution of Issue 1, I would consider myself to be a member of that community on some small scale.

Further, I encourage anyone with a favorable disposition and the means to cover shipping to send one or more than one chapbook of your own assembly to the For Godot editorial team. No pressure. [Edit: We will trade a physical copy of Principal Hand 002 in return for each package received.]

Stephen McLaughlin
Schilperoortstraat 84 A2
3082SX Rotterdam, NL

Gregory Laynor
427 South 45th Street, #1R
Philadelphia PA 19104

Vladimir Zykov
440 W. Sedgwick St. C218
Philadelphia PA 19119

I should note that the address and phone number which Ron Silliman so kindly shared on the front page of his blog belong not to me but to my parents. I'd really appreciate it if you didn't wake them up in the middle of the night. Please direct all rambling expletive improvisations to my American voicemail line, 1-856-393-1706. I promise to listen to every single one.

I should also note that the email address posted by Ron Silliman has been sitting idle since I was in high school. I haven't checked it yet, but I'm looking forward to what I'll find.

Anonimo ha detto...

My name is there - along with a poem that I didn't even write! I have no idea what kind of farce this is, but I'm glad someone is calling attention to this because it's downright unlawful.

Sandra Beasley ha detto...

What I find interesting is not the idea that my work has been appropriated sans permission or profit. Hell, I'm a poet. Wouldn't be the first time. What I find interesting is that my name has been attributed to a poem (or poem fragment) I did not write, as if to suggest that my name has some independent content value. From what I can tell, scanning throughout the manuscript, this had been done throughout. A name has been placed below as poem as if he or she were the author--but mere juxtaposition does not authorship make.

Just for the record.

tao lin ha detto...

i think this is funny and i approve of it

Matt Cozart ha detto...

This is outrageous. These guys stole over 3,000 of my poems and are passing them off as poems by Rachel Mallino, Sandra Beasley, etc. etc.

WTF??????

I deserve credit and compensation. I hope we can settle this out of court, but if I have to sue to make sure these poems appear under the name of their rightful author, Matt Cozart, I'll do it.

Brian Salchert ha detto...

1) As many as are here, there are some I know of who are not
2) One name appears to be listed three times
3) At least six are listed twice, and maybe more than twelve
4) I wonder which first name appears most often
5) This is amazing nonetheless
6) Most of those listed are new to me, which may tell more
about me then about the list, but I suspect there may be
: 15000 or more out there
7) If coming issues are more of the same, we might find out,
even though those issues too/ include poets who have
passed
8) Can't speak for others, but thank you to the editors
9) Of course there's a lingering suspicion that this is
another of Mr. Goldsmith's uncreative writing objects

a ruse ia a ruse ia a ruse

Crystal Curry ha detto...

I said to Nico, who was coming out of the basement: "Did you hear about this 'Issue 1'? You're in it." He said he had, from Harriet, and a number of other e-mail sources. And we sat, and we read it. And if no one else will say it -- I will say it: I'm finally impressed. Not only with the smashing delivery, but all 3,000 poems. They're clearly written by the same person. And I don't believe that it's a computer. Or I'd like to believe it's not. Even if it is, it's rather nice. The repetition, the phrasings. Is it commentary? Possibly. Commentary on the avant-garde? Certainly. But finally, after reading blog after blog and journal after journal, and being involved in academia, and being almost sickened by the ability of smart people to crank out so many unimpressive poems under the subjective lovely umbrella of the "avant garde," -- my eyes are a little open. I'm thinking a little. And this is one journal that I'm not immediately throwing across the room, watching the same tired names repeat the same tired tricks. My most favorite contemporary poets -- Doug Powell, Sarah Manguso, Matthea Harvey, Joshua Beckman, Tessa Rumsey, Oleana Davis, Harry Mathews are beautifully missing -- though to be fair, both Ben Lerner and Nathaniel Mackey -- also faves -- are on the list. Does it say something about exposure, over exposure, over producing of poems? I'm thinking, I"m thinking. And I'm glad to be.

Carol Novack ha detto...

In my case, I really don't care, as the poem said to be included in MP3 version (accessible as such in the archives of an online journal) can't possibly be in the PDF. I mean, those loathsome PDFs don't accomodate audio files, as far as I know; certainly, I couldn't find my Playpoem. So it's really a farce, this whatever it is. Everything else these days is a farce, so why not an "issue" anthology of ... how many poets is it? I did glimpse a few poems and they were excellent. So really, I'm proud not to be in the anthology in which I'm included.

Stephen Sturgeon ha detto...

Uuuhhhhhhhh. Ddddduuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhh. Ddddddddddddduuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Uuuuuuuuhhhhh, Uuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,

Dddddduuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhh uhhhhhhh dddduuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhh.

Check how I blog. This shit is real.

Uuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Ddddddduuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Ddddddddduuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Uuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Uuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Uuuhhhhhhhh,

Uuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh uuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhh ddduuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

If you don't like this you live in a black-and-white movie.

Slllllluuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Uuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Uuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Duuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

What real things are really like.

Uuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Uuuuhhhhhhh. Duuuuhhhhhhh.


Ddddddduuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Zvi A. Sesling ha detto...

I coulda been a contendah
I coulda been pirated
Instead of the left out which I am
(Thank goodness)

chris funk ha detto...

Sorry, Kenny G., but this is nothing to
get pissed off about. You & the others
have really pleased me. I love ithe project,
& everyone should!

The protective, snivelling responses seen here are
especially wonderful, as if poets owned
their (or any) words, or names. These folks should
be glad that the editors remembered them at all!
Isn't it an honor to be included?

I'm guessing that Jim Carpenter's "Erika" or some such
program "wrote" most of the poems, since so many of
them reflect the telltale signs of generated works. If anything,
the poems are pirated from that (or whatever) source.
That words such as "scope" appear so frequently is a
sure tip-off to that modality.

Anyway, an enjoyable adventure. Dig the gigantic
magazine!

nada gordon ha detto...

This is, of course SHEER GENIUS, and not just because I'm listed first.

The solemn indignation of the three commentators before me here is HILARIOUS.

Philip Metres ha detto...

This is, of course, absolutely hilarious, and a telling expose of us poets who have our google alerts set to our names, thus dragged into the dragnet of this performance of frustrated narcissism. The joke's on us!

Ren Powell ha detto...

Could you please add that, not only are these unpermissioned and unauthorized, they are not even authored by the "poets" themselves.

David Kellogg ha detto...

Interesting. Each poem seems to center on "like" or "as," as though each poem were trying to capture the poet in a simile. I wouldn't call it a hoax, exactly -- it's free and obviously not composed of stolen poems. More like an immediately apparent performance trick.

Greg Rappleye ha detto...

Here is the comment I posted on my blog, "Sonnets at 4 A.M.":

I received a Google Alert for my name today (October 3, 2008) and found that one of "my" poems was included in an online anthology titled (as nearly as I can tell), ForGodot: Research in Poetry--Issue 1, a 3,785 page pdf document "edited" (or rather, "researched") by three people I don't know named Vladimir Zykov, Steve McLaughlin, and Gregory Laynor.

Here is the poem which is attributed to me on page 3,498 of this document:


Bonnie Winds and Fair Twists

Adored
Like a bird
Like a bonnie wind
To depart left and permission
To perceive velvet and hubbub
To leave forgiving for a right
To leave a privilege of bushes
To stir growing scope

Greg Rappleye

I don't mind someone posting one of my actual poems on their blog or website--as long as it is attributed to me--in fact, I am generally honored to see that someone cares enough about my work to make such an effort and, perhaps, say a kind word.

However, I do object to having my name associated with a steaming turd like "Bonnie Winds and Fair Twists."

For the record: I did not write this poem, did not authorize the use of my name in association with this poem, and I have never heard of these people or their bizarre project. Could I lift a 3,785 page "online anthology," I would drop it on their heads.

doodle ha detto...

If this is "sheer genius," than the project does succeed in proving what humorless dopes poets are. Making that point isn't much of an accomplishment, though I'm sure the outpouring above will make those guys feel smug.

Jeffery Bahr ha detto...

I thought this was quite clever. It certainly sounds like the same poet throughout. The poem attributed to me as not bad, actually. All in all, I think this stunt is almost as funny as the Futility Review (www.futilityreview.com).

Chris Mansell ha detto...

This is a boring anthology.

The 'poem' that appears above my name has nothing to do with me. Not my poem. Not my style, not my vocabulary, not my preoccupations, not my language. What's the point here?

The people who compile it give no email address for contacting them. If they were doing a bold experiment, they'd want to be involved in the discussion that ensued.

Annoying, but not interesting.

robin ha detto...

It's been suggested on another list that the names are those members of blogger.com who have the tag "poetry" associated with them.

When you add to this that the texts are generated, you have (a) something that doesn't need that much effort to produce, since the names were "selected" by a bot trawl, and (b) an anthology that not even the "editors" would have read.

There are some people that not even their mother could love.

Now that it's been done, let's hope that we're spared a repetition of the event.

Mark Lamoureux ha detto...

What's most amusing is that Mr. Goldsmith was apparently unfamiliar enough with the work of the thousands of poets in the anthology or whatever that he doesn't see fit to point out that the poems aren't even by the authors listed. Or perhaps he wanted people to figure this out for themselves. In a certain respect, then, I think the "authors" of this have made one of many points. It's good to know people will still hold onto both ends of the Dada rope...

If I were the one making this I would have left out Dana Gioia to make a political and/or aesthetic point. The people doing this dropped the ball on that one.

If this thing burns your britches you need some new hobbies.

Wanda Phipps ha detto...

This is so funny and kind of cool as well. Love the comments.

Aaron McCollough ha detto...

Yay, one less poem I have to write more my next book. Keep 'em coming typewriter monkeys!

Nick T. ha detto...

Over coffee this morning, approving reader comments (and reading, in another tab, the news of OJ Simpson's trial), I mentioned the anthology to my wife. She has been teaching "The Waste Land" and showed me a line Cal Bedient wrote in his essay "He Do the Police in Different Voices," which speaks nicely to this anthology:

"Perhaps no poem in the language seems more self-aware than "The Waste Land," yet none seems nearly so other-conscious at the same time, so eager to wing off others' words to the one true sphere."
Of interest, somebody wrote these poems. As Crystal Curry notes, possibly a single author. And what a great way to attract an audience, this juke. Likely more people will read this "book" (at least a few poems) than would read most books that make their way into the world. I am happy to participate with a not-poem of my own. Will there be a reading tour? Perhaps the roughly 3,000 poets involved can caravan in buses across this fair land, stopping to read poems they didn't write to strangers who don't want to hear them. Maybe even encountering the stranger who did write them. Fistacuffs!

Aseem Kaul ha detto...

I can't believe these guys rejected the poems I didn't write! What do they mean by "work not yours does not meet our current needs" anyway? And where do they get off telling me they'd be interested in seeing more of what I don't write in the future?

Kenneth Goldsmith ha detto...

Mm I writing this? Maybe I am, and maybe I'm not. I'm a Conceptual Poet, after all... Let me just say that I have shared these "Quizzes" with a few of my fellow Conceptual poets (including Charles "Chuckles" Bernstein and Christian "The Bible" Bok), and we all agree they are silly sophomoric exercises--a fact hardly surprising, since Kent Johnson's resentment-filled forays over the past few years are consistently shallow, misinformed, and shrill. (And hey, Kent, by the way, speaking of ©, I see that you have ©'d the book! What's up with that , Mr. Pure? Care to explain??) In other words, and at the risk of sounding extreme, I strongly encourage readers to ignore this ridiculous piece of attention-seeking dilettantish drivel. Now, let's get on with the real work.

Ana Bozicevic ha detto...

Hey, I was just going to write that poem I didn't write. And they already published it. NOT fair.

amy ha detto...

Roland Barthes might be found chuckling in his grave this morning at all of the poet egos lamenting, laughing over, or wringing their hands about a kind of anthology that appeared on the web this morning (read the irate comments already piling up here). Happily, it appears on a blog called, “For Godot,” which is certainly a play on Beckett’s existential play, “Waiting for Godot.” We’ve waited long enough, and now we’ve decided to start making something “for Godot” since we’re still here, waiting. Might as well do something with all of this waiting, this huge internet, this number of poems in the world. This something fucks with the authority of authorship, assigning poems to published poets that they did not write. My poem, which is not a product of my brain, but is “my” poem now, like it or not, is called, “A broad man” (page 1663); it seems to have actually been written by someone, not computer-generated. On the other hand, poet, Ana Bozicevic, read “her” poem and suspects otherwise; she believes they are computer-generated.

One of the editors, in the comments section of his blog, gives a silly response to the poets writing in:

Gang,

This is quite an interesting coincidence! Apparently you all have the exact same names as the Ed Baker, Weldon Gardner Hunter and Ted Burke with whom we at the forgodot.com editorial team have been in close contact and collaboration.

I apologize on all of our behalf for this misunderstanding.

Vladimir Zykov
forgodot.com

No response would have been better, and yes, more clever than this answer. Let the act of the anthology work for awhile before inciting violence with your simplistic dismissals, I say.

For Godot (my name for the “anthology”) has been announced on numerous blogs this morning, likely because of the huge number of poets’ “work” included in the anthology: 3,164! That amounts to a whole lotta “Google alerts” arriving in folks’ email boxes this morning. Godot finally appears in the form of your displaced self, your immortalized writing, your electronic/electric words made permanent (or until there is no more elect-ricity) — and they’re not even yours! I have to admit, I’m happy to be “included” in this spectacle. That is, this massive joke, this huge undertaking, this attempt at … what?

The last verse of “my” poem, I admit: I dig it:

Handy as a road
Well-kept as a man
Glittering as a man
Eld as a pain

Men will glitter, are rarely well-kept, but can be handy as a road — all thoughts that have made their way into my brain and are running around now, as effects of the joke, the poem-that-is-not mine — exactly what a poem should do: incite to active thought, thought outside the realm of usual-thought. Is it a poem? Yes. Is it mine? Who cares? Did the joke make me read it? Yes. Would I have read it otherwise? In the sea of poems out there, likely not. So, success? Something of it.

I also have to wonder, did these three gentlemen — I don’t know who they are but have a feeling these are not pseudonyms — take their own unpublished manuscripts, put them together, and add poets’ names to each poem, thus producing a “book” that would finally be read by the poetry world? I hope this isn’t the case; I prefer a more romantic option: they’ve been reading the work of three thousand plus poets for the past few years, and they’ve written a poem in response to each poet, attaching the poet’s name to their specially-tailored odes.

Who knows? I guess we’ll have to wait to hear from the researchers themselves (or actually take the time to email them):
Stephen McLaughlin

* Age: 22
* Gender: Male
* Industry: Student
* Occupation: Media Design student, Piet Zwart Institute
* Location: Rotterdam : Netherlands
* stephen.r.mclaughlin@gmail.com

Gregory Laynor

* gdlaynor@gmail.com

Vladimir Aleksandrovich Zykov

* vazykov@gmail.com

But somehow, the anthology, For Godot, should simply speak for itself and let Poetry World behave as it will. That’s something to listen out for!

Amy King

Andy Dancer ha detto...

Class action suit anyone?

Kyle Minor ha detto...

I didn't write the poem attributed to me (nor is it very good), but whatever is happening here is interesting, just like it was interesting when those fake Japanese poems appeared in the Antioch Review. I don't think anyone should lose any sleep over it, and I hope it's just the first step in a twenty-step performance art piece that culminates in something beautiful and moving (i.e., I hope it's a really well-thought-out hoax, rather than just a stunt hacked out in three days on a whim.)

Anonimo ha detto...

Ah, Kenny is always Kenny.

Poet24 ha detto...

This is brilliant. I actually read most of it, and it's one of the most compelling books I've read in some time. Kind of like reading poets horoscopes or. The poem attributed to me is right on in its parody/praise and its position in the cycle of the book...I'm thinking something I'd written was put through a few machine grinders then modeled. Here's my guess as to the hand behind it: Lester Oracle. A little bird tells me Lester has been working on a program to make more intuitive poetry generating programs--could this be it? Other times I sense the Yasusada hand too--I don't believe Brooks Johnson was ever a blogger (in resonse the the above poet-blogger theory)...and the praise and or disdain handed out in the poems attributed to his friends and enemies would indicate this. But maybe not, just a guess. Maybe just some new lone gunman..And there are the double entries for certain poets as if to indicate they have a double nature and function in "the community". But maybe its all an accident attached to names. Oh, anyway, this is actually interesting.

ryan downey ha detto...

shit sandwich. good job. everybody be more concerned with fetishizing your poetry in this clusterfuck of a crumbling empire. good job.

John Findura ha detto...

Well, at least the poem they ascribed to me isn't better than what I actually write - that would've been embarrassing. Although, if you do like it, by all means I wrote it! Secretly, I was hoping it would've been about dragons or pirates...preferably pirates
Cheers!

Margaux Jones ha detto...

This seems to be little more than, or a close cousin of at least, the usual innocuous vamping on Duchampism, where the signatures associated with works become the objects of investigation, or to be played around with in a way that would mock the obsession over individual creativity and identity in the work; or obsession over the signature considered as a hot art-market commodity. Especially if the poems are mass-produced or "generated" (purposefully created as "ready-made" art-objects) as some people here are suggesting. Duchampism sans provocation or defamiliarization. Neo-Duchampism reduced to dull blog posts and the indifferent digital silence of .pdf files I guess, released (as usual) in the capacity of a resounding dud upon the sacrificial alter where notions of "interesting provocation" are sent to get beheaded.

This is all mildly amusing at the expense of anyone who would actually care that their work was being used in this way I suppose, but it's exactly because hardly anyone does care, or that everyone is "in the know" and "rolling with the punches" of approbation that this doesn't really seem like any kind of avant-gardiste gambit (if that's what it was meant to be). The ultimate effect seems to be that people are happy to see themselves name dropped as poster boy appendages of a rather predictable exercise, a routine circle jerk.

"If an artist today signs a stove pipe and exhibits it, that artist certainly does not denounce the art market but adapts to it" (Bürger).

Here, Duchampism is accepted and utilized as a banalized art practice, further banalized through this release even. Signatures involved in the circulation of this practice adapt to an accepted form of Duchampism and gain allure. The homogeneity of this predictable reception, the inflation and lauding of its general uninventiveness, is a testament to what makes it aesthetically boring. It evokes kind of a "meh" or "feh" more than anything. Perhaps, if we dip into Kenny G's language, it is a "boring boring" moment. It amounts to a large advertisement of 'good' poets, everyone is included, smug as a bug in a rug!

I'm reminded of a phrase from David Riff, in that the ideas behind this surface-provocation seem to be, more than anything, "part of the bourgeois bohemian toolbox, applied in virtuosic bricollage" and thus the application sort of runs counter to any kind of sharp or exciting inventiveness. I mean, can this merry little gesture even be considered a prank? Or clever in any sense?

Emphasizing my point, Mathias Svalina writes:

"This is one of the first good jokes in contemporary poetry. I can't stop laughing at this; its hilarious in so many ways. I'm pretty pleased with my poem in it. I think i'll put it in my next book."

Granted, I'm sure it wasn't meant to be anything more than playful and lighthearted. It just seems uninteresting to me insofar as it is an explicit act of data collation as advertisement as canonization.

EKSwitaj ha detto...

I'm in it, and I'm not pissed off. Does that mean I'm not part of the poetry community?

matt ha detto...

I still can't figure out why all these different people are taking credit for poems I wrote. As I explain on my blog:

Well, I knew this would happen sooner or later. Apparently, some scheming ne'er-do-wells have deliberately STOLEN over 3,000 poems from my continuing life-work, The EU Butter Mountains of Old, and have published them as an "anthology" with each poem being credited to a different poet. I knew my genius would not go unexploited by the freedom-hating blogorissimos who infest every corner of this series of tubes, but I'll be goshdarned—GOSHDARNED, I TELL YOU!—if these scalawags don't expect me to fight back. Whoever is responsible for this travesty, hear me now: I will use every resource at my disposal, I will stop at nothing, I will chase you round the moons of Nibia and round the Antares maelstrom and round perdition's flame before I give you up!

danny ha detto...

Call me "dour and humorless" if you like, but my sense of humor is really not the issue. If someone published an article containing false information about me, I would want it removed from the Web; it is no different for them to claim I wrote a certain poem when I did not.

It is my basic right to protect my name and reputation, and I find it really tasteless that some people would laugh this off as some kind of avant-garde experiment. If my name is to be used in some sort of artistic "experiment," it should be with my permission. To do it without my permission is unethical as well as illegal.

This "anthology" should be taken down immediately. Anyone know a good lawyer who can write a cease-and-desist letter?

jill jones ha detto...

Of course, a poem I must have written in my sleep, or computer dreams! Best thing I've written in ages. Or that other Jill Jones is at it again (sheesh). Anyway, I too will publish in my next book.

Sure made me (f)larf this morning, after (I swear this is true) a stupid dream about anthologies. I must get out more.

Mendi+Keith Obadike ha detto...

After a careful study of the 3, 164 names in the table of contents, we've come to the conclusion that poets of color are under-misrepresented in this anthology. We hope the editors will lend a blind eye to this oversight in future niggardly chicanery.

robopoet ha detto...

If you google stephen mclaughlin + new jersey + poetry the first thing that comes up is the ill-fated jessica smith outside voices anthology--he's one of the contributors! finally, the actually funny version of that (and this in general) sad sad farce.

amy ha detto...

Margaux,

Perhaps “Situationist” is a bit of a stretch, but you give the reception too much credit by putting all of the weight solely on Mathias’ response. Many folks are pissed off, arguing over the use of their names, the poems attributed to them, etc. Check out the comments on the For Godot blog and here on the Harriet blog. It’s ridiculous. No one is making money, people looking for poetry aren’t exactly dying to read the poems within nor are they being turned off of my work because they don’t like “my” poem in the anthology, etc. The joke is situationist in spirit because of the uproar it’s causing within a community that really should not be so devoted to ownership and ego. And you’ll note, I wasn’t exacting a science when I dubbed it Situationist; that was one label among several that I loosely noted *in parenthesis*, rather than proclaiming these guys the new Situationists. Let’s be less stringent and police less, stop being obsessed with 'correct' labels, I think the thrust of this anthology-joke might be hinting at, among other bubbles of infectious laughter produced.

As I wrote on the Poetics listserv:

For what’s it worth, kudos to these three young guys. I imagine they’re students, twiddling their thumbs, trying to imagine how to stir up the poetry world, steeped in some sort of theory (situationist? dada-ist? surrealism? etc), facing the menacing world of “getting published” and making something of themselves as poets, ahem. They’ve decided to take on the death of the lyrical I, the death of the author, the death of paper, the celebration of the internet sea, etc. They’ve done something, though just what isn’t clear and is being debated now (a good effect), but yes, kudos to their efforts to make a mess of the pool of internet muck — it may be only a ripple in the end, but maybe some of the worthwhile work and sites and ideas will get a chance to rise (not necessarily from the anthology) after their pebble has sunk to disappearance.

** Will people be moved away from the complacent world of "I just wanna be a published famous poet" that so often rules in Poetry World? This mentality is the best absorption the capitalist machinery can do with poets and their "products." I doubt this "anthology" will break this cycle and stop poets from thinking in those terms, but at least it's challenging the "my poetry should be published, make me book sale profits, & get me reading gigs" mentality, computer-generated or not. It has at least spotlighted this mentality through it's challenge to ownership & mis-attribution, so again I say, Kudos!

joseph ha detto...

Hate to break it to you Danny, but if you have a blog and you have willingly placed your name on the internet, your name is already being used by countless marketing companies and spammers for all kinds of purposes without your express written permission.

kent johnson ha detto...

Here's something entirely apropos, which went up, apparently, just three or four days before the For Godot anthology: The Mediocre Review, a gathering place for the production of "anonymous, heteronymous, or homonymous texts," as the introductory manifesto proclaims.

The project, school, whatever it is, already has, I just checked, 40 members. Though my name is mentioned as an influence in the introductory "manifesto" (and as the Flarfists and Conceptualists show in practice, why should one not wear the badge of Mediocrity with pride?), I only found out about it two days ago through the grapevine. Maybe both projects are managed by the same team of people?

The group's mission statement follows.
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=28350273397

The poet is a faker
Who’s so good at his act
He even fakes the pain
Of pain he feels in fact.
--Fernando Pessoa

I want to collect and edit anonymous, heteronymous, or homonymous short texts. Of course this is ethically questionable under the umbrella of private property, a unified sense of self, and to any one left holding a stake. I don’t care whether you’re an insider who thinks she’s an outsider or an outsider who thinks she’s an insider. I am unique, just like everyone else.

Without the brand of your name, the question of aesthetic hierarchy verbs you: it frees you of the burden and benefit of how what you’ve done makes who you are. I hope this fashion of editorial work and publication catches on because we need less efficient ways to handle each other as we gaze down the long horror-corridor of “us” versus “them.” Virginia Woolf said anon. has more often than not meant women authors and more recently Kent Johnson and Patricia Smith have questioned the political use of identity in the valuation process of cultural artifacts.

These are the authorless texts that matter because even though we may be up to our consciousness in arbitrary signification and biography, language can titillate and tantalize in substantive and transformative ways. Post-ironic as this may sound, without faith, wisdom and its pleasurable play is just information in the cosmos between your ears. With faith comes the yoke of progress and the pageant of heritage dressed in the drag of political agenda.

The Mediocre Review offers writers and readers the opportunity to erase themselves and by such biographical suicide to give their texts a measure of independence and life. Putting intention aside as unknowable, Cioran is wrong: there should be a hierarchy of suicides but not between the range of noble to vulgar but between the useful and useless.

In the spirit of Nietzsche’s call for a revaluation of all values or in the spirt of Dada's call for going back to primitive sounds, let’s make new beauty that makes the right people uncomfortable.

a-non ha detto...

To Amy: Not all of us live in the "complacent world" you have described. In my own world, I couldn't give two shits about being a "famous published poet," who thinks "my poetry should be published, make me book sale profits, & get me reading gigs, computer-generated or not." Speak for yourself, please. Tell me again, what exactly is it challenging?

In general: I don't think these idiots are intelligent enough to have thought "situationist" or "Duchampian."

How does one create a detournement out of a detournement? Or make something Duchampian out of something Duchampian? Hey, that's been done before too. There's no such thing as an original idea. LOL, ROTFMLAO.

Stephen Mc-LAUGH-lin. McHee. McHee. McHee.

David Buuck ha detto...

An additional twist I find perhaps more interesting than the anthology itself is that the project - even when it was just an announcement ("coming soon") - has brought in so many online comments from "the authors" listed, that in effect the editors have curated an additional anthology - If you complain in the blog comment fields, you are signing your name to text you wrote & submitted to forgodot. So in effect you have a second (para?)anthology consisting of many of the same authors complaining about inclusion in the first - and whose complaints (I was not asked permission, that's not my work, etc) cannot apply to the status of the complaints themselves (I AM the author of this text, which I have willingly submitted to forgodot).

Anonimo ha detto...

I'm loving these responses! What we've all done is participate in, advertise, and create the bulk of a piece of digital performance art. It's like putting a pre-op transexual covered in spaghetti into a store window, then taping the reactions of people who pass by. These reactions are the art installation, not the tranny! I heart Google Alerts.

Sean Burke ha detto...

My poem's not too bad, I've definitely written worse.

larry o. dean ha detto...

I feel sad not to have been included...

Maybe I'm not writing enough.

Maybe I'm not popular enough.

Maybe I snubbed the wrong somebody.

Halitosis?

B.O.?

*sniff*

marcel ha detto...

i'll be more impressed when this is available as an iPhone app

: Doodle ha detto...

If these responses are the performance [art], it's still not much of a performance, [let alone art]. Actual spray paint vandalism beats this playground teasing by a long shot.

Evan J. Peterson ha detto...

I disagree, :Doodle. If art's primary purpose is to stir an emotional response (the secondary being to make the observer think/reconsider, etc.), then I think this was quite effective. It certainly got us talking to one another, and it made me some new friends.

I do agree that there's some playground teasing going on, especially those who've brought up litigation. Sheesh!

Jane Holland ha detto...

These poems are clearly all by the same person. Someone with an enormous amount of spare time on their hands too, unless any of the poems repeat; if they're on a loop, in other words.

Someone above asked if it was a joke aimed at avant poets. But I'm not particularly avant, so that's unlikely, unless they chose me in error. It would be interesting to know where the names were sourced from. Most seem to be American, for instance, but again I'm not, and there are other British poets on the list besides myself.

So, this is an interesting and highly provocative thing to do. But what statement, if any, is it trying to make? Presumably that authorship is no longer quantifiable in an age of computer technology and internet poetry, where anonymity, or the assumption of a false name, or the generating of lists of poems attributed to randomly assigned poets is so much easier to assemble and promote and distribute than it would be in print.

To threaten to sue seems a touch absurd though. Who really cares? No one's reputation is going to be threatened by this kind of stunt, after all. Everyone's clear on the fact that it's a hoax, so why waste time and energy on pursuing the perpetrator?

Lanny Quarles ha detto...

Pretty cool.

I flarfed mine:


Turning hillsides into Chili


It transports the rattlesnakes, returns the spermatic log~OI!

Rarely beginning, neighing, staggering silently at horse steaks

in an everlasting hillside, my badass hideout with bandit whores

Shrill and altered (who, moi?)

Is it wounded? Candida is a carved whale cockpit.

Rich Villar ha detto...

I find this social experiment mildly fascinating. But may I please point out:

For all the talk about lawsuits, author attribution, anarchy, uncreative writing, exposing egos, revealing senses of humor or the lacks thereof, or de-contextualizing words from names, poems from authors, copyrighted material from flarf. Et Cetera. Ad Nauseam.

Doesn't all this internet/chaos theory/lang-post-avant B.S. simply aggrandize Kenneth Goldsmith as its patron saint? What is this really about, if it's not about him?

Susana ha detto...

It seems some are thinking Kenny agrees with the haters, I can't imagine he does. In fact I thought of him first when I opened the pdf file. Did people actually submit to this? Was there some sort of standard process which was part of the bluff? And Sina, how did an actual poem get in there? Someone pointed to a penn state program which generated the poetry, I'll post it here if I find it...

Sam Byfield ha detto...

Ironically, I didn't know about google alerts before reading about all this. And it's certainly not very often that a bunch of people like everyone above would have been drawn into discusion about a common topic.
I'm interested to what extent the poems attributed to people drew upon certain keywords- mine contained 'kingdom' which is a word that appears in many of my bios online, though it could be a fluke.

I'm really not worried about it- it highlights in an amusing way just how obsessed with their own name many poets are (though no more so than, say, politicians). And besides, as google tells me there's a famous Sam Byfield who plays football in England, and it might have been him who wrote the poem.

Afua ha detto...

This is the wildest thing I have ever seen. As a struggling artist it would be nice to be able to decide where your work is posted but the wildest thing about this odd little PDF is that my name is attached to a poem I didn't write. A very nice poem but not one I wrote.

Francesca ha detto...

I just wanted to say, I love it. Via someone else's genius I have attained what I have always wanted - my name absorbed into the impersonality of word as function, reduced to letters as the intimate strands of poetic imagery must themselves be. What author doesn't write to fuse with the form? And yet so many here have bristled at the stealing of 'their' name. Whoever masterminded this, the Situationists would be kissing your feet if they were alive/ cared about poetry.

Hillary Lyon ha detto...

Hmmm.
I'm included (which was a surprise) for a poem I didn't write (more surprising).
Kinda liked the poem, though. Kinda, though it's definitely not my style.
Noticed you did attribute to established, academic poets like Albert Goldbarth, Jack Myers, and Lyn Lifshin. Perhaps you're afraid they have the where-withal to shut you down?
Go pick on poets your own size.
Please don't do this again.
Thanks.

Juliet Wilson ha detto...

When i first read about this project i didn't even check whether i was in it. Since googling myself and finding out i am in it I'm sort of flattered. I didn't write the poem that's attributed to me, but I'm sort of tempted to post it to my blog - look what someone else wrote for me? Its all very weird, amusing and fascinating

Lauren Dixon ha detto...

Well, this is probably the first and only time I'll ever find myself mentioned on the Poetry Foundation website! Beyond that, I am left to believe a computer a writer does not make. An algorithm does not an identity displace. I won't laud the 'editors' of this thick binary invention, but I won't attempt to boil their flesh, either. I like the idea, but the execution? I have enough ego to say nay. They are clearly bigger fans of Burroughs than I.

ron ha detto...

I kid you not. Nor is this roster, at 3,164 names as complete a collection of mostly post-avant poets I have ever seen, the quirkiest thing about Issue 1.

No, the quirkiest thing about Issue 1 is going to be that, if it includes your name – and, hey, it probably does – you have no memory of having written that text, nor of submitting it to Issue 1. Or, as Ed Baker put it so elegantly in the comments stream to For Godot,

I DIDN’T FUCKING WRITE THIS GARBAGE!

As I certainly did not write the text associated with my name on page 1849. And I doubt seriously that my nephew Dan wrote the one-line poem associated with his name in here either – tho it’s a much better piece than “mine” and I can almost envision him entertaining the German puns lurking there in the word-roots. I did not know that he wrote poetry, frankly. Nor does, to the best of my knowledge, somebody like Larry Lessig. Nor the late Henry Darger. Further, I doubt that Walt Whitman, Aimé Césaire, Laura Riding, Ezra Pound, Geoffrey Chaucer, Jack Kerouac or any of the other dead poets included here have any new work to share. I don’t think you wrote your work either.

Issue 1 is what I would call an act of anarcho-flarf vandalism. The second pages lists the compilers as Stephen McLaughlin & Jim Carpenter, and a search of domain ownership for the web host arsonism.org at Whois.com turns up the following:

Registrant Name: Stephen McLaughlin
Registrant Street1: 409 Ash St.
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City: Delanco
Registrant State/Province: New Jersey
Registrant Postal Code:08075
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone:+1.8567641574
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email: fakesalt@comcast.net

If you are unamused, you might want to tell Steve this directly. If you’re amused, I suspect that he’d like to hear that as well.

I might note that the last time I felt ripped off by an on-line stunt, I sued – as a lead plaintiff in a class-action case brought by the National Writers Union. And while I can’t discuss the suit, as a condition of the subsequent settlement, I will note that we could have gotten a pretty good major league middle infielder for the final amount. Play with other people’s reps at your own risk.

Laura Carter ha detto...

I am actually quite amused by the thought of "poetry court." What sort of game is this analogous to? ;)

corrine ha detto...

I never thought I would say this to you, but that was bad fucking ass.

Gerard ha detto...

Well, any list like that that includes my name has got to be utterly without foundation. As you suggested I search the document in question and can say

I DIDN’T FUCKING WRITE THIS GARBAGE!

capt. jack morgan ha detto...

Having your name used and played with as an artist or other public figure is not being ripped off. That's kind of the deal with living a life online and in the eye of interweb. I don't understand why everyone is getting bent out of shape about this. And I am constantly surprised how upset "post-avant" artists get when anyone is having any fun, even if it is maybe at their expense. And really this is pretty tame compared to the stone-throwing normally going on.

I hope I never get to the point in my poetic "career" that I take myself so seriously as to freak out and not laugh about something like this. It is neither insulting nor offensive, so where's the complaint?

ed baker ha detto...

Vlad just sent this to me:

"Vladimir has left a new comment on the post "Issue 1 Release Announcement":

I am so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so very sorry for what I've done. I am a total asshole. That's all that can be concluded from this. Really, I sat down last night and thought about it, and I've just concluded that I'm a terrible sad person starving for attention.

I promise everyone that the entire anthology will be deleted from the site tomorrow. Again, I'm just an asshole, that's the only possible explanation.

Post a comment.

Unsubscribe to comments on this post"


so much of our culture depends upon pimping/pimps!

and then they are "born-again" and all is forgiven?

John Gallaher ha detto...

Mostly I'm pretty bored by it, but I am amused by the facte that they had to come up with that many pages of text. Even if the poems aren't any good, they still had to be written down. 3785 must have taken a long time to write down.

I hope at least they had a computer program to do it.

Whom would I be plaigiarizing if I used a line from mine somewhere else?


.
"I hope I never get to the point in my poetic "career" that I take myself so seriously as to freak out and not laugh about something like this. It is neither insulting nor offensive, so where's the complaint?"

I suppose if I were a painter I could take myself seriously without being ridiculed?

How nice it must be to be above all that. As a matter of principle.

vazambam ha detto...

The next time some dumb-ass "editor"
feels smart enough to include some of my poetry in an anthology, perhaps he should make sure he can tell his ass from mine--to wit, I never wrote that asinine piece of feces on p. 3517.

nada ha detto...

Whoa. It's OBVIOUS that this is an art project. A rather clever one, to my mind. It's anarcho-flarf, maybe, but not vandalism. It's not "playing with other people's reps." The poems in this anthology will neither make nor break the reputations of anyone except perhaps Stephen and Jim, who should be lauded for the grand scale of their conceptual art piece, which no doubt entailed a lot of work.

Maybe it's just because you, Ron, actually make a little money off your work that you care so intensely about this. The financial tough talk at the end of your post would seem to support this notion. You seemed to have a similar reaction to Google scanning books a while back. You are a man with influence and power, Ron, and these are COLLEGE STUDENTS, you are threatening COLLEGE STUDENTS. Is it really warranted?

For myself, always condemned to (revel in) triviality and utter monetary profitlessness, this is merely... amusing.

At heart, fear of loss of name seems to me to be connected to a fear of Thanatos, of having one's "singular identity" merge into a great pool of indeterminacy. This will certainly happen to all of us, to our physical bodies firstly, and secondly to all of our "literary reputations" when human history finally (and maybe, blessedly) ends.

The massive scale of the thing neutralizes any "reputation- destroying" potential that a more targeted hoax might have. I might be peeved, honestly, if someone had written an entire book and passed it off as mine (although... wait... someone did that... and I liked it! I even wrote the preface to it!). We're all thrown into identity soup here, though, and that changes the game.

It would behoove us all, therefore, to untwist our knickers. It's not... NOT... a big deal. It is an art project.

Rachel Mallino ha detto...

I almost feel sorry for the poor soul - so inept at writing poetry that instead, spent an enormous amount of time trying to ruffle the feathers of those he envies.

I almost liked the poem attributed to my name except it almost made sense.

I almost laughed except there are much funnier people in the world: doug stanhope, mike "birbigs", and my friend nel.

gary barwin ha detto...

I found the whole project quite funny and actually fairly interesting as an intervention into the online world of poetry publishing. But: in order to consider the whole project, I think one has to consider the entire blog (and Google search where people found their names) as all part of this performance project /"intervention". There was the initial announcement and then the various kinds of reactions in the comments stream (the waiting for "Godot" jokes the "I didn't give you permission," the "WTF"? reactions, etc.) Then several days later, the actual PDF document arrived and there was again a variety of reactions in the comment streams -- from people puzzling over how to find their name or their friends' names, to their reactions over the texts, to anger, appreciation etc. The whole interaction (blog, first blog post, comments, links in other blogs, second blog post, comments, subsequent posts/commentary/discussion) is all part of the piece.) I don't think this is a hijacking. It's a media intervention. And I'm tickled to discover that my name as a writer (and the fact of me being a writer; ...and the fact of me searching my name on Google...)) has become part of the flarfoverse. But then again, it's not "Gary Barwin", but some other guy named Gary Barwin as the editors are quick to point out. Even my legitimate flarfdom has been flarfed.

Rauan Klassnik ha detto...

retarded?- sure. but funny, yes.

Tortilla ex Machina ha detto...

Does anyone truly fear that their poetic reputation will be sullied by this? What reader could possibly be duped by a publication that promises new work by Chaucer, Henry Darger, and Ezra Pound?

This is playfulness in the extreme. And it's just a spot of silly fun, done for a giggle. And it is a publication in which–(as I mentioned when I first read it in Amy King's blog)–I am sorely sad to not be included.

No need for furrowed brows. And as for class action suits – are poets really worried that someone is going to make a fortune from their names or words? Oh were we to live in a world where they could.

Rauan Klassnik ha detto...

The first question about something this monstrous is whether it's worthy of our attention. If the answer to the first question is "yes" then the second question is "why?"

To the first question the answer for me and many others (judging from the comment stream at forgodot.com and Ron Silliman's post and the comment-threads associated with his blog) is clearly yes.

Then why?

1) I think it's funny. Or "amusing" as the Big-Man (Silliman) puts it.

2) I also admire the work that went into it. Its scope. Its audacity. Its bad attitude.

But I can see that others would be outraged. And by "others" I mean people who have no sense of humor. People for whom everything is sacred. (I'm talking here of Agelastes. "Agelaste", Kundera explains in The Torn Curtain, is a term Rabelais "coined from the Greek to describe people who are incapable of laughter...It is because of them, he said, that he came closer to never writing another word...")

But if in this instance you are outraged wouldn't it be best to remain quiet rather than fueling the fire of attention.

But where, really (I ask myself) is Ron Silliman, the Big-Man, on this? Maybe it's because i'm retarded and/or the fact that I don't know the Big-Man well (or at all, in fact) but I can't quite get his tone. He doesn't seem to really play his hand here. Or does he?

If he was really upset you think he'd take a big knife to the party. And he does seem to have a respect and admiration for the enterprise. (or am i just projecting?)

Is his posting just part of his duty as the Big-Man?

Again (I scratch my head): he doesn't bring a knife to the party. Or does he?

He does bring up the possibility (for others) of legal action. But is this just a friendly warning to the creators of "Issue"? Or is he really trying to prompt legal action. The concluding sentence of Silliman's post ("Play with other people’s reps at your own risk") is very hard to take seriously. I can't decide if Silliman was smiling as he typed those words in, or whether he is an Agelaste.

The pathetic thing is that some people might sue. Pathetic actually that people would be outraged. I mean, c'mon--what reputations are actually being messed with?? ha ha ha.

If you think "Issue" is funny, then laugh. If you're impressed with its scope, creativity, audacity-- then admire it. Talk about it. Shout about it.

If, dear Agelastes, you are indeed outraged, then the smart thing to do would be to shut the hell up. Crying, whining and scolding will only make you look like idiots an add fuel to the fire.

"MARK LAMOUREUX" ha detto...

What perplexes me the most about this is the sheer lack of intellectual curiousity that poets are displaying in regard to this document. Ron, at least, points out that the text can only exist virtually due to its sheer size, and does not obey the usual rules of page signatures, so therefore cannot exist as it is save as a virtual (read "unreal") entity.

What also puzzles me is that people seem to be suggesting that "their" poem in the anthology bears some sort of relationship to their own work (to the extent that some have suggested they are being "imitated"). I did a little experiment where I googled the name of a poet from the list I am unfamiliar with, tracked down a poem by them, cut and pasted it into a document, did a few keystrokes to simulate feeding the text into a mash-up program. Re-cut and pasted the text into another document, to simulate the placing of the text into the "mother" document we see here (assuming that the order has been somehow instantly pre-determined); the whole process took about 4 minutes. Assuming that the texts average to about a page a poet, 4 time 3,785 is 15,140 minutes. That's 252 hours. Which would take a person working 12 hours a day nonstop 22 days to finish this task alone. There are 3 names attributed to the project, so that's about a week a piece. A considerable amount of time (not to mention carpal-tunnel syndrome inducing repetitive action) for a person to spend on a prank. Ergo, I can only assume that the document itself was produced artificially using software of some kind. Something that can be done relatively quickly with a fast enough computer. Ergo, Occam's Razor dictates that THESE TEXTS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WHATSOEVER WITH THEIR ATTRIBUTED AUTHORS.

So where did the stuff come from? Each one is relatively parseable-and displays a consistent level of diction. I don't think that using random texts off the web or, say, the dictionary could produce this, no? I'm not familiar with the kinds of programs, etc. used to generate random "poetry" or the like, so I could be wrong. But it would seem to indicate that there's some kind of source text.

To firmly discount the idea that the text attributed to me is culled from my own work, I looked at "my" piece and selected the most unique word in it--"plashless." I don't recall ever using this word in a poem, though there are more than a few poems out there that I have only a tenuous memory, if any at all, of writing. I google "plashless" plus "Lamoureux" and get nothing. What I DO get, as the second hit is a lesson plan for Emily Dickinson's "A Bird Came Down the Walk." Aha! I would say Occam's Razor again dictates that the source text for these poems is some kind of large anthology or perhaps Project Gutenberg's poetry section or some such, which I would imagine would probably yield consistent enough diction to produce relatively "believable" texts such as what we see here.

Anyway, it was a fun bit of hermeneutics and I salute the authors for their production of this enigma--most notable as an exercise in AI automatic writing. Moreso than an instance of Dada-esque provocation, of which it is basically garden variety.

Charming, though, that people will still pull that finger and get indignant about the fart.

The real philosophical question is, though, will "Death and hoar" be read by a greater or lesser number of people than would read "my" other works. I would say less, because I don't think the text of the anthology is Google-able, so someone searching for my work in the text would need to download it and search for my name amidst the thousands of others in the anthology. A level of interest that I doubt anyone but an editor interested in a complete collected poems or a graduate student would be prepared to take. Something that at this point in my writing life would not happen, and is probably not likely to happen, ever.

Ergo I think the "MARK LAMOUREUX" "brand" is safe from dissolution...

doodle: ha detto...

Come on, guys: what on earth is either clever or funny about this silly stunt?? Are po-folks that childish & easily amused - or provoked? Actual "vandalism" takes more real thought than this bit of playpen rib-poking.

Mark Granier ha detto...

Well, this is an occasion, no doubt the first and last time I'll find my name conscripted alongside Ron's and so many others from the advance-rear-guard regiment. Where's the launch party?

Louise ha detto...

i think this project/process is a magnificent shout into the void. a wake up call of subversive and divine propotions. that there are so many of us included, living and dead and likely we are all our own/only best readers.

why get mad about what is so clearly progression in a world full to busting with blogs and online publishing? do people who are upset by this project gain anything other than angst? who else cares about poetry but poets?

and if we all know this is a project clearly sending us up why not take it on and embrace the spirit of play. i'm guessing the project creators were hoping for mixed responses and were looking to take the post down in due course.

now we are all famous and famous together and it was a fraud and then we disappear. yeah, that seems a perfect alignment of everything bogus and rambunctious in poetry today. more please.

Vladimir Aleksandrovich Zykov ha detto...

I slept with at least 2,000 people to get famous. Communism is no longer a threat to the United States. Beep boop boop beep. Glue gun, trauma room, stepladder.

I'm not really Vladimiar Zykov by the way. Or am I? Wink wink wink.

Collin ha detto...

As one of the poets included in this "anthology," I found it fairly amusing. They are taking the piss. So, rather than get offended by it, I'm going to take the "poem" attributed to me, take out some of the more interesting lines and phrases and re-use them. Hey, they said I wrote it, so it's fair game. It's taken lemons and making lemonade. I find it hilarious everyone is getting so hot under the collar about this. Maybe the point of the project was to see which poets went apeshit and let their egos run away with them. And...we're off...

Logan Ryan Smith ha detto...

i don't know how anyone can really be upset over this. if EVERYONE is aware that these are "fake" poems randomly attributed to random poets, then what's the big deal?

Joseph Hutchison ha detto...

the crap attributed to me in this moronic act of whatever you want to call it — flarf? barf? it's all the same — is not my crap. I know my crap. I know its smell and texture and this ain't it. Of course, the crap published in this PDF under my name may in fact be by someone who just happens to share my name. So who, who, who do I sue? My doppelgänger? Or the fruitcakes whose adolescent wet dream was (no doubt) to attract just the kind of attention we're all giving them?

n. ha detto...

oh boy. are people in a tiff. isn't it funny, just a little just a little?

what's in a name?


letters and egos! where's my ego at where's my ego at where's my intellectual property rights


but you know if your stocks are down that lawsuit might look pretty healthy

drmabuse ha detto...

For what it's worth, the phone number listed is NOT McLaughlin's. Or at least the gentleman answering claims not to be McLaughlin and likewise claims that McLaughlin does not live there.

Having said this, however, I think some folks are taking this far too seriously.

matt ha detto...

It seems weird to me that so many people covet their own names, and are so protective of them that they're willing to go to court. Relax, people. Names are ultimately meaningless. They're not even unique to every individual. People like me, not to mention the John Smiths of the world, have to deal with doppelgängers all the time, and I don't complain. Among other things, I'm a former drummer for the Smashing Pumpkins.

From the way people are reacting, you'd think their names were being falsely attached to skinhead propaganda or something. A lot of these poems aren't half bad if you ask me. Long live Godot!

ted burke ha detto...

Allan Parrish is on to something when he said that all the names looked like a poem to him; by including every name in the blogosphere in the list , they are perhaps eager to discover how many of us Google ourselves in order to find out what sites have mentioned us. That's how I came across my name on the roster; I imagine the aim was to pester, annoy and generally deploy a dada gesture.

Leonard Kress ha detto...

Here's a slightly differnet take: at first I was bothered/hurt by not being included in this exhaustive list. And then relieved that, after searchig, I was included. Or does my reaction simply reinforce my utter lack of importance in the poetry world.

crystal curry ha detto...

I'm sorry -- I'm hunting comment boxes because I'm obsessed with this topic. Am I the only one that a. recognizes that this is by no means a complete list of "post-avant" poets -- in fact, leaving off some of the great contemporary innovators in post-avant in favor of people who happen to be especially loud on the Internet and b. that these poems -- not all, but most of them, are pretty fucking great? And yes -- I read at least 1,000 of them.

I said that this would "separate the men from the boys," to my boyfriend and he said, "what the hell are you talking about?" Someone put it much more eloquently over at Harriet -- that this would separate poets with a sense of humor from those who don't have one.

What's more interesting about this is how the Internet created a poetry hierarchy outside the university, attempted (and succeeded) in diminishing it -- i.e. Foetry -- and built back up a hierarchy wherein everyone's a little king -- and willing to use every scrap of influence possible to exclude, self-promote, grandstand, gossip, bicker, etc., and now get pissed off when the ultimate in hierarchy-obliterating experiments comes out in one big fat 4,000-page "fuck your hierarchy."

IMHO, these poems are better than 95 percent of the poets on the list. And who am I to say? Why, you all made me a king...

Patrick Dillon ha detto...

I don't think that is very wise/nice to list Steve's home address (actually his parents').

Steven Fama ha detto...

"Issue #1" ain't close to the circumstances of the "uncover" situation that led to the settlement of litigation regarding the latter.

"Uncover" involving a true rip-off, selling without permission. Even if the "Issue #1" editors were making a buck -- which does not appear to be the case -- I evaluate the situation as closer to if not wholly within the Larry Flynt - Jerry Falwell parody even rude and pornographic is protected line cases.

Even so, the whole thing amounts to a single joke, as the particular poems aren't matched AT ALL to the foibles or tendencies of the particular poets. It would appear that a ton of work went has been expended for for little ha-ha-ha.

Ray Succre ha detto...

I'm certain this was either a cut-up project (Burroughs is tickled in his grave), or machine-gen with maybe a quick human rewrite. Hell, they could have used a simple travesty generator in succession with bits of our work.

Either way, I think they scoured the net for various poems, then used these as fodder for some machine-gen output. Then, bored, stuck our names back on it.

If you look at this guy's site, he has all sorts of projects involving degradation of source material and augmentation of one source with another, etcetera.

It's likely that we were all credited because our 'material' was used as fodder, a vocabulary and rule base, to create the whole, or even something a simple as jumbling all the lines into a semi-comprehensible order with a program or two. Eh, the project seems gigantic and unwieldy, but it'll make for good storming material, in a crunch.

I like it, myself.

T Martin ha detto...

My first reaction was to be amused by false authorship. The sheer volume of poet names and poems is impressive.
Where the poetry contained in the fauxthology isn't good, the volume is impressive.
How different is this gesture from Duchamp's Mona Lisa with Mustache and Beard (L.H.O.O.Q.?

Howard Junker ha detto...

some of you famous poets may think this anthology is chopped liver, but for those of us who have for our entire careers been slighted and ignored and shuffled off...it is an honor to be included cheek by jowl with pound and silliman and louise gluck. i only wish i could find my contribution.

Anonimo ha detto...

What a lovely project...The concept certainly challenges contemporary, neo-conservative, Romantic notions about subjectivity...perhaps a more constructive manner in which to view this project, instead of deeming it "retarded," "boring," or threatening legal action, is to ask how such texts (which quite obviously employ computer programming and search engine techniques) complicate our conceptualization of the author-function within the age of digital reproduction.

My only complaint is that I was not included.

ed baker ha detto...

they got somebody over there that puts a poem in English ito the net and clicks "TAGALOG" and WAMMMB! instant translation minus the inflection marks over the letters

and this is L=I=T=R=A=h+sure?

then they do a Vanity Press (Lulu) production and compare/link themselves to Villa or God Zuk! no wonder so many of these co-ed phd students are so fucked-up and confused!

Gregory L. Ford ha detto...

It's quite a stunt. Computers are neat, aren't they. Yet another step toward the eradication of the physical subject. Who's up for being a disembodied brain linked to the hive mind? Not me, thanks.

jordan ha detto...

I’d like to note that “this illegal” “fucking garbage” stirred your little ponds more than the death of Hayden Carruth.

ron ha detto...

Jordan,

You are absolutely correct. It has more comments than any other note in the history of this blog and will easily receive the most hits in one day as well. Carruth caused the exact opposite effect -- it lowered the readership for a day.

Gerard ha detto...

Thanks Jordan, we've always got time for a priggish, moralizing interjection.

We are suitably chastened and will retire to lick our wounds. How unfeeling can a group be!

Glad to see there are always spare Emos hanging around the poetry crowd. That insures that there will always be more than enough mawkish poetry to go around.

Steven Fama ha detto...

More comments than anything else, I suggest, because it's perfect blog fodder: everybody's name is mentioned, and a sort of silly pro and con issue was postulated.

And let's not forget in terms of the attention paid to this here blog: things like TMZ or the Huffington Post or Martha Stewart get more hits in a month or three than the total number Silliman -- or any poetry blog has gotten -- over all the years it's been here.

And hot stories in on-line dailies will routinely get 300 plus comments in the course of day. So 65 or even 200 here is impressive here, but not broadly speaking.

Said but true. We ain't many.

D.J. Huppatz ha detto...

The intense reaction to this project seems to highlight the idea of contemporary poetry as a form of intense navel-gazing in which the dissemination of the author’s name and control of its context (next to my own “good” poetry) seems the goal. Is then the most important issue how my name is represented, in which context it appears, and how it is subsequently reproduced? (suggestive that “reputation” is something like a celebrity cult, but restricted to the poetry community?). The loss of control of my name seems the source of much anxiety among the reactions here (the “I didn’t write this crap” line). There is a fear here of a possible injection of some kind of viral “bad poetry” into my healthy body of work (and perhaps the virus may spread and my body of work/reputation become completely diseased: I will become a poetry leper if this kind of thing continues). However, this does suggest that someone cares. Following Steven's comment above, poetry reputation matters amongst poets, does anyone else seriously care? (although funding bodies may come into play here, and perhaps educational institutions). Is contemporary poetry an incestuous practice completely divorced from its outside?

The unleashing of so much ego across virtual space might also be seen as extremely healthy. As a friend of mine puts it, people enrol in a creative writing course because it’s cheaper than therapy.
Budge up & make room for me on the couch.

D.J. Huppatz
p.608

John Gallaher ha detto...

Thanks Noah for the link. I went to there and they have some controls to narrow the poem you can construct. The whole thing (even when you decide the compositional elements) takes less than a minute.

Here's my poem for today. Maybe I should put together an anthology.


The ugly births


Ugly and beautiful
Ugly and beautiful

Uglier than a birth
Uglier than a nascency
Uglier than a nascence

A sort of birth
A kind of birth
A kind of nativity
A kind of nascency

Ugly as a birth and beautiful as a birth
Ugly as a nativity and beautiful as a birth
Ugly as a birth, beautiful as a nascence
Ugly as a birth and beautiful as a nascency
Ugly as a nascency, beautiful as a birth

G. M. Palmer ha detto...

I like that "mean as an initial" has so many meanings: Average as a beginning; Cruel as a letter; signify as a first; plain as a short signature.

Why cry over this?
Why threaten to sue?

Gary B. Fitzgerald ha detto...

The strangest thing about all of this is that so many of you didn't get it right away.

Egomania is apparently pandemic.

Diana Hamilton ha detto...

Ron: Publishes Steve's parents' home address and phone number; encourages harassing them.

donatoma ha detto...

i have to say, it seems strange & surprising to me that this is angering anyone. it`s so simple and transparent, and no real benefit (of a cultural capital kind) is wrought from any one poet`s name in the list. me, i find it really funny that i was included and think it`s a hilarious project. certainly it doesn`t in any way deserve the endless yards of outraged blog prose it is generating.

come to think of it, my favourite part about it is not that i can`t tell if the poems are fake or not - they are obviously robopo (robot poetry) - but that i can`t always tell if the performances of outrage are fake or not. there`s the art of this thing - however much that is worth to you as an art idea. if worth little or nothing, why the bellyache?

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