(Well, OK, no one involved is a moron, not even Ron, whose take on this situation is abhorrent. I just liked the pun. So sue me.)
Collecting a few of the comments I've made on other blogs:
I respond to Kasey, who is worried about being irritated by Issue 1:
Yeah, what about those of us who aren't irritated, but pleased? Can we be irritated at Ron's post instead, which at least on the surface seems to be anti-free speech, anti-art, and pro-capitalism?
I respond to Rodney, who does a nice reading of the texts that goes beyond what is, by now, obvious:
Would it be too much for me to suggest that those who didn't realize that the connection between poem and name was more-or-less arbitrary basically don't know how to read 21st century poetry?Somewhere, I think, I also point out that Ron calls for suing these "perps" for fraudulently presenting work as his own right after explaining how it is entirely clear from the text that the claims of authorship are undermined by the text, that no barely skilled reader could possibly mistake the poems in question for Ron's, whether they knew his work or not. This might undermine his potential lawsuit, though IANAL.
Well, of course it would; but there is perhaps some truth to it. (Would it be too much for me to suggest that Ron Silliman's reaction to these poems places him closer, politically and artistically, to his beloved SoQ than to anything I'd recognize as belonging to the experimental traditions of poetry?)
Your post here comes closer to what I've been waiting for (read: too lazy to write): An analysis of how the attachment of people's names to poems serves as a force that guides your reading of the text, impelling you toward reading a bit more of an otherwise self-similar text that seems immediately understood (i.e., "conceptual") (i.e., "read") upon "getting the gimmick"; but looking up and analysing the poems with one's friends' names attached brings you back to actually reading the text, actually thinking about what is going on in the text (as a text) rather than referring back to your pat conceptual understanding of the text. This motion, which undermines our sense of how a "conceptual" text operates, is what I'm really digging about Issue 1 right now.
What would be really brilliant: If they had someone actually write their own poem in the style of the other poems and insert it amidst the 3000+ poems. Who would find it?