(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?

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?
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.


  1. Kasey Mohammad said...

    I was never worried about being irritated by it. Remember, my post is about the three main reasons people who are irritated by it are irritated by it. I could just as easily do another post about the three main reasons people who are not irritated by are not irritated by it (and still without indicating directly whether I myself am either irritated or not irritated).  

  2. Chris said...

    I didn't say "Kasey is worried about his own irritation..." But you are allowing your mind to dwell on the issue of "being irritated by Issue 1", and expressing some anxiety about how it works out; that is a form of worrying.

    But yes: You are adamantly remaining neutral on this one. Understood.  

  3. Kasey Mohammad said...

    What, me worry?  

  4. troylloyd said...

    ...undermines our sense of how a "conceptual" text operates, is what I'm really digging about Issue 1 right now.

    agreed, & this work/prank seems to be a precedent, i haven't researched fully but i can think of no other attempts at such a broad scale enterprise being done & inna way this does justify the R.Mutt comparison being bandied about, altho i was intially hesitant to accept that -- but indeed there are quite a few parallels between issue 1 & buddha of the bathroom.

    i like this blogpost:

    possible analogy: it's like that guy from Metallica vs. Lightning Bolt, the playing fields are different & to use a Retallack term, maybe it is an issue of "poethics" ?

    i was reminded somehow of Dieter Rot operations he call'd

    a modified:

    Query: How contrive not to waste one's time? Answer: By being fully aware of it all the while. Ways in which this can be done: By spending one's days on an uneasy chair in a dentist's waiting-room; by remaining on one's balcony all of a Sunday afternoon; by listening to lectures in a language one doesn't know; by traveling by the longest and least-convenient train routes, and of course standing all the way; by lining up at the box office of theaters and then not buying a seat; by wholly reading while taking notes every page of Issue 1, then blogging about one's reactions; and so forth.
    --Albert Camus
    The Plague

    of related interest, i really dig the shit outta the following blog-post:

    - - - - -  

  5. Chris said...

    Those are some quality links, thanks!  

  6. Chris said...

    Also, isn't the Dieter Rot thing a variant of a plotline from 'Allo 'Allo?  

  7. troylloyd said...

    i was unfamilar w/ 'Allo 'Allo, but if you're referencing the BBC sitcom, it ran from 1982 to 1992, so D. Rot was operating way before that -- he's one of my favorite artists, his bookworks are amazing.

    did the letter i sent you come in the post yet?  

  8. Chris said...

    I was, and you're right -- I always think that show is earlier than it is. And no, nothing has come yet. Sometimes it takes a while...  

  9. Unknown said...

    I don't get Silliman's attitude at all. Issue 1 is clearly apiece with other conceptualisms of the moment - and, it's interesting, fun, provoking. Why get all nasty and defensive about one's reputation? Does this seem like the Silliman others know? Odd. And distasteful.  


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