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Author Topic: Crimson is Renata  (Read 19886 times)
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alan
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« on: May 06, 2006, 10:23:23 AM »

Quote from: "papa_geno"


Fair enough. Start a zine. The poetry you want isn't being written? Then write it, and get it into the public eye for Christ's sakes, and stop your whining.



Crimson did.  She self-published her work and she did start a webzine.  And she continues to hold strong opinions.  People can complain, effect change, write, etc.  So it seems you're equally guilty of assuming things about people.

Not that I always agree with Crimson, but I admire her.  And I bought Peggy Shumaker's book, which I like very much.  I like them both.  So sue me.
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"You especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it -- don't cheat with it. -- Ernest Hemingway
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Alan Cordle
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2006, 10:30:35 AM »

Quote
Crimson did.


Good. And good on her.  

No doubt I am quite guilty of assuming things. But then, I wasn't speculating on the reasons for that person's success...just taking exception to an unfounded line of criticism.

There is much to enjoy from Shumaker's poetry, absolutely. And in all fairness, from someone who was already bone tired at the end of a BA (an MFA probably would have burnt me out, too...), I think studying under her does me credit. Certainly prepared me for the endurance game that is writing, that's for sure.
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papa_geno
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2006, 11:13:29 AM »

Could I then call upon the wisdom of those who are keenly interested in all things having to do with guidelines, to tell me what they would think of the following sentence appearing on an 'about us' page?

Quote
If by chance you find your work here and you do not wish it to be included, please contact me and I will remove your work and name from the site.


Whatever.
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alan
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2006, 11:22:50 AM »

You should probably ask her.

Whatever.
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Matt
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2006, 11:59:41 AM »

Quote from: "papa_geno"
Could I then call upon the wisdom of those who are keenly interested in all things having to do with guidelines, to tell me what they would think of the following sentence appearing on an 'about us' page?

Quote
If by chance you find your work here and you do not wish it to be included, please contact me and I will remove your work and name from the site.


Whatever.


She explains her idea at poets.org (the topic starts here): http://www.poets.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=44745#44745

Earlier in the thread she expresses some of her signature ideas about poetry.

Renata is a force of nature.  I also admire (but don't always agree with) her.  She's an idealist of the highest order.  Her idealism makes my idealism look puny and pathetic.

But ultimately, I am very happy to have met (online, at least) and corresponded with her.  I miss her here at Foetry.

-Matt
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papa_geno
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2006, 12:34:29 PM »

You know, in the not so distant past, one of the ways I kept connected with the whole poetry thing, as an ex-pat, was to host a monthly show for other ex-pats that was in part, but not in whole, an open mic poetry show. In fact, it was a variety show, and it drew folks in who played music, who did martial arts, who practiced their close-up magic, and yes, who read and recited poetry (myself of the latter variety, because if there's one thing poets could do to immediately improve their performances, it's to memorize the stuff and engage the venue they find themselves in). Thing was, ex-pat open mics are going to have limited appeal: both the performers and the audience are going to be a niche, of necessity, but there were two such shows in the same town. The first open mic I attended basically convinced me that I could do better, so I started one up. And the host of the first was a regular contributor, and I tried to contribute to his, but the fact was, I couldn't. Why? He imposed no time limit on the act. I did. This meant that a couple of exhibitionist blowhards could dominate his stage, but they had a limited amount of time on mine. Did we have acts that sucked? You bet. We had acts that sucked on purpose (it's called taking the sacrificial slot: you're calibrating the judges to highlight the good stuff). But, in my not at all humble opinion, our show was better, because unless you've booked someone along the lines of Seamus Heaney, you're not going to carry 2 hours of show with two poets maximum. Mix it up, two solid poets and five mediocre ones, and you've got a very enjoyable night out at the pub.

That's really not my point, though. My point is the many discussions I had with that other host, in which he accused me of being exclusionary and anti-democratic (sometimes in heated terms). I maintained the opposite. The time frame was shorter, and you had to work within a framework that imposed upon your performance, but everyone got their shot.

I see this is a point at which Crimson and I would part company, as apparently, she favors the guillotine. My views on the same matter are available in one of the posts above. If someone is writing crap poetry, that person is still writing poetry: that means they are engaged by it, and they are in the process of learning what kind of labor goes behind it. This increases appreciation. And from my perspective, appreciation of poetry is a good thing.

Funny thing is, I'd have no issues about pitting the zine I help edit against the link I was given above, and I don't think I'd be delusional in so doing. But in light of the above panegyric to mediocrity, you'd expect my standards would be crap. Maybe they are. Dunno.

Just as well if they are, because I'd be quite livid at finding any work of mine re-published on a website without my permission. Thankfully, I'm sure I have little to worry about.  

I thought it was all about ethical standards with you guys. You don't see any issues with the possibility that an editor might publish someone's work without getting permission? Of all the conundrums I've stomached on this forum, this one is without doubt the one that rests most uneasily in my gut. But hey, if you guys are good with it, it must be okay.

Hm.
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papa_geno
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2006, 12:43:00 PM »

A parting thought:

Crimson's words, from another venue:

Quote
Creation of any art is glory seeking, otherwise one would just leave the poem in the journal on the bedside table.


Rubbish. Creation is as close to a holy act as one is able to get in this lifetime, and it is a moment that exists between the creator and the medium at hand.

Publication...well, now, publication is always sullied in some sense. It's in the nature of human exchange, I suspect. But, in my opinion, that distinction is a very, very important one to make.
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Matt
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2006, 01:26:56 PM »

Quote from: "papa_geno"

I thought it was all about ethical standards with you guys. You don't see any issues with the possibility that an editor might publish someone's work without getting permission? Of all the conundrums I've stomached on this forum, this one is without doubt the one that rests most uneasily in my gut. But hey, if you guys are good with it, it must be okay.

Hm.


I never said I endorsed Renata's "marauder" method.  All I did was link to a page in which she argued with others about it.  

I think this was obvious, no?

But Renata and I have corresponded (and also fought mightily here on this site).  I feel I am largely responsible for chasing her away (not my intention, though).

As for this particular issue (publishing without permission), I personally do not agree with it.  Renata asked my permission to publish one of my poems, and I agreed . . . so I haven't directly experienced her "marauding", but I do find it questionable.

I don't condemn it, though.  I understand her points.  It wouldn't be my method . . . and it is incendiary (especially as a guideline) . . . but it IS Renata through and through.

Still (and most importantly), Foetry has always been primarily focused on contest corruption (and Renata has fought side by side with us on that issue), a venue in which money is changing hands under false pretenses.  Magazine publishing has a whole other set of issues . . . and the turf is much boggier and vague.

Some magazine cronyism is annoying (mostly when it goes undetected by many poets sending their work to these venues without realizing the crony system may be preventing them from acceptance there) . . . but it is not illegal.  No one is being defrauded.  Maybe the consumer of the magazine is being fooled into thinking it is a higher quality product than it actually is . . . and when Foetry notices this happening, we criticize, but we do not allege illegality in such cases.

And, we are primarily concerned with breaking up corruption in the PoBiz, so the Verse Marauder is not really on the radar (not being a true PoBiz institution).  It is an outsider magazine with an outsider ethics (which, again, if you want to argue with these ethics, please contact Renata herself).

Right now, we are concerned with the ethics (or lack thereof) of the insiders.  Outsider ethics (i.e., the ethics of the disenfranchised) are a much more complex issue.  An interesting issue (to me, at least) . . . but currently moot.

Until, that is, some space for outsider poets and poetry publications is carved out in the PoBiz publishing world.

Personally, I am of the mind that the ethics of the outsiders need to be stricter than those of the insiders.  But the essence of outsiderism is the diversity of opinions and approaches.  I would never presume to speak for other disenfranchised poets on this matter.

Yours,
Matt
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Matt
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2006, 01:49:03 PM »

Quote from: "papa_geno"
A parting thought:

Crimson's words, from another venue:

Quote
Creation of any art is glory seeking, otherwise one would just leave the poem in the journal on the bedside table.


Rubbish. Creation is as close to a holy act as one is able to get in this lifetime, and it is a moment that exists between the creator and the medium at hand.

Publication...well, now, publication is always sullied in some sense. It's in the nature of human exchange, I suspect. But, in my opinion, that distinction is a very, very important one to make.


I also disagree with Renata that creation and the pursuit of art are glory-driven.

In fact, I tend to agree with you that creation is a quasi-holy act.  But I would have to qualify that with the statement that the "holy" does not necessarily mean the "good" or the "perfect" to me.

But I do think creation engages us with a kind of "divine consciousness" . . . and that the creative plane is an ethical plane.  The latter belief leads me to dislike the current movement in the PoBiz of an ethics-free creativity.

The cornerstone of creation (in my opinion) is responsibility . . . and the worth of the creator is directly related to her/his willingness to accept the responsibilities of creativity.

-Matt
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alan
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2006, 01:58:58 PM »

Quote from: "Matt"


As for this particular issue (publishing without permission), I personally do not agree with it.  Renata asked my permission to publish one of my poems, and I agreed . . . so I haven't directly experienced her "marauding", but I do find it questionable.


I do not agree with it either, nor did I say that I do.  Again, assumptions.  Renata also asked my wife prior to publishing her poems on the site.  I don't think there's any evidence Renata's not getting permission first.  Perhaps the statement about asking for removal is based upon her training in law school.  She probably knows something about copyright that we don't.  One might argue fair use, I suppose.  In my librarian role, I would argue that permission MUST be obtained.

Janet Holmes re-published more than 2000 words of my original writing on her weblog when she outed me, and you better believe I did not authorize that.  In fact, I demanded that she remove those words.
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"You especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it -- don't cheat with it. -- Ernest Hemingway
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Alan Cordle
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2006, 02:41:20 PM »

Matt, Alan,

Well, if I have to take the 'assumption' tag on the chin, so be it. It did strike me as somewhat incongruous in light of the central issue driving this forum, especially after I looked over the poets.org thread. As to copyright law expertise, I'm sure I'll be better off withholding judgment.

Congrats on the pub for you Matt, and for Katherine, Alan. I have to admit to that waggish part of me that desperately wants to drop the "i" word, but as I had to solicit--from a group of online friends, no less--to get my own work off the ground, that'd be patently unfair, not to mention unwise. Besides, I enjoy community efforts.

Well, for all my clear disagreements with the editorial slant of the zine, (not to mention the scatological references dropped as regards someone I consider a friend and a fine person) I sincerely hope the endeavor is a source of growth and inspiration for all involved.

Matt: 'holy' is not equated with 'good,' and is definitely not equated with 'perfect,' in my book, so I have a fair sense of what you're saying. It's a simple enough statement, but more complex, in its repercussions, than the current discussion may bear.
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alan
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2006, 03:16:59 PM »

Quote from: "papa_geno"

Congrats on the pub for you Matt, and for Katherine, Alan. I have to admit to that waggish part of me that desperately wants to drop the "i" word, but as I had to solicit--from a group of online friends, no less--to get my own work off the ground, that'd be patently unfair, not to mention unwise. Besides, I enjoy community efforts.


Well, I think it was an easy call for Kathleen because she had already published that poem in one of her books.  I don't think she's "techno" enough to consider online publication as a "first stop" yet, though I've encouraged her to . . . Renata asked Kathleen if she could republish the poem because it was her favorite from the book.

And I know I'm contributing to the spinning off topic here, so I'll shut up now.  Papa, your webzine is very nicely designed.  I'm looking forward to reading it later.
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"You especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it -- don't cheat with it. -- Ernest Hemingway
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Alan Cordle
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2006, 06:51:59 PM »

Whoever I can reach, I do reach and ask permission of to use their work.  Most of the poetry on the webzine is used with permission.  But the internet has opened new doors in poetry.  Sometimes I will find a poem by a foreign author on some site, and no amount of googling will give me any contact for that person.  The same with a translator; translators are even harder to contact.  According to a strict interpretation of copyright, I should just move along and forget about the poem.  But I can't, because I get pathologically fixated on good poems.  Since the webzine is not a business, it's not even a non profit, it's just a literary website that sells nothing, I think there is some leeway.  I also make the redress easily available to offended authors/translators: at their request I will remove the infringing poem from the site, period. No one has asked me to remove their poem so far.

Feel free to criticize me, I do not expect any special treatment.  

Is someone less likely to purchase a book of poetry because they found a poem from one author online, as when a song downloaded off the internet and saved on a disk interferes with the purchase decision of an album?  Not likely.  People who buy poetry books like to hold them in their paws and read them in bed, weeping sentimentally (I do! ).  Smiley

Regarding the glorious moment of creation, I think it's important for us poets to honor our chosen art by speaking more pragmatically about it from time to time.  It's not all flaming ego all the time.  There is skill and showmanship involved, and luck and inspiration.  When you don't nail it you don't nail it, and it's fair for your peers to tell you that, as much as it's fair for them to praise you when you do.  That is the purpose of a guild, isn't it, to maintain some sort of weights and measures to judge the work produced.  

There is such a thing as admiring from a distance, also; if you suck at poetry, but you like to read poetry, maybe you were meant to be a reader.  Nothing wrong with that.  I like many arts, and I don't have to say "I can do that" to all of them.  You get into an awkward mine field if you start praising work simply because someone leads a tangential existence to the world of poetry.  I care about people's feelings, and I admit I am almost never sufficiently tactful, but it seems to me elementary that you harm the field when you praise bad or mediocre work.  You harm the field when you are not critical, when you are not truthful.  

I've suffered bruised egoship on numerous occasions, so I don't think it's such an unspeakable crime to bruise someone else's.  That's life in society. Certainly I would not sacrifice the quality standards in poetry to pamper anyone, or protect them from reality.  Our existence is, after all, meaningless, and whether we like it or not we get clues pointing in that direction throughout our living days, from other humans and cats and mud slides and migratory birds.  This insistence of protecting fragile egoes seems to me stuffy and unhealthy.  Who wants a mediocre statue in the city square for the next 100 years?  I don't.  I want a Michelangelo.  It strikes me that as an editor, in my short and minuscule experience, you say no infinitely more times than yes, so you better get over any aversion to it.
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Matt
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2006, 11:14:53 PM »

Renata, I think one of the interesting implications of your approach is that it questions the monetary value of poems.  You know the law better than me, I'm sure, but I do remember (I think) that one of the important criteria in determining copyright infringement has been the potential threat to sales.  Since it could easily be argued that poems are of little or no monetary value, this criterion might be considered somewhat moot.

But, what this really got me thinking about is the fact that poets so often overvalue their work (or, at least, value it incorrectly).  Probably the PoBiz push for professionalization of the "poet class" has something to do with this.  Even if the average poet in our society doesn't think her/his poems are worth something in a monetary sense, so often poems are made equivalent to career.

The value of a poem is made to mean the value to the poet's career . . . and not the value to the reader or to "society".  Poems are considered absolutely worthless until they are published and turned into a commodity.

Anyway, I'm tired and not articulating this very well at the moment, but I just thought that this is something that needs to be challenged . . . and I like the idea of the poem as free, as gift, as autonomous entity rather than property with a trade value.  This commodification of poems has really become a plague these days . . . and it fits in with my frequently expressed idea that the problem with today's poetry is a problem of conception, of envisioning the poem as something without social usefulness, without something to offer the reader . . . and instead envisioning it as something that is designed to TAKE from the reader (take time, take attention, take money) and give to the poet.  The reader is used to promote the poet's climb to success.

I think your marauding policy at least indirectly challenges some of this commodification plaguing poetry.  In a sense it says, "Fuck the poet.  Poetry is for the reader."  And I like that.

If I was an editor, I don't think I would take the same approach (probably because it would offend many poets), but as a poet, I am very sympathetic to it.

I felt like I had to make a kind of peace with my own poems.  Originally, I wanted them to be acknowledged, to be published in major journals, etc.  But I felt like they were telling me that they weren't going to become commodities.  They told me to go to hell.  "We're poems, dipshit," they said, "not cash or connections or magic beans."  They aren't the vehicle that will take me to a better destination, but simply artifacts commemorating my personal journeys.  Things that were produced because I ended up going wherever it was I went.

There's a similar concept in medieval alchemy: a hidden worth in the overtly worthless, a non-monetary value.  One of the many things poetry and alchemy have in common.

OK.  I have to go to bed.  Sorry for the rambling incoherence.

Yours,
Matt
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Alexandra Benjamin
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2006, 11:21:58 PM »

O! yeah: Papa_Geno! babe:

>>U said:

Rubbish. Creation is as close to a holy act as one is able to get in this lifetime, and it is a moment that exists between the creator and the medium at hand. <<

I am in luv!
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... And their combined reward will be no greater and no lesser than what will be won by a piece of dried turd. It's a reward beyond thought."

Jack Kerouac, The Scripture Of The Golden Eternity
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