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Author Topic: Fulcrum's Self-Love Includes Monday Love  (Read 34731 times)
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Monday Love
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« on: November 01, 2006, 10:22:53 PM »

The new issue of Fulcrum, an "annual of poetry and aesthetics," features numerous blurbs bragging about its significant contribution to poetry and philosophy, and the blurbs are by those who--regularly write for Fulcrum!

Marjorie Perloff, regular contributor and contributing editor, sings on the back page: "One of the liveliest, most challenging poetry journals now on the market, Fulcrum is notable for its non-sectarianism, its free-wheeling, wide-ranging presentation of different poetries, candid interviews, and unusual critical prose."  ("And me!" she should have added.)

Billy Collins, who publishes poems in Fulcrum also weighs in on the back cover, "From out of nowhere, Fulcrum has in only a few years established itself as a must-read journal, a unique annual of literary and intellectual substance positioned on the cutting edge of culture." (signed, Billy Cutting-Edge-of-Culture)

The shameless orgy of self-advertising is interesting in that it also includes a quote from Foetry.com! (page 3)

"Fulcrum...arose a well-connected giant out of nowhere."  --Foetry.com

I searched for the quote on Foetry.com but could not find it; perhaps it's from V. 1?  

(I'm the only one that I'm aware of who mentions Fulcrum, so I assume they are quoting me.)

It is almost as if Fulcrum decided, hey, we're throwing a big party and everybody is invited--so what's the problem??

I think there is a problem.

Also invited to the party is David Lehman.  He has a poem on page 214, and I'm sorry to report it's a dull poem; it bravely attempts to be breezily and insouciantly rhyme-y but it chugs its way into Yawn Town.  It were as if Mr. Lehman missed a shot in basketball while trying a half-court shot while facing away from the basket.  He thinks it went in--but I can assure him it did not.  It hit nothing, neither Amsterdam nor Copenhagen.

David Lehman published one of the two editors of Fulcrum, Katia Kapovich, in his 2006 Best American Poetry, Billy Collins, guest editor.  

Oh my.

What an orgy.

Billy Collins' poem which appeared in BAP 2005 was published in Fulcrum.  Collins chose Katia Kapovich for the Witt-Binder award.  Collins likes Kapovich.  That's fine.  And she likes him and publishes him in her magazine.  That's fine, too.

Billy Collins can get published anywhere.  The poem by Ms. Kapovich which he published in BAP 2006 is a good poem.  

But the decision to publish Lehman's bad poem was probably not a wise one on the part of Fulcrum.

Fulcrum is attempting a bold coup in broad daylight.  They have reached a threshold of power and influence where the time is now to show off that power and influence.  

Ben Mazer, the most important Fulcrum contributing editor and an old friend of Philip Nikolayev, the other Fulcrum editor, is awash in the triumph of his Landis Everson discovery--which broke in Fulcrum--and edits another feature in this issue: Cambridge (MA) in the 20s.  A long poem of Mr. Mazer's appears in this issue, as well as a poem by John Crowe Ransom, whose Collected Mazer edited.  Mazer read the poems of Everson's at the G.E. Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard when Everson could not perform due to a stroke.  On the back cover of this issue, Donald Share, Poetry Editor, Harvard Review, and Curator, G.E. Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard, intones: "Fulcrum is quite simply the most exciting literary magazine I know of--it's got the largest scope of any journal..."

Mr. Share has 3 poems starting on page 121.

Let's get this party started.

The Fulcrum orgy is about to knock your socks off.

I have not had a chance to read the whole issue yet.  So far I see some brilliant poems by Barbara Matteau and some horribly rhymed translations of Baudelaire and Apollinaire by Charles Bernstein--who obviously has a tin ear.  Bernstein should learn a lesson from Matteau's more subtle, delicate music.

Fulcrum does present a lot of stuff, and a lot of it is interesting, but much of it tends to be poor quality and this is inevitable, I think, when you are trying to publish a lot of bigshots and a lot of friends and become a major magazine overnight.  The prose in Fulcrum is usually better than the poetry.  Mazer's poem is too long, and one gets the idea he's stealing lines from Eliot, but it's a worthy poem; it has a certain power.

Well, that's enough of a review for now.  I'll read more of this issue and see what else I can find.

The Collins poems are not his strongest, the last one is kind of funny...

Oh, I see Glynn Maxwell is in the issue, a friend of Mazer's from way back...

And I see more poems from Landis Everson...

Let's see what the rest of the revelers have to offer...


Monday Love
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alan
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2006, 12:15:31 AM »

Here's your post:
http://www.foetry.com/newbb/viewtopic.php?p=4503&highlight=giant+nowhere#4503

Now I'm hoping we can count on Ed for one of his famous blurb reviews.

 :wink:

And by the by, Ed's not the only Harvard-affiliate hanging out at Foetry.com.

 :wink:  :wink:
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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
Monday Love
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2006, 10:06:22 AM »

Quote from: "alan"
Here's your post:
http://www.foetry.com/newbb/viewtopic.php?p=4503&highlight=giant+nowhere#4503

Now I'm hoping we can count on Ed for one of his famous blurb reviews.

 :wink:

And by the by, Ed's not the only Harvard-affiliate hanging out at Foetry.com.

 :wink:  :wink:


Thanks, Alan.

Please remember to pick up your copy of 'Fulcrum.'  

It contains greatness!  It contains me!   :lol:

Mon
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Ed Dupree
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2006, 02:58:37 PM »

Quote
Now I'm hoping we can count on Ed for one of his famous blurb reviews.



I'll be on the case Al, if I can get hold of the mag.

 

Quote
And by the by, Ed's not the only Harvard-affiliate hanging out at Foetry.com.



I just hope none of my many bosses is here....
---Then again, that would show that they were goofing off too.


Ed
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alan
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2006, 03:07:14 PM »

Quote from: "Ed Dupree"


I'll be on the case Al, if I can get hold of the mag.


Well, surely Harvard subscribes to every periodical!
Quote
I just hope none of my many bosses is here....
---Then again, that would show that they were goofing off too.


Ed


It's just that I noticed a name in Monday's Fulcrum post that is also on the memberlist here, but I think you're safe.
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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
Monday Love
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2006, 12:05:17 PM »

There's an essay in the new "Fulcrum" by Peter Hare, a nice essay which gives some insights into Wallace Stevens, and I found the following passage interesting.  The article in question looks at one case of poetry vs. philosophy on the personal level.  Mr. Hare speculates as to why Peter Weiss did not publish a Wallace Stevens lecture in his philosophy journal.

"He [Peter Weiss] was probably also embarrassed by the fact that in his lecture Stevens had quoted from his (Weiss's) letters at some length.  He may have felt that those quotations would give readers of the Review the impression that Weiss was not a disinterested editor."

This was back in the early 1950s.   A time of innocence, perhaps?  A time of intellectual integrity?

Now it's true that Mr. Hare sort of mourns the fact that Weiss did not publish Stevens (though he thinks on technical grounds that he probably shouldn't have, since Stevens' lecture was not right for an academic philosophy journal) but this brings up an interesting foetry question.  

I don't think Weiss should have published Stevens, if Stevens was widely quoting Weiss in his piece.   But one might argue that it would have been a good idea anyway, if only because of a 'meeting of the minds.'

When Katia Kapovich publishes David Lehman, is this a 'meeting of the minds?'   I don't believe it does rise to this criterion.   I think it merely falls into the category of bad taste, if not outright foetry, since Kapovich and Lehman do not have distinct enough philsophical/poetic identities when put side by side.  This is not like Shelley publishing a poem by Keats, for instance.  I could be wrong.  Perhaps someone might prove me wrong.

Monday
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Ed Dupree
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2006, 04:25:54 PM »

Quote from: "alan"
Quote from: "Ed Dupree"


I'll be on the case Al, if I can get hold of the mag.


Quote
Well, surely Harvard subscribes to every periodical!



Looks like the Harvard library doesn't have the latest issue yet. The issue I found has no blurbs on it at all. Dern.

Ed
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night_owl
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2006, 08:09:26 PM »

Mr. "Monday Love" talks about Fulcrum's "shameless orgy of self-advertising" -- presumably he would prefer self-advertising to be shyly abstinent. But it would be instructive to see who is talking and why. Mr. "Monday Love" further says: "Fulcrum is attempting a bold coup in broad daylight.  They have reached a threshold of power and influence where the time is now to show off that power and influence."

Voila, in this numbskull world such things as literary power, literary influence, mutual admiration, mutual promotion by writers, friendships or even family ties among writers are all automatically branded as bad and suspect and dismissed as "shameless orgies" (the they-are-friends-because-they-all-sold-out-to-each-other mentality) -- but this must necessarily be done from behind the safety curtains of anonymity. These gestures from behind the scenes -- "Ah let us abolish literary friendship, literary love, any form of literary mutuality, they are ah so corrupting!" -- are one of the funniest things one can generally find on this site. The only thing funnier is the hypocrisy with which this is done:

"I have not had a chance to read the whole issue yet.  So far I see some brilliant poems by Barbara Matteau and some horribly rhymed translations of Baudelaire and Apollinaire by Charles Bernstein--who obviously has a tin ear.  Bernstein should learn a lesson from Matteau's more subtle, delicate music."

For someone so keen exposing rampant conspiracy, nepotism and corruption in the literary sphere, Mr. Monday Love, known more mundanely as the amateur poet Thomas Graves currently of Salem, Mass, is astonishingly inconsistent. The best thing he finds in Fulcrum 5: "some brilliant poems by Barbara Matteau," his own wife. While I have no doubt that Thomas praises Barbara's poems not at all because she is his wife and the mother of his children but purely thanks to her poems' objective literary merit, I fail to understand why he neglects to denigrate her work's appearance in Fulcrum, for he knows full well that Barbara Matteau too is also an old friend of Philip Nikolayev's and of Ben Mazer's and has herself published their work in an editorial capacity in the past.

While Mr. Monday love, a.k.a. Thomas Graves, foams anonymous criticism at Fulcrum at every chance he gets not at all out of any kind of twisted jealousy or envy, but always and only by dint of his disinterested concern for literary fairness and meritocracy, Fulcrum shamelessly admits that its friendships are based on literary quality and that it promotes the work of its genius friends.

"Well, that's enough of a review for now.  I'll read more of this issue and see what else I can find," concludes Thomas Graves. I am convinced that you will find plenty, plenty more, "Love."
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night_owl
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2006, 09:47:27 PM »

"When Katia Kapovich publishes David Lehman, is this a 'meeting of the minds?'   I don't believe it does rise to this criterion.   I think it merely falls into the category of bad taste, if not outright foetry, since Kapovich and Lehman do not have distinct enough philosophical/poetic identities when put side by side.  This is not like Shelley publishing a poem by Keats, for instance.  I could be wrong.  Perhaps someone might prove me wrong," -- rants and raves Thomas Graves (no rhyme intended), a.k.a. Monday Love. On the other hand, his anonymous praise of "some brilliant poems by Barbara Matteau," his own lawful wife, is exactly, exactly "like Shelley publishing a poem by Keats, for instance" and "the meeting of true minds" [get your quotes right me Foetry scholard]! What astounds is how plainly the motivations behind certain criticism that appears on this site are not one sneeze distinct from those that drive the conspiracies that the critics allege and bewail everywhere (else).
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Monday Love
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2006, 11:12:07 PM »

Quote from: "Ed Dupree"
Quote from: "alan"
Quote from: "Ed Dupree"


I'll be on the case Al, if I can get hold of the mag.


Quote
Well, surely Harvard subscribes to every periodical!



Looks like the Harvard library doesn't have the latest issue yet. The issue I found has no blurbs on it at all. Dern.

Ed


Ed,

It's issue #5.

Monday
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Monday Love
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2006, 12:30:16 AM »

Night Owl,

Are you seriously defending those translations in "Fulcrum" of Baudelaire and Apollinaire?  

I cannot believe you would sully your good reputation, Mr. Owl, by rushing so blatantly to the defense--in broad daylight!--of Charles Bernstein, or whatever he calls himself these days...Chuck, CB, Mr. B?  You do know, do you not, that English and French are languages with dissimilar music, with distinct identities, so that no English translation could possibly sound like the French of Baudelaire or Apollinaire or...Fred Flintstone?  So, on the grounds that this is not Baudelaire, please tell me what it is:

Hungry for tricks, you strut like a queen
Till your laugh, soaking in tears unseen
Jogs joy from a vulgar spleen

I'll tell you what it is.  It is plainly the worst example of English doggerel it is possible for an English-speaking person to write, and for someone to pass this off as Baudelaire (!!) is downright embarrassing.  It is an insult to poetry, an insult to all this is sacred and precious and honorable.  That is what it is.

Have you no eyes, Mr. Owl?  No ears?  No sense of smell?

Yours,

MondayLove
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night_owl
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2006, 10:25:14 AM »

"Are you seriously defending those translations in "Fulcrum" of Baudelaire and Apollinaire?" queries Monday Love / Thomas Graves rhetorically in an effort to redirect attention. No, this is not at all what I am doing. I have no interest in debating poetry with you. What I am in fact saying is plain enough to figure out, but I wish you the best of luck with going into denial.
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alan
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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2006, 09:14:59 PM »

Night Owl,

As I'm sure many have gathered by now, your real name appears earlier in this thread.  Are you really so threatened by Mr. Love's criticism that you feel compelled to "out" him, and by association, his wife and kids?  Congrats on your inability to refute claims and discuss differences without taking a page from the Scooter Libby handbook.  Your need to out Monday and his family says more about you than any of his posts about Fulcrum.

Unimpressed,
Al

PS I've sent ML your email address.  It's only fair that he knows who you are.
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Alan Cordle
night_owl
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2006, 10:01:47 PM »

"As I'm sure many have gathered by now, your real name appears earlier in this thread.  Are you really so threatened by Mr. Love's criticism that you feel compelled to "out" him, and by association, his wife and kids?  Congrats on your inability to refute claims and discuss differences without taking a page from the Scooter Libby handbook.  Your need to out Monday and his family says more about you than any of his posts about Fulcrum," quoth Al, unimpressed, and adds "PS I've sent ML your email address.  It's only fair that he knows who you are."

My alias here is thin for sure, nor have I made a huge secret of anything, but for an admin of a site that thrives on "outing" this and that you might try to be more impressionable. I am not at all threatened by Tom's twitter but am mildly and justifiably annoyed by the human qualities that it expresses, and I also take a bit of a fleeting pleasure (I shouldn't really!) in exposing crass hypocrisy and warped self-interest behind a self-righteous facade of objectivity and high literary morals. Why exactly is this not a noble motive by Foetry's standards? Then again, Foetry has my full permission to go on blowing off steam about perceived literary corruption and conspiracies everywhere (else) while excusing its own ilk and screaming "victim" when the tables are turned. That keeps you adequately "impressed," I hope, and makes you worth your keep as this site’s admin.

Have an awesome night.
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Monday Love
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2006, 08:37:46 PM »

Quote from: "night_owl"
"Are you seriously defending those translations in "Fulcrum" of Baudelaire and Apollinaire?" queries Monday Love / Thomas Graves rhetorically in an effort to redirect attention. No, this is not at all what I am doing. I have no interest in debating poetry with you. What I am in fact saying is plain enough to figure out, but I wish you the best of luck with going into denial.


No interest in debating poetry with me?  I can't imagine Bernstein's translations holding up in any "debate."  You don't wish to discuss poetry, but I'm afraid you're soaking in it, like the dyer's hand.

You agree with most members of this site who say that scams matter here, not aesthetics.

But I believe poetry matters more on Foetry.com than anywhere else, and to illustrate, I might compare poetry to a house which needs protection from termites (foets).  We are looking out for termites, true, but it is the house which ultimately matters, and so this is what the discussion here is finally about.  

Names and reputations are treated roughly here, if only to make up for how delicately they are treated elsewhere; I seek a balance, I seek a place where name and reputation fall away and the truth of poetry may speak.

You accuse me of redirecting attention, but you are the one creating a diversion.  You want Foetry.com to praise "Fulcrum" (even as Foetry.com is quoted in "Fulcrum" when it praises Foetry.com) but when Foetry.com speaks the truth of "Fulcrum," then all of sudden it's time for Foetry.com to shut up?  There is an essay in the current "Fulcrum" which quotes Adorno and Benjamin saying "advertising" is the only false writing there is.  Do you want discussion of "Fulcrum" (here and elsewhere) to be only "advertising?"

You attempt to embarrass a poet published in "Fulcrum" because...why?  Because some true things were said about "Fulcrum?"  I don't understand.  I think you are the one diverting attention, and you are the one who is in denial.

Like so many others, you come here with a generally hostile attitude towards this site, and make vague accusations; but what specifically has Foetry.com--which is a consumer protection site, as well as a place for aesthetics to speak honestly, without being weighed down by the concerns of name and reputation--what specifically has Foetry.com done to offend you?  Was it Monday Love praising a poet in "Fulcrum" that set you off?  Was that what offended you?

I believe "Fulcrum" is a good effort, and I've said so.  "Fulcrum" is now getting free publicity on this site, and I wish it all the best.

It is finally the content of "Fulcrum" which matters here, not names, reputations, and advertising.  It really is the poetry.  


MondayLove
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