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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

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!

~~~~~~~~~~

Announcing the release of Issue 1, edited by Stephen McLaughlin and Jim Carpenter. Now available here as a 3,785-page PDF (3.9 MB).

This issue features new poems by Nada Gordon, Evelyn Reilly, Julianna Mundim, Emmy Catedral, Enid Bagnold, Richard Siken, Stephen Ratcliffe, Michael Gottlieb, Jodie Childers, Norman J. Olson, Brent Hendricks, Sean Kilpatrick, Tom McCarthy, Stacy Doris, Michael Rerick, Corrinne Clegg Hales, Mark Decarteret, Hadewijch of Antwerp, Darren Wershler-Henry, Letitia Trent, Debra Di Blasi, Laura Elrick, Bruna Mori, Popahna Brandes, Robert Sheppard, Diana Magallan, Kristine Danielson, Ed Higgins, Drew Gardner, Kyle Kaufman, Matthew Thorburn, Tiel Aisha Ansari, Christopher Wells, Vanessa Place, Simon Pettet, Grace Vajda, John Bennett, Ian Patterson, Joseph Hutchison, John Cotter, Cheryl Lawson Walker, Scott Esposito, Jason Nelson, Daniel Kane, Kimo Armitage, Alan May, J.D. Nelson, Bob Hershon, Jennifer Karmin, Kim Rosenfield, Nathan Austin, Pearl Pirie, Rosmarie Waldrop, Tara Betts, Donald Revell, Jim Ryals, Danuta Kean, Jeff VanderMeer, Alfredo Bonanno, Irene Latham, Michael Hennesy, Dick Higgins, John Hanson, Billy Merrell, Sam Ladkin, Jeff Ward, Debra Jenks, K. Lorraine Graham, Kenji Okuhira, Sean MacInnes, Adam Seelig, Steve Halle, David Mus, Monique Wittig, Joyelle McSweeney, Daniel E. Levenson, Luke Daly, Henry Thoreau, John Palattella, Abby Trenaman, Kristen Taylor, Vassily Kamensky, David Jhave Johnston, Gene Tanta, Cate Marvin, Alison Roth, Shad Marsh, Asher Ghaffar, Henry Gould, Justin Theroux, Susan Grimm, Bernard Wilson, Ateet Tuli, Laura Moriarty, Mark McMorris, Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle, Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, William Shakespeare, Nick Trinen, Daphne Gottlieb, Magdalena Zurawski, A.K. Arkadin, Matthue Roth, Douglas J. Belcher, After Bitahatini, Neil Schmitz, Liz Henry, Tom Hansen, Craig Saper, Pris Campbell, Afua-Kafi Akua, Amish Trivedi, Chris Hutchinson, Cath Vidler, Sarah Weinman, A.E. Stallings, Robin Blaser, Roland Prevost, Mac Wellman, Steven Schroeder, Joy Garnett, Mark Lamoureux, Julie Clark, Bob Garlitz, Jeff Hamilton, Kara Dorris, Maureen Thorson, Irv Muchnick, Frank O’Hara, Robin Magowan, C. Allen Rearick, A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz, Tony Leuzzi, Bhanu Kapil, Sage U`ilani Takehiro, Shellie Zacharia, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Camille Martin, Eliot Weinberger, David Nemeth, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Iris Smyles, Bertolt Brecht, David Forbes, Colin Herd, Sergio Bessa, Zach Wollard, Adam Ford, Claudia Keelan, Hank Sotto, Jamba Dunn, Ken Mikolowski, Jean-Jacques Poucel, Santiago B. Villafania, David Valentinovia, Robert Kaufman, Dominique Meens, Joe Elliot, August Stramm, Justin Katko! Sandra Korchenko, Carol Peters, Lilah Hegnauer, Brian Evenson, Wallace Stevens, Timothy Murphy, Joseph Bradshaw, Nick Courtright, Adam Chiles, James, Kane X. Faucher, David Abel, Ray Succre, Gabriel Gudding, Antonin Artaud, Mark Cunningham, Paul Fattaruso, William Saroyan, Aaron McCollough, Confucius/Ezra Pound, David Antin, Rob Mackenzie, Ryan Eckes, Christian Peet, Peter Riley, Litsa Spathi, Anna Ahkmatova, Mark Tursi, J.D. Schraffenberger, Greg Fuchs, Sean Casey, Orpingalik, Hassan Melehy, Rosemarie Waldrop, Phillip Lund, Adam Aitken, Michael Davidson, Andrea Rexilius, William Allegrezza, Raymond Queneau, Fred Wah, Marcia Arrieta, Elizabeth Cross, Jonathan Greene, Gregory Laynor, Preston Spurlock, Jane Sprague, Kevin Thurston, Stephen Berry, William Bronk, Claudia Rankine, Steve Dalachinsky, Ed Sanders, Sam Rasnake, Wes Smiderle, James Belflower, Simmons B. Buntin, Dolores Dorantes, Emilie Clark, Leslie Marmon Silko, Sarah O’Brien, Jack Tricarico, Gerard Van der Luen, Frances Richard, Charlie Bertsch, Bob Cobbing, Sabrina Calle, Steven Burt, Stephane Mallarme, Bob Marcacci, Edwin Torres, Lois Marie Harrod, Evgeny Maizel, Luc Simonic, Lawrence Durrell, Amanda Davidson, Pendergast, Gregory Orr, Lepson, Joseph Duemer, Eric Alterman, Erin M. Bertram, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Suzanne Buffam, Andy Nicholson, Edward Champion, Katy Acheson, Okey Ndibe, Jennifer Mulligan, Renee Zepeda, Alfred Kubin, Sawako Nakayasu, David Prater, Forrest Gander, Mike Gubser, Virginia Heatter, Leslie Winer, Ed Schenk, Doug Holder, Russell Ragsdale, Jose Manuel Velazquez, Dick Jones, Gerry Loose, Daniel J. Vaccaro, Rafael Alberti, Jeff Newberry, Igor Terentiev, Micah Robbins, Friedrich Holderlin, Arif Khan, Laurel Dodge, Ann White, Nicolas Guillen, John Lowther, Cathleen Miller, Josef Vachal, Chris Moran, Miyazawa Kenji, Robert Fitterman, Norman Mailer, Doris Shapiro, Talan Menmott, Alan Licht, John Godfrey, James Maughn, Anne Heide, Jasmine Dreame Wagner, Lina ramona Vitkauskas, Judith Goldman, Rich Murphy, Halvard Johnson, Ariel Dorfman, Ed Baker, Maryrose Larkin, Sheila E. Murphy, Rosanna Warren, Jean Cocteau, Clarence Major, Eleanor Stanford, Teresa Carmody, Kenward Elmslie, Rainer Maria Rilke, Ryan Walker, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Nava Fader, Rob Budde, Allison Cobb, Robert Roley, Alison Collins, Melissa Fondakowski, Nathan Whiting, Jess Rowan, Cid Corman, Bob Heman, Libby Rosof, Cassie Lewis, Scott Saner, Roberta Allen, Raymond Farr, Anne Pierson Wiese, kevin mcpherson eckhoff, Troy Lloyd, Lindsay Boldt, Andrea Baker, Meredith Quartermain, Richard Meier, Louise Mathias, Joseph Cooper, Lynn Strongin, Outlines, Suzanne Stein, Richard de Nooy, Sherry, Robert Chrysler, Ton van’t Hof, Peter Cole, Michael Slosek, June Jordan, Andrew Zitka, Eve Babitz, G.C. Waldrep, Craig Santos Perez, James Sherry, Hugh, David R. 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Daniel Rzicznek, Diana Magallon and Jeff Crouch, Kyle Schlesinger, Stuart Dybek, Marco Giovenale, Zach Savich, Tom Wegrzynowski, Arnie Hoffman, Rikki Ducornet, Dawn, Thomas Fink,, Christian Jensen, Andrew Philip, Dave Pollard, Miriam Burstein, Jessica Bozek, Patrick So, Joe Massey, Carmine Starnino, Evan Kennedy, Chris Vitiello, Nick Bruno, Amy Newman, Sharon Gilbert, Aaron Tieger, William Wordsworth, Eugenio Tisselli, julia doughty, Marko Niemi, Pierre Reverdy, Lytton Smith, Lee Gurga, Jed Shahar, Tim Hunt, Lee Upton, Mark Scroggins, Rachel Smith, Robert Wodzinski, Matthew Blake, Matina Stamatakis, Robert Waxman, Jack McGuane, Bethany Ides, Alfred Arteaga, Kat Meads, Sandra Gilbert, Carlo Parcelli, Jeff Calhoun, John Bryant, Jasper Bernes, Jeffrey Joe Nelson, Joan Houlihan, Lynn Behrendt, Jack Kerouac, Brenda Iijima, James Koller, Sun Yung Shin, Ixta Menchaca, John Barton, Piero Heliczer, Todd Colby, Awotunde Aworinde, Emma Barnes, Allison Whittenberg, Jenni Russell, Rowan Wilken, Daniela Olszewska, Layne Russell, George Oppen, Ben Yarmolinsky, Phil Cordelli, Andrew Kozma, Harry Wilkens, Jonathan Lethem, Richard Gorecki, Jilly Dybka, Kirthi Nath, Jennifer Bredl, Paolo Buzzi, Aime Cesaire & Rene Depestre, Ruben Dario, Rachel Loden, William Bryant, hassen, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Jessamyn West, Salvador Dali, Greg Djanikian, George M Wallace, Sharon Brogan, Roger Farr, Lesley Yalen, Jessica Tillyer, Cathy Eisenhower, Noah Falck, Beka Goedde, Patrick Lovelace, Erik Anderson, Shahar Gold, Olivier Cadiot, Peter O’Leary, Mel Nichols, Juan Felipe Herrera, Mirabai, Rob Mackenzie, Bethany Wright, Joseph Mosconi, MTC Cronin, Terrance Hayes, Bryson Newhart, Yoko Ono, Gherardo Bortolotti, Olli Sinivaara, Jim Crace, Brendan Lorber, Tracie Morris, Jeffrey Side, Brent Cunningham, Henry Miller, Christina McPhee, Mike Nicoloff, Ray Federman, Valerie Coulton, HL Hazuka, Ari Banias, Thomas Hummel, Nicolette Bond, J.F. 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Lawrence, Sean O Riordain, Anne Kaier, Simone dos Anjos, Brian McMahon, Josef Capek, Gloria Oden, Georges Hugnet, Sekuo Sendiata, Timothy Yu, Craig Dworkin, Mary Ann Sullivan, Guillermo Juan Parra, Paul Klinger, Catherine Wagner, Angela Veronica Wong, Terence Gower, Chris Toll, Francis Picabia, David Bromige, John Estes, Kenneth Koch, John Moore Williams, harry k. stammer, Kyle Gann, Paul Guest, Carl Rakosi, Cole Porter, Ray Craig, Bob Holman, Jordan Stempleman, Gilbert Sorrentino, Larissa Shmailo, Kris Hemensley, Jennifer Manzano, Peter Culley, Dan Silliman, Lyn Hejinian, Lloyd Schwartz, Peter Larkin, MaryLou Sanelli, Clare Latremouille, Karla Kelsey, Peter Magliocco, Bruce Stewart, Kyle Simonsen, Glenn Ingersoll, Teri Hoskin, Henry Louis Gates, John Mcmahon, Dan Raphael, Tanya Allen, Annie Finch, Mitch, Bill Kushner, Rochita Ruiz, Tom Gilroy, Yashodhara Raychaudhuri, Elaine Terranova, Tom Hibbard, Joel Nichols, Don Cheney, Ashraf Osman, Melanie Little, Barbara Cole, Chris Higgs, Paul van Ostaijen, Kate Hill Cantrill, George Kalamaras, Ren Powell, Steve Smith, Lloyd Mintern, Denise Duhamel, Veselovsky Pitts, G.L. 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Marlow, Martin Larsen, Susana Gardner, David Weinberger, Bill Cohen, Sasha Sommeil, Jill Chan, Josh Robinson, Crag Hill, William Burroughs, Ruthven Todd, Annie Proulx, Monty Reid, Simon Perchik, A.K. Scipioni, Ron Hogan, Marcel Duchamp, Thomas Day, Bob Arnold, Rabia al Basri, Michael Andre, Raymond Foss, Ruby Mohan, Kate Schatz, Elizabeth Smith, Tom Matrullo, Carmen Racovitza, Blake Butler, Maggie O’Sullivan, Eugene Ostashevsky, Therese Halscheid, Lauren Levato, Hermann Hesse, Christian Prigent, Michael Reid Busk, Caroline Sinavaiana, Marcia Roberts, Muriel Rukeyser, Jessica Watson, sara seinberg, Garth Whelan, Peter Ramos, Harry K Stammer, Tom Jones, Arjun Chandramohan Bali, Lawrence Joseph, Lee Posna, Tim Mcnulty, Patrick James Dunagan, Laurie Clark, Sabbir Azam, George Green, David Maney, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Jenny Allan, Gary L. McDowell, Samuel Wharton, Leonard Cohen, Kyle Conner, Maxine Hong Kingston, Stephanie Strickland, Michael Schiavo, Lynne Tillman, Jesus Manuel Mena Garza, David-Baptiste Chirot, Augustine Porras, Juan J. Morales, Tim Z. Hernandez, Diane Ward, Donald Marshall, Jack Collom, Paul Lyons, Megan Kaminski, Chris Fritton, Paul Vermeersch, Aaron Lowinger, Bob Perelman, Steve Yarbrough, J.H. Prynne, Amy King, Geoffrey Chaucer, Joel Dailey, Christopher Hennessy, Meghan O’Rourke and Cathy Park Hong, Jennifer Scappettone, David Hecker, Carl Brush, Joy Hendrickson-Turner, Leny Strobel, John Timpane, Amanda Watson, Cate Peebles, Danny Snelson, Christopher Mulrooney, Jaime Anne Earnest, Trina Gaynon, Caleb Puckett, Weyman Chan, Patricia Dienstfrey, Evelio Rojas, Susan Tichy, Shawn McKinney, Gerald Bosacker, Joel Kuszai, Norman Lock, Eric Gelsinger, Suzanne Frischkorn, Gabor Szilasi, Shannon Smith, Peter J. Grieco, Nasra al Adawi, Anna Moschovakis, Charles Henri Ford, Nicholas Downing, Sharron Proulx-Turner, Richard Long, Majena Mafe, Timothy Kreiner, Jorge Luis Borges, Lucebert, Chuck Stebelton, John Sparrow, Victor Hernandez Cruz, Jee Leong Koh, Sophie Robinson, Carol Mirakove, Susan Stewart, Adalaide Morris, Camille Bacos, Diane Williams, Robert J. Baumann, Kristi Castro, Don Illich, Holly Anderson, C.D. Wright, Jerome McGann, Alex Gildzen, Joseph Lease, Allen, Meagan Wilson, David H. Thomas, Jane Thompson, Andrew Zawacki, Gottfried Benn, John Hyland, Jim Morrison, Lyle Daggett, Robert Duncan, Diane Lockward, Kate Daniels, Angela Woodward, Paul Vazquez, Jesse Minkert, E. Ethelbert Miller, Scott Withaim, Arthur Rimbaud, Luc Fierens, Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore, Rackstraw Downes, Elizabeth James, Paolo Javier, Robyn Sarah, Rosemarie Crisafi, Wendy Collin Sorin, Jack Hirschman, Flynne Bracker, Rick Wiggins, Baron Wolman, Frederic Tuten, Su Carlson, Raina Leon, C.E. Chaffin, Katrinka Moore, Lucy Anderton, Reyes Cardenas, Mei Mei Chang, Scott Malby, Alice Becker-Ho, Wassily Kandinsky, Bob Hazelton, Leonard Schwartz, Larry Smith, Dave Winer, Ivan Carswell, Genevieve Kaplan, John Findura, Shrikanth Reddy, David Horowitz, Jocelyn Grosse, C. Dale Young, Kiki Smith, Scott K. Odom, Brandon Brown, Tim Lockridge, Lauren Goodwin Slaughter, Steve Luxton, Melissa Buzzeo, Aaron Kunin, Anne Haines, William Carlos Williams, Catherine Daly, Jack Martin, Ocean, Angela Rawlings, Richard Hell, Monica de la Torre, Ruth Lepson, Trevor Calvert, Donato Mancini, Diana Adams, Miranda Mellis, Dust Congress Hackmuth, Philip Whalen, Dan Thomas-Glass, Abigail Licad, Caroline Rothstein, Matt Briggs, Hans Arp, Patrick F. 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Craig, Berenice Dunford, Michael Harris, JF Quackenbush, Helen Losse, Matt Mullins, Caterina Fake, Matthew Siegel, Julie Patton, Siel, Kristine Leja, Aryanil Mukherjee, Nathaniel Siegel, Kevin Connolly, Philip Levine, Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), Michael Peters, Roger Singer, Carol Jenkins, Gabriela ¬†Erandi Rico, Craig Perez, AE Reiff, Gelett Burgess, Thurston Moore, Sam Byfield, Angela Vogel, Bruce Weber, Steve Tills, Mary Askin-Jencsik, Endre Farkas, Tony Trigilio, Angela Carr, Slater Brown, Toby Olson, K.Silem Mohammad, Elizabeth Bishop, Andrea Zemel, Sean Hill, Ilya Bernstein, Neil Gaiman, Paul Valery, Jaap Blonk, Kim Addonizio, David Thornbrugh, Bern Porter, Megan Milks, Cedar Sigo, Ted Kooser, Miia Toivio, Alena Hairston/elen gebreab, Unica Zuern, Peter Cook, Mike Hauser, Julia Bloch, Charles Stross, Shin Yu Pai, Mikey Golightly, Zhang Er, Paula Grenside, Richard Deming, Linda Russo, Nadia Halim, Geoffrey Hendricks, Kathy Lou Schultz, Stephen Cope, David Hernandez, Cole Swensen, Bill Walsh, Pirooz M. 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Dalpiaz, Edna St. Vincent, Caroline Bergvall, Lawrence Giffin, Rob Halpern, Dana Gioia, Daniel Bradley, David Kaufmann, Robert Lowell, kari edwards, Rosanna Lee, Allen Fisher, Stacy Szymaszek, Matt Theado, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Billy Mills, Andy Gricevich, The Philly Sound, Ruel S. De Vera, Trudi West, Daniel C. Remein, Hillary Gravendyk, Mary Burger, Insani Kamil, Guillermo Parra, Ryan Daley, Jessica Schneider, Carol Novack : Playpoem MP3, Jesse Ferguson, Mark Bernstein, KB Jones, Laura Marks, Kent Freeman, Sara Blakeman, Rodrigo Toscano, Sabyasachi Nag, Budd Parr, Peggy Willis Lyles, Keston Sutherland, Simon DeDeo, Marcus Slease, Emily Crocker, Donald Illich, John Sakkis, Andrew Sage, Joseph Harrington, Adrienne Rich, Tad Richards, Mick Rock, Sabina Murray, Michael Friedman, J.V. Foix, Michael McClintock, Dennis Nurkse, Andrew Shields, Susan Bee, Jacques Gaffarel, Paul Rigolle, William Keckler, Evan J. 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Rangaswami, Guile Canencia, Carol Snow, Alysha Wood, Jen Hofer, Greg Mulcahy, Lynne Dreyer, Andrew Feindt, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Susanna Kittredge, Jason Fraley, Nicholas Messenger, Raymond Filip, Mitch Highfill, Ian Tyson, Lisa Fishman, Gloria Frym, St. John Perse, Robin Purves, Peter Davis, Alison Knowles, Russell Edson, Collin Kelley, Nashi, Jim Dine, Marie Ponsot, Joseph Ceravolo, Jorie Graham, Barbara Guest, Onishi Yasuyo, Matthew Henriksen, Kent Johnson, Eric Bogosian, Craig Shaffer, Hoa Nguyen, Zolt√°n Hom√°lyos, Marcella Durand, Afaa Michael Weaver, CAConrad, Eddie Watkins, Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Beth Joselow, David A. Kirschenbaum, Brandon Shimoda, Richard Taylor, H.T. Harrison, Wolfi Landstreicher, Robert Wilson, Andrew Topel, Juliana Spahr, John Levy, Stuart Ross, William Jay Smith, Jane Holland, Martin Edmond, Aldon Lynn Nielsen, Nikolai Gumilov, Billy Jno Hope, David Patton, Brian VanRemmen, Didi Menendez, Nico Alvarado-Greenwood, Danielle Pafunda, Pam Brown, Alexander Pope, Loss Pequeno Glazier, Jordan Scott, Will Edmiston, Robert Allen, Carly Sachs, Rick Burkhardt, Tisa Bryant, Alison Shaffer, Peter Norman, Roger Dean, Justin Evans, Jan Manzwotz, Don Wentworth, Tim Carmody, Guenter Grass, Ricardo Bracho, Erica Hunt, Robert Service, Katherine Hastings, James Finnegan, Elaine Equi, Clancy Ratliff, Mark Tardi, ee miller, Kara Hearn, Dax Bayard-Murray, Chris Kraus, Marita Dachsel, Redell Olsen, MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick, Tom Leonard, Wendy Wisner, Jean Roelke, Laura Sells, Donna Kuhn, Wen Yiduo, Erika Mikkalo, Tristan Tzara, Evie Shockley, Sarah Louise Parry, John Dos Passos, Doc Reese, Bob Dylan, Jennifer Montgomery, Lisa Samuels, Nin Andrews, Susan Gevirtz, Karen Mac Cormack, Roger Pao, Wang Ping, Samuel R. 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Clark, John Tranter, Dale Smith, James Tate, Joel Lewis, James Schiller, Dylan Kinnett, Richard Gilbert, George Economou, Tony Trehy, Tammy Ho Lai-Ming, Ophelia Mourne, Harlan Erskine, Melissa Benham, Kahlil Gibran, Jen Tynes, Hannah Craig, A.M. Correa, Katie Acheson, Nazim Hikmet, Brian Lucas, Louis Cabri, Maggie Dubris, Richard Bank, Alan Loney, Stephanie Countiss Emens, Erin Pringle, Anthony Metivier, Marie Buck, Zachary Chartkoff, Jan Oskar Hansen, Michael Jarrett, James Cook, Philip Metres, Jon Paul Fiorentino, Vachel Lindsay, Michael Scharf, o. hunt, Ann M. Fine, Alfred Jarry, John Wood, Robert Desnos, Michael Gause, Danielle Dutton, Jonathan Jones, Eric Mottram, Mary Jo Bang, John Deming, D. Antwan Stewart, Hugh MacDiarmid, Rob, Eleanor Wilner, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Scott Hartwich, Four Horsemen, Gregory Betts, Bill Berkson, Laurel Ransom, George Schneeman, Kristy Odelius, Lisa Cohen, Sina Queyras, Eric Baus, Angela Vasquez-Giroux, David Miller, MaryAnn McCarra Fitzpatrick, D.A. Powell, Julia Story, Andrea Lawlor, Jane Falk, Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, Ellen Baxt, Gisele Prassinos, Ruth Taylor, Laura Harper, artie gold, Jeni Olin, Sergei Gandlevsky, Lila Zemborain, Tony Tost, Juan Jose Flores, Brian Mihok, Tan Lin, Sarojini Sahoo, Paul Siegell, Nicole Mauro, Caroline Conway, Merrill Gillfillan, Geoffrey, Philip Rowland, Jonathan Evison, Ira Joel Haber, Melissa Pakalinsky, Susan Kaiser Greenland, Daniel Bailey, Jenny Boully, Djuna Barnes, David Wolach, Nick Twemlow, Rodney Koeneke, Cheryl Snell, Jennifer K. 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De Mars, Peggy Kelley, Sara Marcus, David Applegate, Lisa Janssen, Jim Moore, Edmond Jabes, Ruth, Wei Ying-Wu, India Radfar, Matthew Cooperman, David Dowker, Laird Hunt, Mina Loy, Erin Bertram, Will Alexander, J. F. Quackenbush, John Gallaher, Robert Ashley, Benjamin Paloff, Andrew Neuendorf, Kusano Shimpei, Dion Farquhar, Lisa, Emily Gordon, Karen Plata, Dinah Roma, Doug Lang, Claire Becker, Caryl Pagel, Walter Mosley, Stephanie Stickland, Frank Sherlock, Justin Dodd, Katina Papson, Daniel Zimmerman, Keith Waldrop, Douglas Manson, Charles Olson, Bill Peschel, Franklin Bruno, Nathan Hauke, Paul Hoover, William Moor, C. Harris Stevens, Walter Abish, Amy Lemmon, Claude Royet-Journoud, John Keene, Aaron Armstrong Skomra, Jordan Sanderson, Reg Johanson, Peter Yovu, Daniel Pendergrass, John Beer, Justin Lacour, Jennifer Moxley, Nathan Lang, Hazel Smith, Iamnasra Oman, pr primeau, Sheryl Luna, Jonathan Ball, Terry Southern, Christian Peet, Pierre Joris, Oana Avasilichioaei, Arunta, Deanna Ferguson, Tom Phillips, Susan Schultz, Jason Camlot, David Kirschenbaum, Gail Mazur, Jack Hughes, Zack Finch, J.H.Prynne, Rebecca Loudon, Scott Inguito, Esmail Yazdanpour, Naftali Bacharach, Jennifer Osborne, Sylvia Plath, Richard Lopez, Sandy Baldwin, Kirsten Lavers, Andrew Christ, Ann Lauterbach, Shelly Taylor, Nicole Peyrafitte, Jessica Savitz, Sam Golden Rule Jones, K. Silem Mohammad, Lionel Kearns, Lili Bita, Aime Cesaire, R W Sturgess, James Moran, Mike Topp, Dan Featherston, Chris Daniels, Gregory Botts, Nicole Oquendo, Thomas Devaney, Randall, Keith Shein, William Harris, Rik Roots, Patricia Carragon and Andy Comess, Alejandro Tarrab, Matthew Shindell, Eric Gamalinda, Amy Bernier, Spencer Selby, Simone Muench, Piombino, Michelle Buchanan, David Lehman, Jonathan Skinner, Sandra Beasley, Patricia Spears Jones, Hal Saulson, Laura Riding, Taylor Mali, Nam June Paik, W.B. Yeats, Peter Reading, Graham Foust, Brenda Coultas, Emily Lloyd, Ed Skoog, D.G. Jones, Vicente Huidobro, Jared Schickling, Peter Sacks, Kate Pringle, Rita Wong, Laila Lalami, Nancy Friedman, Franz Kafka, Robert Hellam, Brian Campbell, Danny Fields, Mario Cafiero, Peter Ciccariello, Cat Tyc, Nate Pritts, Andrea Brady, Andy Frazee, Felino Soriano, Clair Becker, Soumana Dasgupta, Jill Riga, David Raphael Israel, Stacey Levine, Mike Magee, Tim Yu, Cesar Vallejo, Isidore Ducasse, Amanda Earl, Romina Freschi, Alan Halsey, Daniel f. Bradley, Charles Rossiter, Noelle Kocot, Jayne Pupek, Aldous Huxley, Deborah Fries, Alani Apio, Jessica Smith, Christopher Barnes, Rick Snyder, Sarah Lang, Emily Dickinson, Cecilia Ann, bpNichol, Susanna Fry, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Charles Borkhuis, Herman Beavers, Stephanie Skura, Jessica Bennett, Steve Carey, Madeline Gins, Thom Donovan, Chuck Perrin, Luci Tapahonso, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Ira Cohen, Marko J. Niemi, Ray Davis, Nancy Gandhi, Dee Rimbaud, Mary O’Malley, Evie Ivie, Pamela Mack, Lawrence Lessig, Allyssa Wolf, and Snezana Zabic.

Brought to you by forgodot.com.

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31 thoughts on “The Author, Resurrected

  1. Hello Amy

    Like you I’m very happy to have been included in this great anthology and am partially a-mused partially b-mused at the angry commenters. I just wanted to add that one of the editors is Jim Carpenter, father of Erika T Carter.

  2. ‘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’ — I very much doubt that much work went into it; and, the four poems i glanced over seemed too alike.

  3. Critique of http://poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2008/10/3785_page_pirated_poetry_antho.html

    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?

    Granted, I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be anything more than playful and lighthearted. But Situationist? What does this even remotely have to do with inspiration via Situationist necrophilia? It just seems uninteresting to me insofar as it is an explicit act of data collation as advertisement and blantant canonization, pretty watered down if considered as some kind of ‘culture jamming’ derivative of the Situationists, diametrically opposed to the decadence in their theories and praxes if anything.

    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.”

    This will be the general sentiment that will echo around as the result of this release. Call it what you will, but I’m pretty sure the situationists would have been horrified at such a complacent, approving reception.

  4. Well, that is the romantic wish, as I’ve noted. None of it’s real and is likely computer-generated. And yet, for being so unreal, lots of attention and talk over and looking over the thing. Huh.

  5. Well, if I were to compress my exegesis into soundbite, I would say that in this work, what is meant to take a jab at signatures and identity is immediately reversed and transformed into canonization, i.e. the grand and reverent worship of signatures, another reason to honor them in the great halls and publication/award ceremonies. To speak in situationist lingo, this is called [i]recuperation[/i].

  6. Or are they simply looking to get
    some major portion of that list to
    hit that? Jiujitsu marketing..
    Several editors have told me
    only jl. authors buy paper, all
    others get the free pdf.

  7. I’ll go with Ana’s theory on the
    computer-generation. 3,800 pages,
    after all. Here’s a fun concept:
    try to back-figure what (if any)
    correlation it has with your
    stuff. Maybe skimmed title keywords
    plus garble….
    Amazing how .pdf packs that stuff in.
    Must be a looong wait to open it.

  8. Margaux, Perhaps “Situationist” is a bit of a stretch, but you give the reception too much credit by putting all of the weight 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 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 next Situationists. Let’s be less stringent and police less, I think the thrust of the joke might say, among other bubbles of infectious laughter.

    As I wrote on a 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, 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.

  9. 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!

    Amy

  10. Amy,

    I feel a bit insulted by my exclusion in the very first issue of FOR GODOT. Frankly, I think that my submission was equal – and in many cases – superior to many of the authors that the editors selected for their maiden voyage. Granted, I would be humbled to be in the same pages as Artaud, Reverdy and Tristan Tsara – and I feel, quite honestly, that while my work doesn’t approach their level of greatness, it is at least as good as 1000 to 2000 of the others work included therein.

    Color me disappointed. And a little sad.

    Ricky Garni

    PS If in fact I was included in this issue, please ignore the preceding comments.

  11. Russians seem to carry themselves with a strange sort of self-assured resignation. They are rarely relaxed in their stances; soldiers and armored vehicles pulled back from positions deep on the Russian team with her play in the Russian league. She is no traitor. I’m on the highway, about halfway between the Georgian capital, that no longer able to conduct a cold wqar againsdt America, but they do like to play spoilers.

  12. This does bring up a lot of questions regarding “art”, no matter which school one tries to squeeze it into. It also brings up questions of context and publishing.

    I am curious- what would the reaction be had three people using pseudonyms published a hardback book featuring prints of paintings or graphic art attributed randomly to living and dead visual artists? If it were presented in an art gallery, I doubt there would be a problem. The gallery creates context. In a bookstore, though? As a pdf on the net?

    If the artists objected would they be accused of being vain or egotistical? Would it wind up being a legal question of free speech? Or would the artists be expected to shut up and quit whining and be grateful to be acknowledged no matter the circumstances?

    If this is a comment on the shallowness of the art world, of the “poetry world” specifically, OR if it is a way to vet the philosophically/educationally challenged, the “poets” included here are *damned if they do damned if they don’t*. (Ego or ignorance? An admission that “it (being poetry and authorship) really doesn’t matter”? Pick your response.) If there is a connection to Godot, this is it.

  13. > Margaux, Perhaps “Situationist” is a bit of a stretch, but you give the reception
    > too much credit by putting all of the weight 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 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.”

    Yeah, you’re right. My response was a little premature, I just finished reading Ron Silliman’s ridiculous grumpy old man response. However, to me the event was still not really a provocation. I’m actually shocked at the amount of crybaby prissy bitterness that such a remarkably TAME act is able to produce, it’s unbelievable! There really isn’t anything interesting in the way they constructed the anthology itself, the only merit seems to be in laughing at the uptight responses of those “included” in it… I just assumed up front that the whole event would be more generally recognized as tame, unprovocative, lighthearted as is mirrored in most of the positive and approbative responses. It seems to either piss off an ultra-conservative egoist blowhard element or just be generally approved, but in this sense I think it should be judged insofar as the former is an incredibly easy category to troll, there really isn’t any sport or sharp experiment or talent in the act, the results are entirely predictable and the provocation thermometer falls flat in this sense. I guess it’s kind of tragicomic watching idiots throw tantrums over the completely tame inclusion of their names in some meaningless .pdf file on the internet, inexorably hooked into whatever fucked up cathexes are making them defend whatever kind of idealized (profitable) reputation they’ve staked out for themselves… but after this it just gets kind of sad.

    > 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.

    Sure, but I was trying to point out the difference between “situationist spirit” and situationist praxis, or the aesthetics of having one without the other instead of combining them. The situationists held no respect whatsoever for any pretense surrounding literary ownership, they sneered at it constantly, ala: “Furthermore, I do not believe having had great merit here, because there were many of us who were assuring the reproduction and distribution of subversive writings. More generally, the spirit in matters of revolutionary publishing was such that no one took it into their head to quibble about questions of copyright or literary property, under pain of being the general laughingstock or enduring insults.” (http://www.notbored.org/interdiction.html)

    It seems more than obvious that something remotely resembling situationist practice (or something contemporary worthy of the relation) would have been on the level of _actual piracy_. Actual poems associated with the actual “known” and established authors who wrote them, circulated en masse through some kind of scandalous means. _Then_ we would have had a real uproar. Right now there is a ‘mature’ and ‘sophisticated’ motley of smug careerist/liberal typecasted outlines, aging publication energies and outmoded complacencies that are ‘erudite’ or at least well read enough to be “in the know” or “with it” concerning the joke, while simultaneously remaining attached enough to literary property to not desire/envision/dream/fancy anything more of an aesthetic supersession in both the humor and provocation departments. Provoking curmudgeon egoist nutjobs whose zombie-forms of literary morality from a bygone era control them is one thing, but a more serious and radical (and even fucking hilarious) provocation of the complacent liberal/bobo/celebrityist crowd would have been more interesting and gutsy in my opinion, more politically up to date even if you care for such contrasts, not to mention capable of producing a far more dazzling and outrageous controversy. Provocation is aesthetically fertile and interesting when it involves challenge and risk in its means of upsetting people, when it goes farther than what is expected of it or than what is harmless and more or less permitted in the historical moment. This anthology was effortless and lazy in that respect, perhaps even “pre-avant” if we want to mock the hilarious “post-avant” marketing jargon in use right now. To be sure, there is no challenge in upsetting the copyright dragons in the moment because a widespread copyright/copyleft programming continues to police almost all expression. This anthology is like saying the Creative Commons is relevant or on par with anything radical or avant-garde in publishing and dissemination right now.

  14. I think this is hilarious and clever. There is nothing lazy about this project, which took work, even if it be computer generated. Not only do the editors take a swipe at publishing, or publishing e-books, authorship, ego, oh did i say EGO? The provocation is hilarious. I would like to see other sorts of projects (outside of their own poetry work) say in way of editing, publishing and collective ensembles from all of the critiques. It is easy for one to stand their pointing their finger at these kids (if they are even ‘they’ or kids for that matter) vs taking action and making things happen. Since when did poetry become so spiteful, boring, and capitalistic (I am well-connected yada yada yada…yawn) Perhaps always, as poetry and the writing of which is kind of elitist by nature. Now that all the drones are able to get educations and out there, now that publishing is taking on new dimensions, etc people are scared… hehehe I wonder what Kenny Goldsmith thinks of all this tomfoolery? I bet he loves it!

  15. I too thought instantly of Barthes …

    I do think that the anthology actually does have a title: if you look at p.2 of the pdf, it appears to be *Principal Hand*.

    Also: The instant I saw my poem I tho I didn’t remember writing it I was all like ah! I am as proud of this piece as “I” is of any of the poems “IS supposedly wrote.

  16. But the anthology doesn’t speak for itself. It doesn’t speak for anything because it is either a.) a behavioral experiment or b.) an elaborate practical joke.

    In either case, it’s not terribly interesting. I would probably feel differently if the scope of the project were explained up front. But people were under the impression that it was “a legitimate text”. It’s sort of the equivalent of photoshopping someone else’s body to your face. I mean, I get it. But clever it’s not. And it’s not new.

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  18. Ha, ha! I love the way you suggest this anthology our Godot! I’m incredibly amused by all the incensed reactions this is evoking. As a relatively new poet, without, yet, a full-length to my name, I’m personally gratified that I register a blip on a radar attuned to people like yourself and … well, far too many others for me to bother doing anything but pasting here. I just can’t help thinking, cliche though it be, that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that those infuriated by this are simply missing what is, as you say, a delightful joke. And a wonderful method of pointing out so many realities; the undeath of the author being not the least of these. Another element I really enjoy is the way that it causes such a stir amongst an era of poets so aware of technical procedures like flarf, the cut-up, and etc. Why does it upset practitioners of such forms when the procedure is inflicted on “their” words?

    I too detect an at least partial human presence in these works. Noah Eli Gordon suggested the poem generator Erika T. Carter as the procedural culprit (though of course there was a human element in who fed her the input), and looking at some of her products, I can see where he’s coming from. There’s certainly a degree of similitude between “her” products and those in the anthology. But I’m pretty sure that I also recognize the source text for “my” work in the “anthology”:

    “my” last stanza in the piece in the anthology:

    A voice
    A long girl
    Like a girl
    Of wilderness

    the last stanza of a piece I “wrote”:

    a filthy animal in my hands
    a laugh freeing your long nudity
    radiating your long, bright form.

    Seems a certain similitude there, no? Or perhaps I’m committing the crime of Heisenberg’s observer?

    Another reason I can’t help but this all quite amusing is that what I perceive to be the source text is itself a cutup, a piece “borrowed” from Georges Bataille. So then, as with so much flarfist and source-text based work, the question seems to be, what of the poem I write is “mine”? And perhaps a Buddhist tenet that nothing which can be preceded with “my” can be considered part of one’s Self is important to remember here.

  19. It appears the anthology has been removed from ForGodot.com now. Too bad. I guess too many threats of lawsuits killed the fun. Or maybe it was designed to be a flash in the pan to rile up the poets and now it’s gone. Ah, well… Glad I captured my “poem” from the anthology before it disappeared.

  20. Well, I have just committed the unforgiveable and left a comment on Silliman’s blog, yikes! I am a bit surprised that no one else has appeared to have taken the entire minute it took me to google, Erica T Carter…the source is text is from Emily Dickinson’s complete works and Joseph Conrad’s, ‘Heart of Darkness’ so any similarities which surely exist are either formal ones, grammatic (of which there are many models to use, Plath, O’Hara, DuPlessis, etc) All known to the cannon, all familiar and undoubtedly influential. Though, I do find that this discussion in general is a great one and it is good to see so many of the blur of names speaking up!

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