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From the Poetics List

Murat Nemet-Nejat on Issue 1:

*But* this collection is also an anthology and in an anthology the issue of selection, and indirectly authority, are of primary importance. I see absolutely no analysis of, interest in this aspect of the project. When, in a previous post, I asked what was the algorithm which made the selection, in a way determining what name is visible and in that sense "real, I was pointing to that question. In a moment in our history when a completely obscure and unanalyzed series of programs -the creators of all those credit swaps, for example- will cause untold misery to potentially *b*illions of people, it is important to ask this question. Are we not similarly enamored of this mysterious "algorithmic edtor"? I believe there is a profound connection between our present economic/financial crisis -one can call the financial side the signifyer and the economic/main street side the signified- and this "fake anthology." For poets I believe this can be a great opportunity for poetry to emerge out of a coccoon -where poetry's place basically is in The United states, despite all its protestaions- and truly engage and merge with wider social issues.



& Nicholas Piombino:

But there is something about that huge sudden ironic parody that calls for instant recognition of the non serious nature of the intervention. This is the "unbearable lightness of blogging" as I once termed it, par excellence. A poetry circus wagon blows in, warm wind and ill wind, spins a few sails, shakes a few tails and blows out: a party with real laughs, a few growls and roars and some intense conversations where you recognize a lot of people, don't know some, you figure "everybody" was there, but of course that's not literally possible. The feeling is, maybe they were out of town or something, or just couldn't make it, but not that they were deliberately excluded. I know I would have felt left out had I not been mentioned. But since I was I do get into that lightness, but it is a blue lightness while still feeling nostalgic for the more private days of the whole long stretched out thing- getting an invitation, figuring what to send, waiting to hear, then getting accepted. But in this party atmosphere it's just all so quickly thrown together, no time, so quickly check how my poem was dressed and acted, ok, did I see some friends, yeah, their poems are ok. So then it's over, and there's the hangover of- what did I do, did I actually write that thing, no way, nobody did, a computer wrote it. After all, it is the era of the machine. So what did I say- I'm not sure how I feel now. Then the party really starts and everyone talks about it for days. No, not like a reading or an opening, more like a bash, or an old fashioned happening where people were only half aware of what was going on. Maybe all the evidence has already been put away and the place has been swept up. Maybe a few people actually kept their party favors and others left and forgot them. But now there's a memory, that Godot thing that gets talked about. People have been saying that we are in a time warp in that in New York now, that we are in a repeat of the Weimar era. Maybe this Godot thing is our cabaret- rude, crude, risque, funny, a little dark, with music by Kurt Weill and a set by Kirchner, Grosz or Hannah Hoch. I had even written in the comment section of Issue 1, "There has been talk of a poetry bailout. Is this it?" It looks like the powers that be are plotting to send the whole batch of us poets and day workers out onto the streets as in *The Threepenny Opera* while "citibank" robs everybody blind. And then we'll listen to the barrel organ sound, in the city while the sun sinks low.


& Jim Andrews:

rest assured that what we are seeing now is the tip of the iceberg concerning artists using the vast resources of the internet to create new work. if steve and jim's project scared you, hold on to your hat.

the moral issues that arise have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.


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