Thursday, August 21, 2003


this is an e-mail from poet Joseph Massey to share with everyone:
Good talking to you too, CA.

I read your letter to Silliman, he posted it on his
blog, and I relate to much of what you say about
L=A=N=G school. For years, from the age of 15 to 21, I
had a deeply felt knee-jerk (more like knee-aneurysm)
response to the L=A=N=G poets. Coming from a Delaware
dead-end town, and being a teenager (an emotional one,
and still am, I mean emotional, not a teenager) I felt
the L=A=N=G poetry to be robotic, burps as a result of
indigestable capitalism and the military/entertainment
complex. What I wanted then, what I needed, were
songs, straight up and from the gut. Creeley was a
huge hero back then --

and now I can connect Creeley, for instance, to the
L=A=N=G school -- see his influence -- and it helps
make clear that it was a natural progression, not a
coup to destroy the poetry I love.

I was the first person to call Ron Silliman "Darth
Vader" -- I said that back in 2000, the night I met
you, actually, -- and I meant it then, but I don't
mean it now.

There's a lot of joy in his lines and lines that come
straight out of what I loved when I was a teen, the
New American poetry; he's not out to slaughter my
heros. He's one of their children, to put it pretty


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