Friday, February 10, 2006

Live Audio of Poetry Snark Now Up

So if you're interested, Alan of Foetry now has a podcast interview with me up at his site. As you'll hear, I tell a lot about myself, including the fact that I'm a graduate of the Iowa Death Star. Indeed, I was once christened "senior stormtrooper" in a secret backroom meeting with Jorie "Darth" Graham. My job was to hunt down and kill editors who weren't publishing what we deemed was enough work by Iowa grads. Many an editor who you may think is real is actually a clone of the original, genetically programmed to play along with the syncophancy and cronyism you've come to know and love. And I laughed as I heard them die.

Alan asked if I wanted to use some kind of software to mask my voice, but that seemed dumb. I expect some of you to recognize who I am, but I'm hoping that my friends at least will refrain from outing me in this thread (pretty please). As for my "not friends," the first among you to out me wins a special prize. Muhahaha!

What do you think? You can use the thread for this post or the one at Foetry. We cover a lot of ground--how the Iowa poetry machine works from the inside, the politics of literary tooldom, the godawfulness of Billy Collins and others, the sad state of poetry book reviews, and yes, Darth is discussed a bit.

In part two, to be posted soon, Ginger Pennebaker takes the mic for a while, and I put on my Marxist hat to offer an economic analysis of M.F.A. programs.

Check it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sound young. Mind telling me how old you are?

3:58 PM, February 10, 2006  
Blogger Snark said...

Like the wind, the spirit of snark is ageless.

3:59 PM, February 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The interview is pretty good. You sound like less of an asshole than I thought you would. On the other hand, you aren't as funny and sarcastic in "real life." Anyone out you yet?

3:20 PM, February 12, 2006  
Blogger Snark said...

Yup, someone figured out who I am. But as you can see, I'm moderating the posts, and I didn't allow it to go up. An asshole after all, eh?

3:25 PM, February 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You one of them Earthgoat guys?

Or will you now fistfight the E.G. crew in that one Iowa City bar?

3:50 AM, February 13, 2006  
Blogger Snark said...

"Earthgoat"? What the fuck is that? I do like fistfights, though.

3:08 PM, February 16, 2006  
Anonymous Lukecubed said...

Until today I thought Ginger was a female, and this added a sexy tingle to all her posts. Now I just feel cheap and used.

4:48 PM, February 16, 2006  
Anonymous Lukecubed said...

Have you read "Why Poetry is Dying" by Joseph Salemi? The title is a bit of an overstatement, but the section about his main problem with modern poetry - what he calls "portentious hush" - really nails it. Your bit about the obnoxious affectations that occur at so many poetry readings reminded me of this. It's amusing to me how, in general, the less relevant poetry has become to the general reading public, the more self-important poets have tended to become.

5:25 PM, February 16, 2006  
Blogger Snark said...


Thanks for the tip. I'll check out Salemi. Another exagerratedly-titled but quite interesting take on the fate of poetry and ambitious lit in general is The Death of Literature by Alvin Kernan.

11:20 AM, February 17, 2006  
Blogger bill blood said...

hello snark and snarkers and snark-fag-lollis-cum-prep-brownies, blood sees a mountain ant-astir-- hast thou all forgotten your'n long wish of folding pink unto pink unt pummeling? there is true indecency of spirit here-- wasted zhan/zhan post-nagano stylings of mind and wasted skates-- anorexic of the norman orchard sixteen year olds grappling with baytrail kkk methods in yearbooks. blood has seen sadness shaped like a bead of silicon sealant and seen it sealing a mouth of wonder... hast thou'n all'n seen wonder so shut? has't thou'n lost your keys? Unt wass iss'st zis rigmarole ? Iss'sst iss'st nacht unt oppoortunity fur und mondscheiner key to twist zurlion flesh? I see a mountain top astir with clouds, I see a pale green horse running from the nineteen seventies monobrow, I find difficulty logging my comments, it is hard to read wavy letters and to not feel an overwhelming sense of sadness, spreading the tablecloth, setting the table calling out 1,2,3 UNT yanking the table cloth away. Here the glasses stand, the cutlery und gravy boat, the cake of butter carved into a weeping yellow swan on a TABLE not of ice but of photographed ice, a layer of spray painted ice beneath the real clear layer of ice... frauds are brushes mechanically moved, killing poor blood, sweeping his/her hair back, back unto the center of its back... dogs don't do drugs, they are already on drugs. Why must you put me in my animal head? why must you tilt my head back to see me, changling, dying

Blood chats a suck-of-deer
Sucks it all afield
Carpathians, dynastic rock
645 b.c.e

11:42 AM, February 17, 2006  
Blogger jpc said...

This morning I’m cleaning out my bookmarks for blogs, and I decided to visit Snark one last time, and I was greeted by Snark’s crowing over the power he (or she) has to prevent himself (or herself) from being exposed. Despite the small power you, or I or any blogger, wields in a little domain name, your anonymity exists at the forbearance of more than several folks who think what you’re doing isn’t worth the effort of exposing you. Myself, I just don’t understand the necessity of the anonymity, but I respect it simply because in the grand scheme of things, this blog is like so many (including mine) no more than a fart in the whirlwind of the Internet.

Why is it so important to you to remain anonymous here? I am JP, so Snark, you know who I am. Why must “snarking” (ie cheap shots) be anonymous? The anonymity seems to invite comparisons to schoolyard antics and bathroom graffiti. If you and your fellow snarkers are really ushering in some sort of Enlightenment age of speaking the truth to the mighty power that is poetry, why do it in the dark? Does the anonymity add to the adolescent pleasure of acting-out and attracting the attention of your elder peers?

You know those are not my peers, and I do not see myself moving in the same universe of poetry as yourself and your fellow snarkers, so I hope you understand the question is meant to provoke not to punish or admonish. I’d really like to READ a response to this in public.

7:46 AM, February 21, 2006  
Blogger Snark said...

Remaining anonymous isn't important to me. That's why I outed myself by doing that interview. It was my way of saying I don't give a shit.

As I've discussed in multiple posts and in the interview, I invented Poetry Snark because I and some friends thought it would be fun. I liked the idea of sort of this diminuitive, absurdly overconfident "super-hero" kind of voice. Others had other ideas--like Bill Blood for example.

Why take it so seriously? I thought it was obvious this site is for fun, so who cares if I speak with a persona or not? This is what we came up with. Some of it I still think is funny, some not so much. You can take it or leave it, I guess.

What confuses me is this puritanical fear of persona voices. Why make a fuss? There have been persona voices on the web and in print for centuries. Many of the prominent political blogs, for example, started out being written from such perspectives (think of Atrios). Up until recent history, most book reviews were unsigned. There have also always been personae and assumed names in journalism--think of Fanny Fern, for example.

Basically I thought Poetry Snark was a easy to remember name and title, and I was shocked to find out that no one had used the idea yet. My name, as you know, is pretty dull. I also wasn't interested in a blog about me. I wanted a blog about snark, so that's what I emphasized. So Blood is not a psychopath in real life, and Ginger is really a dude, and my name is not Poetry Snark. Who cares?

3:15 PM, February 22, 2006  
Blogger Snark said...

By the way, what on earth do you mean by "crowing over the power he (or she) has to prevent himself (or herself) from being exposed." As you can read for yourself, in the post that I used to announce the interview, I said that I fully expected to be recognized.

I have no idea how you got that impression, JP, but I would be glad to talk with you about all this over beers at the Deadwood sometime.

3:19 PM, February 22, 2006  

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