Kirby Olson, call home!
- When the Internet goes to Hell, it really goes to Hell. Kirby Olson has
an interesting ezine, RealPoetik. Two weeks ago, he was collecting one-
line poems. Suddenly everybody on the list got every submission. People
freaked. They started demanding that they be removed from the
RealPoetik list. Then, of course, everybody else on the Realpoetik list
got to read these increasingly rude demands. Soon other people started
sending in whimsical comments on the pile-up. It became, frankly,
wonderful. Kirby himself was in Florida. Finally there was an
interesting discussion on Ron Silliman's blog, and the one-liners
stopped; but Kirby disappeared. I tried emailing him. Hotmail rejects
letters to Kirby. I tried posting something on his blog, Lutheran
Surrealism. Reject! I even mailed a note via the US Postal Service to
his office at SUNY-Delhi. Nothing. The Internet has murdered Kirby
- Dear Michael, Like Jesus if in only this one respect I've resurrected.
Basically what happened on the Real Poetik list is that somehow I left in
the magical code that allows me to post. And somebody sent to the post, and
then bang everybody began to respond to them, which means the one line
contest is somewhat damaged. It seems now that all the people who kept
their cool enjoyed the thing, and especially enjoyed all the famous poets
such as Susan Howe and others revealing their secret email addresses and
also the way in which they express their irritation.
And the hotmail business! I get penis enlargement ads from about fifty
companies every day. I delete them and or block them but if I am not there
to play goalie they get in. I was tied up in Florida grading Advanced
Placement exams for high school seniors. The students were asked to discuss
the rhetorical strategies in a mock press release from the satirical journal
The Onion which is based in NYC. The mock press release was about a new
shoe insert that did reflexology while you walked, and it got your foot in
tune with the earth by adjusting its energy frequency. The thing was quite
funny. We had a million of these responses to grade. There were 700 of us
to do the grading, and so we each had to read about 1500 responses most of
whom or a large plurality of whom, didn't even understand that it was a
humorous article making fun of American commercial claims and scientific
quackery. Students had to understand the article's humor and make
insightful statements regarding the way in which the satire worked. They
had forty minutes to do it. If they succeeded in their task they don't have
to take freshman English this coming autumn at their respective schools. I
would say about twenty percent accomplished this task.
Enough to make you cry and laugh at the same time. Then I was exhausted and
had to bring my Finnish father in law back to Kennedy airport and crawl
along the crummy Van Wyck "Expressway" which always seems to go five mph.
Is there an alternate route to Kennedy?
But now I'm back and will try to play goalie in this stupid email system so
that I can get legitimate messages such as those from this marvelous group.
By the way, did you publish American Express? Do you still have copies of
Corso's only novel floating about? What do you think it was about? A lot
of Corso's work remains mysterious to me even if I spent several years
working on my book about it.
I had intended to get Roger Richard to explain everything to me at some
point. He had been Corso's close friend for years but he died a year ago I
am to understand. I've asked his widow to contribute to my proposed book of
Corso Anecdotes. We'll see. I especially need the women who knew Corso
well to contribute because since he was a Dionysian of sorts I suspect that
his truest consorts were women.
-- Kirby Olson
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