Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beyond Baroque, a poet who hates me--and me.

Not to go into too many details here, but there's a poet in the community who I was once at least acquaintances with back at the beginning of the last decade.  My wife and I were even invited to some parties at her then-home in West L.A.  Unfortunately, I caused that comradeship to end in 2003 when I was critical of how circle-of-friends clubby her booking of a poetry festival was.  And I didn't know how to shut up and not escalate the situation further when she became upset at me.  So I said something I regret now--and she and I became adversaries. Each of us has left the other alone for the past few years after the two of us traded noncompliments on poetry listserves--though I did try to friend her on Facebook and sent an e-mail expressing sympathy after the death of a female poet we both knew.  Other than that, I don't bother her at all.

Recently, when I was sent the Facebook thread about feedback and pushback regarding an earlier post of mine on this blog, she made an allegation that I was the one who kept her from being part of the local scene.  Untrue--she's been a feature at a few readings and even runs a series of salutes to deceased female poets (Dorothy Parker and Sylvia Plath, for example) at Beyond Baroque.

I donate to Beyond Baroque to help keep the doors open, the lights on and various readings/panels (including hers) possible.  I don't ask for/insist on anything, and appear there as a featured poet only when asked (most recently at one of Billy Burgos' Sunday readings--thanks again to Rafael FJ Alvarado for making it possible).

But I'd like to say this publicly:  I'm aware that the poet I've written about in the above paragraphs has a negative opinion of me that will never change.  She has a right to persist in her beliefs--I handled myself in a rather insensitive fashion back in 2003-04.  However, it would be much appreciated by both myself and my wife if the poet could please be kind and refrain from stating that I'm impeding her local poetry career in any way, shape or form.

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