What's that something, you, the poet, might ask?
Both Eric Morago (don't know him personally, but he's a Name in Long Beach/OC and occasional reviewer of poetry books for www.poetix.net) and I have been beneficiaries of anonymous attacks.
Recently, Mr. Morago took to Facebook and discussed his situation (a remark left on the Goodreads site).
Here's the remark intended to wound his pride:
To draw comparison Eric Morago is to poetry what Colonel Sanders is to food. You see it everywhere but it's cheap and tasteless.
Another poorly-written and uninspired work. This author has no concept of the desires of the human condition implied by the title because of the priveledged status he enjoys. Due to being personal buddies with
people in local venues and publishing he has no incentive to produce anything good.His arrogance and those of his croneys are just shameful.
If you listen critically to him next to other poets he's shown-up every time.
Those who respect the art do not respect Morago.
He'll be forgotten.
Read the book review by Jason Thornberry in the "Adirondack Review".
It's an impartial review because this critic is not part of the local poetry circles that cater to Eric.
Here are a couple of responses to Eric's post (which you can see in its entirety on his Facebook page/wall):
Andrew Hilbert--Fuck that guy. Sounds like an insecure poet who is jealous of having friendships within the community. I hear these gripes of cronyism all the time. Having social relationships with like-minded people isn't exactly ground breaking. It's the nature of nearly all human friendships. This guy just doesn't like to smile and perceives people who do as arrogant. I'll say it again: Fuck this guy.
[oddly enough, that could be used to describe me by some people]
Danielle Mitchell--Hey E, I feel for you and I totally understand your desire to speak out. Remaining silent when you are attacked is the worst thing you can do for yourself. It's like being attacked twice, once by the insecure, jealous low-life and once by yourself. So I hope you continue to speak out whenever and wherever you come across bullying efforts such as these. That said, after reading these "reviews" it's pretty clear this guy isn't a brilliant writer, in the reviews written under the name "Emmet" there are multiple typos. And all of them are clearly biased, ridiculous, and petulant outbursts from a feckless bully. I don't think anyone who comes across them on their own will put any confidence in them. I hope that gives you some comfort at least. Stay strong and know that you ARE loved and respected by your poetry buddies! Always.
Now my opinion: I'll agree with Danielle on the remark about remaining silent when attacked being "the worst thing you can do for yourself." And I'll disagree with Andrew a bit on his remark defending like-minded people (which can also be translated into words like clique and circle). Oftentimes, we fail to comprehend outsiders with issues when we are part of a circle of "like-minded people." I can testify to that myself during my early years in the poetry community of SoCal (roughly 1998 to 2002). When you're "in", you regard those who are out as one-dimensional losers. And, to be honest, the allegations of cronyism may not be totally off-base as the community shrinks in membership and becomes more intolerant of perceived amateurism and greater conformity on what is or is not "good" poetry.
At the same time, anonymous attacks deal out unnecessary stress and anguish to their victims. Eric Morago is handling it in a more restrained way than others would, thankfully.
But perhaps it's time for his nonfan to sign his/her name to the criticism and start a rhetorically nonviolent conversation as to why he/she feels like a misfit in the LBC/OC area.