"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance." --Wesley Snipes

Friday, March 09, 2007


A certain blogger-lawyer has banned me from his blog. Or, rather, told me to "stay the hell away" from his blog, which I'm sure isn't the same as banning since I have no trouble reading it. He's also deleted my comments. Fine. Not a problem.

He does, however, want to mention my name, which is cool with me.

And yes, I did write this guy a "nasty email" in response to his deleting my comments, and commenting on Corey's blog that a certain friend of mine was "behaving like Tony." I rarely engage with this lawyer dude, so I find it interesting that he seems to view any bad behavior as similar to mine. I might also add that my friend's behavior was not bad at all, he was simply trying to clarify some issues and in doing so took issue with some of the things the lawyer had to say. I might add that the comment that got me booted from the lawyer's blog did nothing more than point out a fact--that the lawyer (in the same comment) praised himself for not mentioning my friend's name in his screed against my friend, but then essentially called me a coward for not mentioning his (lawyer's) name in a post that I had (apparently) directed at him. This inconsistency in application of "the rules" was just the latest example in a series of double-standards that this lawyer sets for himself.

I'll sum up his behavior thusly, in handy rule format.

1) Certain behavior I find contemptible in others becomes acceptable if perfomed by me because I know what I'm talking about, and furthermore, I'm on the side of good and righteousness.

2) I welcome open debate as long as you don't disagree with any of my premises or point out errors in my logic.

I could also mention the several nasty emails he sent my way--one of them a totally insane rant about his personal life. What that had to do with my finding fault with his flawed argument I have no idea.

Finally, I have to ask because nobody has been able to tell me: what makes me so damned elite? I mean, really? I thought it had to do with having friends, but the lawyer, in his latest post says that no no, that's not it. He has plenty of friends. Hm. Well, what is it then? What makes Kasey Mohammad elite? Anne Boyer? Joseph Massey? I mean Massey certainly shouldn't be a target--the lawyer has voiced public disapproval for the man's verses, his chosen mode of publishing said verses, and the man himself. Why should the lawyer have a beef with someone so obviously below him on the poetry food chain?

By his own definition, the lawyer has published his own verses in many more ELITE magazines than I have. He is obviously a better poet. He's been accepted to a fancy MFA school. I think he's the elite! He makes three times as much money as I do, and seems to enjoy his job helping others. So he's elite, well-to-do, and is a really really good guy. What's his problem then? Where does he find the energy (or reason) to write 10,000 word posts decrying all poets who aren't him, or I guess, Jordan Davis? Couldn't he be off rescuing kittens or feeding the homeless instead?


Reb said...

I'm confused -- am *I* infected with something? I always practice safe poeting. How do I explain this to my husband? He's going to be crushed.

My MFA program doesn't appear on any of those primo ranking lists. I'm not in the Legitimate Dangers anthology -- and my inclusion in BAP has been outed to the world as an unethical sham since I am a graduate of a certain lowly ranked MFA program. I never won a Guggenheim. I never won a contest or a grant. I wasn't invited to read on the Wave bus and they came right to my fucking town. My press lost thousands of dollars last year. The one poet whose attention I desperately want, shuns me. I spend my nights weeping into my 80,000-thread count pillow case, moaning "why, oh why?"

Is being "infected" not knowing one's place? Thinking one can go out galavanting, ignoring some kind of hierarchies already in place, and publishing one's own work, or other people's work that one admires and respects? Daring to have pride in oneself and one's work, celebrating the non-Guggenheim, non-LG included poems? Not waiting around to plucked from obscurity and tapped for greatness?

I don't know, I guess I'm not very articulate, maybe that's a side effect of my poetry cooties, or maybe I always had a really low immune system -- maybe somebody could invent a vaccine -- and I too could become a good person so I could constantly point out how good and I just I am.

sandrasimonds said...

"I always practice safe poeting"

I have proof that this is a dirty, dirty, lie.

Reb said...

Sshhh! It was just that one time! I was drunk. It doesn't count.

Reb said...

Also, I'm think it's been pointed out that I'm exceedingly dull -- how on earth I've managed to acquire all this mighty cultural capital is truly astonishing. Only in America, I guess.

AB said...

"What makes Kasey Mohammad elite? Anne Boyer? Joseph Massey?"

That he doesn't like us.


Tony said...

Being intentionally misconstrued sucks! Says S. But so does being intentionally mis-paraphrased.

I don't think I ever said that a certain douchbebag was more educated than me. Not having a law degree does not make me less educated.

JCR said...

'"What makes Kasey Mohammad elite? Anne Boyer? Joseph Massey?"'

"That he doesn't like us."

Or, perhaps, because he believes you don't like him. It's hard not to draw the conclusion that he's still smarting from Joe Massey's "slight" that infamous night because he's gone from being Seth, the guy who accepted Joe's poems for publication and drove a long distance to meet Joe and hear him read - to the guy who takes a swipe at Joe, his friends and his work whenever possible under whatever guise. I can't help but wonder whether this "debate" would have taken a very different form had Joe not only lived up to Seth's friendship fantasies, but had not withdrawn his poems from The New Hampshire Review. At a bare minimum, Seth would have to revise his view that only Joe's friends publish his work.

Anonymous said...


Whoever you are, you're right. Seth's still smarting over a slight that I never perceived as such. Whatever. Old news.

There is nothing wrong with friends and associates publishing each other -- that's just an extension of tradition, one of the ways things have always been done.

In my case, tho, I have not been published by friends! I became friends with the people who've accepted my manuscripts for publications. I didn't know Scott Pierce, Hot Whiskey Press, or Jess Mynes very well before they took my manuscripts. Our bonds developed throughout the process of making the book and sharing mutual enthusiasms, interests, attitudes, whatever.

Seth doesn't know me. He's never once contacted me to ask about my history -- he's working on assumptions.

Joe Massey

Anonymous said...

Stay the hell off my blog too. You are grounded off my blog for two weeks. You didn't do anything wrong and I still like you. I just like the idea of telling people to stay off my blog.

JCR said...

Hi Joe, I'm a long-time lawyer turned writer (though not blogger) who has little patience for the litigation of personal differences (whether real or imagined), particularly when packaged as something else altogether. I'm also a fan of your work. I understand and agree with you completely. My comment about "friends" publishing your work was meant to be ironic given the context of Seth's current stance. 'Nuf said.