Let me state that I have nothing but regard for the ULA. How could I not? It was my creation. I wish it nothing but success. We remain on the same side, as far as I'm concerned. Our objectives, I'd hope, are the same.
My leaving should've surprised nobody. I stated it and discussed it on this blog and on the ULA's private forum. I generally say what I mean and mean what I say.
And really, it was past time for me to leave. Once I realized I'd lost the support of the ULA's #2 and #3, my departure was a done deal. After what transpired the last couple months within the team, there was no way I could remain. I'd certainly put in enough years on the project. No one should begrudge my wanting a change. Besides, no one was listening to me anyway! I needed a break from the ULA, and it needed a break from me.
As I stated in my 12/31 note on this blog, the Underground Literary Alliance is not the rebellion itself, only one vehicle for it. I intend to continue literary rebellion, in my own way, but it will be a rebellion of one.
The ULA wasn't working for me personally as that rebellion-- which isn't to say that it can't work well for others. I hope it does. I'll take some reflected glow in its success. Too much of my time over the past several years was taken up by the demands and debates of the team. Further, the ULA was becoming too easy a target. I found myself with no mobility, was too easily pinned down within the ULA. The point I was making with my 12/31 post, for those who cared to see it, is that the literary rebellion can exist outside any house or group or name. There are advantages to a group-- which is why eight years ago I formed one. The disadvantage is anchoring that rebellion to an organization which can be isolated and attacked, as it's been attacked very strenuously from the outside and the inside.
As I was almost always the target of those attacks, I can best help the ULA by stepping away from it.
Moving to Detroit gave me a different perspective on the literary game board-- an opportunity to devise a different strategy. The ULA strategy which had been in place was sounder than most believed-- as I'll explain in coming days-- but had been reduced to, in football terms, running the ball straight up the middle; directly into the opposing line. (For this I take full responsibility.) It would've worked with full execution, but committed execution of the plan we didn't have and never had.
For me, the break from the team has been liberating. I no longer feel tied down worrying about who I please or displease with my words or actions. The only person I need to satisfy is me. I'm free to draw on the entire range of my talents, which are substantial. I'm the best publicist (or propagandist) the underground has seen in a generation. No one in the lit world can generate strong arguments and sustain them like I can.
THE ASSUMED PLAN
I'm putting together my own propaganda machine, my own personal "army," if you will, of up to a dozen blogs. With no distractions I'll be able to maintain them and create a synergy of noise. The Idea: using Detroit and Philly as bases from which to move about the country. (I'll be pursuing in those towns only peace.) Endless options open up to me. Do I target Chicago, for instance: a major prize? I can appear at open mics throughout the country, eventually head west and hook-up with undergrounders from Portland to the Bay area.
Meanwhile, there IS a "Project X" on my drawing board, and a pre-Project X to set it up. Whether I get to them will depend on my situation.