ANOTHER of the criticisms sent my way for trying to change literature is that I'm simply resentful. But resentful of what? Foppish, marginally talented plutocrats? That's like saying the sans-culottes were resentful of Louis XVI. Well, hell yeah, I'm resentful of what some people are doing to the art.
The problem is a structural situation which denies some writers access, and gives others every privilege and backing based on their connections and background. The American way.
THE IRONY is that I've faced tons of resentment among the underground. It's no secret that I'm the biggest name and most dynamic personality in the literary underground. Since the ULA began, this has bothered many petty little egos. Every time I've leveraged my rep to gain press, from 2001 through 2007, backbiting and backstabbing have followed. Some of the perplexing incidents have included a local zeenster boycott of a Benefit concert I staged and hosted in Chicago in 2003, to an insistence I not be invited to an underground poetry reading at Swarthmore College near Philly a few years ago. My biggest opponents have been welcome to read at any event I've promoted. The reverse has not been the case. The reaction to the Chicago Benefit was particularly small-minded. If my worst enemy on the planet was available, I'm sure that person would've shown up, because it was a worthy cause. But not the petty egoists.
And so I get it from both sides; from the blackballing and roadblocks of the literary establishment and their lit-blogger demi-puppets; and at the same time from the writers I've been trying to help.
What are all these knives in me, you ask, front and back? From writers! The all-holy defenders of free speech themselves.