Wednesday, June 25, 2008


My, what a lot of posts to a guy who can't write, about a "conspiracy" which doesn't exist. It sure seems to me like an effort to derail what I'm doing. So be it. I've been fighting demi-puppets-- and "Harland"-- for seven years. There's no end to them. Invariably, they lack integrity and truthfulness-- no one more than Harland.

This organization is a house of cards. Points that can be brought up: how the bulk of money expended goes for salaries; the current Director making two-and-a-half times what the Director made ten years ago. (Did your wage or salary go up that much? Mine hasn't!) That their awards to writers consistently go to the affluent kind, famous or not-so-famous, who don't need the bucks. This from a "dissent" oriented organization. That there was dissent within PEN in the 90's over the organization's kowtowing to rich people. The dissenters lost the battle.

These of course continue. (I'm still waiting for my blog to be freed up.) Latest are fake, badly written poems sent to some outfit called under my name, with my real e-mail address but a fake Detroit snail address. The poems are a caricature of what I do. The question being, if there's no literary establishment, why some people are going to so much trouble to defend it.

Someone asked about my background. Yes, I focus on the class war in this country-- something I've been aware of since I was a kid. During high school my family lived on "the other side of the tracks"-- actually a newly built expressway. We'd moved into an area that had been vacant land until in the Fifties cheap 30 or 40-foot-lot houses were thrown up; where we lived had no school district so we had to attend a school miles away in a more affluent district. Myself and my siblings and our friends were the poorest kids in school. "There goes a Wenclas." We fought other students almost daily. The stories I could tell are endless. My factory worker father was sick most of the time-- I was working 38 hours a week in a restaurant, cooking beef rounds and washing pots, to pay my share in the house. In class the next morning I'd be sleeping in the back row, still emanating the beef smell which I could never seem to wash off, the other kids shaking their heads at me in disgust. Sometimes I never went home; both my parents had, er, drinking problems, which for many years, starting at sixteen, I inherited. The family battles in our tiny house were constant. Etc etc. Do you really want to hear this? I don't. It's something I'd rather forget-- but it did mold my attitudes; gave me a taste of the real world which further experiences reinforced.

"Oh Goneril! You are not worth the dust which the rude wind blows in your face."
This is a talented person who has been holding a grudge against me for seven years. Justified? Probably in part. I wish the person would move on. The individual hasn't been answering my e-mails, so seems unwilling to address the real problems between us. I have no inclination to keep fighting this person.
p.s. Has it occurred to no one that Harland is a woman?

"Harland" in some sense is correct that the questions raised here, between the underground and the establishment, will ultimately be decided by THE WRITING. I'm willing to accept that challenge. I'll have a remark put up on my Happy Lit blog about this.

Given a choice, at this moment in time I'll take my Literary Mystery blog over this one. That's where my further opinions regarding Harland and the other detestable people of the literary world will be found. I have some very entertaining chapters to come-- including new characters like evil clown "Roody McDoody" and masked villain "The Assassin." I plan to have fun, and hope my remaining readers will also.

As for this blog, I've shut down comments-- I just don't have time for all the noise and attacks, sorry. Interpret it as you like. I have a backlog of half-a-dozen posts or so-- some fairly good-- which will go up when I get to it. The same for the Happy Lit blog. I have two or three reviews to post at my new review blog. Otherwise I'll be taking a well-deserved break from all except "Mystery" and "Detroit." (Oh yes, I am living here full-time, but will likely move on when I can, leaving no forwarding address. Detroit is a landscape of misery, a vortex of negativity which drains all who fall into its path.)

Later. . . .

Monday, June 23, 2008

Allied Media

I stopped by the Allied Media Conference on the Wayne campus in Detroit Saturday, where I sat for a bit with Mr. Potter and Yul Tolbert at the ULA table. The ULA books presented there looked great. (I like the blue cover of Steve Kostecke's Wasted Angels.) I formed several new observations about the alternative press and its possibilities from my visit; too many to write about now.

A shout-out to everyone I met there!

(For more about Detroit, see my new post at

(p.s. I should be able to stop by the Peter Markus reading at MOCAD this Thursday in Detroit, 7 p.m., if anyone wants to meet me in the flesh.)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

About PEN

I'd say both PEN and Paris Review are protected assets, vulnerable spots on the literary Beast, based on the reaction generated when asking questions about them, which is all I've been doing. The barriers of disinformation and demi-puppets surrounding them may be too much for me to overcome.

In a related topic, it's amazing to me how individuals like "Roody McDoody" and "Harland" ("Guildenstern" and "The Assassin") can be turned into absolute tools of established literary power.

PEN in its various manifestations is hard to assail, because it does much good work. Since its founding its purpose has been to propagate liberal Anglo-American values (democracy; freedom) around the planet-- values I agree with. The questions are two. First, whether these values are being realized in our own society, or in PEN itself. I say no. The second question is about the world context within which PEN has operated: the spread of Anglo-American financial and military power which has always seemed to accompany Anglo-American values. In other words, the spread of Empire, which was NOT a value upon which the American republic was founded. We seem to have fully adopted the redcoat, "BBC liberal" ideology against which the American Revolution stood opposed.

IF the American ideal has been perverted, this is a question well worth investigating. Frenzied opposition to the question is mere blowing of smoke.


IT'S IRONIC that the self-proclaimed fans and defenders of the poster "Harland" are insistent the person be outed. To avoid this is why the individual vanished. Curious that I'm the one left protecting the person.

Take note, harland. Your anonymity was to protect against my presumed retribution against you. This assumption on your part was misguided. Attacking you isn't what I want, which to you should be obvious.

Friday, June 20, 2008


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.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


The Lefty mag The Nation devotes its June 30 issue to the topic of "Plutocracy Reborn." Much of the discussion is intent on proving points I've already made. On page 18, in fact, is a drawing of a pyramid which could also have illustrated my June 5 post, "Amazement." If the editors of this periodical have been reading this blog, that's a welcome sign.

What The Nation needs to do now is to put its professed ideals into practice inside their magazine. Instead of always recruiting millionaire boozhie authors like Barbara Ehrenreich to speak FOR working people, they should consider the possibility that there are many real-not-fake working people who are also writers and able to speak for themselves. (In contradiction to Keith Gessen's infamous remark in n+1 a while back that there were no writers working as waitresses.) That's the essence of democracy.

The Nation could also begin reviewing books by outsider writers-- such as titles from the ULA Press, or by Leopold McGinnis and others; writers with new viewpoints and with no connections whatsoever to the current plutocracy.

Katrina and Company: The ball's in your court. Let's do it!



My blogs in their diversity are hardly those of a monomaniac. In my words and my actions I don't limit myself to being "just" a writer.

I'd say instead that the literary world suffers from monomania. Its focus is strictly on the work, and within the work, the sentence, and beyond this, on the self, while I examine literature within the broader context of the machine which produces it, and the civilization within which that machine is placed. This complex nation is a conjunction of systems, giant wheels of machinery which the writer must negotiate. To think that the production and presentation of the art happens by random accident is naive.

My fiercest critic has insisted I'm not a writer. I don't know then what all these words are on my blogs! Numerology? Needlepoint? Whittling?

Something I've written perhaps has strenuously exercised this person with dislike. Maybe that's the idea.

That I'm a person who puts his head into punchbowls at parties-- it's said-- must show I'm a mere exhibitionist. Is this so? Why then was I not such a performer through most of my life? In truth I'm a modest, fairly private person. I seldom if ever narcissistically obsess over my childhood, for instance, as seems required for writers of the workshop "literary" variety. No memoirs about driving out west (I've driven out west) as advertisement for the self have been forthcoming from me. What then is really happening?

Could the ULA's "crashes" have been a planned tactic? A way for shut out writers to address literature's caretakers directly, face-to-face, in order to recapture, in a monopolistic society, our democratic rights and freedoms? It's a possibility.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Great New Chapter

A new chapter of the fictional "Plutocracy USA" is now up at

I hope the delay was worth it!

Monday, June 16, 2008


The PEN American Center in New York appears to be a protected organization. I base this on how swiftly my blog about them was shut down.

Why is this? What's going on?

Looking at their stated causes, their targets like China and Iran, one can speculate that the organization is an extension of neo-con foreign policy. PEN has no hesitation in becoming an instrument of foreign policy. An example of this is the recent award to an Iranian-born author whose wealthy family fled the country during the Iranian revolution. Is a signal being sent with this award? Possibly. This at a time when certain ideologues have presented a case for bombing or invading Iran.

WE CAN HYPOTHESIZE that someone is using PEN in this way. I have no evidence to support this. None. I'm speculating.

But think of it. A literary organization with a spotlessly liberal veneer, supported by major literary names, whose stated purpose and indeed actions are right and just. There ARE writers abused in countries not under the American umbrella. What a tool such an organization could make. What an ideal "cutting edge"; cultural and ideological missionaries for the soldiers and conglomerate salesmen to follow.

I don't know if this is the case. Nobody does. With the literary world we seem to be forever in the dark.

We DO know that American literary journals and organizations were used this way in the past. The Paris Review/CIA revelation was one example. It's because of the PRESENT situation that we need the full truth from the Paris Review about CIA involvement in their founding; how far and long it extended. We've received to this question: silence.

We'll never comprehend the present if we're not allowed to understand the past.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

To the Monitors

As my "PEN" blog was so quickly cut down, before I had a chance even to announce it, I have to speculate that someone is monitoring my on-line actions-- for reasons I'll soon speculate about.

What do I do about this?

The only solution I see is to convert the monitors-- first by reminding them that the ideas the undergrounders represent are fully in keeping with the DIY attitude which founded this nation. Any objections I make to "Imperialism" are the kind that George Washington himself would make-- not to mention Tom Paine. I see the underground literary movement as a way to renew our culture, and thereby America itself. A most worthy project.

(Stay tuned also to my idea blog, )

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Short-Term Objectives


ONE reason my ambitious plans to transform literature haven't been realized, aside from a total lack of resources, is that I've been pushed to an isolated corner of the literary map through fear and blackballing. My expanding blog network will eventually break me out of this, but I hope to speed up things.

1.) The boycott of my blogs and their growing readership by the main establishment-oriented lit-blogs is senseless. Maud, for instance, links to every obscure lit-blog on the planet, including many defunct ones, but pretends this blog doesn't exist. Talk about a Cold War mentality! The result is to shut out the kind of radical new ideas which the stagnant lit-world badly needs. Readers should be urging them to reverse this.

2.) I seek adventurous allies willing to join a planned future new assault on the status quo lit-world. My move to Detroit has been a tactical retreat, that's all. After the tremendous noise made by the initial stage of the campaign, does anyone believe I'll not rework the strategy and put together another wave?

What's to be gained? Everything! For starters, the excitement of making literary history. With the right ideas and energy we can reinvent the art, in so doing multiplying its audience. Steps toward accomplishing this goal are being put into place. . . .

What I'd like to hear from readers isn't more of the "It can't be done" naysaying I've been bombarded with, but suggestions about what stories, poems, products, personalities will give lit a radically new look and attract a mass audience.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Essay

I have a new essay going up shortly at

which attempts to further explain my ideas.
One subject I haven't examined in depth, is that of the Beats. To me they're not a model, only an influence. Or, if anything, a negative model, in that I'm trying to understand where they went off track.

To me, the Beats were typified not by co-opted Ginsberg in the academy, but Kerouac drinking himself to death in disgust in Florida. Or maybe, as M. Grover keeps pointing out, typified by poet Bob Kaufman.

Why did the movement fizzle out so quickly? I don't know. I know that mainstream lit then was more vibrant and vital than it is today. I know that Ginsberg was obviously the wrong figure to appeal to proletarians; to the mass public. Ginsberg, like an Eggers or Gessen, wanted to appeal to intellectuals; Kerouac to the people. I know that Kerouac was thoroughly disillusioned with the bourgeois "counter-culture" direction of the Sixties. Maybe because he wanted what he was doing to BE the culture; to be the mainstream; populist at its core, to appeal to everybody.
There's also the factor of course that his quick fame took him far out of his comfort zone, and he couldn't handle it, so he retreated. A shame, because if he'd kept his head, he was the movement's proper leader.

The ULA faced a little of this when its three intended original "stars" all fled into hiding; in their own ways, as far as possible from any media attention. Unfortunately, however, the mass media exists, and has to be addressed or manipulated if new ideas are to surface in any way. How to do this and retain one's integrity remains the dilemma.
I want to reaffirm here that I've never claimed myself as nothing more than a precursor, at best, to literary change. That's the role characters like Frank Walsh, Tom Hendricks, and myself are playing-- voices in the wilderness trying to show the way, and open the door to literary revolution ever so slightly. The eventual success of the movement will depend on those who follow-- on new voices, with attitude, like Eric Broomfield's. They'll need the attitude we carry-- which we carry maybe because we came of age immediately post-Sixties, during a window of time when there seemed to exist all possibilities-- possibilities which for the younger generation today don't seem to remain, so that so many of them are entrenched in their own pessimism and timidity.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


MISGUIDED is someone who'd claim to have "shredded" my arguments; to think it a worthwhile goal to shred the arguments of one of the only persons thinking ahead of where American literature is now.

Misguided is to wring your hands over my contentious ballyhoo, for being "too mean," which shows a prim reluctance for lit to make the kind of cultural noise being made in other cultural activities on a daily basis from sports to movies to music in this country. If some individuals refuse to review underground books because one underground promoter is too loud or too mean, then they shouldn't be reviewing anything. Apply the same logic to a rock critic or movie reviewer and you'll see the absurdity of their misguided thinking-- absurdity times ten, because if any art form needs noise of every kind it's the sleepy world of literature.

I don't worry about upsetting a handful of tepid book reviewers because I know they're not reaching anybody anyhow. The potential and future audience for reading given the right promotion and the right products is ten times greater than literature's audience now. Given a choice, I'll take that future, ten out of ten times over the status quo.

Writers today are modeling themselves after the likes of Jonathan Lethem and Jeffrey Eugenides. I could give Lethem's last book full of nicely crafted prose that says nothing and goes nowhere to a non-lit person and the person would never connect with it. The novel is intended for the insular literary world itself. The status quo Volvo is stopped at an amber-light road barrier with emergency lights flashing. It's time to roar past it.

Lit needs a little less Mozart string quartet and a lot more MC5 "Kick Out the Jams." I've sought to provide that. You can have your fine musicianship. I'm looking for relentless thundering noise.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Imagining the Future

SOMEONE has said that I lack imagination. Nothing could be further from the truth. Who else but myself has imagined an entirely new and renewed literature?

What American literature lacks today in its totality is a sense of excitement. To create this excitement, we'll need exciting happenings, exciting works, and exciting stars. This is the path that was taken by the underground in the form of the ULA, and which needs to be taken again with increased vigor. Already, the various segments of the underground have produced novels with better writing (Larry Richette's), more entertainment (Wred Fright's) and more social relevance (James Nowlan's) than the tame offerings from the conglomerate mainstream. Our shows have been unspeakably wild.

On the other side of the room stand the cliquesters of the status quo "mainstream," tightly clutching their books, laptops, and Guggenheims lest anyone take them away. "We're entitled!" they claim. And, yes, they are very literary, these proper persons, no question about it. In their way, they love writing. In a quiet way they're even able to convey this. Francine Prose wrote an entire quiet book affirming how to quietly write and how to quietly read, without once raising her voice.

That's the problem! Literary writing and reading has regressed to a hard-core upper-middle class isolated in their plush condos or homes with Fluffy the cat sleeping on their laps and pristine books whose pages turn carefully to be placed in preserved condition back on the shelf or coffee table as if in a monastery. "Lions, Harts, Leaping Does." Well and fine, for them, but they've detached the art from human society.

Displace this crowd? Why not ? WHY NOT?!! Push them aside if they refuse to move. Shove them into the wings. They've had their turn, these proper beings. Allow please a more exciting variety of poet and writer to stand at the front of the stage.

Gaitskill Appearance

GOOD to see The New Yorker carry a story by Mary Gaitskill. Still, to me Gaitskill is a tale of unrealized potential; of the controlling influence of the corporation and the academy. Her stories, as excellent as they are, have always struck me as too controlled, like other literary stories, as if her art has been kept on a leash. Probably I was too influenced as a reader in the 90's by riot-grrrl zeens, which were full of literary "raw power" unlike any writing ever seen. They were crude affairs mostly, but captured the tough emotion of a Gaitskill and multiplied it by ten or twenty. Jen Gogglebox and Ammi Emergency are only two names I can recall from a score of great young women writers from that period; including the ULA's original "Zeen Elvis," who in pure explosive writing talent represented the fulfillment of what Mary Gaitskill hinted at. Talent that burned the page.

Gaitskill's story as a writer is a tragedy, in a way. Like a stray cat picked up from the streets; given shots, cleaned-up, and other things so to be properly domesticated. That's what I think of when I read her stories. "Look what we've done to her," the well-crafted writing says-- but I prefer the "before" kind of story; the fully uninhibited fully lusty and bloody voice of the streets.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


AMAZING to me is the societal blindness of those who've been posting on this blog-- society's approved writers. They're proving they don't understand their own country. They can't even see it! This alone disqualifies them from their self-designation as the nation's best writers.

Visualize a pyramid. Socially and economically, that's what America is. Its structure is not all that different from ancient Rome or ancient Egypt. In many ways it's becoming an artfully masked slave-ocracy.

From what part of the pyramid comes William Vollmann? I believe both his parents were university professors, in Cali, which means he comes socio-economically from the top 5% of the pyramid, albeit near the bottom of that 5%. (He's from the top 1% intellectual class. Maybe you think this makes no difference; or maybe you realize, as I do, that his outlook on the world, BBC-liberal though it may be, is vastly different from, say, a Noah Cicero's, native of collapsing Youngstown, Ohio.)

Also from near the bottom of the top 5% is Francine Prose, whose parents were physicians. Ms. Prose portrays herself as a college dropout. When did she drop out? In the middle of her Phd program!

Are we beginning to see the unreality of today's literary class?

We may as well detach that top 5% peak, and set it alongside the real pyramid, because for the cliquesters of literature like Eugenides, Beattie, Hempel, Jorie Graham, Miranda July and Company that smaller pyramid is all there is. The other is out of their viewpoint. In that other, even the ULA comes from nowhere the bottom. More like halfway to two-thirds down, because beneath are the millions and millions of underclass; most who are people of color; from the millions in our nation's jails and prisons to black inner city dwellers to the more recently arrived twenty million illegals, who are here to serve, in some way or other, the Overclass-- those in the much smaller pyramid we've placed alongside, on the ground.

When I use the word "Overdog," it's an accurate designation.

What made the ULA hyper-- at least me-- was the realization that we were falling within the main pyramid. Falling, falling. Falling! I've arrived back in Detroit to see that, yes, this city and other cities of the industrial heartland are still in freefall.

But let's go back to the mini-pyramid, of the top 5%. Do you hear the chattering? Enclosed in there is the nation's intellectual class, almost in its entirety. Their premises, their perspectives, seldom go beyond their own little world. When they do look at the larger pyramid, it's from a great height.

Within the mini-pyramid circulates virtually all of literature's largesse; from large advances to grant money. You know what? For them, this is okay! Never mind that this money comes in large part, or is sustained by, taxes or monies paid by those in the larger entity. No matter! To the top 5% there is aristocratic entitlement. On this they thrive.

Sure, there are writers who make it from the larger pyramid into the smaller, elite one. Those like Ray Carver. What price do they pay?

I've been saying on my blogs that we need to free literature from the dominance of the top 5%; to bring it out of the mini-pyramid. Maybe I'm also saying that we need to dismantle the pyramids.

Blogs Update

I have my review of Lawrence Richette's latest novel now up at both

The question is why the best American novelist isn't being published by the machine. He's tried to access it. Questions are raised about the System's aesthetics and tastes, and the role played by the "Buddy System" in American letters.
I'm told that a lot is happening courtesy of ULA madman Frank Walsh over at
possibly related to the discussion that's been happening at this place. I plan to take a look.

The literary rebellion lives!

Monday, June 02, 2008

My Response

Patricians vs. Plebians Cont.

The Overdogs have called their posts here a "bloodbath." They've stormed onto this blog while simultaneously a Petition blog I attempted to set up has been frozen. The sound you hear in the background is the patricians high-fiving themselves at the mansion.

Their actions work on several levels. The millionaires need to justify themselves to themselves. They need to defuse my arguments. They hope to discourage me or shut me up. Part of their thinking is to use me as example; as warning to other underground writers who might be tempted to call them on their machinations. The dissenter strung up.

What they really show is the reactionary mindset behind this country's literary aristocracy centered in New York. They control enough key intellectual centers of the literary apparatus, like PEN, to keep their influence dominant. As PEN's President they have Francine Prose, who in terms of theory and aesthetics is one of the more reactionary literary critics in America.

More pernicious is the Overdog being heard from on this blog, to whom everything is fine because for HIS sterling person everything is fine. To him the Beat movement lives, though its current practicioners are nowhere published, because he's met a few aging Beat stars in their last years and feels qualified, from his high station, to speak on the movement. HE decides if status quo lit is okay, and has decreed it is. To him there is an alternative in literature because his kind helped create that alternative, and stocked it with fellow aristocrats like William Vollmann. How intolerable then to witness the arrival of a real, organic opposition. How necessary to stamp it out.

The posts here from Overdogs and their demi-puppets are as much propaganda as the Susan Nagel book about the daughter of Marie Antoinette. The point of view is the same: the poor aristos in their Versailles palace being picked on. Woe is us! You resentful beggar. How dare you mention our eleven hundred horses!

Compare them. The similarity is obvious.

Conditions set for the aristocrats to be involved with their token tax-deductible programs to help people: that they be accepted as the great and generous liberal benefactors they imagine themselves to be. Watch them parade themselves at their black-tie "charitable" events while the bulk of money goes into their own pockets. If someone dares call these folks the a--holes they are in reality, the aristos are outraged.

What are my crimes?
1.) I've thrown a spotlight onto plutocrat writers robbing the grants process.
2.) I and my friends have enlivened a few staid establishment readings, waking up audiences at the kind of moribund lethargically dead presentations that have killed literature's audience.
3.) I've refused to kow-tow to rich Overdog societal parasites deluded into believing they're talented, so used to everything going their way they can't tolerate any criticism.
4.) I didn't get weepy (but hardly celebrated) when a much-awarded lit-Insider bureaucratic politician poet with absolutely NO talent-- none discernible whatsoever; example of everything wrong with System literature now-- kicked off.

Am I supposed to apologize? To who? The rich a--holes who've been coming onto my blog? I've worked enough shitty jobs in my life serving the plutocrats to know these are the most selfish most villainous most egregiously mendacious collection of mindlessly self-important jerks who've ever lived. Go choke on your hors d'ouevres and be happy there's not real revolution in this country, as will no doubt occur should current trends continue. I'm merely ahead of the curve.

The Howl Protest was a good example. Those of us who stepped into the hall all agreed the atmosphere was that of a morgue. You had an audience of sleepy gentry and on stage were six or seven wax dummies in chairs. We woke one or two of them up. I guess at some point we offended blustery Lopate, outraged and outrageously lying about how tough it is to make ends meet on his six-figure tenured chair position. (Though compared to some other writers, maybe he could be considered "poor.")

Know what I thought sitting there? I thought, "Is this the best literature has to offer?" This tepid celebration of Ginsberg that had nothing celebratory about it? The celebrating and the real writers were outside! On the sidewalk.

The onstage folks write for museums. Their pretentiously wordy concoctions, despite a massive billion-dollar apparatus behind them, touch no one. Soulless artifacts. Lifeless furniture, indistinguishable from the chairs they sat on; Lopate a chair in more ways than one; his carefully-crafted Polonious essays as square and as wooden as a chair. Dead purveyors of a dead art. You should be glad we awoke you, you demi-puppets.

The dissenter being called disturbed or troubled reeks of the Soviet Union, where anyone who opposed the monolith had to be insane, by definition. I love that word, "troubled." The fact is I'm enjoying myself with this campaign-- hearing the dragon's death throes. I suspect some people in high literary places are "troubled" I'm conducting it.

I've alienated a narrow claque of trust-funders and their flunkies who don't give a shit anyway about anyone outside their greedy circle. They've got theirs and to hell with anyone else. What's to lose? The good opinion of Hiram, Francine, and Phillip? I never had it!

Meanwhile, the workforce in industries like automobiles and steel is a fraction of what it was thirty years ago; part of a huge nationwide shakeout in which wages have plummeted while cost of living goes up. Good-paying jobs for two-thirds of America have vanished. We've seen a massive wealth transfer from poor to rich. The great untold story of America is the economic destruction of an entire class of people. Who's writing about this? Instead, literary Overdogs erect thicker walls to keep the rest of America out.

Have I been unfair on occasion in my arguments and outrageous in my actions? Against a house deck of cards stacked against me and my kind 1,000 to one? Yes! I look for every opening and any advantage. But I also give opponents the opportunity to speak which they'd never grant me.
Funny how those who grab power in every form, so they control all the rules and every aspect of the game, and run up countless points on the scoreboard for themselves before the whistle's even blown, then ask us to "play fair." While on the football field they oppose out tiny clown car with a steamroller. "You're not playing by our rules!" they yell. No shit. I'm going to take your rules and your phony liberal poses of niceness and virtue; the smiling masks you wear hiding your Dorian Gray faces and decaying villainous hearts; and hit you over the head with them.

Have I turned one of our rich foes, the ULA's first target, into a symbol; poster boy for our cause? I'd say he's turned himself into that symbol by remaining at the center of the apparatus which must be democratized before literature can move forward. He failed to take his own advice to "just write."

The absolute nadir for contemporary American literature was the National Book Award a few years back handed to a ridiculously bad novel about letters to Peru or such by wealthy blueblood author Lily Tuck.

Bullshit scribblings from a dilettante's bullshit life. Diary entries from a debutante. The National Book Award-- representative of the best America has to offer-- given to a narrow sideshow of a glimpse of a narrow segment of society's narrow outlook. Who made this award-- to what purpose? Was the book the sound of America-- of its farms, factories, roads, docks, offices; throbbing hatreds and raging loves; of our massive, vast, mad and madly beautiful country? Uh, no.

Someone said I've never been heckled. I have. At open mics and at the ULA's own events-- have asked for it and welcomed it; have loved the interchange, the opportunity to show, "This art form is not dead."

When Allen Ginsberg spoke of throwing potato salad, he was speaking to future generations. First, to us. He was affirming the necessity of dissent in literature-- dissent not frozen at 1958 in the Beat heyday as the Villains and Overdogs of literature would have it. Dissent ongoing, perpetual, for all time; the kind of unyielding artistic dissent which is the only thing which keeps any art form alive. Print out this rant and tape it to your walls as reminder that it's the artist's JOB to dissent-- to dissent first against power, privilege, complacency, falsehood, and unearned arrogance, which is all I've been doing. "My family! the black-hearted villain cries when caught in the spotlight. He means, "My station. My inheritance. My caste. My legacy of leverage and largesse in this society which I've drawn on again and again." He means the plutocratic nature of America itself.

Who's the oppressor and who the oppressed? The Rebellion's targets have been the most connected writers around, privileged of the privileged, scions of affluence tied to literary power centers which control hype, money, and influence. Targeted have been the roadblocks to independent writers, and barriers to the writer's independence. Aristocrats from their palaces would have us believe opportunity is equal for all, and those not allowed into the show simply aren't good enough. "Jeeves, fill out that Guggenheim application, could you?"It's a sign of their refusal to change, to alter the ways and means of literature to the slightest extent.

If the System refuses to allow outside voices into literature's argument, then backwardness and evil will have won. As the bureaucracies and monied manipulators extend their control even over organizations dedicated to the small press (see CLMP) or to dissent (see PEN), this tightening of artistic control and lethargy must be balanced, if the art is to remain relevant, connected to the nation-at-large. Remember, I came to this subject as a reader, one unsatisfied with what the literary machine was handing us-- well-edited beaten-down "dirty realism" or the continuous posing of rich kids. I believed we as a civilization could do better. I don't care if I'm "published." What does that matter to me? That's never been my goal. If I can knock over roadblocks to other writers, I'll have done enough.

A harpoon has gone into the white whale of corruption. The screaming you hear is the result. For a static art, this is nothing but a positive.

The literary Rebellion which reached a peak through the actions of the ULA has been a joyful rebellion. Its actions have been among the most thrilling in literary history-- actions of boldness and exuberance against the decay of the art form. Actions which have woken the slumbering mummies. Amazing events. Read the history. It's there as a potato salad example for everyone.