By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Regarding Jimmy Fowler's article ["Put a lid on it," May 15] concerning the bitchy little disagreement between Clebo "Please don't break my glasses" Rainey and Robert "I'll sic my wife on you" Howington: Who fucking cares? I've worked with both those whiny chickenshits, and neither one of them has the balls God gave a goose. Dipshits like that give Texas poets a bad name. The famous weasel boy says "Screw 'em!"
I was happy to finally see some coverage of a live poetry event in the Dallas Observer. However, as someone who has been a working poet in this city for quite some time, I may be a bit jaded. I have to admit being a little put off by the fact that the event that you chose to cover--out of the literally hundreds of poetry events that have taken place in this area over the last year--was a near-fistfight. Talk about raising the level of literary discourse!
In his article, Jimmy Fowler does make some important points about the current state-of-the-art of poetry in Dallas. There is a lively slam and open reading scene in the area, but it does not make up the totality of Dallas' literary life. And, yes, Clebo Rainey has done yeoman's work publicizing himself and many other area poets, but to label him "Poet Emeritus of Dallas" is to, I think, conveniently dismiss a huge portion of this community's poets, many of whom would be appalled to see Clebo appointed as their spokesperson.
Fowler is right when he notes that there are street poets in the area who take the old avant-garde adage that poetry should push the limits of language to absurd and moronic depths. But the sum total of Dallas' poetic discourse is not calculating how many times to say "fuck" in a poem.
A critic does have the responsibility of pointing out instances when artists make themselves look ridiculous (and Howington's juvenile publicity stunt certainly did make him look ridiculous), but to magnify a trivial incident such as this and to imply that it is representative of an entire city's poetic life is a disservice to both the city and its poets.
Yes, the article was funny. And, yes, slam poets make good copy because they are often easy to caricature. Like I said, though, I may be a little crotchety. I believe that if you at the Observer would take a little deeper look at the area's poetry scene, and not take the easy way out and settle for cartoonish expose, it would become obvious to you that there is, in fact, some very important poetic work being done in this city. Maybe next time!
I am still reading David Pasztor's article on Frank Mitchell's tribulations with the PGA tour ["Stick it in your ear," May 22]. I find the business aspects of the PGA tour fascinating. However, you really should proofread articles better. I have found at least one typo.
And there is at least one glaring factual error. Mitchell cannot be a graduate of St. Mark's and W.T. White High School, as stated on page 14. St. Mark's School of Texas is a 12-year school. Maybe you don't have enough Dallas natives on your staff who would know better. These mistakes, albeit small, distract from the substance of the article.
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