The Pee in the Pool of On Line Poetry, by Terreson

In the past few hours, dozens of posts have been deleted from “The Pee in the Pool of On-line Poetry” thread on the much-respected  Clattery MacHinery website. Even worse than that, certain posts that were in the deleted section were then reposted after the event — obviously the ones that were favorable to the management. Finally, all the posts attempting to discuss the deletions were deleted in turn.

CLICK HERE to see the very last deleted section and arrive at your own conclusion about Clattery and Terreson — who simply couldn’t abide by the idea that anybody else could have worthwhile ideas about On-line Poetry Board affairs. It was their turf, after all — we were tangling with the original On-line Poetry Board Sherrif!

(Oh the arrogance! Oh the ironies! Oh the destruction of such positive impulses!)

By the same token, we would like to encourage posters here to keep it positive. We all make mistakes, we all get to the end of our tethers. If Clattery MacHinery would like to step back and clear the air, we would be delighted. We could take this article down in a trice and get back into real dialogue over there.

Ditto Blog:Harriet — how we’d love to work with the Poetry Foundation where it’s at and not way out here at the end of this long, lonely limb!

Christopher Woodman


  1. cowpattyhammer said,

    September 21, 2009 at 8:47 am

    We weren’t doing too badly until yesterday. The following, for example, was a key exchange, and illustrates very well the level of the discourse, the relevance to the topic, and above all the quality of the communication.

    Who would ever have expected we were headed toward total Meltdown!



    So Clattery, old bean, posts 1419 and 1421 remind me of a story I still find amusing. I think I’ve told it before but maybe it bears repeating.

    You remember how the fur started flying soon after you put up my essay. Well, there was this one guy, a TCP mod. I sort of knew, who one day emailed me. Because of the essay he expressed grave concern for my sanity. He ended his letter by assuring me he was qualified in talking about things such as mental health, being, as he was, an MD. I can’t remember how but subsequently I learned the gentleman was a retired urologist. Guess you could call him a pee expert who could read the water (swirls? smells? specific gravity?) and diagnose mental illness.

    Anyway, of course you are right. This particular conversational vector has entered the silly sphere. I see no point in responding to the several charges put against me, my character, my emotional state, my sanity. Deja vu all over again.

    One more thing maybe. While I do not think Woodman, Brady, or Swords should have been banned from Harriet’s, I am essentially disturbed by the Swords case. His banning speaks more to style or preference than it speaks to content or message. I for one tended to skip over his posts. They often amounted to a thicket of thoughts a reader could quickly get lost in. But that was (is) his way. That was (is) his syntactical style of thinking. His banning was particularly unjust. This brings shame only on the Poetry Foundation. He was not a spammer there. He did not fixate on himself or on a circumscribed set of ideas. His tongue just wagged and took the lead too much. The banning of Mr. Swords I think bothers me the most, particularly speaks against the case of too much management.

    Comment by Terreson — September 18, 2009 @ 11:04 pm


    I don’t see anything “silly” here, Tere, I see in miniature exactly what Desmond Swords meant when he posted that video. And what you see there is not funny at all, because it’s how crowd bashings get started, hysteria building up to ‘taking the law into one’s own hand,’ then tarring and feathering, and then, close your eyes, lynchings. And we’re poets, for God’s sake!

    Because, Clattery and Tere, there was no “feedback” from Indy where all this began, just blanket dismissal out of nowhere, like a mole — a good internet metaphor, that one. “Feedback” is an audio metaphor, and involves one communication morphing into another separate communication, a “reply,” we call it when its helpful, though it can be incomprehensible too. In the audio world, feedback is usually a painful distraction, because it replies with exactly the same tone and volume but is all scrambled up, and totally disrupts the message.

    There has been no “feedback” from Indy and the Artful Dodger on this thread, Clattery, unless you call what those protesters on Desmond’s video clip are giving to Barack Obama feedback. No, Indy and AD are doing a Joe Wilson, pure and simple, and the sole effect Joe Wilson was looking for was to whip up contrary emotions that would bury anything cogent Obama might have to say.

    And that’s called heckling.

    What bothers me is that you, CM, the Administrator of Clattery MacHinery, a site dedicated to cleaning up Poetry Board Management, have come in to say that heckling has more content than the speech that active members are trying to deliver from the podium. And that’s precisely why Desmond posted that clip — to illustrate what happens when heckling becomes acceptable content.

    I know wading in like this will ruin my chances of going on here at Clattery, but I’m so disappointed in Clattery MacHinery I doubt I could continue here anyway.

    Christopher Woodman
    Comment by Christopher Woodman — September 19, 2009 @ 1:55 am


    What I left out is your role in all this, Tere, and without saying it I’ve left out a most important part of the picture. Because this thread is uniquely yours, the author of “The Pee in the Pool of On-Line Poetry,’ and although I believe you when you say you have nothing to do with the adminstration of the site, you are the most important voice on it. You are the ‘moderator’ in the best sense of the word, the one who makes the calls, so to speak, the one who defines the parameters when posters don’t understand what you meant in the first place.

    Fair enough, and I do respect that. I respect your article and always listen to your interpretations of it — because of course the whole topic is developing. Indeed, that’s precsiely why Tom, Desmond and myself are here, and what an irony!

    But now you’re doing your Joe Wilson too, Tere, and each time you write a note to “Clattery old bean,” your hammering a nail in my coffin (another metaphor to add to what the crowd does just above!).

    And you shouldn’t. You should be large enough to accept a hand when its held out to you instead of sneering at it. Because I’ve been waving an olive branch on Clattery in every word I’ve written way back to post #1344, and you’ve been studiously ignoring it. Indeed, you’ve been pouring oil on the fire.

    Bad. Looks bad, feels bad, means bad. Destructive.

    Comment by Christopher Woodman — September 19, 2009 @ 2:23 am


    Hi Christopher,

    Indy gave clear feedback. I urged you to accept it via e-mail, when you asked me. You instead want to say that it isn’t feedback? What? Such an argument is going to get tedious and boring, proving indy is right on track.

    Comment by Clattery MacHinery — September 19, 2009 @ 2:32 am


    There ought to be one rule of on-line etiquette–just one.

    If you think another poster is ‘boring;’ don’t be rude and say so; instead YOU write something that is NOT ‘boring.’

    That’s it.

    1. Don’t be boring. Saying someone else is boring, is boring. Instead, be interesting yourself.

    Clattery, maybe you are friends with this Indy person off the blog; I don’t know. Perhaps you and Tere know each other off the blog; and I was discussing with Woodman and Swords privately that there are any number of psychological and prideful reasons why Tere/Clattery might resent the gang, and I use the term ‘gang’ very loosely, but you know what I mean.

    Anyway, you and Tere are beloved for your ‘freedom-loving,’ ‘anti-banning’ philosophy, and so sure, let Indy–or whoever–come on here and say anything they want. But Indy did violate THE rule–if I may be allowed to call it that: Indy, without charm, or wit, or example, insulted me. Indy did not provide a psychological or philosophical basis for the charge, or provide any details; there was no attempt to relate the charge to ‘pee in the pool’ or anything else; the motive was solely ‘get Thomas Brady,’ and ‘make Thomas Brady look bad’ and again, if Indy wants to do that, Indy can, but is this the example we want to set?

    Comment by earl of essex — September 19, 2009 @ 2:15 pm


    I’d say nutshell, Thomas. That’s it in a nutshell.

    No more, “You lie!” From now on we insist upon a more truthful, revitalized, fresh and lively vision of what has been said. Then we’ll know exactly what’s indisputable, and interesting, and really True and well-said.

    No more “boring” or “tedium.” From now on it’s “Here’s what’s interesting. Here’s what’s really well said!”


    Comment by Christopher Woodman — September 19, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

  2. thomasbrady said,

    September 21, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    This seems to be the new code for censorship: “boring.”

    I’m banning and deleting you BECAUSE you are “boring.”

    Ex-Chicago Review editor Bobby Baird wrote me an email recently when I posted a bon mot on his site.

    “Boston has the frog pond. Chicago has…wind.”

    Baird was very upset at my bon mot, which was for Kent Johnson’s the ‘New Chicago School,’ guest-post on Baird’s site, and Baird was so upset, Baird sent me an angry email out of the blue.

    He threatened banning, and said I was “boring.”

    Same strategy as old bean, Clattery, and Terreson, Clattery’s Mr. Bean.

    Brady is “boring.” Code: Brady is more interesting than we are.

    What the gracious moderator/admins in question are really saying is NOT:

    I am banning you BECAUSE you are boring.

    What they are really saying is:

    You are “boring” BECAUSE I banned you.

  3. cowpattyhammer said,

    September 22, 2009 at 1:24 am

    I live at the opposite ends of the earth, and so am 12 hours different from Clattery MacHinery. When I went to bed last night there were 1452 posts. There have been only two subsequent posts, #1448 and 1449, which means 5 posts were deleted.

    All of those posts were replies to the accusations of “foul language” made by the Moderator in #1444 — if you’re interested in reading the deleted posts they’re just below in Comment #4.

    In other words, the Management has posted an attack upon 3 active members and then eliminated their rebuttals!

    I just posted this reply to Terreson on CLattery:

    How does this action fit into “The Pee in the Pool” philosophy of respectful Poetry Board Management? Are we still on a legitimate site here, Tere, do you feel this is still fair ball? Or will you be resigning as you did from TCP, and for what you regarded as unethical behavior?

    Comment by Christopher Woodman — September 22, 2009 @ 1:11 am

  4. cowpattyhammer said,

    September 22, 2009 at 1:44 am

    Clattery MacHinery posted this attack on 3 of its most active members:

    Hi Desmond,
    We are done with their tedious, argumentative posts here, just as we have been done with the foul language they were using earlier. The last few weeks of posts are a good enough example of how such flamers can take over a thread. They went in two offensive stages. The first was the use of foul language, language they would be comfortable with, but that many onlookers would be repulsed by. The second significant phase was to be argumentative to absurdity, to become repulsive to anyone who wanted to conjure the energy to respond to them.

    Comment by Clattery MacHinery — September 21, 2009 @ 11:02 am


    Clattery is a liar. I never used foul language.

    Go ahead. Show me the post where I used foul language.

    Clattery, old bean curd, quit while you still have an ounce of respect.

    Don’t add lie to lie.

    People are reading your deletions on other sites.

    You need to take a rest. You’re embarrassing yourself.

    This thread is called ‘pee in the pool’ and YOU are censoring reasonable and factual discussion of this very topic and LYING while doing so–and the world can see it.

    You better just erase this thread and say g’nite. Tere can live on Harriet. He has a nice home there.

    Comment by earl of essex — September 21, 2009 @ 12:51 pm


    I have to say Clat. I was reading all the posts, and cannot recall anything which could remotely be termed ‘foul’ – in the sense I take it that you mean: the eff, and C words.

    Please can you reproduce any of it here (with appropriate x for fxxx, etc)?

    Thanks very much.
    Comment by Desmond Swords — September 21, 2009 @ 2:56 pm


    I used fxxxxxxx once, and I used it in reply to a very respectable contributor who used it without comment. I thought my response was quite funny.

    “The girls get xxxxxxx in their shoes,” I wrote– referring to the metaphor I used with regard to over-refined tastes in modern American poetry. I said those tastes were like the taste for bound feet, as sad for the girls (poems) as sad for the men who love them (critics and poets). (Got it?)

    I never used sxxxxx, in either sense, or gxx dxxx it, or up your xxxxx, or any of the things Jack Conway used quite regularly and didn’t get xxxxs for (most of the things he refrred to I had never even heard of!).

    So what foul language are you talking about, Tere? Could you quote just one example?

    Comment by cowpattyhammer — September 21, 2009 @ 3:55 pm


    Oops, there’s my foul language again, cxxxx pxxxx! But you know, Tere, you should have that out with your Clattery sponsor, WordPress. OR your sponsor on Harriet, Travis Nichols, who coined it!

    Tom was christened “Thomas Brady” by Indy too, do you remember, Indy when he went by the name of Pirvaya?

    Also you should really look into Indy’s penchant for cross-dressing. I mean, how many pseudonyms do you have to put on to still be “good people?”

    Comment by Christopher Woodman — September 21, 2009 @ 4:05 pm


    Also, just for a reality check, all the deleted posts from Clattery have just been posted on Scarriet

    Any foul language there?
    Comment by Christopher Woodman — September 21, 2009 @ 4:14 pm


    I do apologize, Indy. I now understand exactly what you meant about not being boring.

    Since Clattery deleted all those posts there’s a new, fresh spark of interest on Clattery, scintillating I think anybody would call it.

    Real wit, full-bodied discourse, right on target.

    Thanks, as they say on Poetry Boards. “Thanks, I hear you.”
    Comment by Christopher Woodman — September 21, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

    I mean, can you imagine? Can you imagine being so over-sensitive as to delete that last one? WHY?????????


  5. cowpattyhammer said,

    September 22, 2009 at 4:03 am

    Post #1450 has now been deleted as well. That was the one that asked at the end:

    “How does this action fit into “The Pee in the Pool” philosophy of respectful Poetry Board Management? Are we still on a legitimate site here, Tere, do you feel this is still fair ball? Or will you be resigning as you did from TCP, and for what you regarded as unethical behavior?
    Comment by Christopher Woodman — September 22, 2009 @ 1:11 am

    In it’s place was this new REPLY to Terreson’s post #1449:

    “Specifically I have in mind cyber vandals, spammers, bad critics (critics reading from a preconceived template), and cliques that get formed then dominate a board. For further discussion would such a more narrowly focused essay interest you?

    Sounds like a good idea. Surely, we would have to brace ourselves once again. On the other hand, it would bring a certain balance.
    Comment by Clattery MacHinery — September 22, 2009 @ 3:29 am


    What will be interesting to see is how Terreson defines his new position, because at the very moment Clattery is making this proposal that he write the new essay on “cyber vandals, spammers, bad critics (critics reading from a preconceived template), and cliques” he is closing everybody out. Indeed, he’s setting up a clique that excludes the most positive participants he’s got on the site!

    Also Terreson will sure have to answer my question in deleted post #1450: “How does this action fit into “The Pee in the Pool” philosophy of respectful Poetry Board Management?” If Thomas Brady, Desmond Swords and myself, always on topic, always respectful, always passionate but fair and articulate, are deleted right out of sight, how will he deal with regulars like the Artful Dodger, John Daly, Jack Conway, Indy, and even on occasion himself? Indeed, Terreson just wrote one of the most aggressive and threatening posts I’ve ever read on the web — and now has deleted it himself!

    I mean, after the dark side he has revealed on “The Pee in the Pool,” who’s ever going to feel comfortable with Terreson but vandals?


  6. cowpattyhammer said,

    September 22, 2009 at 5:59 am

    Post #1450 was deleted TWICE. I tried to post the following comment and it was immediately met by a little sign that said “discarded.” And now I’m banned again.

    LAST POST [attempted 09/22/2009]

    #1450 was my comment, Clattery — and it was wholly inoffensive. You deleted it twice now, indeed I honestly thought the first time was an error!

    I’ve been wracking my brains as to why you are doing this, Terreson, and I suddenly realized, for brownie points at Harriet!

    So good luck there, and I do hope it’s worth the sacrifice of everything you stand for.

    As to “The Pee in the Pool,” it’s done for. Mindless lies and abuse of posters followed by dozens (YES!) of deletions — makes TCP,, and Harriet look like Board enlightenment!


  7. thomasbrady said,

    September 27, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Terreson’s Pee in the Pool update.

    Since Clattery’s tantrum 6 days ago:

    0 posts.