Dear Friends of Scarriet,………………………………………….November 25th, 2009

Just to remind you on the eve of Thanksgiving that we the undersigned were banned from Blog:Harriet three months ago for writing too much and too passionately about poetry. Yes, and on the very same day that we found, not by direct communication but by trial and error,  that we were no longer welcome on Harriet, Travis Nichols welcomed Amber Tamblyn as the new generation Contributing Writer.

As a preliminary to our big THANKSGIVING POST (coming up next!), we offer this as a sample of the commentary Travis had in mind for the new Harriet. Can’t say we wish we weren’t there, but then we’re very glad so many of you have decided to be here with us on Scarriet instead.

(Sort of comes down to Mt.Parnassus or the Marriott. But let’s be clear about that too — it’s not that the Marriott ought to be shut out from the Poetry Foundation’s goal to “foster and cultivate an open community” (see the P.F. Guidelines just above), but neither should Parnassus!)

Thomas Brady
Alan Cordle
Desmond Swords
Christopher Woodman


  1. thomasbrady said,

    November 25, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Amber and her famous daddy visit a prison…not sure the point…is there a point? “How A Murderer Sleeps” what an odd title…is this really what her piece is about, or was she just looking for a heading that sounded provocative…? Amber doesn’t sound rigorous at all…I imagine her schooling was of the artsy-fartsy variety…

  2. bluehole said,

    November 25, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    I almost hate to ask, but what — exactly — is a poetry show?

  3. thomasbrady said,

    November 25, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Maybe poems are on the wall–like paintings? And someone buys a painting/poem for thousands of dollars?

    Or, someone reads a poem–and Amber and her friends dance while its being read?

    I sure as hell would love to go…

  4. Christopher Woodman said,

    November 26, 2009 at 5:40 am

    Here’s the proof — Amber’s been reading Scarriet too!

    Thanks for the Father-love. My favorite growing up was Tom Thumb. I must have watched that literally a thousand times.

    When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to watch Twin Peaks for the most part. But the way our living room was structured, I could stick my Hello Kitty mirror around the corner from my bedroom door, and secretly watch the tv on the opposite wall. I recently told dad about this. He said he knew I was doing that but never said anything because my Mother was the one who would have freaked out. He thought giants and ladies who talked to logs and women walking through fire were healthy for my imagination. He was probably right.


  5. thomasbrady said,

    November 26, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Yea, ‘Mom’ (Travis, the sherrif) would freak out if she knew you were reading Scarriet…

  6. Christopher Woodman said,

    November 27, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Wow! Sounds like you could write a book – besides poetry :) – about your adventures/misadventures growing up! Never a dull moment at your house, I’m sure!
    Seriously though, it sounds like you had a great creative environment to do so.
    POSTED BY: ANN ON NOVEMBER 26, 2009 AT 12:38 AM

  7. Christopher Woodman said,

    November 27, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Dear Ann,
    I’m not mocking you here at all. I can hear your sincerity and goodwill but, speaking as a single father of 3 young children who took them away to sea for three years and three continents in a very small sailboat, thrilling and frightening them alternatively to death, I wouldn’t agree with you that what Amber Tamblyn has so far told us about her childhood indicates she necessarily had a good one at all. Also, writing a book about anything doesn’t mean you have to be a celebrity, or even that being a celebrity makes for a better or more interesting life, or prepares you to be a poet.

    So you’re good but in my estimation a little simplistic.

    But my main point in high-lighting your comment is to remind our readers that it’s your sort of feel-good comment that The Poetry Foundation of America obviously prefers on Blog:Harriet to anything intense or uncomfortable that “keeps the spot sore” in Robinson Jeffers phrase [click here for the hay days!].

    It’s very important to acknowledge that Thomas Brady, Desmond Swords, Alan Cordle and myself never once posted an abusive comment, something which cannot be said of some of the posters who are still welcome, including Nick, Noah Freed, Krista, and Travis Nichols, the Editor himself, who called me a cow pat to my face. Travis Nichols also perpetuated the myth that I was a fraud and an imposter, whereas he had direct access to my IP and my posting patterns, which are easy to see because I live at the antipodes. “Smear tactics” they’re called, something which the four of us also never once did — and I’m not doing now.

    Travis Nichols did.

    Yes, it’s true we wrote longer comments, but when we were asked to restrict ourselves to 500 words and 5 comments a day way back in July we did, but there were a number of posters who were just as “frequent” as we were that weren’t banned for it (they have just voluntarily stayed away!).

    My comment on your post may embarrass you, Ann, and I’m sorry for that — such goodness should not be put in the line of fire. But sentiments like yours in that last post have frequently been championed by despots, and we American poets should certainly know enough about the tyrrany of “family values!”

    I hope you’ll forgive me for using you, but I hope you will try to understand too and vote with your feet at Harriet.

    Christopher Woodman

    P.S. The father that did that in the first paragraph would be the first to admit that the dream of “sailing away with one’s children” is not always “the sound of music,” and that the deed caused as many problems for his children as it made their life stories more interesting.

    I say don’t romanticize anything just as passionately as I say romanticize it all — to dictate either by force is fascism!


  8. poetryandporse said,

    November 27, 2009 at 10:47 am

    It’s very important to acknowledge that Desmond Swords, did post a few abusive comments. I can’t pretend I was always sweetness and light and that the nasty Travis is the author of any woe in relation of ‘missing out’ on the fun at that..erm, rather staid and somewhat unchallenging space that is run, not for any free hugs world peace gig – but for the benefit of those controlling it.

    Woodie, I would say all you were guilty of was being into poetry too much, ditto Tom. Though I think it was a bit rough and not quite cricket, the way Trav engineered things with you – I knew it was just a question of when, and was unconcerned because this stuff is normal on poetry boards. Expecting any poetry in English board to be a bastion of warmth and sensitivity, understanding and fair play – is a mugs game. I always thought it best to be yourself and if the less able moderating chuck you off because their creativity cannot handle your own: their punishment is a loss of Face, and unless they are writing stuff you read and respect – it is unfair on the poetically disabled people, like the crowd who play that game of who receives what from the 200 million.

    The are doing it for love as much as anyone else, but with 200 million in there as well, well this filters into the mix – defines it and they all have a price, can be paid off, their ‘compliance’ on certain unwritten policies and deniable ‘rules’ that were proven to be in effect the day Tamblyn entered.

    Travis and whoever else is with him on this not so ‘secret’ policy of banning people who exhibited more rhetorical skill and humanity than them. I don’t really count myself in the number, I see you guys as a trinity and voluntarily have no bad feelings about it all because I achieved more than I hoped, raised my profile just by being myself and the word got round I am now connected to America as a European (not) there in America, who is actually in the mix of names on the lips of a few who know the score and respect me for coming up with the goods and entertaining ’em with words.

    Brady, he is the one who proved everything was false. I just waffled nonsense and had a giggle.