A.A. Bondy
American Hearts

Leaves in the Gutter

For What I Don't Become

The Thick of It
BBC America

Saddest Ghost Lamp

Friday, March 25, 2005

Hug Your Television

Let's hear it for Richard Hell, a guy about whom I've never had much to say--never read his books, and, heretically, never really got into Television (I always confuse them with Wire for some reason).

But this annotated Bookslut interview makes me want to marry him. The interviewer, an editorial assistant at Poetry magazine, sent Hell a transcript of the Q and A, along with an introduction, for his review. Hell didn't like the intro, and sent it back annotated, a sample of which appears below (the bold is from the intro; below it is Hell's response).

As a poet now, Richard Hell is perhaps not as good as he could have been had he not spent upwards of twenty years playing music.

Fuck you. If you want to say something like that, say it to my face. You don't hear me making claims about how "good" my poetry is, but who the fuck do you think you are? All this writing of yours is presented as if you're a person called upon to make judgments from some position of earned respect. That's not who you are. You're a callow kid with a job reading slush for a pretentious irrelevant "poetry" magazine [Poetry, not Bookslut]. You sought an interview from me, I was kind enough to grant it, and now you're being an asshole by exercising some grotesquely deluded misapprehension that your role in this includes some call to fucking critically assess my skills. Also, it was not twenty but ten years I spent with bands.

Kudos to Travis for running it anyway. I would have simply cried like a girl.