Buffalo Moon Pie Tree

You wash & wash, Washington - but never come clean.


You buff & buff, Buffalo - your moon still mean.


You prove & prove, Providence - moan, laundrymen.

- Henry the Cleaning Lady

[Note: In the phantom digital-terminal world, we are all still learning to let our fingers do the talking. Through 1998 I was working on a very long poem called STUBBORN GREW (which will be published this year by Spuyten Duyvil Press in Brooklyn). Occasionally there are conjunctions between events internal to the poem and the travails of the Clinton presidency. Strangely, toward the end of 1998, I found myself enmeshed with others in an internet struggle for legitimacy which paralleled events in Washington. I found myself "impeached" (via censorship) from the influential "Poetics List" poetry discussion sponsored by the Electronic Poetry Center at SUNY Buffalo (http://wings.buffalo.edu/epc). The strains of this struggle in November-December brought about the "resignation" of two of the list managers, just as two Speakers of the House were brought down by the impeachment battle. Now the Poetics List has been re-organized into a more tightly-controlled discussion - "fully moderated", in list lingo; and I, along with a few others, have been denied membership to the new formation. An entire spectrum of opinions has been voiced about what happened on the Poetics List, portions of which can be found in the List's own archives. This is not the place to argue the point one way or another; my brief poem simply expresses what it feels like to be exiled, shut out of a valued community. And I would like people interested in the "poetry scene" to be aware of the depths and nuances entailed by any form of editing or censorship (another name for "moderation"). I am not saying that "editing" is always negative or unnecessary; only that it is important to be aware of it, of how and in what forms it exists. --Henry Gould]