How To

Posted in Library of Congress, Poem, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 10, 2018

“Read the controversial poem and let me know what you think.” It has been a while since a poem was controversial. Somebody made a fuss about How To, a feature at The Nation. It is not sure how many people complained, or whether The Nation amplified the protests to create awareness.

‘By the time most people heard of it, the magazine had apologized. The author, @AndersWeePoet, took a sincerity pill, and pinned an apology to his twitter feed. Many observers are not amused. “Katha Pollitt, a columnist for the magazine, wrote: “I can’t believe @thenation’s poetry editors published that craven apology for a poem they thought was good enough to publish … [it] looks like a letter from re-education camp.” “In the morally illiterate idiom of the moment, a white poet’s “appropriation” of Black English serves “white supremacy,” putting it in the same category of things as lynchings, cross-burnings, and segregation. The Nation is neck-deep in that nonsense.”

@pdacosta Trying to find anything poetic in these racist scribbles — nada.
Whiteness really is one hell of a drug.

@illuminatemics yo fam. I’m trying to understand the voice in this poem. It feels offensive to me and like it’s trafficking inappropriately in Black language but is there something i’m missing? Help me understand. @illuminatemics Let me just say that folks saying “lower class Southern dialect” as a way of saying it’s not about race should consider the South is disproportionately Black and the lower class in the South is disproportionately Black because of RACISM. (@illuminatemics lives in Chicago.)

@donte_thepoet hey @thenation, you recently published a ridiculously offensive poem ‘how-to’ by anders carlson-wee that flattened & appropriated identities already rendered invisible. aave isn’t a costume. here is my response. do better

@DisDeafUprising your poem is also ableist & problematic in regards to HIV+ status & so there is more to say than just “oops, sorry I was racist.” the harm you caused is multi-faceted. & we note your use of “eye-opening,” we note ableism inherent in (your) language.

@lustycomic_ is this a parody account

PG was puzzled by this. He did not think the poem was important enough to warrant a tweetstorm of this magnitude. It is encouraging to see poetry receiving attention, even if it is from re-education camp. One response was a blackout poem, based on the politically incorrect doggerel. The next step was to re-write the poem in his own style. Should Part Two say you, or you’re?

How To Part Two
if you’ve got hiv say aids told her
go say you’re pregnant if you are a girl
if you’re young say younger old say older
hardly even there so give it a whirl
crippled don’t flaunt it don’t tell me to pray
stops’m from counting when they drop it rough
splay a knee cock your leg funny today
let them think that they’re christian enough
say you’re homeless whatever you call it
they don’t know what opens a wallet
you gonna lower yourself to spend
little shame they’re going to comprehend
people passing by listen for the kick
what you believe about sin is the trick
Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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  1. […] .@JohnHMcWhorter .@GlennLoury .@jordanbpeterson 1-What are your preferred pronouns? 2-I re-wrote how to in my own style. I chose to say you’re instead of you. 3-Are racist/racism obsolete? Has […]

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