On November 1, the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet blog published the first of a series of posts by its current guest blogger, Brenda Coultas (The Eye in IP). Her subject was the work of the great poet Ed Sanders, a faithful friend and contributor to Dispatches from the Poetry Wars.

Dispatches, of course, applauds anything that helps bring the rebellious genius of Ed Sanders to greater attention. Nevertheless, we are moved to call attention to something perverse within this seemingly virtuous, “progressive” piece. We refer to a transparently cynical erasure in it that is nothing less than a PSYOP maneuver within the current poetry wars. Which so many have, by now, claimed is nothing more than a figment of our overheated, cranky brains…

Let us explain.

Coultas’s post focuses on some of Sanders’s canonical and more recent works, including Broken Glory: The Final Years of Robert F. Kennedy, a long work in progress for many years, printed by Arcade Books last May, and the now legendary Investigative Poetry, first released by City Lights, in 1976.

Because Investigative Poetry has long been out of print, Dispatches Editions and Spuyten Duyvil published, a few months back, an updated, second edition of Investigative Poetry, overseen by Sanders himself, with a fascinating retrospective introduction by him. The new introduction was previewed at Dispatches months ago (Introduction to Investigative Poetry). The fresh edition also carries a brilliant prefatory essay by the noted critic Don Byrd.

In August of last year, Ed Sanders also invited Dispatches to make available a five-page excerpt from the aforementioned Broken Glory. Its publication was the first publicly available section of the book, and it remains, so far as we know, the only extended portion available outside the print edition.

Here’s where the poetry-war skirmish at issue heats up. The post by Coultas contains numerous links to other works by and about Sanders. It couldn’t be otherwise: It is a standard courtesy to readers, of course, to provide access to other works, primary and secondary, cited in relation to the topic. But though the two major works by Sanders mentioned above are prominently discussed in the post by Coultas, the article totally fails to mention Dispatches as the publisher of either the book, or of the section of the referenced Broken Glory. Nor does it provide readers with any links to these readily available works from Dispatches.

Oh! The editors of Dispatches were shocked. Shocked!

For how could a prestigious, impartial, all-the-poetry-news-that’s-fit-to-print institution like the Poetry Foundation engage in such a gross, bibliographic slight?

“But wait!” cried our good angel.“Perhaps this is just an innocent oversight. It could just be careless editing by the Harriet staff. Or maybe a lack of sleep by the fact checker and the link maker! Do not jump to rash conclusions.”

“Sure,” whispered the other guy, on our other shoulder. “Given that in nearly three years of Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, the Harriet outfit has not mentioned you even once, you think this is an accident, peeps? Give me a break.”

Well, the darker angel had a point, we realized, and so we have sadly concluded, after much angst, reflection, and consultation with our therapists, that the Poetry War is alive and well in the headquarters of the U.S corporate poetry world.

But really, now. Do we deserve this blatant passive-aggressive enmity from the ruling class of poetry? We admit that Dispatches has taken the Poetry Foundation to task for this or that, sometimes with a mildly sardonic tone. That’s no secret. It’s hard to ignore its barely cloaked ties to financial and State interests and the implications that has for the long-term health of the body poetic. Or to ignore the carefully curated hypocrisy of its positions around a range of topics within the poetry community —political protest (praise it in the abstract, but call the cops on poets when they protest against you) and sexual harassment (condemn it in general, but skip it when it’s practiced by poets you favor), among them. We understand if they are sore at us. But to completely expunge us? We almost feel like calling the cops.

Of course, some might speculate our persistent absenteeism from the PFs wide-ranging promo is merely because folks at the Poetry Foundation don’t read Dispatches. Or that stuff from DPW isn’t deemed interesting enough for sharing. Or that this is the Age of Trump Nationalism. Or whatever.

But in fact, we know from our reading counter, which records IP addresses, that the Poetry Foundation follows Dispatches with nothing short of near-daily obsessiveness, just like we (admittedly) obsessively follow the happy bureaucrat-pimping and poet-whoring at the Fund-managed, cash-flush Poetry Foundation. We, at least, link to the PF and discuss its doings. The PF, on the other hand, has devolved to the point where it not only censors any discussion of Dispatches from its web pages, but (as in the case of the article on Sanders) practices a species of Stalinoid airbrushing (Long Before Photoshop, the Soviets Mastered the Art of Erasing People from Photographs — and History Too)—though in this case erasing not photographic images, but extant books and articles that are directly relevant to the inconvenient shit at hand.

Dear poets! When you hear that the Poetry Wars are a bygone of the late-stage New Critical era, consider the current operations of the Poetry Foundation. For part of its hundreds of millions in capital have come to be de facto addressed towards a species of covert poetic-counterinsurgency spending. As a new poetry empire, spreading its mollifying Pax Poeticam into all corners of the mostly sycophantic field, it aims to literally disappear those who resist its power.

Long live the prolonged poetry guerrilla war and festival of delirious, ad free, bewildering, non-commodified word celebration.

—Dispatches