Dear Mr. Kent and Michael–
         Thank you again for alerting me to the Linh Dinh blowout. Since 9/11 especially a kind of diseased madness has insinuated itself throughout US society–the “poetry world” being no exception. I don’t understand LD’s arguments, nor his blatant disregard of facts except within the broader context of “our times.” A great wave of irrationality has washed over consciousness throughout the world. In the academic/poetics world the actual–the factual–is too often ignored, even despised, in favor of constructing  images, Icons which are designed to elicit “correct” responses, emotions.  Nostalgias are prefabricated in such a way that persons have nostalgia, sentiment, for events, persons, histories that they have not actually experienced, that they do not know “firsthand.”  The “discovery” of the Iconic, of the prefabricated–when one “recognizes” them as “one’s own”-leads to identification with things that do not actually exist. Via this identification, one is able to “identify” those things which are presented as “already existing examples.”  The euphoria of finding one’s “identity” not only affirmed, but reaffirmed by the requisite examples–leads one to assume a knowledge which is based on substitutions. Believing the substitutions to be one’s own–and at the same time happy to find how many also believe–fictions become “facts,” lies become “truths” and actions are based on “heeding the Call” . . .
     I wonder if some part of Linh Dinh’s anger at some point may not have been fueled by a sense that by reason of his perceived “identity” he might have felt the pressure to conform to his felt ideas of how others saw him, and seeing him in a certain way, constrained by this, feeling the expected ways in which he was to act and speak, write, he “rebelled.”  Perhaps–to throw in the face of those he felt constrained by, to fling in their faces the most odious words, etc. available, choosing them from the “enemies” of his “enemy.” Whos knows?  Though at one level one might understand the desire to act in such a way, at the same time, the choices made of how to express the situation truly sadden one.  One cannot help but try to think through how an analysis, rather than knee jerk response, may have been accomplished.  But even there, one sees the sense of a presumption, that one might “understand” the situation in a way that one cannot. Against one set of perceived, felt,  conformities–another has been substituted, complete with its readymade catch phrases . . .
       (as always, many interruptions, and now–two days later??-my mom is in hospital last few days, calls and talks for hour or more at a time–she’s okay–actually just turned 88 years old–{I shd play Jackie brenston’s “rocket 88” for her–often called the “first rock and roll song”–88 being keys on piano & name of a new car–)–
       All this rage–acceleration of everything in “our times”–(haven’t read Hemingway’s In Our Time, so not referring to it–I mean it’s not a point of reference–)
           Acceleration–anxiety, rage–and confusion–I have a compassion for linh dinh, as he is being subsumed by the vortex of intensities that are being artificially “pumped up”–amplified–crushing pressures–
        Often one senses that poets feel a “Duty” to “Poetry”–and do poets pass judgements on one another, thinking that such and such a poet has not lived up to her or his “Duty” to Poetry–in their lives or words, actions–how is it that a person who produces, anthologies, has written and written about, “Good Poetry”–can at the same time do and say “Bad” things–??–The Questions re Poetry take on an ethical mantel–and the ethical, shattering the Enlightenment separations of Church and State–becomes ideological–
          and from inside the vortex, one hears howling–from all sides–
            I am looking forward to reading more of the Dispatches!!
       abrazos Camerados–david