Seth Abramson

“These are poems that need to be written” — (More on the Abramson Debacle)

In the Los Angeles Review of Books’ online Marginalia Christopher Kempf breaks, I guess, some new ground on the Abramson Debacle (ie, about Seth Abramson’s 14-hour poem, Last Words for Elliot Rodger):

1) The main thrust of Kempf’s essay (borne out of looking at and discussing Abramson’s poem “as poetry, as an aesthetic work demanding, as all serious art does, the careful critical attention that lies at the heart of the literary discipline”) is that poems should be written in response to tragedy but “they need to be written well.”

2) Kempf completely dismisses Diamond’s Flavorwire post because it “ultimately prohibits any aesthetic response at all to tragedy.” He is, on the other hand, more sympathetic to Laura Sims’ VIDA article because she “explore(s) in necessary ways the relationship between art and violence, helping advance the conversation about how writers can ethically and effectively engage with tragedy” but is concerned hers is “a rather conservative position with respect to art and culture” and that “(her) remarks perhaps too closely police, at least for (his) taste, who can and cannot write about violence and how.”


Web Hype / 12 Comments
June 11th, 2014 / 11:50 am

On Bullying: Isla Vista, Seth Abramson, and Social Media


How do you ethically navigate your media?

When I heard today about the shootings in southern California, my first thought was, “oh, again?”, and my second thought was, “Rachel is in southern California.” After running to the computer to confirm that the shootings took place far enough away from where my wife is, and after feeling huge relief none of the victims were my loved ones, and after feeling momentary guilt for that relief in the face of others’ grief, I felt the now-usual feelings of sadness for the victims and their loved ones, frustration at the cultural attitudes that enable and produce this now-usual violence, and renewed knowledge of my helplessness to protect those I love from “random” tragedy.

I then did my usual thing of scanning the web for information about what went on and what lead to it. I read a good deal of the killer’s memoir/manifesto. I noted his childhood joy of opening a Pokémon booster pack to find a Charizard, his journey of dyeing his hair partly and then full-blond, his use of the term “playdate” to talk about hanging out with people when he was 17, his emotional connection to his N64, and his reverence for brand names. I realized he had probably killed his roommates before I saw any media mention that he had killed his roommates. I read that he had planned to kill his younger brother and his stepmother. I saw an excruciatingly self-involved man who in many ways still thought as a boy, and who had never been able to understand other people are human, like him.

After thinking a lot today about empathy—the visceral recognition of yourself in other people, of other people in yourself—and reminiscing some about feeling unloved, unattractive, outcast, and misunderstood, I scrolled past a Facebook post about Seth Abramson’s remix of the killer’s YouTube confession. I thought, “too soon!” and scrolled on. And then later scrolled past it, and then, on seeing it for the third time, read it. In the piece, Abramson reorganizes the killer’s words into something life-affirming. Rather than railing against the dumb beast blond women and the thugs their animal minds force them to couple with, Abramson’s piece intends itself as a message of comfort, understanding, and love for “Every single girl. Every single man. (Even obnoxious men!)” Even Elliot, the killer.

I then read the comments on the Facebook post.


Web Hype / 35 Comments
May 27th, 2014 / 10:00 am


……National Poetry Month Death Match #2……



April is winding down and I’m not really sure how much was settled with the first National Poetry Death Match (ie, my soul is still soooooo confused) so in order to settle things I’ve decided to bring out two more big, passionate and extremely eloquent mercenary lovers for a second “Death Match” where I hope the “disturbing contraries of my soul” can be brought into line, can be made to heal, can be brought into a beautiful, “poetic” harmony.


reaper bunny


And, so, the second National Poetry Month death match is between Russell Jaffe and Seth(x) AbraHaM$on. And, no, this is not Seth Abramson, it is, instead, a well known writer who has chosen, here for the ring of this Death Match, to be know as Seth(x) AbraHam$on.


National Poetry Month: More poems for more people sounds good to me
by Russell Jaffe

Look: Poetry can be a real distance READ MORE >

Comments Off on ……National Poetry Month Death Match #2……
April 29th, 2014 / 9:00 am

Author Spotlight & HTMLGIANT Features & Random


poem a day Seth2

poem a day Nov 4th

 "Seth Abramson" is a Google Alert.

“Seth Abramson” is a Google Alert.

What I Read When I Read “Monsters” By Dorothea Lasky (Which I Read)

by Seth Abramson

This is a world where there are poets
There are poets everywhere, neo-formalists and conceptualists
There are poets on Twitter, there are poets in my bed.
There is one poet. She is my little one.
I talk to my little poet.
I give my little poet some Stevia but that does not satisfy her.
I tell her, ssh ssh, don’t growl little poet!
And she growls, oh boy does she growl!
And she wants something from me,
She wants my soul.
And finally giving in, I give her my gleaming soul
And as she eats my gleaming soul, I am one with her
And stare out her eyepits [sic] and I see nothing but white
And then I see nothing but fog and the white I had seen before was nothing
but fog
And there is nothing but fog out the eyes of poets

poem a day Seth strip
poem a day about this poem When I was six or seven, I skinned my knee. It’s an experience that’s never really left me. This is a poem about that. And the magic of poetry. It’s called “Ars Poetica,” which means “small gift” in Latin. This poem owes a significant debt to Dottie Lasky and also to the magic of poetry. 
poem a day Seth strip

note: I’ve started this feature up as a kind of homage and alternative (a companion series, if you will) to the incredible work Alex Dimitrov and the rest of the team at the The Academy of American Poets are doing. I mean it’s astonishing how they are able to get masterpieces of such stature out to the masses on an almost daily basis. But, some poems, though formidable in their own right, aren’t quite right for that pantheon. And, so I’m planning on bridging the gap. A kind of complementary series. Enjoy!

poem a day Seth strip

1 Comment
November 4th, 2013 / 12:01 am

Seth Abramson’s Using Me!!


— Seth Abramson —


[ “…….. I’m kind of thinking, believing, that even without these peculiar and exceptional contexts (and this is impossible for me to truly know) that there’s something really compelling here. Something really fascinating. Many of you will think I’m goofing around here. I am not ……..” ]


to follow is an excerpt from one of Seth’s newly-minted poems (available on Inknode (here) and on Youtube (here) where you can listen to the audio of the poem coming out of the visual of a disconcerting seated-figure):

“…Seth Abramson grabbed her. Threw her to the ground. Pulled off her pants. Ripped off her panties. Mounted her. Seth Abramson’s young pink balls rubbed painfully against her hairy twat. O Lord, he thought. O Lord. O Lord. And finally Seth Abramson collapsed in a young boy’s cumless climax. She pressed charges. Seth Abramson was arrested. But when they examined her they found no traces of semen or forced entry. And when they examined Seth Abramson it all made sense: he had a house-mouse cock…”

(from “Strangers,” a poem “comprised of 275 statements made by individuals I have not met.”)


And this, if I might say so myself, is excellent work (ha ha), and I say so, because I have a sense of humor, and because I wrote a “version” of this in my Adventures of Sex Ableton (# 11, to be precises) that I posted READ MORE >

Author Spotlight & Behind the Scenes & Random / 6 Comments
September 9th, 2013 / 1:27 pm

White Privilege by Seth Abramson

(a poem of 400 true statements)

text version of the poem available at Ink Node here

What we talk about when we talk about the New Sincerity, part 1

Miranda July; Steve Roggenbuck (photo dates unknown)

I wasn’t surprised that my Monday post, which was ultimately about reading & applying some ideas from Viktor Shklovsky’s Theory of Prose, mostly generated conversation about Tao Lin and the New Sincerity. I knew that would happen even as I wrote it. So I thought I should take a post to clarify my thoughts on “the whole NS thing.” What follows will be a mix of fact and personal reflection.


Craft Notes & Haut or not / 137 Comments
June 4th, 2012 / 8:01 am

PW’s Top 50 Whoompers Programs for 2011

Get out your diapers, sluts! PW weighs in with the top 50 MFA programs. My dad says this is totally out of whack with the actual parameters of what young thugs want in language learning these days. What are you to think? (click img for larger versions)

Behind the Scenes / 161 Comments
August 25th, 2010 / 2:56 pm

A Seth Abramson Sighting—-

blogging again, woo-hoo!!!

blogging again, woo-hoo!!!

Seth’s blogging again (The Suburan Ecstasies). And this time he’s butting heads with Mr. and Mrs. Lehman…..

That was the last contact of any kind I had with Mr. Lehman or his wife–the last time I spent more than a moment thinking of either him or her. When I wrote my methodology article for the Poets & Writers MFA rankings in 2009, I didn’t (needless to say) mention either of the Lehmans, or single out his employer, as the MFA rankings have absolutely nothing to do with the Lehmans generally or with Mr. Lehman’s employer specifically. So when Mrs. Lehman (Ms. Harwood) decided to pick a fight with me over the rankings I was (though perhaps I should not have been) more than a little surprised–as her blog, the official blog for the Best American Poetry series, normally has absolutely nothing to do with MFA programs, so there was no obvious reason for her to pen a screed about either the rankings or about me

To see it all go here.

I’m just glad to see Seth back in his real blogging shoes. I mean this man was meant to blog. So, love him or hate him, just enjoy. Just stand in the Seth-showers and enjoy !!!

Author Spotlight / 217 Comments
November 1st, 2009 / 12:06 pm

Cowering Literary Peons

This post’s a bit apples and oranges. Or rotten bananas and rotten (or as we say “Vrot”) pineapples. In fact it’s not very organized. And it is a response, in a way, to Blake Butler’s 15 Towering Literary Giants.

But, what’s a Cowering Literary Peon??

—a weasel?

—an overrated supposed Giant?

—a talentless p.o.s.?

—a fucking weasel?

—a fraction and no more than a real Towering Giant who came before?

A mix maybe. Or maybe just one of the above. And again, this is all apples and bananas. Etc. Etc.


Author Spotlight & Massive People & Mean / 74 Comments
October 26th, 2009 / 8:08 pm