March 16th, 2011 / 12:39 pm
Author Spotlight

The Poetry of Steve Roggenbuck

Steve Roggenbuck is the author of two poetry collections, i am like october when i am dead and DOWNLOAD HELVETICA FOR FREE.COM. Both collections feature what could be called minimalist poetry, notably short poems of only a few lines, sometimes one phrase, and both were self-published into the public domain, both in print (for purchase) and online (for free).

Here is the title poem from the former:

i am like october when i am dead

there is my hand

i am like the killers of people

Here is another poem from that book:

to my nephew on his birthday

i will choke your dad

i dont care

im not afraid

Here is the final poem:

i rented a movie and recorded over it with two hours of myself

on the video i am shouting compliments at my family

i burn my car on purpose

it is january

i greet myself at the beginning of a great career

Some of these poems were originally parts of larger poems that Roggenbuck cut down. Poems published in BlazeVOX contain several lines that became poems by themselves in i am like october when i am dead. Roggenbuck’s poetry has become increasingly minimal since he began publishing. If you look at his earlier work, there is more fragmentation and the poems tend to be longer. In the past he wrote poems that show the influence of Walt Whitman and E.E. Cummings.

Here is a poem from the second book, DOWNLOAD HELVETICA FOR FREE.COM:


As you can see, there is a design/typographical element to the Helvetica poems, which are presented in 80-point Helvetica Neue Bold font with tight letter spacing. There are 100 poems in the book, the complete text of which is online, along with 50 ”B-side” poems. Roggenbuck created the poems by going through old MSN Messenger logs containing chats between his girlfriend and him during their senior year of high school and first year of college. He carefully selected lines that seemed funny, charming, or otherwise notable or striking. Sometimes the humor or interest comes from the vernacular, from the way of speaking, i.e. “IT’S NOT LIKE I AM COUGHING A TON… I JUST HAVE A TINY COUGH” or “NICE WORDS IN YOUR POEM… THIS WAS MY FAVE THAT YOU USED: WHIMSICAL.” Some of them feature cultural references that I think Roggenbuck views as amusing or cute out of fondness for that time in his life and because of the manner in which they are referenced, i.e. “IS THIS HOW YOU SPELL THIS? ‘ATREYU’” or “HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THAT WII THING… SOUNDS FUN.” Sometimes the humor or the effect of the poem comes from how it captures speech that kind of stalls or falls flat, and the falling flat–the almost awkward pause that seems to hang in the air after these phrases–can be subtly humorous, i.e. “WELL, I WATCHED THE MOVIE THIRTEEN” or “I THINK I’M GOING TO EAT THIS BAGEL…” Sometimes the humor or interest comes from declarative sentences that seem to lack self-awareness, i.e. “I WISH I OWNED A GYM” or “I AM CREATIVE AND PROUD OF WHAT I AM MAKING.” Some lines I think were selected and isolated in this fashion because they express affection in a direct way, a way that maybe exists in real life and in memories more than it typically does in poetry, i.e. “I THINK OF YOU EVERY TIME I SEE MY COMPUTER BACKGROUND,” “I HOPE THAT WE GET TO STAY TOGETHER AND BE IN LOVE FOR A VERY LONG TIME,” MY NEW POEM IS ABOUT THE COMFORT OF HUGGING YOU,” and “I LOVE YOUR HAIR AND THE REST OF YOU.”

Publication, Distribution, Promotion, and Community

The print version of i am like october when i am dead has dimensions slightly smaller than that of a CD booklet. It was printed at a relatively low cost and could be mailed cheaply, thus allowing Roggenbuck to print and distribute 1,000 copies for free. The website version of the book features the complete text of the work as well as bonus features, such as “deleted scenes,” poems that were considered but eventually cut from the book, and a video with Roggenbuck’s commentary on the poems. Roggenbuck’s book reached 15,000 people online, in part due to his promotion of the work, via adding friends on Facebook, interacting with said Facebook friends, emailing with people, and creating memes/events that get people excited about the book. Some of the results of this have since been added to the site. Because the book is public domain and Roggenbuck encouraged people to do whatever they want with the text, with or without credit, people have translated the poems into Spanish (and back into English (and back into Spanish)), etc., and many people have emailed Roggenbuck photos of themselves holding the book (the evocative title of the book arguably makes it more interesting to do so). This turned the publication of a book into an event, a social event, with various ways for people to interact and get involved, and it created a feeling of fun and community. The internet helped to make this possible. Roggenbuck now has readers/fans/online friends all over the U.S. and in countries around the world. Perhaps most notably, many have made direct personal contact with him via email or Facebook. The poet is present, interacting directly with people, and they are responding back directly.

To celebrate the “three-month birthday” of the chapbook, Roggenbuck created a compelling video featuring footage from the creation, distribution, and reception process of the chapbook along with a clip of E.E. Cummings reading “somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond” and 13 overlapping mp3s creating a swell of discordant sound. Poets & Writers, with no tip-off from Roggenbuck or any of his friends, blogged about the video, under the title “Self-Published Chapbook.”

This fun, interactive style of promotion has continued with Roggenbuck’s new book. Before its release, Roggenbuck asked his readers to take photographs of the poems in real life, that is, printed on a sheet of paper and placed in some setting. People from various countries participated. Consistent with his public domain stance, upon which Roggenbuck elaborated here, the photographs of the poems were posted as an online “remix” prior to the release of the book. Notably, John Campbell, author of the webcomic Pictures for Sad Children, successfully pasted the poem “I MAY GO INTO ADVERTISING BUT I DON’T LIKE THE COMMERCIAL ASPECT” onto a Chicago billboard. The results were voted on, and the winner, a photo of the poem “DO YOU THINK THEY WOULD HAVE FINAL DESTINATION 3 AT A STORE NEAR HERE” placed in a chairlift by Osy Chung of Hong Kong, is being used as the cover image for the first print run.

A Sense of Humor

It may be helpful to point out that Steve Roggenbuck has a great sense of humor. He wrote in a post about the self-publication of his second book, DOWNLOAD HELVETICA FOR FREE.COM, “It is funny to self-publish a poetry book, and I know it.” He’s not kidding when he says that, I assure you ;) There is also a sense of humor involved with many of his actions that could mistakenly be interpreted as ambitious or pretentious in a straightforwardly self-serious or arrogant sense, such as the generation of a large print run for a self-published chapbook–one that exceeds that of most small press chapbooks–or the creation of a “three-month birthday” video for a chapbook featuring 13 overlapping mp3s.

There is also a sense of humor in many of his blog posts, which if taken at face value could be read as self-righteous proclamations. A good example would be a post like “Doctrine on ‘Internet Poetry,’” which signaled the launch of another of Roggenbuck’s projects, a tumblr for what he calls Internet Poetry: “screenshots of poetry* being spread with guerilla tactics on the internet: poetry* on Twitter, email, gchat, Amazon book reviews, and live chat customer service windows: poetry* as Wikipedia entries, blog comments, trackbacks/pings, Google bombs, and Youtube video responses: poetry* as Facebook statuses, Facebook groups, Facebook notes, Facebook events, Facebook pictures, Facebook videos, and Facebook friend requests.” The asterisks in that description refer to a footnote at the bottom of the post, which reads “[poetry] loosely defined.” But adding to the levity, the self-awareness, the non-dead seriousness of this “doctrine,” are bits of hilarity such as the following, from the post: “print is dead: publishers are dead: academia is dead: Borders is dead: literary journals are dead: Ezra Pound is literally dead: / Windows 95, 98, and XP are dead: Millenium edition was only released on a small number of computers: Myspace is dead: dial-up and DSL are dead: Realplayer is dead: Winamp has been dead for years.” Is this to be taken at face value? I don’t think so, nor do I think it is completely a joke.

Google bombing and Steve’s Online Persona

As was graciously covered and supported by M. Kitchell on this very website, Roggenbuck orchestrated a Google bomb last month that resulted in his friend, the not-yet-widely-published writer Poncho Peligroso, having his website and mentions of him the top results when one googles “2011 poet laureate,” with or without quotation marks. To achieve this, Roggenbuck once again needed the support of a community of interested writers, readers, and fans, because a Google bomb only works when a lot of people, in a concerted effort, link the same phrase to a single site. As with many of his actions, this effort seems borne from an earnest desire to experiment with available technology in ways that are exciting, community-building, fun, and that challenge conventions/expectations, but it is also simply very amusing. This kind of duality is appealing to me, and I’m not the only one.

Roggenbuck, or Steve, as I’ll call him here, has also developed a bit of a reputation, har har, for his online persona on Facebook and other online social media arenas. He frequently posts on the walls of new and old friends and fellow writers in a voice and manner that can be better witnessed than described, in a tone that is by turns mock-angry, goofily affectionate, oddly nonsequitur-ish, humorously vernacular, or exaggeratedly enthusiastic. Steve has also adopted the Flarf tone and method at times, posting bits of found text on people’s walls. Poncho Peligroso and many others have responded in kind, joining in on his antics as well as posting silly things on his wall. The result is that Facebook–and Twitter, where he also frequently uses this kind of tone–becomes a place of performance, fun, and arguably an art medium for Steve, as much as it is a social and networking site. In one of his latest ventures, Steve and Poncho co-created a fictional Justin Bieber fan Twitter, attributed to one Katy Layla Bucci of Cheyenne, Wyoming. So far, it has 1,222 followers.

The publication of both collections and most of the activity mentioned in this post occurred in the last six months.

Buddhism, Veganism, and Minimalism

Roggenbuck is a self-proclaimed Buddhist and vegan. He is also interested in minimalism. You can see this in his work.

* * *

Stephen Tully Dierks is an author living in Chicago and editor of the magazine Pop Serial.

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  1. Lauren Tamraz

      Best description of “heart burn” ever… <3 SR & STD…ummm, just realizing that STD is not a great set of initials, my friend, sorry.

  2. M. Kitchell

      to the contrary, it is the best set of initials

  3. M. Kitchell

      to the contrary, it is the best set of initials

  4. stephen

      my mother says, “in my day, they were called venereal diseases”

  5. stephen

      my mother says, “in my day, they were called venereal diseases”

  6. Christopher Higgs

      I grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming! If I were on twitter, I would follow Katy Layla Bucci.

  7. richard chiem

      ╔═══╗ ♪
      ║███║ ♫
      ║ (●) ♫

      ╔═══╗ ♪
      ║███║ ♫
      ║ (●) ♫

      ╔═══╗ ♪
      ║███║ ♫
      ║ (●) ♫

  8. richard chiem

      I smiled after reading

  9. Michael Inscoe

      ╔═══╗ ♪
      ║███║ ♫
      ║ (●) ♫

  10. John Cage

      ║ (●) ║

  11. Michael Inscoe


      “you are someone who goes through every text
      every interaction that you have
      every experience
      every type of language that there is
      and you pick out what you want to share and to continue the existence of…”


  12. DJ Berndt

      Great article, Stephen. I’m sort of surprised that this is the first comprehensive post on Steve Roggenbuck.

      Good job, everyone. beep beep beep.

  13. steve roggenbuck

      I got u in a choke hold.

      Im choke holdin u

  14. letters journal

      I don’t think these are good poems. What’s “of interest” here is the internet personality stuff, but I think all of that glosses over the limited nature of the poetry. I looked at the Helvetica thing, and I have trouble believing anyone enjoyed reading more than 20 of them.

      It seems sub-A Softer World to me.

  15. Giles

      thought, “time makes fools of us all.”

      (luv u)

      (luv this piece)

  16. M. Kitchell

      I read all 150 of steve’s Helvetica poems & i enjoy them all. I, however, do not like A Softer World all that much. As someone who primarily focuses on reading the most obtuse shit possible, I like the presentation of appropriated dialog fragments presented without context, as it highlights, really, the absurdity of the language of conversation. For me it’s basically language poetry with more of a sense of humor, and I think, reductively, the goals are similar.

  17. :(

      This is where beauty goes to die.

  18. Tommy Rousse


  19. elaine


  20. elaine

      great questions, stephen, i enjoyed the brita filter analogy

  21. stephen

      ELAINE SUN!!!

  22. stephen

      Thank you, Elaine. I just think it’s very important, in this day and age, that we hold our poets–and particularly, our fledgling young internet-addled blogger poets, for whom nothing is sacred–up to a higher standard, lest we see poetry die forevermore. Some will stay silent and let this insolence stand. But I… shan’t.

  23. stephen

      Thank you, Elaine. I just think it’s very important, in this day and age, that we hold our poets–and particularly, our fledgling young internet-addled blogger poets, for whom nothing is sacred–up to a higher standard, lest we see poetry die forevermore. Some will stay silent and let this insolence stand. But I… shan’t.

  24. Tommy Rousse

      seriously there are so many broken links I was trying to figure out why there were so many 404s in my tabs. but the video was great!! and clearly i was interested ina lot of links.

  25. stephen

      it’s my fault, Tommy, sorry :/ I fucked up the HTML on the file I sent in. they tried to fix it, hopefully more of it is correct now than before (?) thanks, man

  26. deadgod

      reading muumuuvian poems feels like brushing across dandelion filaments on a lover’s lips, or like plunging fingers into a chest and around a beating heart.

      no; wait. that’s shakespeare.

      I feel like that shakespeare is still living in a metaphorical way, namely, that the ‘body’ of shakespeare’s dramatic and lyric and mini-epic poetry is still as ‘alive’ as its readers are or can be.

      I feel like that this goal – of living metaphorically in one’s readers – would be an interesting, exciting, and fun goal for muumuuviana and muumuuvianites.

  27. Shunryu Suzuki

      When something dies is the greatest teaching

  28. 'Guillaume Morissette'

      I like steve. I don’t know steve. I randomly stumbled on poetry by steve online and read it and felt like he was being nice to me maybe. in my imagination steve is someone who doesn’t like to blame people even when they are clearly at fault, is grateful every day for not dying, breaks ice on puddles in the winter so that small animals can drink the water and sometimes teaches young children important social skills.

      I feel like steve’s poetry (mostly download helvetica) is a poetry of acceptance as opposed to depression or unmet needs or animal metaphors or some other thing. to an extent, I think both the message and the form supports acceptance, which in turn forces me to acknowledge that literature is probably infinite. I like the interplay between what’s being said and not being said i.e. what’s being said comes off as maybe simple while what’s not being said seems complex and scary and hurts my brain also.

  29. stephen

      Roggenbuck’s poems are not published or supported by Muumuu House in any way. Nor are they reminiscent of any poems published by Muumuu House. Isolated sections of two living humans’ private words–spoken, “lived” words–have been recontextualized and presented publicly in an effort to preserve those living humans’ living words. Try again

  30. 2011 POET LAUREATE

      i cried when i read

      not from disgust or anything if anybody is going to make that joke

      but because i was intensely moved

  31. Flarfymcflarf

      Crazy, deadgod. It’s Stephen Tully Dierks, writing about someone who writes extremely minimalist poetry, and is very good at online pranks and self promotion. Oh yes, and he’s a vegan. And you just go and assume he’s a Muumuu house writer? For shame.

  32. Susie Anderson

      yay boiz

  33. deadgod

      characteristically, you misunderstand the terms “muumuuvian”, “muumuuviana”, and “muumuuvianite”.

      they do not indicate, disclose, denote, or gesture towards, nor do they validate in any way, trademark or any corporate or club or gang or coterie-of-self-devoterie affiliation of any kind, shape, manner, nature, or substance.

      they evince cognizance of a style – a style of chopped, chopping locutions, some of which expressions you have, indeed, now re-“presented publicly” as “recontextualiz[ations]”, and others of which are re-presented in your blogicle as ‘original’ poems, which are what were, primarily, being called “muumuuvian”.

      (I do not understand why a muumuuvianite would be insulted by the neologism “muumuuvian”.)

      again characteristically, you misunderstand the treatment, in the comment, of the comment field as “a place of performance, fun, and [with no ironic yearning for being] an art medium”.

      I feel like that as, like, I will try not only “again”, but many times, because ‘try again’ is such a like compelling piece of advice, du’.

  34. deadgod

      (the muumuuvian ethos is not strong in this ^ one)

  35. stephen

      you misunderstand that i am not steve roggenbuck, amongst other things, lol

  36. stephen

      deadgod supposedly is very smart and can interpret literature and * texts *, so i was encouraging him, within his context and goals, to not rely on superficial comparisons and lump-everyone-together logic, but rather to deal with the text at hand, which, to reiterate, is not even reminiscent of any Muumuu House-published poetry. Contrary to popular belief, just because something is not-boring, minimal, and written by a young person who uses the internet logically, does not necessarily make said writing “muumuuvian,” i.e. to be dismissed by narrow-minded people

  37. stephen

      RIP deadgod, pouring it out for you homie

  38. marshall

      richard chiem’s famous music box

  39. marshall


  40. Flarfymcflarf

      he he, oh get off yer high horse Stephen i was just poking a bit of fun. I was just, y’know, pointing out the obvious parallels between their work and this guy’s, which you seem (ironically?) unaware of.

      Not a dismissal of Muumuu house, or even a dismissal of Steve Roggenbuck’s work. Just a bit of a laugh over the fact that you seemingly only like people who write in a certain style, and weirdly they “must like vegetables”.

  41. marshall

      tao lin isn’t a vegan

  42. deadgod

      no, stepherino, I did and do not.

      I don’t know what I wrote that was the raw material for this characteristic misunderstanding.

      (you re-“presented” steve’s poems and provocations, “re[-]” meaning ‘again’.)

      (you, a muumuuvian as played by danny mcbride, seem like as though you’re offended and/or he should be offended and/or muumuu house itself should be offended by steve’s poetry having been called “muumuuvian”.)


  43. deadgod

      why do you think the (here: accurate) term ‘muumuuvian’ is a dismissive term?

      stockholm syndrome?

  44. marshall

      This comment was flagged for review.

  45. deadgod

      outpouring for a dead god is outpouring for oneself.

      look in a mirror when you pour it out for yourself:

      blech, right?

  46. Steven Philbert

      Just read It’s slow fun, not MineCraft fun, but I liked it. It didn’t make me cry, but maybe I don’t cry enough.

      “I can picture
      us together
      in a house” 048/100

      “I think I’m in the
      perfect mood
      to understand
      poetry” 053/100

      “I want to sled
      with you and
      be in the same
      sled” 100/100

      Pretty good for minimalist prose.

      PS: The confirmation password was “clions vary.” I do believe my clions varied in this post very much.

  47. Evan Hatch

      Steve seems like a really nice guy, but I wish he would put a fraction more of the time he must spend self-promoting on his actual poetry.
      The whole “guerrilla/militant poetry” idea seems really uncalled for in any case, but especially for such non-serious writing such as his and Poncho’s that don’t seem to contain any specific philosophical/political themes. I don’t know, in my opinion, the works of Steve Roggenbuck are akin to that of Werner Herzog’s legendary “Fitzcaraldo”; the story and context surrounding it is more noteworthy than the actual content.

  48. deadgod

      (The confirmation passwords/passphrases are sometimes provocative. They are a link between Cage’s cages and muumuuviana.)

  49. deadgod

      (Whoa; I thought, from the ‘recent comments’ sidebar (sidecolumn?), that “This . . . review.” was marshall’s comment – I came to see who/what he was teasing in this way. marshall, can you put your comment in non- or less abusive words?)

  50. M. Kitchell

      will everybody please get off of werner herzog’s dick and realize he was an asshole and that klaus kinski is the real genius here

  51. M. Kitchell

      will everybody please get off of werner herzog’s dick and realize he was an asshole and that klaus kinski is the real genius here

  52. M. Kitchell

      my response to your post is only partially related to your post just needed to get that off my chest mang

  53. rawbbie

      “the language of conversation” is not “absurd” because it is in the context of conversation. Anything out of context is funny or “absurd” (that word is meaningless in a world where exists).
      As far as “language” poetry goes, to which language poet are you comparing him? And what are their similar goals?

  54. herbivore

      i am going to photoshop a picture of tao lin’s face onto a picture of a penis

  55. letters journal

      But Herzog’s movies without Kinski are good.

  56. M. Kitchell

      But Kinski’s movies without Herzog are better.

      (M. Kitchell, bored with Herzog since 2007)

  57. letters journal

      I’m glad you like the poems, but I don’t understand why. It doesn’t seem like there’s anything there.

  58. Anonymous

  59. marshall

      My comment wasn’t flagged. That was my comment. I used HTML tags to put it in italics.

  60. marshall

      I like this interview a lot. Seems really funny. I felt like Roggybuck was doing a parody of his own voice at times.

  61. steve roggenbuck

      thanks for all the comments everyone :)

  62. steve roggenbuck

      evan, i take your comment to heart a lot more than other people who say the poetry doesnt move them, because i know i’ve had a similar taste to you on some other things. im kind of disappointed that this is ur view of my poetry, but i appreciate hearing ur honest opinion about it

      the guerilla thing for me is partly just for fun; also though i think it’s about shifting power in general. i like that social media allows essentially anyone to build an audience for their writing/art/media, whereas normal publishing involves more gatekeepers and more barrier to entry (admittedly not always the case for small-press publishing because sometimes it is just a friend who runs the press). online publishing is general more accessible, more communal, and maybe more intimate with things like personality on blogs. i like to celebrate all that, and i’d like to show that it’s actually a valid way to spread literature

      for me my poetry has a lot of philosophical and political content. have u read both my poetry collections? i also have a post on my blog about writing style in relation to buddhism and veganism. i think my irony, my minimalism, and my warm tone all represent/embody values and attitudes that are tied to political/philosophical issues

      luv u bb

  63. deadgod

      Ha ha. I didn’t think of that until after I’d posted. This comment was flagged for being inappropriate for review.

  64. arnie

      html giant bébés

      i like yr stuff and PASSION FOR LYFE, steve
      go broggenbuck
      go tully
      best bros

  65. arnie

      html giant bébés

      i like yr stuff and PASSION FOR LYFE, steve
      go broggenbuck
      go tully
      best bros

  66. stephen

      i first saw this on my iphone and i was excited and very amused that you had said something so harsh that you got flagged

  67. stephen

      didnt have the context yet… dammit im shunryu again

  68. Anonymous

      Roggenbuck’s Helvetica poems make me laugh out loud. I paged through A Softer World just now and didn’t laugh at all. I think this is an effective putdown but still a lazy comparison.

      What do you think of the first three poems. You speak for letters journal, huh?

  69. Anonymous

      will you elaborate? this comment makes me sad and angry

      steve and his poetry are both very beautiful to me

  70. M. Kitchell

      That is a weird thing to say

  71. M. Kitchell

      “uses the internet logically” is my new favorite idea

  72. guest

      Stephen is right to point out that Steve’s poetry is not the same as Muumuu house poets’ poems, I think. I’ll say that Steve’s poetry circa ‘i am like october when i am dead’ and before is about the play of language’s signification and tone when organized in unconventional ways, the play of literary allusions when re-contextualized in unconventional ways, and the very foregrounding and dramatization of that playful personality. The poems of poets like Tao Lin or Brandon Scott Gorrell are more about the foregrounding and dramatization of the attempt and failure of the speaker’s cognition in either accepting or transcending ‘truths’ like limited-time, human disconnection, the universe’s arbitrariness, etc. – sometimes also in playful ways – and language-wise are all about ‘clarity’ (i.e. utility of style to correspond with perceptions, in this case, perceptions of one’s own cognitions). So on both of those accounts they seem pretty dissimilar, except for the playfulness and mingling of affect and humor, which of course is not exclusive to Muumuu house publications. When it comes to Steve’s newer poems like the ones collected in (or prepared for but left out of) ‘’, the language is as Stephen said ‘spoken’, ‘private’, and ‘lived’, and again playfully dressed in the tonally and connotatively altering white-space of ‘no context’. Of course many Muumuu works make use of g-chat conversations and such, but those seem again to be in service of comforting the reader w/r/t aforementioned ‘truths’ by depicting instances of not accepting and/or transcending them. I won’t say you’re trying to conflate L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry and existentialist writing because that would be both presumptuous w/r/t your intentions and superficial w/r/t the writers at hand [and replicative of your original compartmentalizing of Steve’s writing he he just saying].

  73. Flarfymcflarf

      you need to get out more

  74. letters journal

      I don’t like the first three poems.

      All of this reads like the stuff teenagers write/wrote to each other on AIM… which is actually what a lot of it is. I don’t find it to be compelling as poetry. Maybe as a weird personal archive or something but not as poetry. I mean, I could copy and paste random lines from Deadjournal entries and put them in big Gothic fonts on a website, and it would be sort of funny for five minutes. But that’s it. It’s lousy poetry.

      When I put this stuff up next to ‘serious’ poets like Vallejo or something, it is indecent. When I put this stuff up to contemporary poets who are playful and humorous like Mairead Byrne or Erin Keane (or Tao Lin for that matter!), it just looks stupid. I’m fine with minimalism and silliness, but I don’t get internet juvenilia or why some people like it so much.

  75. M. Kitchell

      you must really, really hate steve’s poetry

  76. Anonymous

      The first three poems to me are potent, eerie, and exciting.

      As clearly stated, the lines in the Helvetica poems are taken from MSN Messenger logs. They were carefully selected, and Steve is fully aware of the youthfulness and vernacular and casual context they come from or embody. They are not random lines, letters journal.

      If you’re looking to be “impressed,” if you’re looking for flowery prose, if you’re looking for conventionality, or look-at-my-clever-poetry-move-i-just-did-at-the-end-of-my-stanza, you won’t find it here. if you hate young people, you won’t like these poems. If you aren’t romantic or don’t have a sense of humor, you might not like these poems. if you think people should be “serious” or “grow up,” ever, you probably won’t like these poems. if you enter these poems with your nose in the air, you won’t see them, and everything will go under your head.

  77. Anonymous

      Also, letters journal, this quote from E.E. Cummings:

      “Like the burlesque comedian, I am abnormally fond of that precision which creates movement.”

  78. letters journal

      When I read some poetry (like the Mairead Byrne book from Publishing Genius), I jump out of my chair and run to read it to the nearest person I see. My heart beats faster, and I occasionally shout or whistle. Sometimes I read poetry, and I’m overwhelmed by the skill and wordplay of the poet, even if the poems themselves don’t work for me 100%. Sometimes I read poetry, and it seems almost divine in its perfectness (ie. Shakespeare’s sonnets). Sometimes I read poetry, and it makes me laugh or stare at the page in disbelief at its strangeness.

      When I read some of the Helvetica poems the other week, I just felt bad or confused or something. They didn’t work as poetry. They didn’t even work as humor. And from what y’all are writing, they aren’t just intended as satire on internet communication or something (as if we needed more of that). They’re supposed to stand up as poems. Or is it all a joke? More internet irony? Is that all ‘our’ generation is capable of (assuming you are in your 20’s like I am)?

      Do you not think people should be “serious” or “grow up,” ever? Puer aeternus?

  79. deadgod

      “deadgod” is redundant.

  80. Blogging For Writers – A Grammar | Nothing To Flawnt

      […] could be a photo or a film or a barely vis­i­ble trace of both. It could even be a nap­kin or a pic­ture of your gen­i­tal not cov­ered by a nap­kin (I only threw this in to wake […]

  81. Anonymous

      hi im poncho peligroso’s  16yo canadian gf ask me about his real name (neil hughes) and his greatest fear (being pied by the many ppl who hate him)

  82. Anonymous

      “if you think people should be “serious” or “grow up,” ever, you probably won’t like these: poems.”

      dude this is why i love poncho + steve i am intensely attracted to rich kids who have no no problems or positions on anything i am soooo glad white ppl are starting to quit pretending to be anything theyre not (good or meaningful or useful etc) just dont care about anything and copy paste msn mssgner msgs all day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I L U NEIL HUGHES + STOVE RAGGAMUFFEN

  83. Blogging For Writers – A Grammar « Marcus Speh

      […] §5 Blogging can be creative non-fiction writing but it doesn’t have to be. You can post a text (which means: hang it on your public or semi-public or intimately private virtual wall) that is a poem, or a string of words that doesn’t even want to be a poem, or a paragraph that doesn’t want to be prose, or a piece of prose. But that’s not all, because the network is media voracious: it could be a photo or a film or a barely visible trace of both. It could even be a napkin or a picture of your genital [not] covered by a napkin (I only threw this in to wake you up—the idea is from minimalist poet Steve Roggenbuck). […]