memorial for a brilliant woman

Friday, January 13, 2012

remembering what was in poetry/ chapter one

I started writing poetry on computers back when Compuserve was king. I belonged to the writers forum and later the poetry forum (there was a brief run of an erotic writing forum- I recall being booted off because someone said I was underage.)

Judson Jerome had been on the forum but died the fall before I found the place.

It was early 1992 when I jumped into the forum with my first serious poems since my teenage years. I had won a scholastic magazine competition with a poem called "To be, to go, to die" in 1967(?) which included a charm for a bracelet I still own. I went to music school and got distracted.

Compuserve had the cafe (for fun), a workshop of some kind, and the hell called "No Holds Barred". After browsing a few days I posted a poem in "No Holds Barred". For whatever reason (my poetry was raw, unformed but not horrid) the regulars did not skewer me, but were kind and helpful. A retired marine named Jerry Jenkins encouraged me to send a poem to the print magazine Echoes for the memorial day issue and I was published.

We had flame wars, later I traveled to England and Scotland, staying with forum friends. I was churning out poetry like time was running out. It's tough to remember details of the demise of CIS, my children were small and I was working part-time. Mostly I remember being exhausted.

I was running open mikes and poetry events from 1996 on, wrote a column for (paid!!), edited an online zine. I attended three Austin International Poetry Festivals, had poems in their anthologies. Compuserve faded away but I had the Melic Natter, Alsops Review's Gazebo, other places for fun and light criticism.

Twenty years ago this month: the forum was first. I have printouts of most of the poems and correspondencies.
Those and the rest are preserved on floppy disks.

I made good friends, still keep in close touch with one.

This is how it began.


מבול said...

Google turned up a postal mail address in California that seemed to be associated with Alsop. I mailed off a minimal quarto size fascicle which included among other things Alsop’s 1998 bowler hat pic, from the early days of the GAZ. I got no response but I didn’t ask for one.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Preserved on floppy disks? Does that mean they are now inaccessible?

Thanks for blazing a trail!

מבול said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shann Palmer said...

hey, Glenn!! Not inaccessible, but I'd have to get my husband to hook up the external floppy drive we bought for that express purpose and hook it up. As easy as getting congress to agree.

I do have hard copy of most of it.

Shann Palmer said...

unknown poster (Genevieve?) his name is still on facebook - if you google his name you will find other info on other blogs. I sent a card to his wife but did not save the address.

מבול said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
מבול said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
מבול said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
מבול said...

It turns out the Google did pick up my comments, so I fired up my Blogger ID and went in there and Catted them under.

Dozer man Dozer man! All along a long straight stretch
of two lane, which engineers decree must soon become
a four lane, there stands a single family home,

slated to be catted under. Dozer man, Dozer Man!
There is unspeakable juxtaposition. Everyone’s awaiting
the nod and all are assailed with visions.