Jun 27, 2004, 11:08 PM
Post #1 of 1
That's my question about the Speakeasy... allow me to pontificate. First off, thanks to Jason for letting me keep my old account, as I (along with many others I suspect) was disallowed access when the Speakeasy was brought back online. When they Tore Down the Old Arcade is a paraphrase of the intent of a poem by the published, prized, and featured (along with me at the end of next month) poet, Mike Barney. The piece laments the destruction of a hang out from the speaker's past. What's imminent is the inevitable end of era (lack of article was intended). What's tragic is what does not replace the Arcade. The Arcade, of course, being removed to make room for a parking garage.
When they Tore Down the Old Arcade, or techno-freak me American Evolution?
However shocking this new face of the Speakeasy is, however, it resembles little of a parking garage. True, I see some complaints that it's merely window shopping for pub houses or part-time work for grad students, but other than that, not very flat and uninteresting. The fact is, the Speakeasy community killed itself long ago. Rampant blither, chatty discussions that had nothing to do with writing, and a whole lot of nothing had cluttered the gems and truly precious work of its patrons. Some of the most soulful, most inspired, most honest poetry I have ever seen, was in the Speakeasy. I do believe the forum had seen it's day, and that its moderators felt the time to revamp had arrived. So fine. What then?
We all originally came here because we were interested in the culture of the magazine, wanted to commune with other writers to discuss the craft (remember, there was a day when there was only "Writing" and not "Your Writing"), or had heard about the place from a friend and wanted to share our writings and read those of others. Hmm, so it seems that the last group of people (which I'm sure we are all part-time members) has been overlooked. Or maybe not. Bill is right, it is obvious that this new Speakeasy will become SOMETHING, and knowing those that have been here before, we will find a way to share our writing... whether P&W will accomodate us, or we migrate somewhere else makes little difference to me. I respect P&W's decision to move on, and thank the organization for their support and interest in our community for the last (nearly) decade (I think). I just don't want to lose touch with the great talent that once graced these hypertext halls. So don't forget about me: firstname.lastname@example.org . (as if I would trust any other bulletin board with my address)
An idea I somehow didn't get to in the last paragraph was that there have always been bulletin boards, listservs, and other web locales to post poetry, critique poetry, and to chat with other people we'd call poets. The original attraction to the Speakeasy was something different, more refined. To me this looks like the Evolution of that corporate American animal (though I do detest threaded websites). I can only hope that the site will live up to it's freedom and communication oriented moniker. I can only hope that we can share our own writing, and that we will find out how to do that through this new community.
(blank) sometime in the fall of 1996.