April 16, 2007
An Invitation from The Cacademy of American Poets
this is true -- it really happened
I got an invitation to belong to the cacademy of poets
a good review of Return to Manure will appear in next ABR
and there is a good one also in the printed Rain Taxi
An Invitation from The Cacademy of American Poets
Federman was officially invited today, in a letter signed by the Chancellor of the Cacademy of American Poets, to become an Ass-
Not a Full Member! Just an Ass-
ociate member [hyphenated like that at the end of a line].
Associate Member! Does that mean that Federman is an Ass for not having already joined the Cacademy of American Poets?
He is not an American? And is he not a Poet? So he claims. Ok, a naturalized American, and a peddler of words.
But Associate Member? Does that mean that Federman will be like a Junior Member of the Cacademy with the potential of someday becoming a Full Member eventually?
Or does it simply mean that in his present position as a Poet among American Poets Federman is Associated to poetry only partially and distantly?
Or could it be that the Chancellor of the Cacademy thinks Federman is not ready yet to become a Full Member because he has not yet been recognized fully as a Poet in America?
Or could it imply that because Federman is not yet fully recognized as a Poet in America, he can only be an Associate Member?
But the questions to ask, as Federman ponders whether or not to accept this invitation: How did the Cacademy of American Poets recognize that Federman is a poet? On what basis? And why does it find me worthy of becoming an Associate Member of the Cacademy?
Federman has never published a book of poems in America. In Europe he has published 10 volumes of poems , but none in America. And nobody in America knows about these 10 volumes of poetry.
Three bilingual volumes in France, and seven bilingual or trilingual volumes in Germany.*
Federman has published many poems in magazines in America, and on the internet, and dropped many of them at street corners, but no one ever paid much attention to them.
Federman never had a poem appear in The New Yorker. But he does have many friendly and encouraging rejections slips from The New Yorker.
Unless suddenly there is an immense interest in his poetry, of which he is not aware, that would explain why the Cacademy is anxious to have Federman as an Associate Member.
But all these poems he dispersed in America must not have been recognized as poems since none found its way into an anthology of American Poetry, and will probably never find its way into that great Pantheon of Poetry The Norton Anthology of American Poetry from 1796 to 2036. 2036, the year Federman is due back on my planet.
What shall Federman do? Accept this invitation, or write a letter telling the Chancellor that he feels he is not ready and worthy to become an Associate Member of the Cacademy of American Poets because he has not yet written his one great poem.
Oh it should be mentioned. To join the Cacademy of American Poets one must pay an entry fee.
And depending which place, or which seat, or which rank one aspires to inside the Cacademy, one must decide how much one wants to invest to get in.
$25 – Contributing Members. Probably those who are not yet considered full-fledged Poets, but have the potential of becoming Poets.
$45 – Associate Members. Federman was delighted to see that he has skipped the Contributing Member rank and been promoted to the Associate Member Rank. This must mean that he is somewhat recognized as a poet beyond his potential.
$100 -- Sustaining Members. That must be for older poets who can no longer sustain themselves as Poets and need the security of the Cacademy. Even though on recent occasions Federman has been called an old fart, he does not consider myself ready for the Sustaining Rank.
$250 -- Patron Members. Obviously for those who would like to become the bosses of Poetry and set the Rules of Prosody. The ambivalence of this rank is that the Patron Members face the risk of being demoted to the rank of Sustaining Members should their stocks in Prosody go down.
$1000 – Benefactor Members. Clearly the rank of those who are on the verge of changing tense, and are considering whether or not to exclude the Cacademy from their Poetic Testaments.
$2500 -- the Chairman’s Circle Members. These Members not only get all the benefits listed above but upon admission receive a limited-edition broadside of the Chancellor’s best poem signed and dated by the Chancellor of the Cacademy himself.
These are the options for admission into the Cacademy of American Poets.
Had Federman been invited to join as a Member of the Chairman’s Circle he would perhaps have accepted immediately just to be able to seat at the Chairman’s table in the circle of the great Poets of America and drink with them the expensive French wines Poets of the Cacademy always drink.
Federman would gladly have shelled out 2.5 grand to be in the Chairman’s Circle.
But to be asked to join as an Associate Member for 45 bucks that’s insulting.
What would Federman get for 45 bucks as an Associate Member of the Cacademy of American Poets? A glass of Perrier!
His decision is final. He will decline this invitation. Even if it means that his poems will never find their way into The Enlarged Norton Anthology of American Poetry from 1796 to 2036. The year he will climb Mount Olympus.
* Here are the titles of the 10 volumes of poems.
Parmi les monstres / Among the Beasts
Future Concentration / Future Concentration
Ici & Ailleurs / Here & Elsewhere
Spieltexte / Playtexts
Nun Den / Now Then
Duel- / Duel / Duel-l
99 Handwritten Poemes / 99 poèmes-faits-à-la-main
Offene Schuhe / Loose Shoes
L’Extatique de Jule & Juliette
Die Stimme im Schrank / The Voice in the Closet / la voix dans