I keep telling myself, stiff-upper-lippishly. But that doesn't mean receiving a 3500-word panning – nay, spanking – nay, drubbing – from August Kleinzahler (now known as "stinky-feet Augie" to two small girls in my household) in the 22 May London Review of Books doesn't hurt. Man, it does.
(And no, I'm not giving you the link. Look it up your own bad self.)
Casting my mind back to the Kübler-Ross "5 Stages of Grief at a Bad Review," I suspect I'm somewhere on the "depression" side of the passage from "depression" to "acceptance," having passed thru the stages of "denial" (surely they sent him the wrong book?), "anger" (cf. Franz Wright, passim), & "bargaining" (but even a bad review in the LRB will surely sell some books to masochistic types?). But the sting is still too real & immediate for me to say much coherent about what's wrong with Kleinzahler's take on the book, and what might be right about it.
Suffice it to say, for those of you who might be taking up pens & cudgels on my behalf, that Kleinzahler's version of Language Poetry makes Tom Clark's (remember "Stalin as Linguist"?) look sophisticated, & that while he spends the better part of a paragraph excoriating my final appendix, he seems to have entirely misread it. Man, I have so many other nasty things I want to say that I've just gotta close now.
Expressions of sympathy – flowers, bonbons, bottles of booze – entirely welcome.