Comments, who owns comments?

Who owns comments on a blog? Or what is fair use? As some of you may know, a book of selected blog posts from this blog is forthcoming from BookThug. The process of creating the text was intriguing–more complicated than I expected. And what precedent is there for turning a literary blog into a book? I’ll be posting more on that when the time comes. But, but, but, for now my question is regarding the comments folks have left here over the past six years? When you leave a comment what do you expect it to do? Have an afterlife? Disappear in 48 hours? Do you feel a sense of ownership? A defense of commentary? For some (not necessarily here but elsewhere)commenting seems to be a serial form of publication. And for blogs they are kind of essential aren’t they? So who owns blog comments? Once offered in response to something posted here, do they become part of “here”? Can I do with them what I wish?

Please feel free to comment.

Oh, and do check the blogger terms of service


The day the blood came I was covered in gravel. Sandy in my ears and eyes, all under my jeans where the cuffs rub. Slay and I climbed the rock mounds in the concrete factory and surfed down on cardboard. We got in under the gate where the dogs are chained. Slay threw a bone–not a boner, like my brother says–and it landed the length of a skipping rope in front of them and they snapped and pulled at their chains like in the movies when the burgler is coming. We flipped a coin to see who was gonna snicker over and kick the bone close and even though Slay lost I did it because Slay is bigger on the outside than on the inside and it was fun to get so close and hear them nasty in my ears. Later when the security guard come I dove head first under the gate as if I could curl under it silky as water, which of course I couldn’t and my T-Shirt shred on the pavement and my chest was a mat of blood and gravel–not something a lady would do, a phrase I did not want sticking on me and now is coming from every adult mouth.

See also: formation novel

Blogs of note

Rachel Zolf’s Tolerance Project. Hilarious and pointed account of the typical MFA workshop. Zolf has entered one, in protest really, and has cleverly crafted a conceptual poetry project around the experience.

Kathryn Mockler is gathering fabulous materials for those coming to poetry, or those who need a little direction.

I guess if you’re Margaret Atwood you can get away with a me-blog.  Still, I was surprised to see it. One of the reasons I admire Atwood so much is that she does see herself in context.

Michael Turner has a blog titled “Websit: Every Log’s Been Slept On” which I first read as “a blog everyone has slept in”… Very much looking forward to the new novel.


As if the wind could lift story. In the night, very late, a dark hoop around a waistline. She peered in. Not unpleasant. History licking up at her. Not with handles though. No instruction. They come at her, quite insistent, as if waiting for communion, their tongues out, awaiting it, the instruction. No, she admonishes, don’t wait for instruction! One doesn’t arrive at creation all in a moment, ready for greatness (whatever greatness is in the face of story). One journeys, and without google maps. One crawls out of basements, one slogs through shit, one puts in time at bad jobs, one gathers, one almost gives up, one doesn’t take a number, one sniffs, one notices texture, ways of feeling hungry. I worry, someone said from the bowels of the story. How will anyone know where we are going if they are all waiting for instruction? How like a hoop, she thought, how like crinoline, and precisely that: how can one know the exact quality of earth, what might be good for, say, growing spinach rather than tomatoes? The story adrift, a small planet shooting toward the horizon.

See also: entre-genre