Little Emerson

01 June 2005

Little Emerson

Goya - Dog

Dog sinking in sand, or water? Goya

"Little Emerson" is an experiment, of sorts. It is a blog entirely dedicated to the publication of poetry. There is no formal definition for this blogzine. There is no theory, no clique. I initially chose—quite randomly ten bloggers as possible editors for Little Emerson. When I say randomly I lie, of course, because I had to think of different sensibilities and then picked as “randomly” as I could within those sensibilities. Mind you, I had to pick some people I don’t particularly agree with, but which I respect. Nine of the ten chosen agreed to participate. These editors do not know each other. This is important. They only know me as they must since I will act solely as messenger. The editors represent various personalities, various ways of looking at poetry, various styles. My job is not to get them to agree, but to get them to read, individually, poems submitted by others for publication in this cheap medium.

All of the editors must unanimously agree on a poem before it can get published. I repeat: the editors do not know each other. They will not know each other. There will be no group, no clique. No one will know who they are except me and they all have MY WORD HERE, quite publicly, THAT THEIR IDENTITIES WILL NEVER BE KNOWN without their express, written authorization and consent. I, for one, don’t really care who they are as long as they try to choose, sincerely, what they would like to see published here. Also, only I will know the names of the authors who submit their work, any type, any length. Kill with line breaks, coded-language, symbols, or rhyme to your heart’s desire. The editors must only choose what they like. They may simply say “no” to a poem. Period. No strings attached. Or they may reason their choices. Up to them. If they reason I will let the submitting poet know the content of the editor’s comments. Nothing more. There must be a 100 % consensus or a poem will not be published. Nil. Zero. Zip.

As you can see it is quite possible that "Little Emerson" may be the only poetry blogzine with empty pages in the blogosphere. But remember that this is an experiment, of sorts. Try to get published here. It will be an absolute miracle. A near impossibility or will it? There are no prizes, no notoriety, no tenure. But who knows what the future can bring. Taste and judgment are awfully tricky things.

Alberto Romero Bermo

P.S. The editors themselves may choose to submit their work. Their families and lovers may also submit their work. Anyone and everyone can submit. No holds barred. And God forbid: no stamps.

All submissions by e-mail to in e-mail body or word attachment. No guidelines: just send poetry in.


  • How to submit?

    By Blogger Simmons B. Buntin, at Thu Jun 02, 01:17:00 am  

  • Thanks for replying. The end of the initial post now reads: All submissions by e-mail to in e-mail body or word attachment. No guidelines: just send poetry in.


    By Blogger A.R.B., at Thu Jun 02, 09:27:00 am  

  • seems like a cool idea. I'll keep checking in to see what comes up.

    By Blogger L. Trent, at Thu Jun 02, 05:44:00 pm  

  • Drop me a line when something comes up on the site, and I'll see if I can review it for Rhubarb.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 02, 09:35:00 pm  

  • Oh, I wish I'd thought of this. Wonderful!

    By Blogger Bill Hooker, at Thu Jun 02, 11:15:00 pm  

  • One question, though: if your pages remain obstinately blank, would you consider changing from 100% consensus to a simple majority (5 or more out of 9) to allow publication? I love the double-blind methodology, but without discussion between editors I fear 100% consensus will almost never happen.

    By Blogger Bill Hooker, at Thu Jun 02, 11:20:00 pm  

  • Dear L.,

    Do check. Contribute. Aren’t you just dying to be rejected. Is this real? How can it possibly be. The odds are amazingly against anyone. Against you. Personally against you. But how does it differ from the “real” world? Try.


    By Blogger A.R.B., at Fri Jun 03, 01:54:00 am  

  • Dear Simon,

    I know you care, but our chances are minimal. The way it is. The way it must be?

    Thanks for checking in. It is amazing—but politics aside—we all think the same things.


    By Blogger A.R.B., at Fri Jun 03, 01:58:00 am  

  • I'm curious to see if a poem that can pass all nine judges turns out to be really awesome or really crap.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jun 03, 02:00:00 am  

  • Dear Sennoma,

    No. Right now I could not consider anything but 100 % consensus. My editors would not consider but 100 % consensus. But they do not know each other and cannot talk to each other. That makes them carefull editors. And I know from the people I chose that that will be a near impossibility. But this is an experiment. It is not the road to publishing. Trying here will take courage. Rejection is practically guaranteed. Believe me. But what’s there to loose?

    Thank you so much for checking in and reading. It’s a long post, I know.


    By Blogger A.R.B., at Fri Jun 03, 02:08:00 am  

  • Dear Simon,

    Your guess is my guess. Imagine a poem that makes it through all nine judges—our Supreme Court—just as human and just a fallible. Will it be crap? Isn’t that thought alone wonderful, worthwhile? Nine judges approve it and it’s a piece of shit . One judge rejects it and it doesn’t make it. Life and death. But I must say—and I speak for myself—but I can assure you that the judges I picked will try to do well. It only makes sense that they do. Part of the experiment is them, should they not know it. They must go beyond their prejudices and limitations. And they know that. But will they?


    By Blogger A.R.B., at Fri Jun 03, 02:23:00 am  

  • interesting idea :)

    By Anonymous Sonny Villafania, at Fri Jun 03, 07:17:00 am  

  • A very interesting idea or exercise. I have to say, though, that an announcement of a poetry reading just appeared in my mailbox. In it, one of the readers describes herself as an "anonymous editor of a new literary magazine." If I'm right and yours is the magazine, security's already breaking down.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jun 03, 10:17:00 pm  

  • I am not a poet, so I will not submit, but, I was amused by the description of the Goya painting, and offer this as food for thought:
    (Pun intended)

    Sinking in the sand
    A murky drowning pool
    Dreaming of Divine
    A giant Oscar Mayer

    "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change"
    -Wayne Dyer

    Good luck to all the real poets!

    By Blogger Kelley Bell, at Sat Jun 04, 05:18:00 pm  

  • I'm gonna put a link (& a plug) in my blog, because I just re-read this & realized how very cool it is.

    By Blogger L. Trent, at Sat Jun 04, 06:01:00 pm  

  • Alberto,

    So you are alive!

    I had been secretly reading your previous blog for a long time, without ever commenting.

    And was sorely disappointed to see it go.

    Now that you have reappeared, let me say HI! to you, in case you decide to abruptly vanish from the face of blogosphere again.

    By Blogger Gilbert Koh, at Mon Jun 06, 08:35:00 am  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Gilbert Koh, at Mon Jun 06, 08:35:00 am  

  • Thanks for dropping by, Sonny.


    By Blogger A.R.B., at Mon Jun 06, 04:27:00 pm  

  • Dear Anonymous,

    Thanks for checking L.E. out. I obviously cannot control the sincerity of my editors. God forbid! If they are insincere with me—with this tiny exercise—by knowingly identifying themselves as editors of this project, then what can I say? I would like to think it unlikely. However, it would be easy enough to know and confirm if you simply tell me the name of the person. Drop me a note in my box:

    Thanks for the comment.


    By Blogger A.R.B., at Mon Jun 06, 04:35:00 pm  

  • Thanks for the pun, Kelly. Very well-intentioned indeed. Hey, who said you weren’t a poet? :-)

    By Blogger A.R.B., at Mon Jun 06, 04:39:00 pm  

  • Thanks for the plug, L. Notice how by replying to all the comments made here I have increased the comment count by half? Did I say that correctly. Math’s not my thing. Anyway, soon enough people start thinking I’m popular. (Isn’t that right, A.D.?) :>)

    By Blogger A.R.B., at Mon Jun 06, 04:42:00 pm  

  • Hi Gilbert. Of course I’m alive. Blogging is not only blogging oneself but reading other peoples’ blogs, which I’ve never stopped doing. Sort of what you did with my old Sea-Camel. Passive participation is also ok. Keeps you informed. Sooner or later though people start coming out of the closet.

    Thanks for your kind words.

    By Blogger A.R.B., at Mon Jun 06, 04:48:00 pm  

  • Alberto Romero Bermo,

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    By Anonymous engine, at Wed Dec 14, 08:26:00 pm  

  • Alberto Romero Bermo,

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