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2006-05-01.11:17

What happened

I finally have the answer to the question that’s been bothering me for a few years. I could never figure out exactly why Bernard hated me so much. I thought we used to be such good friends. It turns out I screwed him over. This is from a GotPoetry.com article that’s turned into the latest chance for Bernard to point out how terrible I am: "John Powers can say what he says, and that's cool. But in the end he knows what he's said to me about Jared in the past, and how consistent a thread his Jared complaints were at one time. He also knows that he entertained my struggle with Ray Dave and kept me thinking we were going to make the Open the mics program go somewhere until the minute Ray left, and John agreed to start a non profit organization with me about a month or so before he met his future wife and decided he no longer had any interest in slam. He also knows that he sent me to a national poetry slam acting as slam master without telling Jared, and the beef that caused between us. When we returned from that nationals I left the poetry scene altogether and John started transitioning Jared to take things over. For you to act like you didn't talk shit for *YEARS* about Jared alongside Dave Blank is gross, but whatever." It’s all true in some ways. One Nationals, the first I didn't go to since I became slam master of Providence, I tried to have Bernard and Jared go and work together. I faxed over a proxy to the hotel at the last minute and only put Bernard's name on it and that blindsided Jared. That’s the "not telling Jared" part. I did a bad job with that. I made a mess. It probably killed any chance at the time of them working together once I stepped down as I was planning to. As for complaining about Jared, well, I'm sure I did. We worked together a lot and in some ways bugged each other, Bernard was my friend and I confided in him. On the other hand, many people wanted me to ban Jared from the scene over the years. I always refused. Why? Because I felt his heart was in the right place, he had enormous energy and he helped me out a lot. I valued his presence and was willing to put up with even very close friends of mine harassing me to do something drastic now and then. Banning people is no way to facilitate a scene. I felt letting things play out was the way to go. As far as the Youth Center Bernard wanted me to help him with, I did intend to help him more with that and I was doing small things here and there, but once I met my wife I got very distracted. I fell in love and didn't have a lot of time and then one day I got a real nasty email from Bernard basically telling me to F-off. I was hurt, I didn't understand and I never got a good explanation like the post I found on Gotpoetry.com. My thoughts are that the youth center progress was taking too long and I wasn't as enthusiastic and driven as he was. I was also spending most of my time with the love of my life and around the time I said no to taking out a mortgage myself to buy a building for the center, he figured I had just strung him along like Ray the former Slam master did. His mind was made up and knowing Bernard, there was no changing it. Would I have come back around and started to do more? Started to work harder? Yes. With a clear conscience I can honestly say it would have happened. It would have taken until after I was married though. I'm a little more at peace with it all. A true friend would put up with some BS and especially give you a chance to work through it. Bernard didn't really need friendship from me, he needed a business partnership. At the time I did a terrible job at both. He made up his mind and now I'm the enemy to him. I'm glad to finally know what happened. -John Powers Gotpoetry.com - News for Poets. Place to write.



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Since Feb 2001





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