I am amused at the number of times I have now seen these words by Tomas Alex Tizon of the Los Angeles Times repeated in newspaper after newspaper as his byline on Alan Cordle makes it around the country.
Tizon describes Cordle this way... "He's not scary in person. Alan Cordle is 36, pale and round with thick glasses and soft fleshy cheeks. He smiles often and speaks in a wispy voice, which suits his day job as a librarian at Portland Community College." He goes on to suggest that, "Cordle also happens to be the most despised -- some would say most feared -- man in American poetry."
Tizon's article, which has certainly gotten a lot of play in the press may well be behind the curve. At least in my circles, I don't find all that many poets even talking about him anymore. I for one have never considered him scary. Perhaps rude, arrogant and even obnoxious but not really scary.