Wednesday, January 22, 2014

If you can't say something nice...

...don't say nothing at all.

That sage advice was given to us in poetry workshop today by our professor, Donald Revell, by way of Thumper from Bambi. Remember that movie?

I can't remember if I've ever described Don on here before, but it should be fairly easy. Imagine the most stereotypical poetry professor you possibly can. That's all. You've got it. Impressive mustache, tweed jackets, constantly smoking a pipe. He's very funny--I know I'm going to enjoy his lectures. I'm still intimidated about writing poetry for class, but Olivia reminded me not to psych myself out today, and I know she's right. I'll probably do better if I'm not thinking too hard about it.

Other gems from my workshop notes (two pages--for a workshop!):
  • Things are where they are, and the words in a poem are where you put them.
  • "Composition by division" is how to write a poem. Compose your divisions and divide your compositions. 
  • No new consequence? No new line.
  • Poetry is the activity of the evidence. (A quote from someone I didn't catch.)
  • Silliness is okay in poems. Stupidity is not.
  • All great art is difficult. No great art is obscure. 
Have fun puzzling all that out with me.

Speaking of poetry, I wrote two poems for today. I am determined to catch up! No slacking allowed. This first one was inspired by workshop, in which we are supposed to write poems that originate in the near-at-hand. It was also inspired by the fact that I desperately need to go bra shopping.


Hot pink zebra-striped bra
used to make me feel sexy
used and stretched, hanging
in my closet.

Mass-produced Buddhist prayer flags
red yellow green white blue
dangling above the door
of a superstitious atheist.

Nighttime eggshell pockmarked walls
soft and low-lit and old
sturdy but not solid
framing a temporary home.

Last night I was out with Austin, Michael, and Denise, and they were talking about how words with the letter "u" in them often sound bad or gross, or have bad/gross connotations. Then Austin was reading a poem by I-forget-who, in which every word began with the letter "u." So I tried to imitate that, sort of, using words that have a "u" sound in the middle. It's somewhat nonsensical, but that's okay.

Brought to You by the Letter "U"

Glum nuns glut fun:
punt sluts, gunky cunts
just junk.

Rough mutts run,
tough bums slum, shuffle,
flung bunching bugs, slugs.
Sun-slung dung crunches.

Snug-hung mug.

Shunning pun.

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