Saturday, January 25, 2014

Just My Imagination

I am so sick of sitting! I've had tons of work to do this weekend, and even though I ran yesterday and I danced today, it's not enough. I wish I had a reason to go someplace and walk around, but this reading isn't going to do itself.

That said, I'm enjoying the reading. As I mentioned yesterday, I'm reading some William Carlos Williams for my Poetry Forms class--specifically "Kora in Hell" and "Spring and All," which are longish prose-poem/poem collections. I must say, my opinions of WCW have turned 180 degrees. I absolutely loved "Kora in Hell." I think WCW and I are writing soulmates. I'm not kidding. He was a practicing physician as well as a poet, and here's what he said about his writing process in his autobiography: "Time meant nothing to me....I might be in the middle of some flu epidemic, the phone ringing day and night, madly, not a moment free. That made no difference....Five minutes, ten minutes can always be found." That's basically my life philosophy. It's certainly how I wrote before I came to the program. It's how I started writing flash fiction in the first place.

And his poems are beautiful. Here's part of one from "Kora": "All the troubled stars are put to bed now: three bullets from wife's hand none kindlier: in the crown, in the nape and one lower: three starlike holes among a million pocky pores and the moon of your mouth: Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and all stars melted forthwith into this one good white light over the inquest table...." How gorgeous is that? Also: creepy. Creepy is the best. A far cry from "The Red Wheelbarrow," to say the least.

Oh! Regarding yesterday's post, I thought of two more canonical poems I had to read in high school: Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and Coleridge's "Kubla Khan." I had to read them in college, too, but definitely in high school first. I liked "Kubla Khan" well enough I suppose.

This morning I read my students' first journal entries. It's easily my favorite thing that I make my students do, since I let them write whatever they want, and so many of them embrace the opportunity. I already have two kids writing fiction and two kids writing poetry. It's because I'm not only the cool teacher, but the best teacher. Obviously.

Also: so many of my students have compared me to Jess from the TV show New Girl in their journals! Just because I wear cute dresses and glasses does not, in fact, mean that I am Zooey Deschanel. They mean it as a compliment, though, so I will take it. I've never actually seen the show.

Should get back to work before I meet Michael at the Frog to discuss The Salted Lash. First, my two poems for today. The first was inspired by the fact that I have not one but two canker sores on my tongue. Don't you hate those things?

Judgement 

What did I do to deserve
two canker sores?
Nothing.
Disease is not a punishment.

Germs and sugar
conspired against me!
Germs and sugar
were germs and sugar.

I can judge,
dole out punishment.
I can conspire.
I can anthropomorphize.

What do I deserve?
Why do I deserve it?

I looked it up, and apparently germs and sugar have nothing to do with canker sores. I just assumed they did. I guess it's more likely that I brushed my teeth too hard, or that I'm stressed. Who knew?

The second was inspired by a particularly disappointing in-class writing assignment I received from a student. My students are in no way stupid, but when it comes to basic grammar and spelling, it does seem like the school system has often failed them.

Grading

Fringed looseleaf paper is
where careers go
to die.

I saw the best minds of
a generation spelled
wrong.

Back in my day
we never did--
No.

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