Tuesday, 29 April 2003

yesterday’s po­etry feed­back group was less than help­ful in most ways, but more than help­ful in one ma­jor way. My writ­ing, and dic­tion, needs to change un­less i want to alien­ate read­ers and have them dis­miss my work. ap­par­ently, and i can see this quite eas­ily, my ter­mi­nol­ogy is a bit ar­chaic, peo­ple can’t get their head around my lan­guage con­struc­tions, and there­fore can­not grasp my in­tent.

i also, and this is equally im­por­tant, and from my own re­al­iza­tions, need to come up with top­ics to write about that aren’t quite so cere­bral. i think i of­ten use po­etry as a form to speak on what­ever has been cog­i­tat­ing in the olé nog­gin. per­haps in­stead of tak­ing some­thing ab­stract and putting it into tan­gi­ble per­haps I should get my hands in the clay be­fore cre­at­ing the pot.

thus, i must change, in or­der to reach read­ers i have to be able to cre­ate the scene with con­tem­po­rary lan­guage. this presents a prob­lem for me be­cause i have trou­ble mak­ing im­ages and sit­u­a­tions sound fresh and when i try to spice things up i in­evitably get a bit old-fash­ioned. i need to fig­ure out how to di­rect my­self to­ward the fu­ture or tap into the present in­stead of us­ing the past as my re­course. how do i do this?

Hit the Fan

Wednesday, 16 April 2003

it hit the fan to­day in po­etry class, but i do not feel vil­i­fied. what i wanted was dis­cus­sion and by gum i got it. some few were of­fended, most dis­cussed what ex­actly i was go­ing for, rang­ing from satire to prima nocta rights. some wanted me to make the end­ing dif­fer­ent to ac­knowl­edge my un­der­stand­ing of rape = bad. oth­ers dis­agreed. every­one had some­thing to say. all was well. i suc­cess­fully stirred the pot. then i was al­lowed to speak. i said that there have been a sig­nif­i­cant amount of rape po­ems writ­ten in this class by var­i­ous peo­ple and that i have had trou­ble en­gag­ing within them. there is the fe­male vic­tim, which women can iden­tify with, but for men there is only the rapist. i said that i do not feel that i am be­ing ad­dressed by these po­ems.

there was much dis­agree­ment to this. i was told i was wrong, that i was be­ing ad­dressed. alas, there was no more time for dis­cus­sion, be­cause the pro­fes­sor made us move on. if so i would have re­sponded that if i do not feel like i am be­ing ad­dressed but i am sup­posed to be, then there is a fun­da­men­tal prob­lem with the po­etry. also, i would have said that even if i did feel ad­dressed, i am still of­fered no frame of ref­er­ence for how to as­soc­iate my­self as a non-threat­en­ing male to­ward a vic­tim­ized fe­male. the di­a­logue takes place be­tween the rapist and his vic­tim only.

over­all the class be­came what i wanted it to. i am quite pleased.

Horn Toot

Wednesday, 26 February 2003

i don’t like to toot my own horn but jmay re­quested what the class thought of my lat­est. here are some of their com­ments:

  • cool chess im­agery — this is quite an ac­com­plish­ment. jug­gler. jug­gler…
  • once again, your depth of his­tor­i­cal or the­matic knowl­edge here is ap­plied and over my head, but in this case it doesn’t take away from the grasp on the poem. i re­ally can’t say any­thing about this poem neg­a­tively.
  • great im­agery, also great use of en­jamb­ment… very nice use of words, esp. de­scrip­tive verbs & ad­jec­tives.
  • all around great lan­guage, crisp speci­fic word choice.
  • your use of me­ter is…well done and keeps the poem mov­ing for­ward.
  • works very well in son­net form.
  • i re­ally like the way chess be­comes a metaphor for pol­i­tics or the chess­board comes alive and the pieces be­come sen­tient.