Some notes about writing and notebooking in the
body of a book as it pertains to fluid thinking
once you get into the habit of thinking of ‘who
told me that,’ you’ll start verifying ideas, of ‘to
me, this makes sense,’ becoming less common.
The problem with much of us these days, with the
world, is a feeling of emotional certainty about what
is not necessarily true or even scrutinised. I’m
gunna admit my own habit of accepting ideas that
roll with how I already think, ideas that tell
me, ‘you are doing okay’ and to be honest
I don’t think that’s necessarily an evil. You
ain’t going to stop your brain doing it, so
the next best thing is to refine your responses to the
sharpest point possible to look at reflection as a
tool for critical self-engagement to make it
in an otherwise unexamind and uncritical world.
The next thing to do is examine the first word on each
this was originally written at MOAB, hand on paper
Finally, some notes from last year, October, in my creative writing class, delivered and structured as a poem.
The world is not yet a perfect place.
“I just don’t believe feminist men exist.”
We are speaking of politics, sir
Of the conscience of the artist
“Imagine a comedian,”
He outlines how prone poetry is to self-parody
An interesting discussion
Which is a polite way of saying my views and his
Do not match up at all
But there is this gem,
Little gleaming phrase
Which I suppose is what a poet does:
“How different would your serious poem
be from a parody of themselves?”
Then he quoted Oliver Cromwell.
She wrote it by hand, on a beat up piece of notepaper, the soft grain present under the heel of her hand. The pen blotched a little on some of the hiragana, the soft tip catching a little against the firm paper where she felt it yield. Chosen carefully, smiling to herself as she did it, blushing a little as well.
Then she picked up her iphone, and she took a photograph
and threw it
to a man-made star
where it landed in his living room, lighting up the screen, and the room, with the brightness of his smile.
“Such oppression has been wrought, you see,
That for the folk not-like you and just-like me
That offered chance for obituary
Not a one of them could say ‘no’ easily.”
I just fucking hate writing poetry. I hate sitting around listening to artless, inelegant, unpaced poems, typically oriented in talk about relationships, in class. If fiction is where the wilds of human possibility expand out into a never-ending horizon of anywhere, poetry is where the amateur sit to wallow in things that have already happened a thousand fucking times. I don’t like poetry (that’s a lie) and I don’t like writing poetry and I am sullen that poetry was my first major assignment for Creative Writing, the subject I enjoy the most.
My resentment of the form shows, it seems, when I attempt it. My initial mark for my poetry assignment was quite low – barely in what the teacher considered pass territory. It was so awkward and bad that he actually brought a photocopy to the class, to show us all as an exercise – seriously! – in bad work, as what I can only assume he imagined as a serious workshopping effort to ‘fix’ this bad work. We first heard another students’ poem, which he really liked, with its ‘weird energy’ and how he was fond of its comparisons with food and relationships, using imagery that was new to him and idioms he didn’t recognise. Then we moved on to a poem about a crappy morning with a coffee punchline, which he felt had an interesting introduced element in the middle of an Anger Management Therapist, which he loved and even took the opportunity to break out this truly gut-wrenching poem of his own about spousal abuse (which left me feeling awkward).
Then after two poems he liked, the intention was to take my poem out to the woodshed.
When I read it aloud, he looked very confused, and changed his mind. Took the paper, scribbled out my low mark and replaced it with a much higher one. Apparently, he thought, it read better aloud than it read on the paper.
I don’t know what exactly to say about that, but here it is, below the jump.
Today I remembered when a friend tried to hurt himself.
Today I remembered when a friend vanished from my life.
Today I remembered the pain of an infected jaw.
Today I remembered my grandmother.
Today I remembered my ferrets.
Today I remembered fearing for my wife’s sight.
Today, a friend thanked me for loving him.
Today, a friend found me again.
Today, a doctor said things can get better.
Today, rains poured as I cuddled under a blanket with my wife.
Today, I remembered that ideas and creativity and the yearning want to make people feel joy is enough of a reason to want to wake up tomorrow.
Today was a really good day.