Saturday, February 10, 2007

Advanced Bad Poetry

The class I'm taking now is actually called just "Advanced Poetry," but so far I have been writing mainly bad poetry at a highly advanced level. It's intense. The best thing about the class is that it puts you in this place where you find yourself driving your car in silence a lot, just trying to think in some kind of poetic language that might come in handy. It's a nice way to live, but perhaps not a safe way to drive.

The professor, George Kalamaras, is someone I wish I could have as like a poetry version of a life coach. Shouldn't there be such a thing? Shouldn't we all have a poetry life coach in our lives that we can touch base with, a person to call at 3AM when you can't write because you're too happy? I wonder how much that would cost.

The last class I had with a workshop in was a creative non-fiction class where your peers would be critiquing your 4,000 word essays, and it could be uncomfortable at times. But poetry is condensed language, and I'm finding that workshop in this current class provides me with condensed anxiety. Maybe anxiety isn't the right word, but it's not far off.

So far, of the five or six poems I've assembled, I think I like two. Of those two, only one probably deserves to be liked. I'm spending today trying to mess with a poem for Monday. It's okay. It starts out clunky, but that doesn't bother me yet.


There is a currency in this town

in a lack of information.

We dole it from card catalogs

rescued out of the old library

while it was being forgotten.

We traffic in this stuff,

where the weird neighbors live,

how garden hoses left under the snow

carry ice to your bathtub,

and who moved your great aunt

from the assisted living center

during the Alzheimer’s wedding.

She was just starting to like it there.

This week, the suicidal teen

gives his mom three hundred dollars

so she can buy a car he won’t worry about.

He asks only for the van in the drive.

Maybe he can get something for it

before she forgets and lets

his brother drive it into the river.


Calypso said...

I like your poem... but I don't like the wrong usage of "you're" in your tagline. Tsk, tsk!

Mr. Hill said...

Oh geez. Thanks.

Mr. Hill said...

And I'm glad you like the poem.

Ryan said...

Ah, poetry, the literary child that is often abused by those who try to believe they're capable of composing something worth while. You gotta love it!

However, that poem you have there, Mr. Hill, is quite nice because seemingly, I found myself sitting for a moment and actually thinking about what I had read; considering the words utilized that went on to construct a visual image.

Nice work. Naturally, of course, you cannot tell us about how you've written a group of other poems and not share those either. Will we have have the opportunity to read those, too?

sarahjane said...

i don't think it's a bad poem, and i don't think the language always has to be condensed. try a prose poem or something, maybe. i love, "she was just starting to like it there." i want to read your "inuit" poem i've been hearing about.

Oden, Miles said...

Sorry, I've got first dibs on G.K. as a life coach. You'll have to scribble your name on the sign-up sheet like everyone else...

I like the garden hose bit.

Mr. Hill said...

Sarah, you have an excuse, but I really wish you were in this class, Miles. We've got to coordinate that better in the future.

Oden, Miles said...

Yeah, G.K. begged and begged--but I was just too poor this semester.