I am not a best new poet
a no from the Best New Poets series.
baseball, poetry, and kim chi
a no from the Best New Poets series.
Looks like I missed my chance to see war of the worlds in Seoul. Tried today, but didn’t want to wait an hour. Walked home. Been sick for the past few days, this seems to be the first day when I was able to feel myself for about a week. On Monday I taught a whole day with the shakes. Felt great in the worst possible way. Impossible to be bored when you are convulsing and changing from hot to cold. There was interest. My students asked if I was recovering from a tough night. Had to reassure them that no, I was in fact just sick, and to please stop using “frankly speaking” at the beginning of your sentence until I say it is ok to do so. (Frankly speaking, did you drink last night?). But now they cheer me every day. my slightest improvement is met with warm smiles and questions such as “are you more better today?” to which I reply, “yes, please open yr books to page 39, today we are going to talk about comparatives and superlatives.” So we got to talking. And the big key with these things is the syllables. Stupid me, I hadn’t figured it out before, they don’t count the syllables the same way I do. At the moment I can’t recall the word, but even in American English, in two separate parts of the country, the same word is pronounced with 2 or 3 syllables respectively. so if you are trying to figure out if the adj should be a ‘more’ or ‘er’, and can’t count the syllables, then you are going to have some problems in yr self correction. I asked them what they did in jr high, and they said they just memorized the words. Damn lot of memorizing goes on here. Did I mention that we got a good laugh in about 15 times during the 2.5 hour class? Think that is why I am enjoying it so much here. The students are fun. They are funny. Sometimes they are not sure if they are fun or funny, and they get a kick out of that. I think it is a place away from the stress of the normal school, somewhere where they can meet other students and improve their use of this impossible language. Now I have a four day vacation. Tough life.
This is the piece that got sent along with Red States. Like i said, it is leaning against Swan s way. There is a note on the back. Thanks again Stacy.
An out class with my level 4 class. Meat was eaten. Cass was in lifted. This night went on and on. As you can see, we were at a place called the Red Lion. It began as a jazz bar, but ended with Cyndi Lauper. Korea is a fast moving place. If you stand still, you get passed.
In the mail today:
I’ve been reading about subjectivity in the reading of poetry (seems to be all the rage). Again, I am not sure how we can get away from it totally. If we develop rules, the rules we use are subjective. There is always a value judgment. So why not be honest about it? Why should we read a poem from a place other than where we write one? What I am thinking is this, just as when we need to step away from a piece of our own to edit, I am wondering if we can’t make that same step with someone else’s work. If we can enter the work and improve it, then the work might not be all that strong (or it might be strong but have weakness). But, if in the attempt to edit/translate the work we are unable to “improve” it, that might just tell us that the poem is complete, that it does what it needs to do.
Why is it so fun when yr playing basketball and yr man goes to screen another player on yr team, and you call out, “screen on yr left” and yr teammate recognizes it and when the man he is guarding tries to use the screen and you say, “I got man” and switch men and follow a new guy around the court for awhile? Why do I get such a thrill out of it when that switch works seamlessly? I think it is even more fun than a basket, rebound or assist. Just good smart basketball. Even better when said screen is set up so the other team can run a back door and you say all the right things and switch to the cutter and the play is foiled. Great stuff, but I sprained my finger.
Looks like we have a full moon tonight. Was talking to my students the other day about the moon. They told me they don’t have the tradition of the moon causing insanity like we do in the west. For them it is just romance and something to gaze at. I prefer werewolves.
Yes from the Harvard Review. Thanks to the wise folks in the library.
LIT says yes to “Wrinkled Gown Sonnet”. Thanks to you good folks.
After my previous post I went over to Reb’s blog and lo and behold it was there too. It is clear she published her post first. What is a guy to do?
Jordan Davis lists his top 214 (and counting) poems of 2005. some good reading n there. Nice to have it all (or a piece of it all) in one place.
Nidus is up. Great work. Happy to be a part of it.
Craig Hill needs a cover for his journal. You artists out there might want to send him some work (if it's not too late). Check out his July 10th post
1 Pickled Mango 238.5 0 6 23
A student was leaving the other day to visit a mountain in North Korea. She asked me to hold her book for her. Of course, I asked why. She told me that you could not take any books up. No novels, magazines, comic books, poetry, EFL books, etc. What they did want her to bring was her 100,000 Won (100 bucks) per day. Guess they were afraid that she would pass some knowledge on to the folks in the North. Now, least they can be sure, no Cutting Edge Pre-Intermediate course books got into any reactionary hands.
One of the first blogs I read is back in service. Check out Tony Tost’s The Unquiet Grave.
This is not a direct response to Kyle’s comments on clever in the younger poet’s poems. Instead it is brief question I’ve been asking myself since I read his post. What is wrong with clever? Why is it ranked lower than irony? My first response to the comment that there is too much clever in the underage poems was to agree, not with the assertion, but that clever is a negative. Why do I have this knee jerk reaction? Sure, there are folks out there that are so clever it makes me sick, but my friends, people I like, when they get a clever streak going, I kind of like it. They are being silly. Silly is good. How different is clever from silly? Is it the trying?