Monday, September 3, 2007

Workshop Worship


I have a couple good friends who adore workshops. I don't think that they are worth a poet's time. I could be wrong.
But I read a lot of poetry. I read books and books and books of poetry. I read chapbooks, too. A lot of what I read, I don't like. There are many bad poems by "good" poets. So if I am reading so many bad poets who are, to some degree, considered "good" by the poetic community, why should I waste my time on crappy nobodies?
Friends' answer: to learn what not to do.
I try to learn what not to do from the worst poems by my favorite poets.
Friends' second try: to learn how to talk about poetry without hurting people's feelings.
If your feelings are hurt by what other people say about your poetry, good. Either get better, move on, or stop writing. All I ever talk about is poetry. I almost never stop talking about poetry. Some of what I say hurts people's feelings. If you let that stop you, that's good.
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Yesterday, I sat went to Jupiter with a Ruby. We wrote poetry with each other on their patio. We looked at poems and talked about them. We had fun looking for things we liked and things we hated.

After that I met with another friend who is the Director of Technology for a website I am going to edit. We talked about all the zima shit we are going to do. We talked about avant-garde poetry.

The day before all this, I hung out with Jenny Drai, who happens to be one of the most humorous people I have ever encountered, and talked about my poetry. We talked about what my poetry was doing and what I want it to do and how I wish people would like it.

I personally know a couple of my favorite poets. I ask them questions, and we argue aesthetics over coffee or in the halls of prestigious universities.
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Aren't I always in a workshop?
My workshop has my favorite people in it, and it is not a womb of good intentions toward one another. It is not a safe haven or respite from the cruel cruel world. It also does not cost forty-five thousand dollars.
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Poetry gets sexier every day.
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This is most untrue.

2 comments:

Jenny Drai said...

What would happen if you argued about aesthetics *without* coffee? I suppose that is not that humorous but I am stupid and want to know. Conversely, if you had coffee without arguing about aesthetics...

Jack Morgan said...

I might feel bad about the East India Company thing.