Thursday, June 19, 2008

I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's.

William Blake

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Goats in a tree, oh yes.

Been thinking about my future. I have several possible options after I graduate next June (I'm graduating next June!).


, I can go to poetry grad school, but for one, my heart doesn't feel in it as it once was. There's something about going to school to learn to write that is counter-intuitive. If I want to write, I have a decent enough background to do it now. Besides, what I really wanted out of poetry school was a mentor, which I didn't find. Why not? Too many students per teacher ratio? Maybe. But some of the workshop teachers I think were either simply too burnt out from "workshop-itis", frustrated and/or disappointed at the lack of talent and lack of dedication of the "creative writing students", and/or really not that interested in mentorship. But a couple grad schools still stand out, and I've been told I have the talent to move on, so will keep it as an option. There's something about buying a country acreage with a grey shingled slightly delapitated barn that creates an enormous amount of writing energy in me. Many say I shouldn't have gone to university to pursue writing--that I already had the skills to be a good writer. But I say, what's the use in being a good writer. Besides, I have learned a few very good things from reading while in the program. And David McGimpsey is a real nice guy. And Mary diMichelle gave all of us a great book to read in her Prose Poetry workshop. And all is not over--in the winter of 2009 I'll be taking Stephanie Bolster's Long Poem workshop, which I'm really looking forward to, not so much because she's leading the workshop--although she's a sweet person who I hear helps the younger writers really work through their beginner poems--but because I've "long" been overcome with the potency of the long poem, if done well. And I'm not talking the "poetry book" or "sequence book" of poems. They mostly suck, being overly concerned with thematics or play with old forms such as the sonnet. Not that the sonnet can not be done well, Shakespeare was my first love after all, but it can also be BUTCHERED. Enough said.

For those of you not sure what the hell is going on with me, yes I have been in the shadows. Taking time to reflect, to learn, to become a wise guy, I suppose. I still love poetry. It is a part of me, an integral part of me, whatever that means. And I don't care to be much a part of the community of writers. I find they're cliquish and problematic, and most of the time their writings fail to move. So I've found solace in the madness of Henry Miller. And I've returned to some old favorites--Olson, Spicer, Atwood, Kroetsch, O'Hara, Blaser (who I fantastically got to meet two months ago, and who I wish was my mentor--he actually talked to me about Spicer and the need to abolish creative writing programs... well, that's what I took from it. Wishful thinking.).

Moving on.


, I could go to Classics grad school. Which appeals to me because I've now invested two years, next year will be three, in two enormously difficult ancient languages. I have learned an incredible amount of information about myself, the history and nature of humanity, and have been able to appreciate and calm myself while reflecting on philosophy (some particular favorites being Older Greek philosophy, Nietzsche, Sartre, and, of course, Plato). Classics school would allow me the distinction of actually having a career! Woah. I could have security, teach burgeoning young classicists who'd have the same questions I have/had, and I do love teaching. And not to mention the academic conferences in such places as, oh, Argentina or Greece or California or Spain... something I could get used to. And it turns out, after my stint as a Research Assistant, I actually like writing literature reviews and acting the scholar. It's pretty fantastic to be able to tie all aspects of scholarship together, from history to literature from language to art, etc. Poetry is in there too--and is what I plan on working on for my Honours seminar and thesis in my final year: ancient literary criticism, literary theory (Barthes, post-structuralism, and Longinus here I come!) and Greek poetry. Should be a wild ride! Or, I could do comparative literature somewhere. That would allow me to combine the classics, the languages, and the literatures of all that interests me (such as Russian lit and language, for example). The Classics require a lot of work, but it hasn't scared me off yet, and I'd have to pick up German next summer as well as Italian (as most scholarly articles in Greek lyric poetry are in Italian these days it seems). But who doesn't like having more languages under their belt. Besides, it'd be nice to actually pick up some languages I can speak. Who speaks ancient Greek and Latin? Although a friend and I spoke Kling-On in 1989 in high school. We managed to confuse all the stupid people. Cuz we were so brilliant and cool.


, I could somehow buy a country acreage, move into my writing barn, and start a business. Health food store, yoga centre, soap and natural beauty supplies (all of which I could pull together, as have been training more and more in these areas), and have goats! And chickens! Just like my grampie did when I was young. And I could finally have a real garden, in the earth, to dig my hands into. But hey, perhaps I can have all of this...

There's also the juvenile dream of still becoming an opera singer or professional theatre actor. I only need another lifetime. Hope I'm not reincarnated into a rock.

In summary, (boy, have I been writing too many essays) I have changed so much and still so little throughout my university experience. I continue to await the post everyday, an anticipation I yearn for like the bells of the popsicle cart, ironically driven by fat people (bike a little, have a snack...). And I like to spend a lot of time alone, and then am driven mad by it and seek out entirely too much company all at once, which of course has forgotten me by that point...

Enough about me. What do you think of me?

Time to go, another essay due.
unique visitor counter