Friday, October 21, 2005


Yes, I should probably be grading papers right now. I will. Soon.

It was nice to have a day off from teaching. I wrote a poem and finished making my cabinet. My office will soon be much more organized.

October is the perfect month for eating apples.

Josh Corey talks about the Poets and Writer's "Poetry Debuts" section in their latest issue - all about poets with first books out this fall. Poets and Writers arrived at my house today. I looked at the first few pictures of the young and recently published, and thought, "why do they put their ages? That's stupid!" Then as I kept reading, and ages like "42" and "43" showed up, I liked the fact their ages were listed. Still, I'm not sure it's relevant.


I appreciated what Corey had to say about careers versus professionalism. To be very reductive, Corey says some poets go in search of tenure before the ink is barely dry on their MFA diploma - or as Corey puts it, the Professionalist is "the poet wholly obsessed with the perks and privileges accorded to his person and his ego", while others are more interested in the career of the work, rather than the career of the self who is making the work. I think I got that right.

I appreciated it, but on the other hand, am not overwhelmingly interested in these distinctions. Because as Corey points out, there is a little of each of the professionalist and the careerist in many poets. So what is he really saying? And why does it take him so long to say it? And why does he choose to spend so much time talking about the way that P&W presents the new writers, rather than talking about the work of the poets themselves? I do think Corey lives in a world where distinctions like "are you a professionalist or a careerist" matter. Does that make him a "Professional" or a "Careerist"? I think I like the way Zanni discusses it better.

And not to get too carried away, but why does someone's work have to have a career? Isn't it enough that we make people have careers - now our poems have to have careers as well? Corey writes: "Properly stated, a poet's career refers not to the career of the person but of the work: in the sense I want to use the word anyone concerned to share their work with others is fostering that work's career".

Can't our poems just relax, hang out in coffeehouses or offices or parks? Do they have to have something as ridiculous as a "career"?

I want to make interactive artist trading cards - ones with pockets and stuff. I want to get the new Caffeine Destiny up too. Gillian Conoley's work will be in it, and she is coming to Portland next week.

First, however, the papers!

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