Poetry and Other Notes

Been pretty "blah" lately. Reread Jesus' Son, which Rob made fun of by saying it's the "creative writing Bible!". He's probably not too far off. The reason I was reading it again was because the last time I read it, I was not living in Iowa City, but hoped that Denis Johnson's IC would be reality.

It isn't, of course, and I read it curious to see the connections to Iowa City in his pages. Not to say it's not an interesting read.

I've been working on my light poems, which I think are getting better with each one. Perhaps I'm the only one to think so, though it will be some time before they are ready to be seen. With recent rejections in tow, I'm thinking as previously about taking a little break from submissions and working on writing and getting ready for the Warren Wilson application.

Speaking of which, I've pretty much decided I don't want to do it if I have to pay for it. I'll be willing to pay for a full-time program down the road, but not for this. My back up plan: quitting work and applying the Western Illinois' English masters program. It's in Moline, about an hour away. However, they offer teaching (!) and tuition remission, which is more than Iowa does, certainly. Iowa schools offer "help" with tuition, but will not waive that fee if they are paying you to teach.

So let's say you make $16K/year teaching, $7K goes to tuition! No good.

This is in preperation for getting out of Iowa City in a few years when Jennifer is ready to do her year of field work and year of dissertation writing. The field work is in Mississippi, so I'm hoping I can get *something* done and teach at a community college or something down there. Who knows...

Back to the light poems:

I've been reading Japanese death poetry and poems by Sakutarō Hagiwara. Francois suggests I read Tanikawa Shuntaro and Nakahara Chuuya, but I haven't made it upstairs to check for them yet. I will though. Obviously I'm not in a huge rush.

*In the Japanese death poetry collection I found a card for a local psychologist.*

I, at present, have no definition of "light" that I can explain. "Light" doesn't mean short, or funny, or lots of space. "Light" is a general sense in poems, to me. Graham Foust has lighter poems. "At Last, India" from a year or so ago was a lighter poem to me. I think I'm closer to Calvino's definition than I suspected.

In other news, if you watched Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? today (Tuesday June 19), my neighbor and Fiction MFA grad Kecia Lynn won $8000. The question she declined to answer in order to go home with $8000 could have been answered by this six year student of Latin. If only I'd been a lifeline...


Slow Mo. said...

Wait -- 8 thousand? Or 80?

8? Really? What was the question?


-Matt W.

(PS: when are we going to get together to watch a pretentious foreign film?)

Amish Trivedi said...

The question was "Which animal's name comes from the Latin for for thief?" The animals were ferret and raccoon and some other animals.

Ferret comes from "furs, fur", which is, of course, thief. I want to say it's a third declension noun.

Yes, $8k. I smell lunch :)

We should get together soon. My weeks and weekends have been very busy of late and I'm sorry I haven't been in touch!

François Luong said...

Not quite sure why I forgot to mention Ryuichi Tamura and the members of Arechi. Kinda like Gruppe 47, but in Japanese instead of German ... Oh, wait, that's right, you were looking for light poems.