I'm kind of weirded out of late by people talking about "where" they write: what kind of lighting they use. What music they listen to. Do they use candles? Is there a mountain outside or a lake? Maybe it's snowing and there's something inspirational about the snow.

Maybe music sounds interesting. Johannes always suggested throwing on Godard's "Pierrot le fou" in the back ground. I recall him getting in some hot water over his regular exercise at the time: showing Un Chien Andalou and having the class write while it was going on in the background. I'm quite certain I got some cool poems from that exercise, but my "hot water" comment clearly shows that I'm one of the few who thought the practice was great. Apparently for others, it was a reason to complain that they weren't "being taught to write."

I'm bothered that someone writing is a Romantic or ritualistic practice, like somehow you'll just have pages of words flowing as soon as you get the perfect mise en scene down. It reminds me of people that go and by special notebooks and pens and expect that these are the things that create good poems or stories or whatever.

I guess I'm just over it. I don't know if I can write anywhere or whatever, and I'm not saying that a location isn't important. I'm just saying a location isn't going to make you better or worse or make you more or less creative. If you're inspired by the snow or mountains, perhaps you ought examine what you're really doing.

For another thing: can anyone teach you to write? I don't think that's the goal of the workshop or the MFA, for that matter. I think the best anyone can do for you is give you the space to write and time to do it. The workshop, at its best, is a place for feedback and learning to think critically about yourself and others.

Anyways, spaces and places, lights and sights. What good are these things if your poems suck anyways?

1 comment:

Arp D. Trivedi said...

Well said. Well said.