Holding office hours in the stadium is an interesting experience.  I think all these offices were originally dorm rooms for athletes, and the long desks and white cinderblock walls remind me of my old college dormroom.  I sure loved it.  Man.  Here, though, the twelve-paned window doesn’t quite latch or block out any sound (at all).  Trains come through blaring, so loud, and the beeps of Bobcats and swish of traffic wafts up all morning.  Hardly anyone uses their South Stadium Hall offices, so the halls are quiet.  And I feel like I should mention, here, that every once in a while someone will slam their office door, and that it sounds like a gunshot, the echoes ricocheting off the walls and floor.

I’m doing random things this morning — setting up a time for someone from the Composition Office to observe my class, finalizing the rest of my assignments, scheduling a time to watch The Shining with people, and wondering whether it would make any sense at all to go to an “advanced revision techniques” workshop on the 29th.

The more I hang out with poets, the more I realize that it’s normal for a poet to be strange, and fiercely independent.  As a closet-poet, a while back, I eschewed revision.  Writing poetry was cathartic, for me, and I rarely returned to a poem after having written it.  If I did, it was to figure out if it was any good or not.  If so, then I returned more often; if not, it mouldered.  As I participated in writing groups in college, I would usually just toss a poem that seemed to require much more work.  I can see now how thoroughly I internalized a … probably misinterpreted Wordsworthian idea of writing, you know, spontaneous overflow of emotion, all that.  I figured that it didn’t make sense to return to a spontaneous overflow of emotion and try to change things around, since it might lose some authenticity thereby.

So that’s why a lot of what I’m learning, now that I’m actually in school for writing, is revision.  It’s necessary, right, and just.  Emphasis on “just.”  If your poem doesn’t deserve more time and attention, then it may not be worth much.  (But it may.)  Although it really kind of hurt my feelings to see some Yusef Komunyakaa rough drafts in class, the other day.  Basically they were born fully-formed, as Venus.  It’s nice when that happens.  But these days, I’m spilling a lot of ink.  And it’s changing the way I write poetry.

But.  Still can’t decide if “advanced revision techniques” will just be regular revision, or maybe weird annoying things that people think up when they have a lot of time to play with their work.  I’m assuming that’s not the case, since the two leading the workshop are teachers at UT and seem to have very busy lives in general.

Last thing: Marshall and I got so hangry, last night.  We were like hangry monsters.  And said snippy things to each other until we realized that what we needed was Papa John’s.  And we were hangry no more.

The End.

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