Oh, get your minds out of the gutter. I was just thinking that it's been almost a week since I went to Lock Haven, where they treated us exceptionally well: nice group dinner beforehand, *reserved* parking spaces on campus *next* to the venue (whoda thunkit?), and a good-sized audience: mostly students who seemed to have read at least some of the work ahead of time. Oh, and the check was nice, too. Thanks again to Marjorie, Jerry, and the LHU English Department. And it's never too late to buy a copy of the Common Wealth anthology: click here for more information and a "buy it" link.
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Randy is on a well-earned break, a road trip to visit an old friend from our Houston days (hello, Hadi!). I haven't gone out yet for junk food, so I may be handling this better than expected. We rarely--and I mean, rarely--spend a day apart, and I can think of only one occasion in recent years when Randy took a road trip (hi, Martin). I've been lucky enough to give a few readings or trek to AWP every other year. . . Anyway, I've a stack of papers to attend to, so the television stays off tonight. We've about two weeks left in the semester: I'm meeting with three or four students every day, there's a lot of West Branch business that needs my attention [final editorial decisions for "my" issue will be made on the 27th], and all the details of the June Seminar are being put into place. (Writing, you ask? Who has time to write? --I asked my students to write ghazals this week, and, unable to find three solid examples that didn't take too many liberties with the form, I ended up dashing off example #3. I called it "Spontaneous Ghazal." Does that count?) (Does this?)
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Today, in my intro cw class, we studied Thomas Rabbitt's "Meter Reader*." I'm introducing slant rhyme tomorrow and Thursday. They're writing quatrains for next week and sonnets after that. I almost wish we had an extra month.
*-see Behn & Twichell, The Practice of Poetry
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"Daily poem" for today's class: I read Jill Rosser's "Lover Release Agreement," from her second book, Misery Prefigured. She can work a mean sonnet:
Lover Release Agreement
Against his lip, whose service has been tendered
lavishly to me, I hold no lien.
Here's his heart, which finally has blundered
from my custody. Here's his spleen.
Hereafter let your hair and eyes and breasts
be venue for his daydreams and his nights.
Here are smart things I've said, and all the rest
you'll hear about. Here are all our fights.
Now, whereas I waive rights to his kiss,
the bed you've shared with him has rendered null
his privilege in mine. Know that, and this:
undying love was paid to me in full.
No matter how your pleasures with him shine,
you'll always be comparing them to mine.
Best comment in class today: the "Oh, SNAP!" someone uttered after hearing the poem.
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