Suddenly I realized that we're entering week 4 of my "Poetic License" course and I've promised my student he'd write over 20 poems over the course of 6 weeks. We're still in single digits and I'm getting the same panicky feeling that my high school American History teacher must have had about April when he realized we'd gotten as far as the start of the Vietnam War and still had nearly three decades to go. It's a common problem in schools--I don't think I've met a person under 40 yet who has a full understanding of the Carter Administration or Reaganomics. We're all walking around believing we're still at war in Vietnam and there's a crazy new movement about peace and love and bell bottom pants.
Still, there is poetry to be writ. By him, not me. I'm a terrible poet. How terrible? I've had my work rejected by more literary venues than I care to count. In fact, one editor was SO decisive about the craptastic quality of my poetry that he emailed me a mere THREE HOURS after I'd submitted 3 poems. That's got to be a record rejection. I can teach and inspire good poetry out of my students, but I? I am a shallow pan with a surface scorched with drippings and leavings. Scrapings, really. Set me in the sink and soak me in vinegar and water.
Still, if you're a poet, hack or wannabe, check out the 6th Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival. It's a tremendous opportunity. The tuition for six solid days of advanced poetry instruction is slightly more than what I charge for 9 and half hours of "Poetic License." Seriously. And the folks teaching there are published poets with credentials.
Go, check it out, if you're a writer--or pass along the word to other writer types.
I'm off to finalize a lesson plan about meters in poetry. After I return the Rug Doctor I rented last night.
A blogger with a smelly cat
Upon her couch yesterday sat
She caught a bad smell
Cried out "What the hell?"
Between the cushions the cat shat.