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Much like clowns and cowboys, I don’t see a place in today’s society for poets. Either write songs with it or use it in a novel. Poetry is a dead art, best reserved for suicide notes and birthday cards. There you go, poets, get a job at Hallmark. Stop complaining about how you’re a poor poet and poets don’t get respect.

So when the guest speaker arrived to my creative writing class, i didn’t even look up at her at first, i finished sending a text. When i looked up, she was different than the pictures, she was almost attractive. Her hair was colored burgundy-orange, not the plain brown from the pictures. Her presence was tall and like any writer, she was good and pale. A dress of about 3 feet of fabric hung from her shoulders and if she bent over just right, well….she better bend at the knees instead.

I wish she’d sit like a lady because all i can see from across the room is the triangle shadow where her thighs meet. I wonder if it’s intentional because it’s a class full of dorks and she’s the one pretty girl in it. She’s to talk to the class for an hour or so, then head to the library for a reading but really, lady, cross your legs. Your image just entered into several lonely writers’ wank banks. Myself excluded.

As soon as she opens her mouth, i take a disliking to her. She’s too upbeat, too addicted to the attention that the little bit of fame she has rewards her. All the dorks in class were entranced, and i don’t blame them i guess. She is an attractive woman. She says she’s here to talk about poetry, favorite books, her writing…

Your panties, i wanted to say. I wondered if i should flirt and try to bed this woman because i know i could. This puts a smile on my face and at that moment she looks at me. I have to look away before she asks what i’m smiling at. CROSS YOUR LEGS.

The first person to ask a question is Diff. I wish i remembered his real name so i didn’t have to call him by that stupid nickname. Diff wears a fedora. Diff has ginger hair (and a beard!). Diff is pale. Diff wears baggy yellow shirts with cartoons on them. Diff wears that stupid half smile. Diff likes talking about geeky stuff in an ironic way. LOL I’M A GEEK. I CAN NAME ALL OF THE CHARACTERS IN THE ORIGINAL X-MEN CARTOON INCLUDING MORPH, WHO WAS CREATED FOR THE CARTOON. DID YOU KNOW THAT??

And so the class talks about poems and hip hop (thank you, spastic black guy who takes 30 seconds to start a sentence) and the novel this poet is working on about a moonshiner in 1920s Mississippi. They talk about researching on Google and how she got into poetry and i think if i squint hard enough, i might just be able to see what color her underwear is, but i’m no pervert. Instead i tolerate the class, growing more and more annoyed by each question.

The one good question was “what was the best advice on writing you’ve heard” and she told this story about how some author told her how in the 70s, Amsterdam started booming with tourists because of the legal-drug thing. But Amsterdam is an old old city and the roads show that. They’re small roads and alleys and everything is intertwined with canals. Because of this, it required a five year class to become a taxi driver over there. This created a problem for the booming tourism because it was very difficult to get a cab over there. So the government came up with a new system. You could take the black cabs with the 5 year training and you’ll pay a little more because they know all the roads and such. Or you could take the new red cabs, which were cheaper and the drivers weren’t as well trained about Amsterdam’s roads so you’ll probably get lost a few times and it’ll take longer to get to your destination. In regards to your writing, take the red cabs.

Only the guys in class ask the questions. While i sit there listening to these dorks trying to make the poet laugh because she’s pretty, i realize that i don’t fit in here. Yes, i’m a writer, just like these guys (some of them are great writers actually). But my shirt’s not tucked in, i don’t slouch (much), my jeans go all the way to the floor, past my ankles, i’m not so pale that moths frequently crash into my forehead, i don’t talk and talk about Star Wars and video games so excitedly that i have to take a bathroom break before i can continue, girls chase me, i don’t have to grab at them.

Anyway, i’m tired of the writer as the hermitted, misfitted outcast with no social skills. Sure, we’re distant and our world has more details to navigate than most people. But why can’t the writer be exciting? Why can’t the writer throw himself to the wind every now and then? That’s where the best stories come from.  I’m tired of the writer seen as a scholarly awkward dork. Look instead at Hunter S Thompson or Hank Moody. Ok he’s fictional but still. Why can’t the writer be driving around in a $100,000 sports car with one headlight and sometimes he wakes up half drunk in someone else’s pool? People see themselves as writers and they doom themselves to a life of boredom. What kind of stories are going to come from that? Stop reading Kafka and take a chance for once.

When the poet takes the stage and begins reading, i have a different view of her. I’d read a poem of hers that our professor sent us and it was a 6 page bore. But the poems she read were lively and touching and well-worded and she didn’t read them, she recited them from memory. They invoked my childhood or my late dad or the first time i felt love. My eyes filled with tears a time or two and it seemed like every time that happened, she looked at me. And i bet that’s why she does it, poetry. So she can see someone like me, who doesn’t like poetry, who’s indifferent to that whole “love” thing, cry from one of her poems. So she can have the power to move something, to change a life. I remember the coolest thing she said in class was that the writer has an immense power that other people don’t have, and that’s the power to move.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/21/2010 1:44 pm

    where are your writings if any are available via internet(as i would like to see them)? i like this image throwaway.

    • 09/21/2010 2:25 pm

      All i really have is a myspace blog i used to write but i don’t really look at it anymore. We’re actually friends on FB, that’s how i know about your blog. I’m Stephen Conley. Anyway, i like your writing a lot, i’m glad i have a place to read it.

  2. 09/21/2010 2:52 pm

    damnitt, stephen conley, i feel like a dipshit – sorry i didn’t somehow telepathically know who you were. i had bookmarked this already. there’s a lot of rambling and pictures on my blog (it’s pretty new, i’m learning), but sometimes things accidentally sound nice.

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