Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

This thing is what scares me. Not this.

I think Seth Abramson's someone everyone should look up to for how dedicated he is to poetry and politics and his blog, and I know he's not the only one who took part in this, but it does scare me. Not in the way that the imminent apocalypse scares me. It's really not harming anyone.

But I think it shows the niche market of the MFA degree, or it shows how it's becoming such a thing, how there are so many programs now that too many people can get in who shouldn't, and I say that because the ones who publish poems and end up having books out there are certainly on the low end of the spectrum. It takes more work than people have the stomach, funds, or time for. And you hopefully have to have at least a shred of talent. But we've all seen books published by people who don't have any of those things, so who knows.

Seriously, if you don't want to do this your whole life -- and I know that may change, because look how often marriages fail -- think about going into a career that can make you some money. You can always write on the side.

I'm just thankful when I see books published like this one that it wasn't around when I was applying. Thankful I had no idea what I was doing. Thankful I kind of still have no idea what I'm doing. The list could go on and on. Had there been something like this out when I was applying, I probably would've been dissuaded wholeheartedly. I have that feeling.

Anyway, I hope people talk about this. I want to know more opinions, from those who are writing fiction and those who are writing poetry. I think it's amazing what has happened to MFA programs since I first moved to Richmond to attend VCU almost exactly four years ago, on August 8th, 2004. I can't believe it's been over four years already.


It's a beautiful night, and I've been out on the porch reading. In the 60s. First time in a long time. I'd much rather die the way Travers dies in "Cliffhanger" than being burned alive in a building. Floating wide-eyed below the ice. I can't take extreme heat.

I love "Cliffhanger."

Evil Frank is here also.

But there were some prototypical frat boys walking down Kensington, and keep in mind this is a Monday, screaming lines from "Goodfellas." At least when I'm wasted I can be articulate in my movie-quoting abilities, and if I'm not articulate I at least try to switch up the lines. Every second: "Now Go Home And Getcha Fuckin' Shinebox!" I sincerely hope I wasn't like that at Allegheny.