MORE pottree EXCEERRPPPTS from Benjamin Saenz
I think about that lonely place. It’s always
with me now. When I was there, each day I’d wake and ask
Why, God, am I here? I don’t belong. Exhausted, I wanted to run.
Running in my days, and in my nights, and in my dreams.
Learning to stop. It hurts like hell. I had no idea I’d carried
so many goddamned tears. I had no idea how much they weighed.
But there was no pushing the tears and dreams away. I used to lie
awake at night and think how strange, how very strange. I’ve died and gone to hell.
I felt myself on fire. The wounds opened up like a burning sky
and almost swallowed me whole. Hurt is a monster, a garden
that needs tending. Take care of the monster. or the monster will take care of you.
After the dying, I wanted to live.
In order to live, I needed to go to the place of the pain. The place
of the pain. One night I dreamed I was crawling through that desert.
I kept whispering water. I thought of Jesus. I thought of Him: I thirst.
Thirsty men fall in love with thirsty gods. I remember whispering
I have to leave, I have to leave right now. I almost packed my bags
and left. Running is the greatest addiction of all. I yearned
for my old life and for certainty. and for home–
but home had disappeared.
Every day I woke to find myself still there–me
After the dying, I wanted to die.
My memory will return me there, return me
to their faces, to the sounds of their voices, to the echoes
of their pain. My body is scratched with names.
Tell me I can keep their names.
There is a scene that hangs on the wall of my memory
as if it were a fresco in a churchL you are sitting in a chair
in a small office cluttered with childlike drawings.
I am standing in front of you. I am struggling to say
something I’ve never said. Not even to myself.
I am looking down at the ground. Your eyes
are blue as the sky. Your eyes are speaking my name.
When a man takes out the words
he has hidden in his heart for over fifty years
and gives them to another–
MFA PROFESSOR AND FICTION WRITER ROGER ROSENBLATT talks about MFA programs. his students. etc. makes me want to shove an oyster down my throat and pour hot sauce and lemonjuice into my eyesockets:
So here we go again—another writing class, like tens of thousands occurring around the country. While programs in English literature have withered in the last 25 years, because of a useless competition of various critical approaches, and also probably an exhaustion of the material, writing programs have burgeoned. Since 1975 the number of creative-writing programs has increased 800 percent. It is amazing. The economy has tanked. Publishing favors nonfiction. Young people seem to prefer the image to the word.
Yet all over America, students ranging in age from their early 20s to their 80s hunker down at seminar tables in Iowa, California, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, and hundreds of other places, avid to join a profession that practically guarantees them rejection, poverty, and failure. All who have taught in our program—Jules Feiffer, Billy Collins, Meg Wolitzer, Robert Reeves, Ursula Hegi, Marsha Norman, the late Frank McCourt, Lou Ann Walker, Patty Marx, Melissa Bank, Matt Klam, Kaylie Jones, Julie Sheehan, David Rakoff, and others—dutifully remind the students of their likely fate, but they come to us in hordes anyway.
from my current perspective, my life seems pretty fucked. destined for debt, rejection and constant interaction with pretentious cunts and self loathing.
also i do not have a mattress. also i do not have an apartment to put a mattress in, but if i did, i would have to sleep on the floor. also FUCK waitressing.
but did get an unpaid position in a poetry publishing press yesterday, so there is that.
I HATE POETRY!!!!
I LOVE POETRY!!!!!
I LOVE TO LOVE TO HATE TO LOVE POETRY!!!!!!!
asshole is holy!!!