Wednesday, July 29, 2015

poem of the day 07.29.15

intermediate fiction

taking fiction writing classes in college
could be very machiavellian
it was where you went to be in close quarters with your enemies
to read their drivel while they read yours
instructed not to destroy egos in the process
when all you wanted to do was smash everyone into pulp
stop most of them from ever putting down another word
i knew one kid in fiction writing 101
he wrote all of these sweltering tales of psycho-sexual taboos
then made a point to tell everyone
how much the stories were based in reality
looking around to see who was blushing
when no one gave a shit about anything
but people reading and commenting on their own crap
the classes were instructed
by a middling class of word spinners
people whose work you never would’ve read
never would’ve discovered
had they not shoved it down your throat for you
the teacher in my intermediate fiction class
was a world war ii influenced jew
he only wrote about the issues facing world war ii jews
or he wrote about the nazis
he loved and hated the nazis
he read us one of his stories about an old nazi commander
who hid out after the war in south america
he became a drug lord and did business with americans
one of whom happened to be a former concentration camp jew
the big payoff in the story was the two meeting
the subtle recognition and the horror of being face to face
even in a room full of youth and bad prose
we could see the ending coming a mile away
after the big payoff
my intermediate fiction writing teacher put down his story
he looked around the room as if one of us were hiding his pulitzer
then went back to scribbling something on the board
about plot and character
to a bunch of people whose writing no one would ever read
unless they became fiction writing instructors too
while i went back to writing bob dylan lyrics
in a notebook that wasn’t being used for much of anything else
wishing that i’d just learned to play guitar
or wondering if there was still room
in the intro to business class.                                                   

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