Dear Chair of the Alumni Committee of the Stanford University Board of Trustees,

Virtual high fives: I wrote my first Baltimore poem today. I’ve been writing a little since I got here but it’s very much of the spinwheel – automatic “I am writing a poem because I have nothing to write a poem about” variety. This one actually has a concept, and a voice, or something.

So I received an invitation, via email, from the Stanford Board of Trustees, to apply for membership. Yes, me! Really! I can only assume that they send it to all alums, or else that they confused me with Dara Weinberg, the venture capitalist. Dara Weinberg, the lunchbox!* Dara Weinberg, the tax auditor! Dara Weinberg, the T-shirt!** But there was something about the formality of the letter that I really liked. So I first organized the lines of their email into stanzas (inspired by the Flarf/Conceptual Writing issue of POETRY), and then composed a response to them, explaining why I would be declining their offer.

It’s fun.

J says the gift of this program is time: time to do the work. I’m not even in it yet, but I already feel that. This may not be any good, but it is the best thing I have written since I wrote my grad school portfolio. I know that being here is going to really help me.

Now, if there was a Poetry Board of Trustees, that would be another thing.

* I think I am going to call my poetic movement Lunchbox Realism.

** Spaceballs, of course. Come on.