what goes around, comes around

Today was Day 2 of the WriSem department orientation / boot camp. The grad students are all giving short fifteen-minute presentations on poems or short stories from the syllabus of the undergraduate class we teach. I go tomorrow – mine is Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Sunday Afternoons.”

Last night, I dreamed that I was giving my grad student reading, and that instead of reading poetry, I read some AC/DC lyrics in a slow, poetical voice. It was fabulous.

She was a fast machine,
She kept her motor clean…

Conceptual Poetry? Conceptual Poetry! It can’t be a coincidence that after stumbling out of today’s orientation (so much literature…so much literature..) I had a two-bar stretch of Round And Round stuck in my head.

I knew right from the beginning
That you would end up winning…

I can only assume that this is all a last-ditch effort on the part of my brain to avoid finishing a poem I consider good enough for workshop, which starts next week. Other similar avoid-the-issue-entirely ideas I have had this summer have included setting a junk-mail letter from Stanford into lines and bringing it in, or showing up with a blank page. Not good ideas. But fun to contemplate, in the same way that you contemplate setting a mattress on fire.