Friday, January 23, 2009

Best of: Plants, Sex and Creative Writing

From 10/22/07 (one of my lighter forays):

I saw a pick-up truck today with tropical plants in the bed traveling at 50 mph along the frigid coast. I thought of reporting it to the SPCP, “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Plants.” Then I realized there was no such organization and that it was up to me to found it. Ah, one more small responsibility for Dr. Yours Truly. (You’d think people would have wised up by now and simply elected me supreme potentate, since I know what’s best for everyone. Who else worries about the damn plants, hmm?)

Did you know that plants grow better to Mozart and that carrots, according to electric sensors, emit the equivalent of a scream when uprooted? Just because we believe plants don’t have sentience doesn’t mean they can’t experience pain just as animals do. Yes, Cain’s vegetable offering was rejected and Abel’s received, and we grieve about the fratricide, but what about the poor vegetables and the emotional wound of their rejection by the very God who created them? We’re talking years of therapy with manure and fish emulsion.


I just got news that Oysters and Chocolate, an online magazine of erotica, will pay me for a poem entitled “Her Steaming Love Tunnel.” The link should worek but I don’t feel comfortable posting the poem--my Junior Poets' Club members’ parents might sue me and then who would pay my freight? Ever since I exposed Big Bird as the extraterrestrial queer that he is, many parents have directed their children here. Why did I write this silly, sexy piece? Because to write for money means experimenting with every paying genre. If porno poems sell better than love poems I’ll just go there. Wait—not porno--the poem has socially redeeming value, if only to affirm the joy of intromission, ejaculation and afterglow in pursuit of the “golden fleece” of the simultaneous orgasm. Near the end the narrator yells, “I’m a horse not a man!” I like that and so would Catherine the Great.


Someone asked me to detail how I got booted from a creative writing class. First, I joined it during my depression as a discipline for continuing social involvement that I demand of myself when depressed. I also hoped to meet a circle of writers in my new stomping grounds. And the teacher came highly recommended from my neighbor who claims to be a writer but will always lack the chops.

At the last class I attended a woman read a treacly, maudlin poem that made my hair stand on end. Since everyone else chimed in, I added my two cents that it sounded like “A Blue Mountain Arts” card. The teacher interrupted me to say “that’s over the line, let’s stop there.” I assure you there was no malice in my comment and that the “poem” was abominable.

After class the teacher asked to speak with me. She told me she tried to provide a nurturing environment for writers, and that this class had been together a long time. I asked her if feeling good was more important than writing well, and she dodged the question, indicating both were important, but one shouldn’t call another’s work “Hallmark,” to which I vociferously objected:

“I didn’t call it ‘Hallmark,’ I called it ‘Blue Mountain Arts,’ and there’s a world of difference in that distinction. I choose my comments carefully, unlike what you think.” That was over her head. I then asked her, “How many people have complained about me?”

She said, “four.” That amazed me. “And they don’t have the balls to speak to me but have to hide under the teacher’s skirt?” She didn’t like that one at all.

“So, do you really want me to come back?” I said.

“Oh yes,” she said, “You’re a very good writer.” (How would she know if she’s more concerned with feelings?)

I asked her again if she really wanted me to return. “By all means,” she said, “just try to be more nurturing and less critical.”

I said, “If four people complained about you in a writing class, would you feel like coming back?”

“I can’t say,” she said, “and it’s not like that.”

“Like what?” I said.

She demurred. Depressed or not I wasn’t going to return to a class of wannabes who couldn’t stand constructive, yes, constructive criticism. The story of my life: unable to judge the social acceptability of my utterance of the truth as I perceive it. My tongue believes in “Leap before thou lookest.”

1 Kilobunny,


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