Saturday, September 13, 2008

MFA Reflections #4

It shocks me when people ask me, now four months from my graduation with a MFA, Are you still writing poems? The first time the question was posed, I was shocked. Then it returned, again and again. I want to look at my questioners an ask them, Am I still alive? Does the world still beg everyday to be understood by language? Do my eyes still work? My body? Are there still blank pages to be filled? Could I live without thinking about lines and images? Am I still writing poems? I’d like to say it with a particular disbelief and perhaps even mockery. Am I still writing? Still facing down the blank page every day? Still worrying about time to edit, to generate, to revise? Time to be? To think? To learn? To lounge? The best poems are written not in a designated hour or squeezed between appointments, but found in those long, unstructured hours (may there be many of them). Am I still writing? Can I do anything else? Expect any less or any more of myself?

The program may end. No more workshops for which I must generate poems. The thesis milestone passed. I work differently today than two years ago, certainly, but fundamentally, each day is the same. This pen. The blank page. The wild space of my mind. A trifecta with only one shared action: writing. Yes, I say, when I’m asked. Yes, I’m writing.

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