Well, my writing is starting to stall out, get stale. I turn on my computer and read an article
about Coursera. I surf over and peruse
the offerings. There are dozens of
schools with hundreds of courses, even humanities. Then, there it is, as obvious as a dozen shirtless construction
workers on lunch break, resplendent in their yellow hard hats-Modern and
Contemporary Poetry. I leave, I come
I enroll and then I wait.
The class has no professor, it is led by Al Filreis, an apostle channeling the gods
of modern poetry. He speaks Emily, he
speaks Walt, he speaks Stein, and some of us even understand his Stein.
Questions are asked.
I learn where to find the answers to the questions. I leave, I come back. I learn where to find the questions. Thirty odd thousand students all over the
world learn where to find the questions.
I drink a couple of beers, I get excited. We come to the poets I grew up with but we
don’t stop. We come to the poets who
are writing now, but we don’t stop. We
come to the point where my experience ends,
But we keep going.
The apostle is talking about non-authorship, about random operations and
chance and I’m thinking we must be in a casino. But we’re not in a casino, we are each in our own homes, in front
of our own computers. We meet in real
time on line, in message forums, in Google hangouts. Some of us meet face to face in Meet Ups. And then
It’s over. The
notification e-mails slow to a trickle.
The Facebook group starts to slack off.
Students go into withdrawal. The
Apostle goes home for Thanksgiving. I
am also thankful. My writing is no
longer stalled, no longer stale. I have
new friends from around the globe.
And thirty odd thousand people are now reading poetry with
new vision, in only ten weeks.
If it’s sounds too good to be true, well, sometimes it
really is that good.
I've recently had the privilege of publication in Durable Goods, a strange print edition that gets sent to your actual mailbox. Yup, paper. Damn! OK, you should visit the site, subscribe, and then, go stand by your mailbox and wait. You'll get a new, pocket sized issue every two weeks. The cost of subscription is just the postage.