Wednesday, November 21, 2012


What is ModPo?

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 back,

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.

3 comments:

TietonChristians said...

Sometimes it really is...This. Great piece!

Susan Scheid said...

How right you are, David! It's been quite a wild ride.

Anonymous said...

hi david
i love yr offer of sending your certficate to one of the 94.1%
ill take it!

my email is youtheditor@hotmail.com

Thanks
jb