I've been reading these guys all morning. HTMLGIANT is like the Daily Show for poetry, hilariously calling out pretentious poetry bullshit of all kinds. Interviews. Submission Guidelines. Is there a Colbert Report equivalent out there? Someone playing the role of poetry asshole while satirizing poetry assholes? Dear god I hope so.
Simultaneously, I've been fantasizing about what they would say (I wish I were wearing a bathrobe) about the Creative Writing PhD...trend / explosion / whatever. Not so much the programs themselves...reading and writing for another 4 years on a secluded poetry island with dope professors and fellow poets sounds dreamy, assuming more crippling debt isn't involved (inevitably an MA and an MFA are already in hand at this stage). But last night a friend of mine was stressing out about her personal statement for one of these things. This friend of mine has a gazillion terrific chapbooks out and a forthcoming full-length book. Does this not seem fucking crazy to anyone else? In most every other discipline, you go get a PhD to learn how to write the books, no? But now you have people with books teaching people with books how to write books? Come again?!?! And I have friends (also with chapbooks and books and who run journals and presses) getting REJECTED from Creative Writing PhD programs. Seriously?!?! What must that letter say, "Yeah...sorry. You make our professors too self-conscious about the size of their poetry junk?" Unbelievable. But the kicker is, I now have friends (with chapbooks and at this point multiple books...who run presses and journals) who have completed said programs and are getting like one friggin' interview!!! This is criminal.
Mid-post caviat: The word "friends" makes me sound like a name-dropping asshole. Well, minus the actual names. The word "friends" is being used loosely for the sake of this post. You frickin' know what I mean. Shut up.
Anydoogiehowser, point being that why the fuck are we doing this to ourselves (I say "our," 1. because I am such an empathetic friend and have so many friends who are such awesome poets, thus making me a more valuable human than most...clearly, and 2. because I imagine that somewhere down the road, I'll run myself through the same wringer). I'd like to think it is for the purest of reasons...simply a time and place to immerse ourselves in Poetry Spa...ie to get smarter, read and write more and better. But I can't stop thinking that it is all about the j-o-b market. Someone help me out here.
Post-post caviat: suck my itallics!