After my first poetry class on Tuesday afternoon I ran out of The Open Book like my hair was on fire, Peabo right on my heels. We wheeled into the parking lot and smack into Vodo.
“How was poetry class?” Vodo asked.
“All of my instincts are telling me to drop it and see if there’s room in Dylan Hicks’ crit class,” I said.
“Take my class,” he said.
Then I went deaf for a minute there. The Vodo asking me to take his class? I think the man cannot deny that he likes having me as a student anymore.
“You know what she said?” I said, referring to my beautiful new poetry teacher Jude. “She said that Raymond Carver’s poetry was better than his fiction.”
Vodo’s smile clattered to the ground. “What?” he whispered.
“I KNOW,”‘ I shouted.
“Well, that’s because it is,” Polly, a poetry-class comrade said.
The three fiction writers surrounding her narrowed their eyes. The gall.
“You cannot drop the class,” Polly said.
“I’m scared,” I said. “I didn’t even know what to say.”
“Oh please,” Peabo said. “That stuff they were saying in there, that was bullshit. You need to speak up in class. Nobody can shut down bullshit quite like you.”
“It’s not funny,” I whined. “I didn’t say anything in class. At all.” Then his hair turned white because he knew my silence is the seventh sign of the apocalypse.
Seriously, darling ones, poetry scared the shit out of me. Polly and Peabo spent all our post-class Grumpy’s time talking me down from the ledge.
The class is going to be tough, because the material and the concepts are so foreign to me. People were saying shit about respecting the energy of the material and deciding it was time to fill up their soul.
Be afraid for me, poets are nearly as scary as hippies.