Friday, July 10, 2009

The Spider Sermons by Robert Krut

Full disclosure: Bob was a friend of mine in grad school and though I haven't seen him in years I still hold him high in my esteem and in my heart.

I'm feeling old today, so reflecting on being out of grad school ten years may not be the best idea, but's always a pleasure to see my grad school colleagues publish, partly because I can see the echoes of their student work and partly because they've moved so far from their student work. I never took a workshop with Bob since he was a poet (mostly) and I was a prose writer (mostly) so I only remember some poems from readings and such, so I'm not sure how many, if any, of the poems in this book are from his grad school years. But I can see the writer he was then still in them, and I can see growth too. I sometimes say to my graduate students, "This is not your practice writing, this is your writing," and I mean it. It doesn't pay to think this is my student work and I'll take myself more seriously when I'm not a student. But the truth is, it is all both your practice work and your work. All we do is practice (this is a very yoga-ish thought, I suppose).

And you probably won't and maybe shouldn't find your ONE voice as a student writer. Hopefully you will find a voice, but hopefully you won't spend your life feeling limited to it. So it's cool to see lines like these, which remind me of the Bob I knew and remind me there is another older Bob who I don't really know:

"Gravitypants Rocketboy is fashioning a flying apparatus
made of old newspapers and wood from his childhood home."

(side note: I was recently asked what I wanted my "bowling" name to be--I went with my own--but only because I hadn't heard of Gravitypants Rocketboy (Rocketgirl?) then)


"because I want you to help me
because I don't know what it means--
the dream where everyone
I know is hurting themselves,
and it begins with my voice."


"I'll be honest--
this is how it has been lately:
a coat of skin thrown
over a six foot tear."

I like how I don't know if that last word is tear as in drop or tear as in rip.

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