Tomorrow we'll have the departmental welcome/welcome back lunch at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. We'll probably eat sandwiches or bland Indian food or middling Mexican. They will buy too many Cokes, which will be fine by me because I Can Always Drink More Cokes. Maybe someone will make a speech (I don't remember; I don't think so). If they do we will clap, though we are not glad. If they don't we will not clap though we are glad. School will begin Thursday. Thursday morning I will teach creative writing for the first time. Thursday afternoon I will have contemporary American poetry, which will fulfill my lit requirements for my time here. (Read: I will never take another lit class.)
I have occasional urges to post something about the MFA experience as I've felt it, and MFA culture as I know it, but it strikes me as ultimately too inside-baseball. And I wouldn't know what to say. There are probably better ways to learn about writing, but they don't have university funding and you wouldn't get to teach. Whatever I feel about MFAing I do love teaching. Writers, as much as anyone, have trouble remembering to be excellent to one another. Writers believe they are sensitive and observant. Writers are, in my experience, often tricked out in leather skin and a thousand yards of dead nerves. Writers like to talk about community. In my experience, writers often believe (mistakenly) that being generous to each other will take too much of their time and energy. But kindness replenishes. Uncanny Valley costs me money and time. Uncanny Valley replenishes me. I am grateful to edit this will-be magazine. I am grateful to be a friend to other writers, and when they (you) are friends to me.