Teaching Creative Writing

Posted: February 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

I was tempted last year to teach again, writing, which is what literature is, and doing, which is what writing is. So since the Phoenix Center for the Arts where I throw ceramic forms had no writing classes, in a moment of delusion I approached the Director. He asked me to “shoot out” a proposal, which I drafted, but never sent. In the interim I visited with my nephew, who convinced me without trying not to do the above, that the chances of argument about nothing were great and of people listening and doing slim. Here is the proposal which states what to me is the experience sought for a lifetime, at fruition.

Literature is the highest and most profound form of human inquiry.

I.

If this happens let it be called Words Works, Tuesday night, to reflect the many layered subject. For the sounds are layered not only with co-articulation, but meanings  of 300 levels  even the government computers and the NLP boys don’t know.

After the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, an M.A. and teaching two years at a Black College in NC, I started in linguistics at Texas before there was a working model of speech recognition now common  in cars. They called it analysis by synthesis. Phonetically this was a wonder but syntactically, what they called the deep structure, Chomsky, they have not figured out. LOL. As if they don’t know that thought is hearing and overhearing and that it ranges from

1) the tattle tale in your head who perplexes you with every fear and hope of self promotion,

2) to a deeper guy who gives pretty good advice,

3) to lightning reflexes that in the moment are absolutely known, but unless written on the spot are gone as if they never were,

4) to the thought visions that form in sleep and just after, crystal clear, but when written down never get what they were (but if not written are lost lost lost),

5) to, and now this is interesting,  “mistakes” that happen when we hit a key wrong or skip or jump and the knife slips or we push too hard and break into a whole other plane unknown before and the mistake transfigures the moment, the misspelled word, the inadvertent space, the wrong cap,

6) so that if this is creativity it is all wrong to that first guy who had so many opinions, but you can’t let him edit them out.

Going with the deeper part requires even more faith, patience and work than before, and you are already working full time, so one supposes further layers of intention below these of which you are conscious, hence need more faith. So much to be said for sound and meaning.

See the Intro to sound and meaning here at Ode to Autumn II. Believe me that these have been and are being studied and plumbed at the highest and at the lowest levels.  Such however would background all that takes place at  Word Works.

II.

As to process there need to be oral readings, physical examination of the book, mention of markets, editors, manuscripts, revisions, but the main thing is the composition, so that preoccupies. Now since you can see, as above, that the thought stream is always flowing, we invite the thinker down to the water, not to drink, but to watch. That’s first, and then to make odd comments about what’s flowing down the river, that is in words written down. I am instantly bypassing all this nonsense about blocks and fears of expressing, one because if you’re in this discussion you want to be, and it is about consciousness and expression, and two because it is axiomatic that every human can and does access  it all. The primitive is always superior to the fine, the result of not being part of any intellectual establishment.

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