Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Raw slather

I did not cast a vote for Spraylor

when he ran for department chair 20 years ago.

I did correct papers for him once or twice.

They were terrible, at least a letter grade

below what his students should have been writing

at that point in the semester; by any "standard"

his teaching stunk and he could have done a lot better

in "administration," where he was headed and where

he did even greater damage to students of Academia,

like me, who taught Freshman Composition

like R.S.'s professor at Berkeley Frederick Crews

would have had us teaching "it" and who had begun learning

writing that Mr. Crews would not have had scholars learning,

namely Language Poetry, which Spraylor, who got his Ph.D

at Berkeley, NEVER read.  It IS likely that HE was the one

who screened out my application for tenure track there

at the junior college, and that changed just about everything.

At the junior colleges and at most others, "creative writing"

is frequently "administered" by the least creative

and they cannot even write or teach straight,

expository prose writing that would prepare their

younger fellow citizens to compete in the brat race, either.

It is not "worth" or "merit" that advances most

members of American "society."  It is "aggression."

The most "aggressive" succeed and advance.

The most honest meet with indifference and deceit.

The smartest and wisest do NOT play the "poetry game"

at all.  Bob Perelman, along with Barrett Watten,

produced prose that could have been used by Mr. Crews

as examples of flawless, MLA-sanctioned expository writing.

And their poetries ain't got game in the "creative writing"

curriculums pushed and peddled by the Spraylors

who populate the smaller university corporations.  This

IS the way it should be.  You know that.  I know

that I have found the same basic principles to be true

in most other "occupations" American humans occupy

the space to pass on their genes, as they are coded to do,

and they have their families and they raise them

the best they can, as I'm sure Spraylor did.  I'm sure

that he was simply taking care of his genes.  Okay.  Fine.

Who reads the shit taught in "creative writing" classes?

Surely a lot of the folks here at the factory must have

read it; their prose here demonstrates perfect influence

bending the "rules of grammar and mechanics," but

it is definitely NOT the influence of the Language Poets,

who are rightfully renowned for their experimentation

with the universal and the received grammars, as you

know, Reader.  And, as you perhaps do not know, I

could do much worse than Chompsky, Pinker, and Saussure,

whom I've skimmed [perhaps several times, aware of limits].

I 'd rather be a grammarian than a mechanic.  Actually,

I'd rather be a gramma than a singer of hokey ballads.

Seriously, "Reader," I have few, if any, quarrels

with the Lang Pomers.  If it truly mattered

to me, you are the ones I find disgustingly

hypocritical and brutally dishonest.  No big deal...

You are what you are and it is what

something else entirely is.  I am

not the problem with it.  It is

problematic.  For me.  For you

I have little interest.  You, Reader,

wish that this will mean that

will be the last thing or two I have

to say.  I, too, wish to begin writing.

The students in the "creative writing" classes

matriculated through the culturally encoded

morality of randomly opening and closing doors.

Wow!  That's quite a revelation and statement!

No wonder I couldn't find anyplace to put it.


Jim McCrary said...

As they say at the racetrack: great finish. signed 'reader'

Jim McCrary said...

As they say at the racetrack: great finish. signed 'reader'