Writing Again!

The semester has ended, for what it’s worth. If I had to give a grade to Naropa for the Fall semester it would have been an A+, and for this semester a C. I guess that comes to a B average which isn’t bad, but the kind of writing I am doing didn’t seem to get a lot of support.

Toward the end of the semester I was considering transferring to another MFA program. I just wasn’t getting what I wanted from The Jack Kerouac School.

The last month I talked with Bhanu Kapil and Indira Ganesan about it. Bhanu gave me some very helpful insights. She helped me realize that I was wanting to transfer to a program that would focus on my strength’s rather than challenge my weaknesses. That’s not how I like to do things. During […]

Building a house

This morning I met with Bhanu Kapil before class. We talked about event and novel writing. She had recommended the book Biting the Error.

She was very encouraging. She said that my daily writing practice was a good one but that I might consider adding some pressure to my novel writing. Her suggestion was to write it during the summer before or after the Summer Writing Program.

I have been wanting to avoid just that sort of cram session. But maybe I should keep the option open. If I do the cramming ahead of time then maybe I can tap into some of the pressure without getting the stress of doing it all last minute. And then I could spend the next year on edits and revisions.

March 21st, 2006 | Category: Ahimsa, Nothing Achieving, Poiesis | Comments are closed

A weekend doing nothing

This past weekend I attended Shambhala Training Level II. I’ll be writing some notes about the weekend for class and will share them here.

I talked with Donald Preziosi today about not being my advisor. I had asked him to be my critical thesis advisor a couple of weeks ago and he agreed. But last week I met with Junior Burke to ask for his advice on my manuscript. I told him I want to write a novel while I’m here. He said that was smart. ( ?Even if you get some short stories published and someone is interested in you they’re going to want a novel. So you might as well right the damn thing now. ?) He also said I would have to make some sacrifices.

I talked with Keith Abbott about writing a novel also. He […]

Response to Denver Art Museum: DAM!

More from Bhanu Kapil’s class. Last week I visited the Denver Art Museum. Here is my response:

It felt good to be in a city. Tightness uncoiled from my chest when I saw black folks on the streets. I walked down the street. The buildings opened up into canyons.

I asked a man on the street where was the museum. He pointed with his cigarette and told me, It’s next to the library. ? The building looked medieval or like a stage set for Shakespeare.

The entrance was marked with a circle of red pylons arranged in a way that made me think of Stonehenge. But the writing on the red columns told of Native American history with the United States. Among the markings were the letters […]

Writing as a memorial of loss

A couple of weeks ago in Bhanu’s class we looked at the architecture of memorials, specifically Maya Lin. We had an in class writing assignment to write a memorial of loss ? using some prompting questions taken from Maya Lin and other architects.

Here’s what I turned in:

Memorial: A Window of One’s Own

I can’t tell you what has been lost.

What ever was lost is gone, gone so completely that I can’t even name its absence. Instead I can start by answering the question: What has not been lost? ?

No one died. No one was killed. I didn’t […]

a/typical week at naropa

Last week Bhanu Kapil talked about stories and antidotes. She also talked about trauma theory, Neanderthals burial rituals, and the Festival of Holi in India. She said she was interested in gore as an ecstatic principle of decay ? and the encounter as the thing that alters the space ?. Very cool stuff.

We began class by reinacting a performance piece by Vito Acconci.

With a smile like the Chesire Cat, Bhanu asked us all to roll up our sleeves. She explained that Vito Acconci was a poet who studied architecture and became a performance artist. After reading too much text on post-modernist architecture he created a performance piece where he bit himself all over his body.

Then she asked us to bite ourselves until we had […]

Information Wants To Be Free

What’s not free are books. I thought keeping a wish list would help me curb my book buying habit. But I got my credit card bill today and I spent around $400 on books this past month. Most of that was on textbooks, or atleast that’s how I’m justifying it.

One of those textbooks is Massive Change by Bruce Mau and the Institute Without Boundaries. It’s one that Bhanu Kapil has been using in class. There are some incredible articles and interviews that have me thinking.

One such interview is with Lawrence Lessig. He talks about intellectual property and copyright law. He discusses the Oxford English Dictionary as one of the first open source ? publishing projects. It seems that the OED began with an announcement in English newspapers asking people to volunteer to submit words and definitions of […]

Prospectus: Notes on Architecture and Writing

Naropa’s requirement for an MFA degree includes completing a creative manuscript and a critical thesis. Today I talked to Donald Preziosi about being my advisor for the critical thesis requirement. I gave him a copy of the prospectus of the paper I’m working on this term for Bhanu Kapil’s course. He seemed as excited about my topic as I am. My critical thesis will build on my paper last semester (Power of Story Form) and the paper this semester.

Last semester the paper I wrote turned out very different from the prospectus. As I read I my interests changed and evolved. I asked new questions. I expect the same to happen this semester, but this is a place to begin.

Title: Notes on Architecture and Writing

This […]

Failure: Strength and Writing

These are my Notes on Failure ? for Bhanu Kapil this week.

Before I started writing there was an idea, a memory. An area of Prospect Park in Brooklyn called Rick’s Place. This is where male prostitutes bring their costumers. The ground is littered with condoms and condom wrappers. My memory is of a boy, a teenager with full lips and deep eyes leading an older man into Rick’s Place passing me and my friend and saying, hello. ?

I start the writing with the teen leaving Rick’s Place alone. I write several paragraphs. He passes two Brooklyn teens with foul mouths. They taunt him. There is a conflict. I extract another memory of a fight among high school students on the subway. There is a moment of love and hate, peace and violence. Then the conflict is resolved. […]

Notes on the Matrix: Pre-Writing Space

Yesterday in Notes on Architecture I found out that I was supposed to have turned in an assignment from the week before. yikes! I don’t remember that assignment and I didn’t see it in the handouts.

Luckily, bhanu kapil was nice enough to let me turn it in next week.

It looks like these short notes on ? assignments are going to be a regular part of the class, which means for the next few months they’ll be a regular part of my blog.

here’s the short version of what I’m turning in late next week:

In class last week […]