I’m not a leader or a server. I mostly want to — feel I got to, need to — follow my own path and sh!t. I’m at a point where I don’t — not that I can’t take advice from others, but that I — it’s important for me to know when to say no, to decline what can’t help me, to quit when that feels right. For example, I looked at a 1980-era … booklet Mom gave me about teaching poetry — sh!t, it’s bad. It’s — I can’t believe how bad it is: teachers who are sure that what kids need is to use specific imagery, to show-don’t-tell, and that literature communicates an experience (which is B.S. — as I’ve been saying lately, you can’t communicate experience).
Now, I don’t generally want to define my ideas in opposition to bad ones. Even if a dumb thing sparks an idea, you can still let the dumb idea go. But I got no useful ideas there for teaching poetry — OK, one or two minor ones, but nothing great, specific, that I can use today to teach in Creative Writing 2.
[From journal of Tues., 14 “Janviary” 2014, Journal 191, page 5]