Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Sonnet #349

 This is my mountaintop, where all clamber stops

And up in the wind, the beat never drops - we'll howl

like the animals at kings and cops, we'll scowl

when the wind comes strong enough to make us hop

it's cold and lonely here, where we are ever righteous

and just down the mountain, there, i see the world fantastic

all the muddling and puddling and funneling and plastic

and it's climbing up, just throw things in the crevice

let them blow until the clutter sputters where boots scoot

the bits around, I'm shouting down and down, but wind

will never let me go, and everything blows, shoots

in the gusts into corners and crushed rocks and sins

are coming up, litter and dropped dogshit bags scoot, 

Soda bottles, water bottles, my screaming does nothing

Writer Scams with Excellent Imprimaturs are Still Scams

 I got this weird spam email out of the blue that appeared to be from the University of Incarnate Word. It was advertising their continuing education courses in creative writing. These online classes could help me build skill in things such as “Basics of Grammar” and “Beginning Fiction Writing” and “How to Get Published”? Okay, so I may not be the target audience, per se. more to the point, what the heck are these courses doing and where are they actually from? I noticed the instructor of many of these fiction courses was this guy: who appears to be only qualified to teach fiction by the number of self-published books about writing he has published to support his self/published fiction books. Presumably, he will spend six weeks walking a class through some number of his self-published writing textbooks. It’s a sweet gig if you can get it. A major regional university with strong ties in the religious community will undoubtedly attract a stable of older folks looking for a new hobby, and he can sell them the class and the writing books he wrote. But, it seemed odd that a major university would be running their courses this way when their own English Department would have eminently more qualified poets and short story authors and Master’s candidates eligible for such a thing. The city is full of poetry and fiction. There are while nonprofits of writing teachers and classes through the Gemini Ink program where presumably the instructors are vetted more than whatever group runs the continuing Ed spam program…

A little more digging revealed that the continuing Ed spam is being managed by Ed2Go, an online platform where they can sell access to their courses to major universities, who can then turn around and sell the system to their community. It’s even scammer than previously thought. Now the university imprimatur is being applied to a shady tech outfit that is just an outsource for a service the university has given up on offering. No wonder they’re sending out suspicious spam emails. They’re a suspicious scam outfit selling services they aren’t equipped to deliver at a level appropriate to the imprimatur they are ganking. 

Professors and administrators, apparently, have allowed their reputation to be sold off, and all they’re going to get for it is a bunch of clueless newbies filling out forms with no ability to successfully apply the material they are learning, paying money for a product that isn’t worth the paper the certificates are printed on. Certainly any success out of something like this will be accidental, at best. 

And the frustrating thing, to me, will always be how this crowds out the great poets and writers who actually could provide a good service to students with their knowledge, and use the income. The scammers have come to lowball and shove elbows all over the legitimate outfits like Gemini Ink, UTSA’s creative writing program, and the San Antonio Writer’s Guild.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Leaving Twitter

 I'm not going to be there, at all, pending the news of it going private into the hands of one of its highest-profile trolls...

Why are you still there? If your friendships are real, and not just being shoved together into a closet at a crowded party, it will follow you wherever you go. 

So go.

Meet me on Patreon. Maybe I'll post more here. Who knows?

"Get off the internet. I'll meet you in the street. Get off the internet. Destroy the right wing." - Le Tigre

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Sonnet #348

 I should write this on the sidewalks

Just keep writing this and this and that

Until the words grow strong and fat

and I can put them on the roads

Just up beside the mailbox, by the bins

where all the leaves and takeout wrappers

stumble in their edgelands, I'll scrape there

spread the words where when the winds

come, all of them are smothered so I move

into the center, cars will honk and swerve

And I, committed to my work, endure unmoved

Carving with my chalk a line of useless words

Maybe I'll be arrested for obstructing cars

More likely, I'll run out of light when sun sets into stars.

Sonnet #347

 In the woods we kill and eat to


But in the city we mostly choose to work

To eat, become a cell in a thing that hurts

It hunts and kills where we don’t live

And take solace that we aren’t the teeth

We aren’t the claw - someone else hurts

And we get Christmas parties, never hurt

Unless the time has come to feed the teeth

Back to the woods, again, and again

Every peaceful sinner has to hunt to eat

Scour all the concrete trees of pain

There is never stillness, here, always neat

Where trimmed roses bloom in rows

And there is never that harrow song, the wild howl.