the fastest poet ever

today i feel a lot less sick than i did yesterday. i think i might have overdosed on emergen-c yesterday though. there was a point in the evening when i felt like some one was punching my stomach over and over again. then i moved on to tea. a girl in my poetry class today told me that she knew a guy who had to go to the emergency room because his heart nearly stopped after 24 packets of emergen-c in about a half an hour. i was only at 4 but i can see how there could be problems.

i skipped my first 2 classes this morning so i could sleep in and be even healthier. i’m not sure i’ve been legitametly too sick to go to class since high school. and i’m not sure i was today either. but i am feeling a lot better so who knows? i did go to poetry though because it’s only once a week and my teacher has this method of “grading” which basically involves some class discussion and then a sealed, personally typed letter (on a typewriter because he is the kind of 80 year old that doesn’t mind graphic sex in poetry but can’t believe that computers work or that any students actually have email) in which he tells you exactly what he thinks of your poetry. you only get the letter in class the week after you read and he’s said multiple times that NO ONE has ever missed the class after they read and i didn’t want to make him have to change his story (he’s 80 and that just isn’t nice) so i showed up for my letter.

i’m really not sure what to make of my letter.

he said mainly nice things when i was expecting a total attack. that is encouraging of course, except that i’m the kind of person who hears nice comments and assumes whatever you are commenting on (poem,story, t-shirt) is so boring and lame you can’t even get up the energy to critique it. though if you say something negative, i assume that i have no talent for anything and should quit now and beg for my job back at macdonalds. but don’t think you can get away with silence because silence is even worse than good or bad comments because it means you don’t want to hurt my feelings and destroy my dreams but really i am a pathetic pathetic excuse for whatever it is i am trying to be and there is absolutely nothing you can bring yourself to say that is even remotely nice.don’t worry though. it doesn’t matter what you say. i’m never discouraged for too long. my ego is not only pretty resilient but it also has the sensory skills of helen keller before she met up with annie sullivan.

but NONE of that has anything to do with the important thing in the letter my poetry professor wrote me. the important thing is this: “so: you are not only fast, you are the fastest poet i’ve ever heard. i had trouble keeping up, i can’t read as fast as you talk.” ignore the bad punctuation deirdre; it’s true: I AM THE FASTEST POET EVER! okay so he didn’t say “ever” but this dude has been around. he’s been teaching at state since my dad was like 2. he knew william carlos williams. he’s been to one billion readings. and i am the fastest poet he’s ever heard.

yes. i know. i need to slow down when i read. IF I WANT TO BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. do people watch lance armstrong because of the beautiful way he swings his bike around curves? OF COURSE NOT. they watch him because he is so god damn fast. the fastest bike rider in the world. maybe it’s time america looks at poetry in a more american way: as a race. and yes america, i WILL be your first speed poetry champion.but i’ll have to do that tomorrow. i’m still getting over my cold so now i have to go to sleep.

if you want autographs, you’ll have to send a self addressed stamped envelope.