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I Broke It Rollerskating

My flash

I Broke It Rollerskating

originally appeared in Harpur Palate (Issue 13.2)






Great Teaching Ideas For a 20th Century Poetry Survey Course (Actual conversation translated by voice-to-speech software re-lineated)

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Poetry selected by students will be villainously printed at the letter ass shop

to be compiled into a pamphlet or series of broadsides
letterpress edition
phones yes bye

Yes no you know I’m a little jealous over to the list on over to the list because I want the list to be available to anybody teach that course for any course like two to select from a list of really powerful and reliable and reliably good events that a faculty member can change to his or her like it

when I was English major I had courses that will talk buy some Laurie old man who across the board included some of the same”” Fun assignments

a creative paper we wrote in every single and every single classified that we like you too you don’t write back to the medieval
you know

the script of the dinner party in which different poets alive or dead or together but you can only lick like four or three website and they have a conservation notice that you have a finite amount of lines in which they have a conversation

but what if it’s what version is and you had that

you had to make a mashup with lines of the phones right yet
because of me that would actually encourage students to have such a different relationship
with the lines of the palm
that they would be babysitting things in that palm
that they might not because they’re looking for weird relationships
here that would be really conical

I was thinking a version of the assignment is to listen to you
I was thinking of the version of the assignment about the letter

the complaint letter in which
may be a poet writes a letter to another poet
upon reading that poets home
yeah it could be
a complaint letter

I think we’re to be a letter about A
special understanding
that one poet has another pole
in seeing the influence in the reverse
not from the new poet to the lake
but from the earlier
to the pew

was great seeing scraps

that we’ve
that you

and Robert Frost
so it’s Robert Frost
and we definitely have access to Robert Frost
of notes in the wrong
you only look at
you guys
next steps
so that she still stamps.
His something more
we can do with just the excitement community
St. Louis Missouri
something grander that can be attached to receive Pasters

and I want to make it because they can be part of
some bigger justice
cool mist
who want to tell her how much it cost like fish fish fish Fish


and if she is doing yet
and if you like language
I’ll read the article
looks poetic safe
essays to find A
lot about the tickets

I’ll let you use archival material

let’s look at the graphs themselves
I read something like this and I think this is the first thing you can go
back and forth

Oh it just speaks to the same idea that you should not
I don’t think
you should just

I think you should also be a kick ass collected … simple
because when the most powerful experiences had classes like that
was not just an apology
reading the other writings
to something like
letters between two popes

and listen to that Publix 0 By The Way in 20 ecology class they need to read we are arises that last post biggest face I’m not talking about possible and yourself because I feel like you can do examples visualization illustrations

What up people who think that the study literature is empty full of humming irrelevant with no corn action today
shouldn’t there be cement

I don’t
why do people like poetry

because I’ve been noticing that a lot lately since I got texting works I realize like the people care about phrase in ways the closest analogy maybe started off course

every student has to come in with a fist
a fish
and by the end baby there could be like a project
like a creative project

in English
To think about how awesome it wrinkles should get kids I Bricklane same way is reasonable. There’s a whole spiritual connection spending four years reading books is a monastic fling with yourself on the right
we should teach them about not knocking himself in a survey course on poetry

and ask students to visualize impolite approaches
which goes back to saying about capitalizing the breath
and trying to make that
inconsistent sex with horses

your yeah

but like is got me when you make that concept awesome.
No you know what looks to know if you just want to figure what’s why

do you think it is a class or what now
I’m thinking about that pewter give classes did that paralysis of the sign and date for the iambic content what is that was assigned with line tickets

Visualization was some specific thing
like the links of line
and then it was a visualization
changes over time
like patents of the line itself
like the line break
20 at the light

go through

do that kind of chicken was data collection
type into the computer and let me like a great congrats
like some crazy visualization
I think I’m being weird

of the swap that would be awesome you you know that things also awesome for me isn’t this agent was actually little pigs simply because then you get to go right you don’t have to worry aloud

baking focus
and they went asking crazy
questions like talking about love in 17th century poetry and I bleed to order a blue books just going on the representation of the feet over human. I think this working kind of activity


that’s not the same thing
is making focused shopping argument
but I think most recent changes

and the only thing you can do with literature
shake focus

intellectual argument

that a lot
of other things
that you can do with it


No I think that’s what you want to talk about
serious emergency
question becomes how do you create an experience in emergency

Do that’s bat wings in Buffalo Grove
class and students
throw quotes outside the retina
like that that idea of Ã

let’s make it let us see
for that life lesson
because physical material experience

what’s the English
like a thing that you do
do English through
light material
concrete acts

so what.
Hello how are no holes brightest English and English chapter cheaply like a chapter

write a novel
month and rightful
Monday month
why don’t you sponsor the right month
contract that you don’t account for
you now right well
drive because you know

I had multiple people
send all the info

Five cents English
is trying to write us up
and come together hours
A night today
I sent them a call.
There’s an informational meeting this club
right five
I’m at least lost
somebody that you promised I went with
regular people put there
was down there

I like blogs and stuff
for people
some form committees
little background communities
mail right now yeah
but a lot of people just do it
like an individual
like a lot of people right now
publishing anything

well it’s an experience

because it transforms your Young

link is canceled for me already I know I am totally be on the natural force and yet I know that there is something wrong or something

What I Did Over the Summer, or Path Building for Writers

Photo on 9-8-14 at 9.00 AM A stone path catches a late-summer glance from my window. Cobbled and rustic with stones both uniform and rare, the walk is exponentially better than the sad ditch that was tamped before the door only a few months ago.

I am in a pensive mood: summer splashes in a shallow pool as the pressures of teaching and writing mount like the elongated tusk of a carpenter ant whose shadow crawls across the sill in search of sugar and curtains.

I built that path out there beyond the window. It took a lot of hard work and precious stone handling, but I got through it. You might even say I enjoyed myself (minus one broken finger and innumerable scrapes and bruises). It was a project, an ordeal, and an experience so full its “lesson potential” could be described as nothing short of luxurious.

path under construction

They used to make us all write essays at the start of every new school year, taking account of our summers and ourselves. The point was that any full experience awaits a harvest.  Having passed from the luscious immediacy of real life into the vague interiors of memory, the things you did over the summer could yet be distilled into a spirit worth drinking. Writing and reflection. Together, they’re 100 proof. brick pathAt night, the path swallows moonshine. And nothing swills more noon sun than these granite appetites, brick-tongued pavers, shale-wavers, sand-cravers all!

Photo on 9-8-14 at 9.59 AM

The grass has grown less shy of its stone neighbors. Their woody toes curl in those cold sheets.  Lessons  about community pass from blades to edges, sharing veins.

In the beginning I sketched the design of the path onto paper. Then I etched that image into the earth one stone at a time, adjusting as I went, attending to every heavy stitch but ever mindful of the whole of my rough quilt.

These strategies are as familiar to me as the smell of gypsum in the cracks.

Here’s hoping the lesson withstands the experience, which is another name for weather after all, a clima, swollen (as all living and doing is in the end) with frost and heave.

Random Thoughts–TV Shows–and British Romanticism

Slide1I flipped through the pages of a magazine the other day. I know, how strange. Where did you find a magazine? What’s a magazine?

Well, it’s sort of like the internet but on paper and there’s a whole lot less of it. The packaging constraints associated with the “page” limit the pics and words that appear. But the interesting thing is that I may have had to expend more cognitive energy concentrating on the parts that I could see and less time dreaming with my clicker finger on the parts that I could not, clicking from one fickle mental chimera to another.

12 easy dinner items that taste amazing and take less than five minutes to prepare? Shoot. Why not images of the “biggest piece of candy in the world”? Apparently, it’s chocolate so big you can frigate on down the ocean in it. Now there’s a Goodship Lollipop I can get on board with.

Lord Alfred North Whitehead was probably a real bastard. I don’t know. Who knows? I didn’t know the man, but with a name like that you can just imagine.


Anyways, and with all possible assholery aside, some people have earned their reputations in history. Look into it. Some people seem to have actually deserved the attention. Maybe this guy does too. Gertrude Stein thought so and she did not impress easily. According to her reckoning, unvarnished genius could be found in herself, Picasso, Lord Whitehead, and maybe Hemingway…but only in that not-all-the-way sense typically reserved for flavor surveys of experimental foods, as in–would you say that you greatly enjoyed your serving of

soft curd beer sausage sorbet with hints of bacon and jicama?

Whitehead is the critic teachers were quoting when they told you that everything in Western culture is rooted in the past. I thought of that the other day in terms of TV shows. It’s kinda true.

Take any TV show and you can trace the basis of its appeal back to one of the main British Romantic writers. Why choose them? Because they’re so great? No greater than most canonical writers. Still, you’ve got to admit, the far-reaching impact of their views on what makes art good is much greater than most people’s memory of who they were.

Most people have no idea who John Keats is. But a whole lot of people see the world in just the way Keats taught us to in his odes and sonnets. Many of us believe that art is mainly powerless to alter events as huge as the French Revolution, let’s say, but somehow, we still believe in its magical powers. We believe art can make life worth living even in the face of our doomed condition as a species. Anyone who sees the world in this paradoxical way is looking through the lusciously ruby-tinted glasses of the greatest voluptuary that ever was, John Keats.

john-keatsTake it from John Keats, if you’re a political nihilist and getting nowhere, try wrapping your art in the enigma of hedonism. You’ll come off as a connoisseur of the beautiful. Others will admire you for your mettle. Clearly, you have harnessed an enviable quality. You continue to desire the beautiful amidst conditions that strike many others as consonant with the rapture. What’s the weather report? A touch of rain with possible hail and fire and brimstone. The apocalypse is a type of weather after all. I think Lord Whitehead thought that once. It was surely raining at the time.

While we’re on the subject of raining hellfire, take HBO’s The Leftovers, for example.


What classical British Romanticist does this show remind you of? A world defined by matters of heaven and hell. Polarities of innocence and viciousness. Visions and prophetic dreams. Graphically rich and vivid. Highly allegorical.


William Blake, of course.

How about Showtime’s Penny Dreadful?

ew-penny-dreadfulLasciviousness, deviance, reincarnation, the occult, demons, garish action, gaudy spectacle. Okay, here’s another one. Lord Byron. Mary Shelly too, but I can’t decide how seriously this show takes itself and if that makes it more or less Byronic.

Okay. How about Jersey Shore? Easy, peasy, Dopey, Sneezy. What gives it away is the world structured according to self-disclosure, a self-documentarian spirit of autobiography, a constant search for pleasure by the sea side in nature, an emphasis on the voice and ways of the most common types, the roughest sorts of people. Wordsworth. That’s Wordsworth all day.

If you can think of the show in terms of its bare essentials then you can look up the branches of its Romantic family tree to see whence it springs.

Oh, and for those of you still wondering about the show crafted in the mold of Keats. The Grecian Urn on TV is to be found in Animal Planet’s Too Cute. Tune in and see. But beware: it’s stock full of sensuality that verges on kitsch, the whole precious tangle of it so razor edged it’ll cute you to death.


Hi Friend, I ARE the 1 Admiring your Page COntenT Xcellence!

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Wouldn’t it be lovely if there actually were a person behind those infernal spambot messages of vague encouragement? How perfect would the world be if some poor schmuck lived and breathed using such gawd-awful phrasings as the above? Most posts are barely interesting, but yours interests me to forebear. What? That doesn’t make sense? Then allow me to be more clear Dear Friend. My one in HIS name. Beloved One.

This is what it comes down to.

Please don’t take what is to come in the wrong way.

Don’t be offended.


Most blogs containing boring facts of informative. But yours is best for organization of facts and informative. I will be returning here often for you information blog.


A Real Human Being (Seriously!; a.k.a. NOT-A-BOT)

I’m so sure.

Machines can do a lot of things. Giving something a supersonic turn? Sure. Giving great compliments? Not so much! That requires a different turning skill. That means giving language a turn so precise even The Byrds would miss it. We’re talking finesse, baby, way outside the standard ambit of a machine’s stupid capacity of capacitors and incapacitated encomium. Yep.

So, no I’m not buying it that this person really liked my site–or even exists!

Hi to every one, the contents existing att this
site are in fact remarkable for people knowledge, well, keep up
the nice work fellows.

NOOO! So stop playing with my heart GOOGLETECH500. Stop it, now. For I am no machine.

My content is no laughing matter to me.

The occasional blip and bleep notwithstanding.


sara biggs chaney

Featured Image -- 2052

Originally posted on smoking glue gun:

from “Girls, Beasts”*

sbchaney2sbchaney3*These poems are inspired by Russian photographer Katerina Plotnikova’s series of self portraits with real animals, and the photographs’ symbolic association with the famous Cluny tapestries.

Sara Biggs Chaney received her Ph.D. in English in 2008 and currently teaches first-year writing in Dartmouth’s Institute for Writing and Rhetoric. Her first chapbook, Precipice Fruit, was released by ELJ Publications in October, 2013 and her second chapbook, Ann Coulter’s Letter to the Young Poets, is forthcoming from dancing girl press this summer. Sara’s poems have recently appeared in Word Riot, PANK, inter/rupture, Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Review and other places. Her poem, “Badminton,” was a finalist for Best of the Net, 2013. You can catch up with Sara at her blog:

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New Essay

Had an essay published today in Michigan Quarterly Review on a new vase, a butter churn, made by slave potter and poet Dave the Potter.



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