That Which I Love

There’s not much in the world that I love. It seems like it’s basically a 24/7 disappointment machine. But it’s the things that you do manage to love that make the world bearable.

The Semi-colon: It’s my favorite piece of punctuation. I guarantee you that any piece of writing can be improved with the use of semi-colons. They’re a great way to help embody complex thoughts and to help construct complicated sentences.

The Funny: As a person who thinks that he’s at least moderately funny (even though most of my friends probably wouldn’t agree, some adamantly), I’ve long been deeply interested in what makes things be or not be funny.

The Poetry of Hayden Carruth: When I first transferred to CSU, Fresno in 1990 and enrolled in my first poetry workshop there, Peter Everwine told us that if we wanted to become good poets that we had to read poetry, lots of it. From the first day of class, I knew that Peter was going to be a great teacher and that I should listen to everything that he said.

Starting that day and lasting through all of my years at CSU, Fresno, I would spend many afternoons and evenings lost in the library stacks where all of the new journals and magazines were kept. I'd grab a big stack of those journals and magazines, find a quiet place to sit, and then lose hours and hours reading. It was great.

One of those journals that I picked up was an issue of the Seneca Review devoted to Hayden Carruth’s work.

I read that issue cover to cover, and I was quite moved by both the fragments of Mr. Carruth’s poems contained within the essays and also by the deep affection that those essays displayed toward Mr. Carruth’s work.

Then I checked out every single one of Mr. Carruth’s books housed in the library. I read all of those, too. I loved his poems and his essays (Effluences from the Sacred Caves and Suicides and Jazzers are two of my favorite books of essays), and I wanted to go study with him, wherever he was. But that was at Syracuse, and they didn’t have an MFA program when I was finishing up at CSU, Fresno in 1995.

Still, his work changed my life.


Hey Blas Manuel,
Haven't read much poetry except yours lately. Hope things are going well at the factory. I'm having a hard time there myself. It's a grinding kind of pain dealing with it all. So......just checking in.
Tim at the factory.