This afternoon I am tucked into a corner of a small cafe in the center of Seattle - well, not quite the center, but the right-of-center bulge called UW. I am tending my oolong tea, and thinking oolong thoughts.
I didn't get into University of Washington's graduate creative writing program. After walking around the campus just now - I dont know what to say. The neo-classical architecture towering above gnarled and blossomed courtyards is ... precisely the sort of setting I want to study in. But, I didnt get into University of Washington.
I, instead, received a phone call from James McMichael last Friday morning. He told me he liked my work. He told me that they had a place for me at UCI.
Where? Back into your heart my dear Los Angeles. Back into the lower tropics of your abdomen. How can a man write poetry in such a place? I demand the answer.
I called him back promptly yesterday morning and accepted the offer. I will be teaching (TA position) undergraduate composition next year. I will be writing poetry under one of America's best poets.
I will be in Southern California. After being here today, seeing the alternately delicate and stone-heavy beauty of the University of Washington, I dont know what to say. The large quietness is growing, yes you, child of quietness - growing in my stomach. I made promises to Los Angeles, and apparently someone is seeing to it that I carry them out.