The Eighth Page

Phillipian Satire: The Eighth Page Presents: “Goings-On ‘Round the Town”

Vol. 1: College Counseling Meeting

Counselor: All the schools that you’ve listed as possible are unlikely.

Student: Okay, so what’s an example of a possible, then?


Student: Please. Give me one example of a possible school.

Counselor: Have you considered touring any in-state community colleges?

Vol. 2: Poetry Reading Q&A

Moderator: And now I think we have time for a couple questions.

Poet: Ask away!

Student 1: First of all, thank you so much for coming to Andover tonight. As a young writer, it’s so meaningful to listen to literature read by its creator, especially because I think your poetry is very stylistically similar to the poetry I enjoy composing. I particularly admire your repeated use of graveyard imagery and your juxtaposition of classical meter with contemporary free verse. My question has seven parts: for someone who intends to pursue a career in writing but is struggling to get noticed by journals and magazines, how can I best appeal to publications and break into the business while still remaining true to myself as an artist? Also, as an aspiring poet, sometimes I feel like I struggle with the brainstorming phase of the process. How do you come up with ideas for your poems? As a follow-up, what’s your muse? As Vergil wrote in the “Aeneid,” “Musa, mihi causas memora;” one has to wonder if inspiration, like language or hereditary rule, evolves and passes from generation to generation, or merely remains locked in a timeless stasis. It’s a notion that reminds me of Joan Jonas’ installation in the US Pavilion of the 56th Biennale Art Festival in Venice, “They Come to Us Without a Word,” whose thesis statement, even now, rings true. Writes Jonas, “If you are going to tell me the story of the dandelion and the honeybee, I shall hit you. Lyrical poetry is the most disgusting drivel on earth, not excepting theology.” Writing and religion, however, are not the only themes explored in the installation. Space, motion, and the inanimate world are all called into question through the layering and mirroring of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional arrangments, begging the questions, what is art and what is the space around it? Can there be art without the space around it? Without people around –

Poet: Good question.