WIAF: So, I thank you all for joining me. This is a conversation. Let's start off by telling the audience why you all are friends.
Seth Parker: uh
natalie: This got serious real quick.
Seth Parker: we're friends because we share a kindred umph
Seth Landman: that's a good way of putting it. I just knew I wanted to be friends with these people.
natalie: you just new it?
Seth Parker: nu
WIAF: Are you poetry friends?
Seth Parker: deep poetry friends--before having read the poetry of these deep friends, I already knew I resonated with it
natalie: our poems are friends. no, they are sibling.
Seth Parker: resonating umph
Seth Landman: OH yes. Seth Parker and Natalie Lyalin are perhaps the two most important poets to my poems.
Seth Parker: sibling sublimingnesses
Seth Landman: also, yes, resonating umph had something to do with it.
natalie: Seth Parker has read my poems since they were little poemletts in UGA
Seth Landman: that's cute.
Seth Parker: all the people now speaking are equal chambers in my writerly and living heart
WIAF: And what exactly is a Poetry Friend. A definition, please
Seth Parker: friend in another's project
natalie: someone who knows you and your writing and can separate the two
Seth Parker: hmmmm
natalie: but wait, Seth Landman and my poems go way back as well
Seth Landman: interestingly, for me it might be about an inability to separate.
Seth Parker: hmmmmm
natalie: i feel like reading anything written by a good friend is a little glimpse into their 2nd set of lungs
Seth Landman: like, I can't deny that part of what I love about your (plural) poems is the fact of your personhood.
WIAF: Alright, everyone, relax a bit.
Seth Parker: sometimes it's hard to read friends
Seth Landman: i'm relaxed.
WIAF: Seth Landman, what is a recent youtube video that has caught your attention
Seth Landman: oh my god i have an immediate response. one sec.
Seth Parker: this is one of my favorites ever
Seth Landman: in my opinion, this is the most profound press conference in sports history. i just wrote a 12 page paper about this, actually.
Seth Parker: that's hysterical
Seth Landman: this is the complete transcript, if you ever want to read it. he says some beautiful things.
natalie: i want to repeat things like this
not the game, not the game, we're talking about practice!
what are we talking about? practice?
Seth Landman: he's so right to be angry. he has to put up with shit no one else does.
natalie: i love that you know what that means?
no, no question mark
Seth Parker: he's a bitch for quitting
Seth Landman: i'll send y'all the paper i wrote.
Seth Parker: please
Seth Landman: i agree that he shouldn't quit, sethy, but i also think he's simply incapable of fitting in anymore.
natalie: fitting what?
Seth Landman: he just retired because he's unwilling to come off the bench.
natalie: he did?
what does that mean?
Seth Landman: he can't accept any role in which he's not a superstar.
natalie: i wish i could be like that
Seth Landman: this video is great.
Seth Parker: hilarious
natalie: it's amazing
WIAF: Hey, when you get back from the videos. Let me ask you something
Chelsey Minnis in the first big poem of Bad Bad has a lot to say about the “mentor.” She says something like, “I like my mentor… / I tried to grab onto his sweaters but it was nothing…”
Seth Parker: I'm back
WIAF: Let's think about the MFA world for a moment.
Seth Parker: okee
WIAF: What's the significance of "mentor"
Seth Parker: no significance
WIAF: Is it a screwed up significance?
Seth Landman: none?
natalie: i don't know if there are really mentors
it's better for mentors to be fake. let the facade be your mentor, is say.
Seth Landman: i think maybe it's a certain sort of person who feels a need to use the word "mentor" and perhaps that's what minnis is poking fun at. if she's poking fun.
Seth Parker: might be poking fun
Seth Landman: i don't consider dara and peter, for example, to be "mentors" exactly. i'm not sure what they are.
Seth Parker: docents
WIAF: I think there's some fun being used too...but I think she's bringing up some of the deeper screwy elements of that MFA world
Seth Landman: oh no doubt.
WIAF: for instance. Sexual tension and the mentor relationship
Seth Parker: aural
Seth Landman: docents might be a good word actually. i can't recall having sexual tension with a "mentor" type.
though i'm sure it exists.
WIAF: Folks learning to write like the mentor
dress like the mentor
natalie: i think we strive for real relationships. but it's hard to find that realness. it's a lot of fakeness, and as long as you are okay with that, you can have a mentor. I don't want that. I want the real thing.
WIAF: You got it?
Seth Landman: got what?
Seth Parker: there can be a certain idolatry
WIAF: the real thing...from mentor
natalie: yes, i think i got some realness with some brilliant docents
Seth Parker: I've had all kinds of docents
WIAF: You all have a combined 11 years of MFA time between you all
Seth Parker: hmm
Seth Landman: to speak to our experience, i think we all have to deal with the fact that there is a UMass-thing, for lack of a better term. There is a wide sphere of influence. Is that mentor-ish?
Seth Parker: maybe
natalie: the real deal.
Seth Parker: well, there's always a high degree of incest in this poetry world
Seth Landman: that incest does have something to do with our own styles though. that might be unavoidable.
Seth Parker: protects us against some things
also has the ability to destroy
Seth Landman: absolutely. yes.
it's something I keep wanting to react against. it's confusing.
Seth Parker: mmm, eatin' cave aged gruyere, bitches!
Seth Landman: haha
Seth Parker: let's go into our own literary caves
network of caves
natalie: it can wear down the senses
Seth Parker: like the Descent
Seth Landman: descenses.
Seth Parker: whoa
natalie: that's a good metaphor for poetry
Seth Parker: wow
WIAF: (That's all I have) Please continue
Seth Parker: yeahonyay
Seth Landman: no further questions??
WIAF: Ask your own, man
Seth Landman: what is the biggest obstacle to your ability to make a poem?
natalie: sitting down to do it
Seth Parker: lack of input/inspiration
WIAF: Great self doubt
Seth Landman: yup, those are the three, i think.