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Alchemy

Writing really can’t be taught or caught.

It’s more walking uphill backward and barefoot carrying a screaming baby or bird and giving it your last morsel of trail mix even though

you know you won’t eat for days. You hoard your drops of water and you hide your dictionary because the ideas are signposts pointing

the way to everywhere simultaneously. No one understands. You don’t understand.

I am called a writing instructor–a teacher– but I don’t teach, actually, really. I walk around, masked these days, looking at whittled shapes

that young people who have lived so fully already, have carved out of their own skins and memories and I talk to them about how to re-arrange or mix so the formula (the 5 paragraph essay) gets its own fresh dose of life. Nothing happens for a reason and nothing in Creation

is so formulaic–look at a bird-wing and say it isn’t so.

I walk around with my hands open showing them a lost alchemy, talking to them about the used bookstore I love in Breckenridge where poetry occupies such a small shelf, and I hope they’ll remember the one I shared last week as a warm-up, I hope they will remember

one stanza or two when the Science stops making sense yesterday. I hope they remember that Grammar needs us more than we need her, and we are so much more in the reflection of our beating time, so much more and so much less all at once–Champions, we are

of a broken page.

By Prof. Snell

Poetry is my thing!

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