22 October 2007

Representing the rust.

Jessica blogged about rust belt poets, so my grading is going to be put on hold for a few minutes. I think you know you're a rust belt poet when you find yourself only looking at the Midwest on that clickable AWP job list map. When your friends are applying for jobs in Florida and Seattle, and you say, "My dream job is in Ohio, preferably in a post-industrial city with lots of old smokestacks and freight tracks." Or at least that's when I had a moment of reckoning. Hell, I was born in California. My parents are from New York and Colorado. But my ancestors, way back, are from Ohio. Maybe that's why I feel at home here. Well, that and living in the Midwest for 90% of my life.

I'm in love with the landscape of the midwest, with the hard work, the rows and rows of bungalows along the highway. There's so much history here, and so much grit that even if your job doesn't require elbow grease you never really feel fancy. You never want to feel fancy. When you go looking for poetry you find it in excavators and dilapidated silos. Some people will think you are crazy. But who needs an ocean, really?

Fellow rust belt poets, give a holla on your own blogs!

8 comments:

Penultimatina said...

PS--And Jessica, yes, you are one. :)

jessica said...

Thank you Mary! I've been feeling so lonely for Ohio these days, especially reading your blog. I'm definitely hoping to come back to the area after this year. The rust belt is calling me home, I suppose. (and I hope you don't mind, I think I'll share your thoughts about this with my class tomorrow).

Penultimatina said...

Please do, Jessica (on both counts)!

We can chill at the FCC together...

Karen J. Weyant said...

I left some comments on my blog, but I agree with you, Mary. I believe landscape is a very important part of Rust Belt poetry!

Sara said...

My 2 cents are up now, too. Actually, I borrowed most of my two cents from you and Karen, but still.

Talia said...

As I grow older I love and appreciate the Midwest even more, even though growing up I always wanted to be somewhere else. But the first time I saw the ocean I said "it looks just like Lake Michigan." So you're right, who needs an ocean?

greg rappleye said...

I'm in. Look for a post on this asap.

greg rappleye said...

Done!