Tuesday, 25 April 2017

25/30: Conversations With My Classmate-Professor Over Lunch in Cardiff

Of all the places, high street, of all the places on high street, a faux-mexican
chain with bad spellings and valleys accents. Here again for all the unpacking
at the logical end of the course we took together.
find ourselves comparing notes eight years from the day he said
so you’re also an American, and showed me the best seat
in the mini-cafe.

The years they have been kind?
Strange? About the same?
His kids are people now, big
laughs and so many transgressive
authors, Naked Lunch Naked Lunch
Naked Lunch and how the students
to be shaken
and twisted
and broken
you just keep writing and throwing it
out and keep writing and throwing it
out to the high street, he gestures,
something for the people, these
people they just go about their little

At some point in our thirties we just start looking the same
for a long time. We met when he was a year younger
than I am now, he’s lost a little weight, but aging only
shows in family pictures.

So many beat authors  and  pages full
of violence, his students complain, especially
the women, but people need to know
life’s not all gardens and shopping
and roses. he references Thoreau
and Ginsberg and Lydia so and so
and says something about guts
on the page. GUTS.
To break up the bland, pleasant
horror of domesticity.
What are we doing
here on the high street,
if we’re not picking  up tail
or telling rough truths?

He’s married. I’m not. He was married when we met.
I wasn’t. The Cardiff we meet in and the Cardiff
he lives in are different places even so.

The new book is meant to be
destroyed, because art is temporal.
I get a copy for free. He has to give
some of his students credit, they call him
on his shit. He’s got shit, like I’ve got shit
like they’ve got shit, but these
are his classes and
I learn more, here on high street
about Cardiff Uni Politics
than will
hopefully ever be useful.

Always used to joke to me to not get married, fuck around as
long as possible. Struck me as sad, and honest. A third weak
beer in and I remember three years ago, he sent a few links
for professor jobs in Cardiff, then one in Bellingham that
he’d thought about.
But you can’t uproot family. You, you could go anywhere.
He pulls a page out of his book and wraps his tip in it
things are going pretty well, he re-iterates, life is what it
is, just kicking against the long going
and I take another look down high street
contemplating curriculums for those who only
their desperation could be

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