Teaching Creative Writing: 2001

Christina Fulton

You wake up praying to all the gods, goddesses, and Judeo-Christian action figures that will hear you that they have done their reading homework. Apollo? Satan? Bridget? Anyone!? Offer up a hot meat and your eternal damnation. Dear Great Spaghetti Vomit Monsters of the Cosmos, tattoo this on their souls: Good readers make good writers.

Before class starts, watch them try to scan it at a light speed, oh fuck me, pace. Quiz them! Don’t quiz them. You wonder if they even have the book. They are like sad mice. You can trap them, pet them, or get the D-Con. Get the red pen that does heroin named Tragedy. You ask them to try. Just… try!

Try to write a sonnet, a sestina, and a ghazal, while looking up the skirt of prose poetry. Try to write literary fiction, experimental fiction, while fingering the ass of genre fiction. Try to write short plays, absurdist and realistic, while eyeballing “the creative truth” tucked away in nonfiction’s lingerie. They ask you, “How long does it have to be?” You feel disheartened and disemboweled. If only they could see the entrails crying near your Romanesque sandals. You ask them to try. Just… try!

Assign homework, of both physical and spiritual design. Ask them to write a poem based on a surreal photograph of a woman with no face. Telepathically tell them this is what happens when you lose your father to the Angel of Suicide1. Ask them to find truth in a Miami traffic jam and write that story, for it is secretly your own story on the way to therapy every few weeks. You want them to get to that emotionally raw and frothy gray area where writing doesn’t feel like a toothpick to the genitals but their new divine habit. You want them to forget about their piddling obsession with the concept of an easy A. Just let their cursors and the white space take them to that moment where surprises fuck wishes and coalesce into newborn ingresses to anywhere they want or need to just… be.

 

1One of the angels mentioned in Margaret Atwood’s “An Angel.”

Author Portrait

Christina Fulton is currently teaching at Miami Dade College North. She has a supportive mother, loving husband, and two crazy pups. Her poetry has appeared in Open Minds Quarterly, The Outsider, and Stay Weird and Keep Writing. Her creative nonfiction has been featured in The Scarlet Leaf Review, The Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, The Route Seven Review, The Chaos, and The GNU Journal. Also, her essays have been published in the Sliver of Stone, Lady Literary Magazine, The Adanna Literary Journal, and The Almagre Review. The Medusa Laughing Press published “Illegal Exhumation” in their anthology of micro texts.

View the website of Christina Fulton