March 11, 2009

An Open Letter to the Silicon Valley Arts Council

Hi there,

If you're reading this it means you actually took the time to chase a link either from my resume, my MLA list or the choka. No matter how you got here, I truly appreciate your efforts.

Your submission requirements seemed strict enough that I didn't include a cover letter with everything else I passed you. I didn't want words like these to throw off my chances of being selected. (In fact, I became so paranoid as I was putting together my submission package that I didn't print my entry on my super-great 100% cotton 24# bond when you said 20# 'or similar' -- and instead bought some much lower class 25% cotton 20.)

I spent a HUGE amount of time culling my poetry to give you a feeling for both my free-verse and my haiku -- trying to give as much emotive range as is reasonably possible. Overall it's a nice set and it'll be interesting to see if the Council is versed enough to know who Inger Christensen is, or the significance of a heteronymic palindromic poem.

I think it really boils down to what you're looking for in a poet laureate (PL).

If you want a world-calibre poet, or a snooty type that looks dismissively at their audience over their reading glasses as they "present," I'm a terrible choice. I bet you already know that.

However, if you're looking for someone who can present poetry in a wide range of both style and emotion (on extremely small notice), can fully engage an audience, and will do stand-out work as far as the overriding project goes, it's very possible I'm your best choice. (Assuming, of course, that you don't have a prejudice against publication on the Internet or my haiku submitted as samples).

I'd love to be the PL. I mean really love it. I'd be vigorous, timely, prolific, thoughtful and enthusiastic. I'd get the poets of the valley crawling out of the woodwork and would kick my own form of expression up two levels.

I tend not keep score in life the way many others do. If I did, I would have been rich long ago (and you probably wouldn't be reading my application right now) . For me, this would be the single greatest honor and accomplishment of my life. I'm completely serious about that. It's the absolute cherry topping what, to this point, has been a great life sundae.

Even if I'm not chosen, I *love* the fact that my county is not only contemplating, but doing this. It's both awesome and inspiring.

I don't envy the decision you have to make, nor the crazy process you'll all have to agree on to do it.

You absolutely have my respect and support,

PS This entry written at 32,000', 2/14, on my hiptop, but post-dated to remain on top until judgement day.