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I went to the orientation day for my program on Tuesday. They fed us lunch and told us that it’s not okay to isolate yourself, that if you feel alone, you should talk to someone. A certain amount of anxiety is good and can propel one to be productive, but if you’re more anxiety than productivity, then you should talk to someone.

This message was reiterated several times in different ways. It was definitely the theme of the orientation.

Otherwise, it was a little over an hour of hey-welcome-don’t-freak-out-you’re-all-in-the-same-boat.

The director of the program is a 59-year old poet. He sat on the desk and took his shoes off. At that point, I remembered the last initial in the degree I’m seeking. MFA. Art. I’m in an art department.

I’m surrounded by artists. This is no different than making a shitty ashtray out of coiled clay in first grade.

You can put out a cigarette on anything.

I think I’m going to be okay.

In a fit of boredom, I asked for single-word submissions for haiku ideas.  These are the results:

Clouds
In the plane she said,
“When do we get smaller and
will I see Heaven?”

Sonic
Not the hedgehog or
the Doctor’s screwdriver but
hearing the stars weep.

Taxidermy
Fill them with saw dust
because we imagine them
empty already.

Butts
“What’s a butt for?” he
asked on their date. She replied,
“Pooping or fucking.”

Rain
I’d prefer a reign
instead of this downpouring
of my uselessness.

Pentagrams
Those five stars are for
Venus as she traverses
Satan’s fucking heart.

Vagina
If dentata was
really real, what do you think
we’d call their braces?

It’s the ubiquitous smell of mold.  If other smells are a smooth flowing plasma, sometimes hot, sometimes cool, then mold, mildew, the m words of must are tiny pin pricks in your nose, as if you can feel the individual particles hit your sinuses like sand in the wind hits your face.  It’s an old towel in the locker room smell, a basement smell, it’s the smell of the crawl space under the house when it flooded, the smell of the stagnate water I bailed out when I was nine.  It’s the smell of wet rope tied tightly to a five gallon bucket tossed in and then hauled out over and over in the summer sun in some toxic mockery of a well.  It’s the smell of clothes piled knee deep in the laundry room my stepmother refused to wash.  Do it yourself, she said, wash your clothes for school tomorrow.