Email to a Young Poet

Note: This is a parody of Rainer Maria Rilke’s famous book, “Letters to a Young Poet”. In a nutshell, the book contains the correspondence between Franz Xaver Krappus, a young man riveted by Rilke’s extraordinary poetry, and Rilke (Franz kept sending Rilke his poetry).

In the opening of the book, Krappus (this was his real name, not a name created as commentary on his poetry) writes:

“After our talk, I decided to send Rainer Maria Rilke my poetic attempts and to ask him for his judgement.”

Below is a riff of what I think Rilke would have sent back in a modern email correspondence (Rilke was born in 1875 and died in 1926).


I have been receiving your vapid attempts at poetry,
which bastardize the dignity of this sacred art form, degrade women, the elderly, and the obese, and often strike me as low budget beer commercials employing a rhythm scheme devised for toddlers.

Additionally, I have been receiving the forwards of all the juvenile crap you have found on the Web and consider entertaining; please remove me from this list at once.

Franz, writing cannot be taught, as writing is simply a tool used by a deep soul to dig a tunnel from a vast, lonely, and earthy place up to the piercing, diminutive, and sun-lit world. Deep souls, Franz, cannot be taught or bought in a weekend writing seminar.

Having said this, if you are still intent on attending my writing seminar this weekend, I will gladly take your money, as I have few other sources of income and must often sacrifice integrity for practicality.

I can only hope that my direct and repeated bitchslaps to your shallow soul will cause something to be felt in your innermost core, and this, you see, is all I (or anyone else) can do to help you grow as a writer.

For $15/seminar, I believe that after 30-40 sessions, my direct and relentless assaults on your callous and oblivious being will begin to awaken something in you that may, with the promise of a second hand lottery ticket, result in the grand payoff of having a soul worthy of a voice.

Yours for $15/hour,
Rainer Maria Rilke


Review of The Extra Special Series Finale

I really like Ricky Gervais, which is why I am disappointed that the Series Finale was such a flop.

It was almost good, but the story didn’t develop well. The movie was one of those that just ends, as though the writer got tired and just said, “I’m getting tired of this, let’s just have him say ‘fuck it’ to everything and drive off in his car.”

And so they did.

And the story was building to something, but not a weak get-in-your-car-and-drive-away ending.

Next Time You’re Out of Work Sick…

If I were a married woman who caught a cold and had to stay home from work, I’d love to send out the following email to co-workers.

“Hey Everyone!

I’ll be home tomorrow trying to get pregnant again.

Wish me luck!

Oh, and for HR: I am not taking this as paid time off because I don’t want to (technically) get paid to have sex.  I stopped that years ago when I quit drinking.”

I’d have a male cohort who would respond:

“I’m sure I can speak for all the guys in the office when I say that truly, we’ll be thinking about you!  Oh, and it’s not REALLY taking money for sex.  I mean, not any more than going on a date and…oh, I won’t go there.”

Another scene to put in my cable show.