AIR Thoughts by Mykel Mogg

by Mykel (’14)

Sometimes, artists in residence spout out the most beautiful, compelling, or funny ideas that I just have to write them down in my notebook. Creative Writing II’s poetry unit consisted of units by two artists in residence: Justin Desmangles, who focused on blues and jazz, and Truong Tran, who taught poetry through visual media. Here are some of their ideas that changed the way I think about poetry.


“The message ‘you’re not okay,’ seen in advertisements, affects and infects the way we relate to one another. Only through poetry can we examine our language and find what is truly us and what is the result of advertisement.”

“The idea of the boundary of what’s decent and indecent has to constantly be broken to ensure your freedom.”

“Dissonance and harmony are a lot about remembering and forgetting.”

“History has a way of calcifying itself. It’s your job as poets, not just to reconstruct, but to rescue it.”

“Your ability to think is defined by your ability to feel.”


“It’s okay to explore different subjects through the same objects or images over and over again.”

“At some point in your writing, you have to shut out the idea of the audience.”

[On poetry]: “Don’t be precious. Make a big fucking mess.”