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April 5, 2016

 

A child is born blank

And sponge-like;

Accepts both the toxic

And pure water offered.

 

Thirst is satiated

By the unlikeliest

Of sources – a man,

Sleeping, ragged on the street,

 

A mother’s grimace,

Dad’s failure to be home

For dinner on time. Ever

 

The absorbed information

Rippling and the television’s

Static above all.

 

This is Poem #54 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

 

This particular poem is part of a series inspired by my visit to The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. Some days I’d just point to a location on the museum map below, and write from there.

 

Crypto Map 1

The back page of The International Cryptozoology Museum’s floor map.

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The news would have you

Believe that shark attacks

Are devastating

The human race –

 

Shredding our limbs,

Bloodying the ocean waters

With their appetites

And pointy teeth, but

 

Statistical data

Proves otherwise.

The number two

Animal killer of

Humans is humans.

 

The savagery of a large dog,

The venomous bite of a snake,

Are threats, I suppose, but

 

Nothing compared

To the angry young

Man with a semi

 

Automatic rifle

And a great white

Ego to sooth.

 

This is Poem #49 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

Word on the street is that eventually

teachers will need to be versed in more

than lockdown drills and covering

classroom windows. Some schools are

already offering up PD in

active shooter response training –

What little old me would be expected

to do in the face of

a Dylan Klebold or Adam Lanza.

 

I’ve weathered events with my

Students. I was in the classroom

Tuesday, April 20, 1999, when Columbine

Became an event and not a city. How could

We not suspect every student in a trench coat

After that? I sat all day with my seniors

As the images of 9/11 blasted

Us through the box

Television sets suspended in each classroom.

 

And the news of Newtown

Came through on a student’s

iPhone Period 8. We turned to a

Screen again.  (At HDHS, clean, modern,

new, one floor of classrooms. Me near 

the main entrance, an easy target – my

first classroom – awash with posters, pens,

pencils, and peril.)

 

President Clinton’s Response to the Columbine Shooting

 

This is Poem #28 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

I appreciate your feedback as these poems are not “finished,” and I intend to go back into many of them in the future.

In English class

I teach two African

Girls who’ve experienced

 

Such trauma in their

Home country, they have

No memories of their childhoods.

 

It’s interesting that

Michonne wields a machette

as her weapon of choice

and skill

and grace.

 

How she dances

With her implement

of destruction

 

The beautiful beheadings

of zombies.

 

She spins. Her powerful

Arms, her smooth

And perfect skin,

 

A foil to the failing,

Falling, pallid

zombie flesh.

Winter Carnival 2016

 

Lightsabers, plastic

And bright, swipe

Through the corridors

Of this institution of learning.

 

Some wielders wear white –

A rebel alliance – unfettered

As of yesterday; and,

Others, black.

 

Their alliance to the Empire

Clear. Droids beep

And bleep and spin

And roll and distract

 

My students from their

Lessons. Youtube

Taught me how to style

An artistic rendering

Of Rey with my hair,

 

And my flowing white

Shirt and boots

Help me to lead

The Alliance,

 

As we learn after

Hard fought battles,

Scars and lacerations,

We’ve won the intergalactic

War.

 

This is Poem #23 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

For those of you familiar with the battle being fought on the figurative front at the time this poem was written, I’d also included the following parenthetical at the end:

(Take off your white sweater, Blonde Bitch!)

I appreciate your feedback as these poems are not “finished,” and I intend to go back into many of them in the future.

 

We are set down

On this earth, bewildered,

Like a Star Wars

Action figure in the midst

Of a child’s messy

 

Bedroom – the stacks

of dirty clothes, the

plates of scraps and leftover

snacks, and the other, bigger

toys just waiting

 

To run over

Or devour you.

Is the puppet master

Kind enough to spare

You the wrath of a giant

Tonka truck tire or

The string tied round your waist,

 

Linked to that finger

Dangling you over

The toilet? Who

 

Is you God today?

 

Leia(Combat)(C75)(1)

 

This is Poem #21 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

I appreciate your feedback as these poems are not “finished,” and I intend to go back into many of them in the future.

 

Digging for Sanity Post 9/11

 

Pre-Bush, in the days

of Clinton, when

the economy was good

and terrorism

 

was still

something that happened

somewhere else, government

cheese was plenty

 

and given

generously by those

who could to those

who needed.

 

Then –  the toxic epidemic

of mediated selfishness

pushed back the man-made

construct of hope

for us all. The real

 

promise of America:

safety nets and ladders

in all states.

 

 

This is Poem #14 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

 

I appreciate your feedback as these poems are not “finished” yet, and I intend to go back into many of them in the future.

The computer’s virtual

Realm is a vacuum;

It’s sucked up

 

The Main Street video

Store and conversations

With clerks regarding

 

New films, and comics,

And war. Stacks of

VHS tapes lining walls

 

And piled on the floor

And the way he knew

Just where to locate

Any obscure B-film

Title no matter

 

How close to the ceiling

Its rank. One day

We bought 8-tracks,

 

Cassettes, records. Then

CD’s – but each groove

was recommended by

 

The man behind the counter.

Yesterday, we made

A concerted effort

 

To buy actual music

Pressed into vinyl

For a needle to

Scrape and scratch

Over – no digital

remastering. No

Transfer to MP3

 

Or virtual this or

Virtual that.

 

And bumper stickers

Crying out against

The World Wide Web

Adorned a pole

 

Near the register.

Buy me. Attach

Me to your actual

 

Reality.

 

 

This is Poem #4 from the Poem (almost) Everyday Project. These are second drafts of  pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. Feel free to give useful critique.

~An Ode to Hugh Hefner on the Day of His Departure

Where the hell were the grown-ups

that blissful afternoon

when Geoff and I unburied

that stack of Playboys

in a Canadian closet?

 

We spent that balmy midday

draped over twin beds, hunkered

down to learn what adults had

refused to tell us

 

from those glossy pages –

the airbrushed women,

the naughty cartoons,

the articles that everyone

claimed to read.

Hull of old memories,

Bebop and slow dances,

Soda-shoppe sundaes

After school, you-

DJ’d them all

With a quarter request

And the push of some buttons.

Records dropped

45 rpm and the long arm

Lowered itself onto each

Groove like a gentle

Lover. Scratching

Melancholy moods

And soft air.

Where your records are now

Melted ashtrays, ornaments

Hanging on diner walls, and

Skeet targets,

Digital music – so pure

And perfect, convenient –

Will never be

As romantic as

Standing arm

And arm above

The Wurlitzer choosing

Our favorite song.

~June 7, 2016 – Poem almost every day

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