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TGAP 3 Week 12 submitted June 20, 2011

Black Heart by Photobug Star
This new grief,
Wide brimmed
Upon the old grief,
Weighs upon me
As I slough
Through my day,
Scythe in fist,
Trying to harvest
This cartload
Of young wheat.

This is my submission for Week 12 of the Twingeekz Artz Project 3.  The accompanying art work is by fellow geek, Photobug Shar.

TwinGeekz is a loose affiliation of loose affiliates in New Hampshire who began the TwinGeekz Artz Project challenge in May of 2005; the task was for each of the original seven participants to produce and submit a piece of art every week for one year.  Every artist succeeded in completing their 52 pieces of art, and thus the TGAP theory was proven: “all creativity needs is a deadline”. 

We grew each of the three years that the project continued. It’s time to bring it back. 

Let’s do it again! #tgap2020 join us!

TGAP 3 Week 05 May 01, 2011

TGAP Week 05 Artwork by Cameron Ouellette

You slash verse from the budget,
Until it’s got no place
In the curriculum you claim

Reading a mathematical
Text and rote memorization
Of tainted historical facts are
The cure for all that ails us (which
To you is simply the
l
a
g
g
ing e-con-
o-me.) While,

The Poet Laureate sits in
A swanky Washington office and
Fumbles with his pen, wondering
“Why the fuck am I here?” Searching
For a job description (an-
y – where) when he knows

Across The Mall ogres
Argue against art.

So, he swooshes the air
With a sword that seems
To have lost its point. Slammed
Into this world, born 

Artists, naked in this story,
(for every yin, a yang,
every tick, a tock,
every flip, a flop,

for every battlefield casualty, a premature birth)

We know, Mr. Conservative,
Why you hate poetry
And wish you could bury
It in some sandy lot next
To back copies of the New
York Times
: the truth makes
An ass of you, the butt
Of each joke in poetry and its mirror
News of words.

And time,
Well, time reveals
Your task, Mr. Laureate –

Take that pen down
From above the hearth
To remind us why 

Each stanza matters.

This is my submission for Week 05 of the Twingeekz Artz Project 3. 

TwinGeekz is a loose affiliation of loose affiliates in New Hampshire who began the TwinGeekz Artz Project challenge in May of 2005; the task was for each of the original seven participants to produce and submit a piece of art every week for one year.  Every artist succeeded in completing their 52 pieces of art, and thus the TGAP theory was proven: “all creativity needs is a deadline”. 

We grew each of the three years that the project continued. It’s time to bring it back. 

Let’s do it again! #tgap2020 join us!

December 21, 2016

My friend, a salesman
Of some sort, selling valves
Or some other part - integral,
I suppose, to something - but
Miraculously non-specific,
Complained of his mere
$10,000 Christmas bonus. That was
Nearly half my year's
Salary as a first-year
Teacher in New Hampshire.

I could not imagine the
Luxury of a monetary bonus.
Consider that kind of kickback every time
One of ours gets into
Harvard or Yale,
Is made head of a company,
Wins the Nobel Prize,
Skis toward Olympic Gold,
Takes home an Emmy,
Dances on Broadway, or
Becomes a Supreme Court Justice.

Keep a folder for "nice notes"
A colleague once suggested.
I have done so, ever since.

Twenty years worth of slips
Of paper, cards, valentines.

"Your the best English teacher,"
My ironic favorite.
Yesterday, two gifts

Arrived for me. Wrapped
For Christmas. My bonuses
From students who know

Me well. And the love
From them. I will never
Complain.

This is Poem #223 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

It is odd as I’m cycling back through these poems, originally written three years ago, how currently relevant they are. My school district is in distress, but everyday it’s the amazing connections between the humans in the building that gets us all through it.

November 19, 2016

You're supposed to write down
Everything your teacher puts
On the chalkboard. That means

It's important. No one does
That anymore. "I'll just take
a picture with my phone," but

Most are too lazy to look
At the image again. We do not remember,
And that's a warning

We should always heed.

This is Poem #202 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

November 2, 2016

She's all that gold and glitter
At the mic. Sequined dress
Catches the moon just right.
She's all that gold and glitter,
And they throw tomatoes.
Spring for the exit now.
A woman has no place. Here.

This poem, #191 in the Poem Almost Everyday Project, strays from the writing the poem first thing aspect of my experiment because it was born out of a “poetry game” I play with students as a way into writing in poetic form. As a class, we determine the “rules” of the game: number of lines, syllables per line, the verb _______ in line ______ , the color _______ in line _______, a poetic device in line _______, and repeat lines _______ & _______.

These are the rules for this one:

  • 7 lines
  • 3 iambs per line
  • sprint in line 6
  • gold in line 1
  • a caesura in line 2
  • repeat lines 1 & 4

September 7, 2016

License plate from 1958 Ambulance/Hearse
An ambulance drives by,
Full-speed, sirens yelling,
And the whole class
Pauses from the lesson on the

Screen at the front of the room.
What fresh tragedy pulls them away
From Hamlet or Victor

Frankenstein? School is just
A mile down from
The blue glare emergency
Of the Concord Hospital,

Where, I am quite sure, dying
Happens everyday.

Annotate that, sweet thing.
We are at odds of sort -
Healing or helping,

Doctors or teachers all.


This is Poem #162 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. 

September 2, 2016

Those words, scribbled on an Exit
Survey, say - hold on. 

It will be a great year.
Remember, Heather, why you are here. 


This is Poem #158 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. 

This seems to be one of several “back to school” poems I wrote upon returning there after the summer vacation following a very difficult year.

August 31, 2016

Oversight.
Scrutiny.
Critical "friends"
examine your work.

The job of 
Teaching is
different.

Our heart is there
to make each
lesson flow

to each child.
They will rip 
out that organ.

(those in charge
as the children
once were -
 of guiding
curriculum 
as professionals
should)

Bring back autonomy. 
Bring it back
or our schools

will crumble
under the tyranny.

Fascism. 


This is Poem #157 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

This seems to be one of several “back to school” poems I wrote upon returning there after the summer vacation following a very difficult year.

August 28, 2019

It is part of life and can be
Good. 
      Required the different
Forms.
       Sung about in
Rap songs and Disney
Films. Is my standing

At the front of a classroom,
Delivering lectures of more
Importance than when 

I vacuum or write
         A poem? Who decides

Which work is treasured
Above all else and which 
Paycheck - the cash
Lump sum or the sum
Of kindness and change
For the better and 
The improved? 

This is Poem #156 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published 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.

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