Tuesday, March 23, 2010

poet in the schools

I feel like it is too close to report back even with partial truths on the workshops I'm teaching now. So, instead, and in the tradition I began a while back, I will include bits from my journals from the last time I taught for Poets-in-the-Schools.
At the time, I was teaching a class of group home guys just out of juvenile hall, and a class of teen moms. Essentially, I was teaching the gangsters and the gangsters' girlfriends. And by the way, I'd take the guys any day. They're all bark. The girls? Well, they'd kill you with a LOOK; no remorse.
from February 18, 2004:
As I walk around the room glancing at papers I find “Poetry Suck!” at the top of one.
“You forgot the 's',” I tell him.
“Oh yeah,” he says earnestly, and while he hunches with his pencil to fix it, I slip a copy of another poem on his desk and move on.
from February 25, 2004:
As the acacia blossom dies to a stale brown on my dashboard, I drive -- through high wind advisories and flood warnings under the swirling gulls who know better-- dancing through the drops they sail like wind is helium, the rain slight strings of ribbon they use to hover and bob. Work waits for me on the other side of the Bay, on the other side of this gray and, oddly, I want to go. So I follow the painted lines, since the horizon vanished long ago, and I pretend that when I arrive, I'll be greeted warmly praised without restraint, that my students will tear from my hands the poems of famous and infamous writers I've painstakingly chosen to present to them, absorb the words through bright eyes before sitting to etch their own world onto paper, wild and undefined like the sky today, the rain outside harmony to this melody, beat box to an interlude that can only bring clarity. And I pretend -- that these girls all named for saints will rise like the gulls, their black curls aloft in the wind, the rain on their faces holy water.


Christine Gram said...

I love what you wrote... I hope you shared some of your own poems with the class. "that these girls all named for saints will rise like the gulls,..." is my favorite part.

bobbie said...


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