I know why all the poets write in bars, here’s my shot at it. Suggestions welcome.

Poe Cannot Hold This

21 gets younger every year
and I remember myself then
a radiator that blew in the middle of rush hour
and a heart made of gossamer and stone
If you had asked me then
what a wife is meant to be
I would not have seen myself, now,
at 30 in a bar too full of youth
to know what to do with itself

It is just a short walk from here
a few thousand days and then
a vow or two and a few hundred drinks
and a man whose heart circles time
It is just a timid crawl from oblivion
and then a melting hour into wife–
I never meant to be, I never meant to be

But he walked in with gleaming teeth
and a wrinkled red hoodie–
too big for a man–cocooning the boy
he was leaving behind
Dancing his way across my nerves
laughing his way into my fear of being
too much, too big, and too little
for anyone else’s lifetime
It was a short walk through a darkened wood
and I was not much for orienteering

* * *

Music plays around me and the young
clap and cheer like it is the apocalypse
and their exuberance will light the way
If I were a betting man I’d call this a
long shot–my happiness and yours–
with a pay out big enough to burn the lamps
night after night

but 21 is younger every year and you
and I have left it behind, along with
1 night stands, the fear of rejection, and
the misspent dollars and days of adolescence–
so forlorn even Poe could not grasp them–
his black feathers too fluttering and too loose
to hold the flimsy smoke of who we were

So this, here, this, now, is wife
this is woman and truth shaken with a quick stir and
a short straw to make up for lost time,
and while 21 gets younger every year
I twist and press as you sleep, full of the blinding singing hope
that guides me through the forest, and welcomes me back home.


moving right along

February 2, 2007

the last few weeks have been incredibly humbling. knowing how to teach freshman composition has prepared me in some ways to teach high school, but there is a whole school of fish i have not encountered before and they are the apathetic and/or could give a crap students. i want to say to them “this is where it starts, the road to who you will be, let’s make sure you have all the tools to be successful and help you to know who you are and what you want and what you believe in.” maybe that is too pollyanna.

also, i was evaluated this week by my supervising teacher. she is so knowledgable but i often feel disheartened after speaking with her because, though i need to hear the criticism she gives me, it often feels less constructive than it could. i don’t think she dislikes me in any way, but feel she expects a lot out of me, and while that is a very flattering thing, it would help to hear a little praise once in awhile, even if it is only “hey, you knew the kids’ names!”

and for the record, four days of pre-reading is too much. stick with two. i followed a hopelessly unrealistic plan and the kids were OVER IT. we started reading “to kill a mockingbird” yesterda and they would have been ready on tuesday. it is one of my favorite books so i hope we have a good time with it together.

nest week i start sailing up the river with the funky and foul finn, huck that is. i cannot stand this book, but it is part of the curriculum so i will wear it well, the albatross taht clashes with all my other accessories, until we can move on to modern poetry, and e.e. cummings. this is the poem he wrote that we used in our wedding, and i love it so:

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)