Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yesterday in 8th grade, we wrote over the top rhymed "My Poems". We began with a freewrite: What power does a poem have? Can it change the world?

Here's what I wrote:
No cynics or critics, please. Open yourself to poetry and prose. Have you reckoned a thousand acres much? Yourself much? (Uncle Walt!!) Can writing calm? Can you change your mood through what you write or read? Is it an escape to let the pen move on paper, or a deepened connection? The iPhone, Twitter, GPS cannot answer the ageless questions - who am I why am I here what do I fear? We don't need answers as much as we need to ask. I need to ask. Digging in the dirt, pulling weeds, reading Nicholson Baker, looking at a beautiful or not beautiful piece of art - places to start. If I'm muddled in all my have to do's, writing can let me slow down and see my options and obligations one by one. Writing is not a test, it is a chance to connect with the brain down your long arm. The poem is quiet but loud as dynamite inside your skull. It can be. I have to be present to present such a poem. How do you handle a white-hot truth without gloves? What do we risk? Why else are we here? Shouldn't we play with matches? Oh, matches - my fist and your face, my dog and a linen napkin, the Ice Capades of grief. How long will it take to make sense? Sense makes bombs and breaks treaties, is selfish, works overlong at jobs we hate. What we need is the released beauty of well-chosen words. Words set up a vibration in your skull that won't let you listen to the should's but will let you watch the kiwi slide upwards towards light and our neighbors' window, let you bounce to the beat from the passing car.


My poem will croon at midnight, noon,
now and soon, earned its own moon.
You’ll find it if you hum a tune.

My poem searches high and low, its touch and go
can never slow. It’s wider than a movie show.
You screen its green, it has meaning but is never mean.

Meet me there where life can be not seem
talented as Julian Bream, a baseball team,
where raptors blur and hillsides gleam.

My poem has fledged. It honors pledges
doesn’t cower on ledges. it flutes its edges
like a pie – it never wants to die. Its nickname’s try.

My poem’s abloom with May and June.
it’s a bassoon, baboon, a constant tune,
come visit soon.


My poem lives inside confession
in an expression, it’s resistant to depression
has no possessions or aggression.

My poem lives in a valise, needs no police
is dense as fleece, provides release.
I fold it, it opens without a crease.

In the valley of its deepest hope
you’re not a dope, there’s time to cope,
the answer’s never nope, climb up its rope.

Within the shadow of its leaves
my poem believes, is strong as trees,
loud as bees, it weakens knees.

If you enter you own, you’re not a renter,
plunge into its fragrant center.


My poem’s beyond horizon’s blue
its song is true as cockatoos
its shoes are new and so are you.

There’s room inside for you to hide
or glide beside its mountainside
out here where there’s no postage due
it comes to you, a caribou, a curlicue.

My poem is a fancy dresser, tongue depressor
truth expresser. The Iliad was its predecessor.
Yes sir, it’s a word obsesser. Does that make it lesser?
When I’m within I’m no second guesser.

To find it, wear your roller skates
glide within its gates, you’re never late.
It won’t make you wait or hesitate.
My poem invites you to participate.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Daily Crossword Puzzle Poem Draft for 5/13/10

For all she has not finished, she owes
a happy debt to yonder hot tub
ablutions and lotions at the spa
a pumice stone, a loofa made from lava
She picks at fava beans, calls to anyone
for java - to Neil or Eloise or Hal.
(she drives them up the wall.)
and they're the ones who splat
She misses them all, so so
but blames them for her diarrhea.
Ah my dears she is a gem
no cookie for O Henry.
Thus was the way she were -
a sherry glass and a baked Alaskan
for all the percodan she ate.
But wait - forgive her each snafu.
She never has to navigate through scree
and oh to have her ruffled feathers
in any weathers, missy,
though crotchety, we sidle
to her elbow, never give her any lip
our grievances have long been telexed
as we telescope this ode
and set forward at a healthy trot.
Oh rot, another stylus for this slab
all this as said-before as adage
(not to rub you the wrong way)
We've been of use since the Aeneid
and catch them all in hot tubs or in rye.



Saturday, May 01, 2010

“Only connect,” E. M. Forster wrote. As writers in the classroom, we encourage our students to connect the world they see with their inner world.. How can we connect with them to foster their willingness to wander around with us into subject matter where there is no right answer? How do we help them access that inner world their mp3’s and texting thumbs hold more or less successfully at bay? ...

See the WITS Blog for the rest of this piece.