Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snow day!
Snow day!
Snow day!

I'm off down the hill to buy staples
(cocoa, popcorn, sled)
but here's the postman
neither sleet nor snow etc.

Snow day!
Snow day!
Snow day!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let's say you're in eighth grade
in English class with the professional writer
or "Professional Writer Thing"
(it's on my name plate for class as PWT -
one feels more important
with letters behind one's name)
and the PWT suggests you write
five minutes - FIVE MINUTES! -
listing what she terms
Who's got gum?
Why did I get a referral for folding my paper
into a swan?
I said by essential I didn't mean
"Which is better: cheetos or oreos?"
"Or, it could be essential," I said,
opening the silly flood gates
for the possibility of poetry.
In the high school class two boys
(I had them in class last year)
wrote not essential questions
but a joke referral for their teacher.
When I said I'd never had one,
they wrote a referral for me.
They listed my age as "hella old"
which they meant the one whose
nameplate reads "Dude" told me,
in the nicest possible way.

Some writers and I have been
one of them go into functional schools
with honors class students
who vie vocabularily
and some writers cajole kids
who think they have no time
for words into writing and loving
vital poetry.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Typing student poems
typing student poems
typing student poems
oh lord I forget how to spell
how to use commas
and line breaks
I talked too much
I can tell it turned them off

"I'm the poem I'm looking for,"

"Dear Darkness, Good day sir."

An angry boy has written
an Emily Dickenson-style poem
about Revolution!--

What else should I be doing
but touching these keys
preserving their words?


Thursday, February 03, 2011

by Dennis Brutus

Somehow we survive
and tenderness, frustrated, does not wither.

Investigating searchlights rake
our naked unprotected contours;

over our heads the monolithic decalogue
of fascist prohibition glowers
and teeters for a catastrophic fall;

boots club the peeling door.

But somehow we survive
severance, deprivation, loss.

Patrols uncoil along the asphalt dark
hissing their menace to our lives,

most cruel, all our land is scarred with terror,
rendered unlovely and unloveable;
sundered are we and all our passionate surrender

but somehow tenderness survives.