Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light

Last year, I remember talking in my classroom about the terrible news, the deaths of two British cultural icons, both personal heroes of mine, David Bowie and Alan Rickman, both dead at 69. And from that discussion, this has remained in my memory: a student actually said these words to me, “So you’ve got about twentyContinue reading “Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light”

Love Letter to The Flaming Lips on the Eve of “Oczy Mlody”

Dear Flaming Lips, I love you guys. Your music changed my life. Or, maybe this is more accurate: I discovered your music when my life was changing and it became a kind of soundtrack for those wild years. It was both heady and silly and cathartic, and private too, because no one else I knewContinue reading “Love Letter to The Flaming Lips on the Eve of “Oczy Mlody””

#244: On Listening to Students Talk about Seamus Heaney’s Poetry

Over three days I listened to 24 young people talk for 20 minutes a piece about literature, and 10 of those 20 minutes were dedicated to speaking about a single poem by Seamus Heaney. Most of them did fine work, but I couldn’t help recognize and remember and then start to record particular phrases or beginnings thatContinue reading “#244: On Listening to Students Talk about Seamus Heaney’s Poetry”

#243: A Poem Composed on a Word Processor about Writing by Hand

I read recently that handwriting is better for the brain than typing, what we call in this information age “word processing.” It’s better, handwriting, because the task is more physical, therefore more complex, therefore more memorable, theref more meaningful. Did you notice how I truncated “therefore” on purpose so that I could end the lineContinue reading “#243: A Poem Composed on a Word Processor about Writing by Hand”

#242: Flamingos in a Deluge

I promise: this poem is only about weather and the pink flamingos drowning in the back yard. Old Man Winter fought tooth and nail against warming: 10 days of school shutdown over four different storms and a fifth one predicted to be on the way. I’m tired of it, as are the pink flamingos, sinking back thereContinue reading “#242: Flamingos in a Deluge”

#241: Stones

What I thought was Donald Trump turned out to be kidney stones. I did the research, and among the listed causes for stones, Trump was nowhere to be found. Stress, however, can indirectly lead to poor health choices that might lead to stones. I admit, I am stressed, have spent more time worrying about the fateContinue reading “#241: Stones”