#385: Poem on April 11, 2021

Poem on April 11

Note to Self:

Hey self. Why so crabby lately? You might need to exercise or meditate. Why so resistant to exercise and meditation? Do you feel that, since you have deprived yourself of a single bad habit that you must also even the scales with the deprivation of a couple of good ones? I don’t know if I’d call that an even trade. Hey, how’s that book coming along? Oh yeah, that’s right, you haven’t worked on it, hardly at all, since summer. I understand that’s a good way to finish a book–by not writing it. And you’re just sitting on a couple of finished things. How come you’re not sending them out? Do you really want to publish? Or is it that, once you’ve published, there’s more work to do, and you’re not willing to do that? Are you not good enough? Good as in talented? Or good as in, you know, good? Are you afraid of failure? Are you afraid of rejection? Why are your students doing so poorly this quarter? How have you let them down? What’s your problem?

Sincerely yours,


Note to self from Self:

Hey. F you, self. You’re an asshole, and I’m not listening to you. Nor, will I honor your stupid questions with responses. You are not my inner teacher, but the inner school-marm, and, as such, are in the business of guilt and shame, and have no authority in this house. Need I remind you that there’s been a pandemic on? Need I remind you that life as we know it has turned upside down, and while some have suffered immeasurably and far beyond what I have done, all of us have had to make adjustments in our lives, in our behaviors, in our relationships, in our vocations, and in our professions, and everybody deals in the best way they can deal. My game plan tends toward kindness, self forgiveness, openness to whatever comes–you know–Rumi’s guest house. So take your admonitions and your judgement and your reproach and shove ’em where the sun don’t shine. I will exercise and meditate when I am ready. I will write when I am ready; I will submit my work when I am ready. By my self, my family, and my students, I’m doing the best I can do, and not so poorly, come to think of it, thank you very much. And F you, again.

Sincerely yours,


Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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