#344: Who Let The Dogs Out?

They let themselves out, thank you very much. On a warm, August night, 11 pm, something outside catches their attention, and the larger of my two dogs simply stands up on her hind legs and, using the handle, opens the latched screen door. And they run. Together. Free to run and roam. They cross the busy streetContinue reading “#344: Who Let The Dogs Out?”

#342: May 8, Soul Work

It’s May 8. I sleep in an extra hour. I make myself a kick-ass scrambler. I pick my brother up at 9 and we drive toward I-84. There’s a bunch of teachers on an overpass wearing red and hanging their banners and I honk at them. My brother and I make our way to theContinue reading “#342: May 8, Soul Work”

#341: You Do What You Need To Do

You do what you need to do. If you want to hang a banner over an overpass, you go ahead and do that. If you want to stop by the union office and write a letter to your representative, you do that. If you need to go downtown to be inside of a crowd ofContinue reading “#341: You Do What You Need To Do”

#340: Why Teachers Walk Out (A Short List)

Here’s a short list of reasons why teachers in Oregon are walking out on Wednesday: First, some math: 40 kids in a class room– times six. A student load anywhere between 160 and 240. 6 sections of up to 3 distinct courses to teach, 87 minute periods. An 87 minute preparation period to plan a meaningful 261Continue reading “#340: Why Teachers Walk Out (A Short List)”

#349: Bad Checker

I walked through the express checkout, up to 12 items, with a jug of milk, a carton of orange juice, some lunch meat, and some chicken thighs for the grill. Four items. The checker, he was a bad checker. He didn’t greet me, he didn’t ask me how I was, he didn’t smile, he didn’tContinue reading “#349: Bad Checker”

#347: A Prose Poem Meditation on the Penultimate Day of National Poetry Month by the American English Teacher in His Potentially Penultimate Professional Year, Ending in a Rhyming Couplet

The natives are restless, the 9th graders are rowdy, won’t stop talking, interrupt almost every teacher phrase with chatter, and because my intern has the class, I am completely unruffled. It’s the penultimate day of National Poetry Month and this is my penultimate poem in prose in the April of my potentially penultimate school yearContinue reading “#347: A Prose Poem Meditation on the Penultimate Day of National Poetry Month by the American English Teacher in His Potentially Penultimate Professional Year, Ending in a Rhyming Couplet”

#344: I Drove Over the Mountain to Get Here

I drove over the mountain to get here. I drove over Mount Hood. I drove over the mountain into the desert. Eventually, I ended up close to three other mountains, the ones we call The Sisters. I drove over the mountain to get here. This is the place where I will try to help peopleContinue reading “#344: I Drove Over the Mountain to Get Here”

#330: The Dullards

“Some people you meet are so dull that you always remember their names.”   –William Stafford Are you uninteresting or stupid? I love you. You are like the black hole photographed for the first time in human history, or an undiscovered country from whose bourn blah blah no traveler returns blah blah. You fascinate, primarilyContinue reading “#330: The Dullards”

#318: Ode to Boredom and Non-Snow

It’s 5:30 in the evening, my son is playing video games and my wife is napping and I’ve poured myself a brandy after hemming and hawing almost all day long about what to do with myself. I did four productive things: I picked up a ball of cotton stuffing from an eviscerated dog toy; earlier,Continue reading “#318: Ode to Boredom and Non-Snow”

#313: The World Is Too Much All Up in Here

(my advance apologies to anyone serious about this stuff, and to Wordsworth) My world card tells me that I’ve got time in my pinky, a king on my ring, twenty one flip-off capacity, death in my forefinger, and a sun up my thumb. But I’ve got the whole world, as the song says, in myContinue reading “#313: The World Is Too Much All Up in Here”