Posts tagged ‘art’

September 15, 2015

Two for the Price of One

by lisa st john

 

Two for the price of one. What if I only want one?

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Life or death; prosperity or poverty; winter or summer; light or dark—no. We get both, not either or. As King Lear says, “I have taken too little care of this.” Tom o’ Bedlam may not be my problem to “take care” of, but my mindset sure is. Leave it to Shakespeare to create a “semi-apocalyptic” world hundreds of years ago. My own chaos is never black and/or white. Whose is? The glass isn’t half empty OR half full; it’s both. Paradox or no, it’s both. Maybe there are two of Schrödinger’s cats, but that’s a question for another blog post.

When I Google “two” I get “Two player games.” By the way, Google (the noun) doesn’t want us using Google (the transitive verb) unless we really mean we are using their search engine. I think that’s hilarious. As if I would stop saying, “I need to Xerox that handout,” or “Please get me a Kleenex.” Humph. Who do they think they are trying to control language? Good luck. Not going to happen. The word “too” gets me to ToonTown, and “to” is, of course, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” (Not “How to Kill a Mockingbird” unless, maybe you are one of Schrödinger’s cats.)

But if it’s about “and” instead of “or” why are questions like the following still coming up? Can we be both a mother and an artist? (Why don’t men have to ask this question?) Follow that last link to Amanda Palmer’s awesome open letter. Can’t mouse back over there? Try here. It’s worth a read. Kimya Dawson knows. Virginia Woolf knew (before she put stones in her pocket anyway). I guess we all know it’s possible We could get all existential (slash absurdist) over it and realize that, “What is called a reason for living is also an excellent reason for dying,” but Camus wasn’t a Goddess. What the fuck did he know about “and?” Women know “and” inside and out. lilygoddess

“Would you like to feed your child or get some sleep?”
Uhm…and.
“Would you like to have a job or stay home with your kid?”
Again…and.
“Are you depressed or joyful?”
Uh…yes.

I want to look both in and out of my windows. It’s not easy being human.

missy looking out

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can still buy my poetry book Ponderings, HERE.

August 5, 2015

It’s Just Stuff

by lisa st john

 There will be joy…whether we want it or not.

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Cone Dog Millionaire?

Loss and grief are unforgiving teachers. Are you ready for the quiz? No? Too bad; so sad.

All we can do is decide how to react to moments. We cannot choose the moments. All we can do is be good to ourselves so that we can be good to one another.

“Aren’t you sad…devastated that he’s leaving?”
“I, uhm…want him to be happy.”
“But you’ll have to get on A PLANE to see him!”
“Yes. And that’s how I am going to spend my money.”
“But he is your only one, what about saving for your retirement… .”
“I’d like to think I raised a good adult, even though he is my ‘only one’ (!?). Now he is off being an adult. ‘I never seen a hearse with a trailer hitch.’ Do you know that song?”
What?!”

Recently, someone told me that I don’t respect money. This is true. It is just stuff. It is used to get more stuff. Or it is used to help create experience. I like to think that is what we taught our son. Experience over things, moments over regrets.

Recently, someone told me that I shouldn’t always pay for her dinner. “Do you forget,” I asked her, “that you wired me money all the time when I was pregnant and alone and couldn’t work anymore?”

“No. I guess I forgot…”
“Twenty-nine years ago I stole a bag of rice from a grocery store. I paid for the can of beans. You taught me that beans and rice make a complete protein—healthy for the baby.”
“Yea, but…”
“You taught me how to ask.”

My late husband used to tell the story of a college friend who didn’t have drinking money. My husband used to tell him, “If I’ve got enough for one beer, I’ve got enough for two. Let’s go.”

I like to believe that this sentiment is alive and well in the world at large and not just in my own life. Can I afford to buy a recent high school graduate a new car? No. Can I afford to give a few bucks toward her crowdsourcing effort? Hell, yeah. It’s just stuff.

“What do you mean you don’t balance your checkbook?”
“That’s what ATMs are for—checking my balance.”

My logic works kind of like this: I got a refund for a $200.00 deposit I put on a rental house for my last vacation. I forgot about putting down the deposit. So now I have a brand new (free!) $200.00 that I didn’t have before. (Well, technically I did have it but I forgot it so… .) Now I have a new $199.00 camera. For FREE! (Sort of.)

There is no amount of money that can buy anything worthwhile. There is no amount of money that will bring my husband back. I am stuck here; I am stuck here without him, and I will be damned if all he taught me about living in the moment is going to go to waste. I hope I die broke. I hope I helped make many experiences along the way.

“Does it get easier? The loss? The grieving?”
“I don’t know anything about easy. I just know about change.”

p.s. My first chapbook, Ponderings, will be out at the end of this month. I just proofed the first set of galleys from Finishing Line Press. Buy it. And if you can’t let yourself laugh at weird, stupid stuff like trumping your cat, well, then… .

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July 16, 2015

The Time for Warnings is Over

by lisa st john

“The Time for Warnings is Over”

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Watch out file cabinet. Here I come. Beware you unfiled pile of folded up receipts and reminders! I am coming for you. You push pins better get in line, and HEY! I thought I returned you Ethernet cables weeks ago. Hiding were you? Under the vocabulary lists and warranty registration cards, huh? We’ll see about that. There is a recipe for salad (yes, I need a recipe for salad) scrunched under a copy of Writers Digest and an electric bill cowering beneath a coffee-stained yellow legal pad. Enough. I can’t think with all this clutter.

And thinking really does need to commence as the summer runs (at breakneck speed) toward its apex. I have to stop thinking about doing things and start actually doing them. Easier than it sounds. I have to give myself some leeway though. I see three distinct pieces to an artist’s life. Number One is creating the art. This stage happens all over the place in any space and at any time. I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s description of a Tom Waits interview in which he describes the creative muse at work:

He just looked up at the sky, and he said, “Excuse me, can you not see that I’m driving? … “Do I look like I can write down a song right now? If you really want to exist, come back at a more opportune moment when I can take care of you. Otherwise go bother somebody else today. Go bother Leonard Cohen.”

Here we bless the beauty of technology. If I don’t have a pen or paper I usually have an iPhone that can take notes or voice memos. Super helpful. Number Two is editing and fine-tuning and making pretty. A bunch of scraps are just that—beautiful, lyrical scraps perhaps, but only scraps. Hemingway was dead on when he said that the first draft of anything is shit. Art is work. Art is not thinking about work. Number Three is getting the work out there—published, printed, talked about. Number Three is the least fun for me. Luckily, there are tools like Submittable and Writers Market. There are even markets for poetry. Who would-ah thunk it?

And so, cleaning out my writing space I came upon a pastiche I wrote sometime in the unknown past. I must remember to start putting dates on things. I almost must remember to thank Amanda Palmer for reminding me of the truth in these lyrics from Ukulele Anthem:

“Quit the bitching on your blog/and stop pretending art is hard…”

Thank you. Time to get back to work. And don’t forget to buy a copy of Ponderings from Finishing Line Press.

“The Time for Warnings is Over”

(with apologies to Jennie Joseph)

Since I am a middle-aged woman, I shall wear my Scrabble PJs,
with a comfy sweatshirt, to the car repair.
And I shall spend my paycheck on wine and overnight trips and concerts,
and say we’ve no money for cat food.
I shall lie on the couch watching Heroes when I am tired
and eat all the samples at Sam’s club on a Sunday and raise hell at work
and run my mouth at anyone who will listen
and try and forget the wildness of my youth.
I shall go out in socks and Crocs
and steal best practices from my student teachers
and practice growling.

You can wear rainbow tee-shirts and get fatter
and eat McDonalds three times a week
or only Chinese take-out
and squirrel away office supplies at home.

But now we must wear shirts without cleavage
and try to make the students do the same
and send them to the office when they are too naked.
We must talk to people and keep up with politics.
But I am beyond practicing.
So people who’ve just met me will not be traumatized
when my friends say, “She has no filter and loves Gertrude Stein.”

July 6, 2015

Doing Things

by lisa st john

IMG_2720I made coffee, fed the cats, drank the coffee, made the bed up with clean sheets, got dressed, paid two bills, did three dishes, started one load of laundry, put away one load of laundry (why this is my most hated chore next to cleaning out the kitchen drain is beyond me, but it is), took my vitamins, ate some cereal (with almond milk—“real” milk disgusts me), signed up for a short story writing class (online—obviously), put an open-mic reading in my calendar (just in case I actually decide to go somewhere), almost answered the phone when “no caller id” appeared, added my frequent flyer number to an upcoming flight to Colorado, renewed my subscription to The Academy of American Poets, began a children’s story about a sock, put stamps on envelopes to be delivered to companies who don’t use PayPal for some archaic reason, thought about typing out the latest poem in my head, chose to brush my teeth instead, and then the noon whistle went off. Yes. I live in a “hamlet” and the noon “whistle” (more like a sounding horn) goes off at noon every day except Sunday which is, presumably, a day of sleeping in past noon (or at least not caring that it is, in fact, noon).

Why the litany? Well, it’s occurred to me that of the many things we “do” on a daily basis the things we talk about are never the inside things.

“What are you doing?”
“Thinking.”

Shouldn’t this be a normal conversation? It’s not.

“What are you doing this summer?”
“Thinking.”
“Thinking about where you are going, huh? I don’t blame you I couldn’t decide if I should … [fade into meaningless babble].

I am thinking about thinking. I am thinking about writing and making new art and smelling fresh grass and wondering if color would exist as well without smell. Isn’t the grass a brighter hue of green when we smell the freshly mowed kind?
Time jumps and bobbles and I am writing a sequel to the sock story (that I haven’t finished yet) that begins, “Somehow the strawberries got involved…” I wonder, also, if it’s possible to live on fresh fruit pies alone. And then I am mowing the lawn writing a poem in my head that never ends.

A New Poem:

You would hate the way I mow the lawn—my line-ish things, my
lack of symmetry, my
desire to go over the same spot twice.

You would hate that I go right over the rocks you taught me to avoid. My
patterns don’t make sense and if I stop to flip a turtle or watch a baby snake periscope its new world, I can hear you asking. I can sense your puzzlement.

You told me once: “Lil, if there is an assbackward way to do something you will find it.” I smile, remembering running down the up escalator in the Paris Metro—you catching me in time for the free concert in Saint Sulpice. We made it. We always made it.

And now I hit the rock and it makes that crunching noise
and now I go over the rock
and over it
and let it make that crunching noise because something should be allowed to make noise.

You would hate the way I keep stopping the mower to get a drink or write a few lines.

You would hate the way I go over twigs of increasing size just to see how much the blades can take.

You would not understand why I keep it in first gear
only. And only you would understand why sometimes I mow the lawn more than once a week.

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Now I have poison ivy on my face and I am going to see Amanda Palmer at Bearsville anyway because I am supposed to do things. People are out there doing things. I am a person, therefore… .

Ponderings is still available at Finishing Line Press.

June 7, 2015

I’m Not Lost, Just Blind Sometimes

by lisa st john

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Just when I start seeing the world as one full of hatred and violence and judgmental anti-feminist, anti-human rights, degenerate idiots and my menopause insists that this is, in fact, true, and it’s not going to get any better, a day like today comes along to help me readjust my perception.

It starts at 4AM (doesn’t everything?) when Missy the Gran-dog licks my face and I realize I do not have nearly enough blankets. And it is Sunday. And I could be sleeping. But she talks the sweet talk of a German Shepherd and I let her out while I find more blankets. We cuddle up together and I drift off. Then I hear her click click clicking around the kitchen and I see it’s only 7AM and I’m still tired. What teacher is not tired in June? Everyone I know is tired. But magically the clicking stops and the next thing I know it’s 9AM. NINE! My friends took Missy for a walk so I could sleep in because…because they’re my friends.

I love them.

My sister takes a break from making jewelry to make fresh fruit salad.

I love her.

It’s the day of the annual Pride Parade but I am still dragging my semi-grumpy hormones by the hair to get out the door with a heavy oh-woe-is-me sigh. Then I see my students in their rainbow regalia smiling and laughing and not at all afraid.

I love them.

I remember being afraid at Gay Rights marches, or at least nervous and on the lookout for protesters with something more lethal than signs. But this is New Paltz, New York and Councilman Dan Torres is organizing the line-up with the stunning Shawangunk Mountains as a backdrop. The people watching us march are cheering us on, not throwing things at us.

I love it.

At the end of the march there are musicians and vendors and advocates and many different kinds of…kind. Hudson Valley Community Services has a booth; they are making sure that over 290,000 kids will have a healthy meal this summer at no cost. The local Planned Parenthood is giving out condoms and information on their free youth training program. There is a petition to pass the SAFE Parole Act put out by the End the Jim Crow Action Network. Lambda Peer Support Services is promoting their mission to “foster a sense of community … and address the effects of homophobia, discrimination and prejudice.” The Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center has made this one-time parade into a weeklong celebration. And where would we be without the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)? People are here volunteering their time and energy to reach out.

On the way home I start to cry because I remembered kindness and because as I drive home in the beauty of a 78 degree day in the Catskills I know that a Hospice volunteer is out there making the world a better place; and I cry because my husband has been gone for exactly 927 days and because my fabulous son is in love and getting married. Then Amanda Palmer comes over the Rhapsody bluetooth iPhone widget gadget thing (such first world problems) and she reminds me that “no one’s ever lost forever.”

I love her. I love you all.

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from Lost by Amanda Palmer

No one’s ever lost forever
When they die they go away
But they will visit you occasionally
Do not be afraid
No one’s ever lost forever
They are caught inside your heart
If you garden them and water them
They make you what you are                                                              

 

Missy thinks she is in the wilds but she is really just in Grandma’s backyard. Shhhhh…

My first chapbook, Ponderings, is available at Finishing Line Press.

April 30, 2015

Poetry is a Deserved and Necessary Extravagance

by lisa st john

PoetryIsTheShadowCastByOurStreetlightImaginationsByLawrenceFerlinghettiInJackKerouacAlley

For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.
Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives. (
Audre Lorde)

The workshop guru said we must fight. Poetry is dying because we over-test the students. “Where is the short story? Where are the poems in your curriculum?” she demands.

I teach high school students. I try and also integrate the language arts. I cannot do a poetry unit for the same reason that I can’t really buy into Black History Month. Poetry is embedded in all my units. Black history is American history, isn’t it? Do I wait to teach the syncopation of Langston Hughes until February? Do I hold off on Zora Neale Hurston or Toni Morrison until “their month” arrives? How do you read Frankenstein without reading Percy Bysshe Shelley or looking at the paintings of William Blake? How do you read Tim O’Brien without writing collage and found poetry? I guess I m not good at separating the arts into little egg cartons. Eggs are too easily broken.

So I go to writing workshops like Nina Shengold’s Word Cafe, and rejoice in the publication and popularity of Chronogram (in print no less). And I nod in understanding when Gretchen Primack describes poetic form as a “lattice for your roses.”

I smile at the incredulity of teachers when they find out my oh-so-optional Poetry Elective (pass/fail—no credit) is full.

I laugh a full belly-laugh when a students says, “Look at that kid—he looks like a purple crayon!” And then I tell the student that he has the start of a poem.

I take them on field trips to hear poets like Tina Chang at SUNY Ulster. I am thrilled when they buy her book or want a picture. Who says poets cannot be celebrities?

When I Google the phrase “21st century poetry” I get 11,200,000 hits. That’s not so bad. Google used to be a number spelled googol and then it was a noun and now it’s a verb. Poetry used to be oral, sung; it changed to include the written, recited, slammed, recorded (audio and visual), animated, mashed, digitized. The word “poetry” comes from the Greek, meaning “to create.”

It’s not going away any time soon. I need poetry like I need cooked food. If I only ate grass, I’d be a sheep.

My first chapbook, Ponderings, is being published by Finishing Line Press. In case you did plan to purchase a copy but haven’t gotten around to it yet– now would be a propitious time to do it.

The number of copies sold before May 8th determines the size of the pressrun, which explains this gentle reminder.

If you have signed up for a copy already I THANK YOU and hope you enjoy it. They will be shipping in July 2015.

You can click this link, or go to the website at http://www.finishinglinepress.com/ (new releases) or send a check to:
Finishing Line Books PO Box 1626 Georgetown, KY 40324

I wrote the following poem at a Word Cafe Workshop with a collaboration of teaching and writing and not separating in mind.

“Sonnet for Adam: Denied Donation”

I would leave off a line for you,
not a whole couplet, obviously, but—
a line. Oh Adam, you are not the first.
So many bled—ahead—to pave this way.

At least you had the guts to tell the truth.
You say, “Heighten your attention. See Me.”
“Come back next year,” they told you yet again.
You say, “Listen to truth with wider eyes.”

To savor your story will take longer
than one Stonewall and a few thousand lives.
For you, Adam, for you—oh! Not the first.
For you, the blood will come around again.

See me. See me. Anapest just this once.

April 11, 2015

Persephone is Knocking

by lisa st john

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Persephone is Knocking

There is something so fragile about spring. The little kid part of me that believed in fairies also sometimes believes that spring will never come—that we are doomed to grey snowpiles and ice-cracked puddles forever. Maybe I just watched too much Twilight Zone as a kid.

But April is a fierce beast too, hence the paradox. I have seen crocuses and daffodils bust right through leaves and snow and winter and announce their arrival with bravado. But the cold breezes—right through the sunlight—still whisper winter in the air.

Everything that was covered up for months comes out to haunt and tease and say, “You thought you got rid of me? Ha.” There is no hiding from spring. Leaf piles that never got raked, dog turds and cigarette butts, broken glass and moments too resonant to stay buried come back in spring. IMG_4309

Jeffrey McDaniel said, “There’s something incredibly honest about trees in winter, how they’re experts at letting things go.” There is something sneaky about spring. She makes you believe in summer while letting winter’s frost in through the back door. Come on up Persephone. You must be starving.

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You can buy my first chapbook of poetry HERE at Finishing Line Press. It’s called Ponderings.

March 16, 2015

SummerTime, and the Livin’ is… .

by lisa st john

I have a few “teacher” poems that rarely see the light of day because they either sound pathetic or didactic. They are often just plain bad because they are rants. Just rants. Then and again, on days like this, they can come out and dress up and play poem.

“I Get Summers Off”

for Taylor Mali

Come Monday afternoon when I am driving home and can’t tell the difference between the salt and sweat of my tears–

’cause I heard 11th grade Aliya saying she wants a good job so she can support her (yet to be conceived) children when Jordy (inevitably) lands back in jail…

’cause I saw Sammy kick the office door when he got suspended for a fight he really had

with his father

in the form of a friend’s face…

I remember them saying, “You get summers OFF?!”

And this Thursday I hear Michael Stipe on the radio singing, “Everybody Hurts” and I am BACK in TIME at 12th grader Damon’s funeral (the principal forcing me toward the casket of my [ex?] student who blew his brains out in his mother’s bedroom between 9:00 and 10:00 AM on a desert spring day).

I mark the time because the coroner told me. I mark the time because that means he was already dead when I called him at 10:15 to ask why he wasn’t in school. I mark the time because BOOM!

I get summers off.

And bettyandisabel come dancing from hop-scotch and jump-rope and it’s spring and…oh no. This isn’t that poem.

And the dreams escaping through broken-windowed houses that should be homes call to me in sonorous serenades in the form of children’s writing. And the cries for help—for at least attention—TIME attention TIME attention

ATTENTION! “Time?”

call to me in serendipitous notes “accidentally” left on my desk and bruises “hidden” without sleeves but

It’s okay. It’s all okay. ’cause it’s a job and I

get summers off.

But wait. Sometimes a Wednesday comes sneakin’ inside a hushed, timid space between a “fill in the blank here” meeting and a “fill in a bigger blank here” paperwork mound and I hear the gentle rustle of a postcard from Kayla who wants me to know I made her first year at college easier because of “all that damned writing.” I sniff the email of Marianne who typed me up “just” to say that if it weren’t for my class she never would have graduated, and she is thinking of me now. I dance inside the hug of Jose who has come back to tell me that he got his GED after all and that he remembers the “fill in the blank” (attention TIME attention TIME attention, TIME?) when he was homeless trying out high school helped him make it. And (not so) little Larry from my ninth grade “remedial” class comes knockin’ on my office door to say he is enrolled in AP English next year ’cause I helped him to dispel his fear and I think…

I get summers off?

 

I told you they were bad. This one was written a few years ago and meant to be a performance poem so here  is the audio before I decide to make it go back on the shelf marked, “Rants–not poems.”

Disclaimer: All of this didn’t always happen and none of this isn’t sometimes all the way true-ish. And yes, the names have been changed to protect the writer (obviously).

March 11, 2015

Buy My Book. Please.

by lisa st john

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I did it.

I finished a book of poetry, and Finishing Line Press is publishing it. BUY MY FIRST BOOK! This is real. This is me asking you. Ponderings is my first chapbook, and I need you to buy it NOW while it is in the advance sale stage. The orders that come in now will determine how many copies they publish.

PREORDER PURCHASE SHIPS July 3, 2015

Order online by clicking this link. It’s easy! They accept Paypal and credit/debit cards. Or go directly to http//www.finsihinglinepress.com/ and then to “preorder forthcoming titles” on the right side of the page.

Ponderings by Lisa St. John $14.49, paper

You can also order by post. Send shipping address along with check or money order made payable to:

Finishing Line Press Post Office Box 1626 Georgetown, KY 40324

Help a poet out, and RESERVE YOUR COPY TODAY!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Here is a favorite poem from Ponderings.

ON WRITING

(With apologies to Stephen King and Francis Bacon)

Push it into a villanelle, or stretch it into a sonnet,

no. Chop it into a Tanka. A Haiku.

5 This poem is now here

7 with out struc-ture it floats like

5 a poll-u-ted fog.

“I have to be careful editing,” Alvin said, “Or I cut until my poems disappear altogether.”
Wordsworth said, “Fill the paper with the breathings of your heart.”

Colette said,” Destroy most of it.”

Julie said, “Why do we bother with it? Why?”

Summarily dismiss all critics.
Copy the masters.
Write what you know.
Imagine the moment.
Aphorize me no more!

Stereotype: Torture! Pain! Drama.
Drinking, smoking, crying writer wails, “If I don’t write I’ll die!”

Little Marquis de Sades running round writing with blood and excrement using their
fingernails. I need an emoticon here for rolling eyes.

There is no ghost in this machine.

February 22, 2015

The Satire Paradox: Part One

by lisa st john

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Tis strange – but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction; if it could be told,
How much would novels gain by the exchange!
How differently the world would men behold!
How oft would vice and virtue places change!

Lord Byron‘s Don Juan

It is truly strange—that nano-moment between sleep and awake when illusion and reality look face to face. Like the lovely movie Ladyhawke where the lovers are doomed to never meet in person again. Rutget Hauer is a wolf at night when Michelle Pfeiffer is a human and she turns into a hawk during the day when he turns back to human. Helluva curse. I wish it wasn’t real. My mind teased me this morning in that nano-moment; Kent wasn’t gone, and I wasn’t a widow and then–

But that’s what makes us human, right? Caring? Suffering? Therein lies the paradox (and is the joke ever on us): we live to love and be hurt so we know what love is and what it means to hurt so we know what life is. Humph. Or is it all a big satire created to change us into better humans? Better humans. Not sure what that means. I don’t want to go all singularity right now. Better ponder that another time.

“So…ha ha, just kidding about that scotch making you feel better,” said morning head apologizing to nighttime head. But it did. But it doesn’t. Does it feel good to write a blog because of the guilt, knowing I should be grading papers instead, or in spite of it?

Truth really is stranger than fiction. Otherwise no one would believe either. It’s like Tim O’Brien so eloquently states in The Things They Carried, “That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are… Often the crazy stuff is true and the normal stuff isn’t, because the normal stuff is necessary to make you believe the truly incredible craziness.”

It’s why there are no decent shows or movies about teaching high school because no one would believe them. Do you know how many times I have uttered the phrase, “STOP touching each other!” or “Where is the rest of your skirt?!” or “Stop fucking swearing or I’m going to fucking call your mother and fucking see how she fucking likes to hear it.” They don’t like that, the students. Teachers aren’t supposed to swear. It does, however, take the shock factor out of it for them. Hee.

It makes the teacher human, being sarcastically inhumane. Are You Human? is the poignant TED Talk by Ze Frank that is worth every one of the 4 minutes and 34 seconds it will take to watch. Go ahead. I’ll be right here.

His compelling lines echoed for me this morning: Have you ever woken up blissfully and suddenly been flooded by the awful remembrance that someone had left you? Have you ever lost the ability to imagine a future without a person that no longer was in your life? Have you ever looked back on that event with the sad smile of autumn and the realization that futures will happen regardless?”

This morning he wasn’t gone, he just was… almost here.

Bad Religion says it best in their song, Stranger than Fiction. “Life is the crummiest book I’ve ever read.” And yet—that’s exactly what makes it so damn fabulous!

Maybe that is Art’s purpose. To show us the possibility of the extraordinary.

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