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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Friday, March 30, 2007

I Am Not Coming To Class Today

My students will not care.
They will revel in the time off. Listen to their IPods. Lay on the beach. Drink beer.

Like Billy Collins, I stand staring out the window this morning.
Billy says that’s what poets do.

I believe him. Who can doubt a Poet Laureate who steals lines from Ferlinghetti
and writes about the trouble with poetry?
Billy says poets stare out windows.
I want to be a poet today, not a teacher.

From my windows, I see

grey and brown tree limbs sprouting small, scarcely noticiable green niblets.
Shy and unassuming, they push their little heads above the moss-covered branches that quiver just a tad in the wind.

I want to burrow past those fresh bumps, taste the dark marrow of those trees on my tongue.

I see

the new garbage man. He wears wraparound sunglasses and his teeth shine as white as the high-quality, 8 ½ x 11 bond paper that rests in the paper tray of my printer waiting for the sharp bite of black ink.

I would like a bite from the garbage man.

In my kitchen, the light filters through the dirty window and screen,
casting gritty, grainy shadows on the counter top
cluttered with smeared banana and the careless trail of oatmeal flakes.

I will not come to class today.

I have odd lines to scribble and scratch in my notebook.
Squiblets and niblets of words to track across the page.
I must watch the sky, as its shades of blue shift and waver in the passing day.

I have dirty windows that need cleaning. I will use amonia and old newspapers.
The smell so sharp, my eyes will sting.
I’ll leave streaks across the glass that refract the light,
sketching strange patterns on the dark cherry wood of my dining room table.

I will not come to class today.
I am entirely too busy.
I have windows to stare through and poetry to write.

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Blogger Pete Bogs said...

very evocative... though it will counter any cover story you have for not showing up to work!

March 30, 2007 10:49 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

hahahah - it's a fantasy!

i scribbled down several lines of this yesterday, as i sat at my desk in my office, waiting for a student to show up for an appoinmtent. the student never showed. i kept scribbling.

today, i reworked this piece at home - as i have the day off - cesar chavez day - the campus is closed.

oh, but how i wish someday i could just call in and have a notice posted on the door of my class:

Gone Poetry Writing.
Back Whenever.

March 30, 2007 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a great way
to spend a day

Gone Poetry Writing.
Back Whenever.


March 30, 2007 1:09 PM  
Blogger onandon said...

You SHOULD take time out like this. You deserve it.

I find the 'bite from the garbage man' so erotic.

This is such a pleasure to read.

March 30, 2007 10:21 PM  
Blogger Infinitesimal said...

i like:

the marriage of new tree alive and outside
new paper in the house

the garbageman bite line is the strongest on first read

and the flow of windows thru the poem is great!

I love our literary gab sessions

March 31, 2007 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I want to be a poet today, not a teacher."

and how much better to teach than through poetry! squiblets is the sound of sharpies marking niblets on "great white" bond

sorry to say that i have no garbageman, and certainly not as fine as what you describe. but i take comfort that Trout is my co-pilot for the "dump" run.


April 01, 2007 9:25 AM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

I will not come to class today either. I have poetry to read.

April 02, 2007 6:08 PM  
Blogger lettuce said...

I love this! the words and the feeling and the motivation - great!

(and I know the feeling...)

April 03, 2007 10:15 AM  
Blogger Mrs. B said...

I may not go to class one day too. I love that you are so inventive and uninhibited. Thank you for inspiring me.

April 07, 2007 12:01 AM  
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