This first photo is actually a video. The video below is Taylor Mali who was an educator and was asked at a party “What he makes?” from a lawyer. He didn’t have the wit to answer in the moment, so like all good artists, he lived outside of the moment and wrote this slam poem about the dinner party. This is his ultimate response. I want to say that not everything in this video is condoned, or should ever be used in the classroom. It’s quite aggressive and has a few choice words, but it’s powerful and true.
Day 119 | Taylor Mali does slam poetry, “What Teachers Make.” Rather than taking a photo of me crying in my car over this video, just watch the video and cry in the comfort of your own safe place. My safe place is in the car wash. My mother taught me to dance in a car wash, so it’s special to me. It’s all about the head bob.
The teen girls went to Meredith for the evening to tour a college campus. I love the stairway prom poster.
When it comes to poetry you have to smell the topic to be able to write it.
This is Fergie, she’s everything that ends in -icious (delicious, auspicious, suspicious, capricious).
Just a jumbled page of notes from my writing notebook. It also has my name tag on it. Other stickers: Bartlett pairs, Gala apples with full barcodes, a post-it note that says “Bad Experiements.”
Saturday night was the biggest, and brightest full moon of the year. Only 17,000 miles away. Only eight back and fourth trips to California for me. This is the moon from Hugo Cabret – the very first page, I think. It gets bigger, and bigger.
For inspiration, read a poem by Dorianne Laux, “Facts About the Moon.”
The moon is backing away from us
an inch and a half each year. That means
if you’re like me and were born
around fifty years ago the moon
was a full six feet closer to the earth.
What’s a person supposed to do?
I feel the gray cloud of consternation
travel across my face. I begin thinking
about the moon-lit past, how if you go back
far enough you can imagine the breathtaking
hugeness of the moon, prehistoric
solar eclipses when the moon covered the sun
so completely there was no corona, only
a darkness we had no word for.
And future eclipses will look like this: the moon
a small black pupil in the eye of the sun.
But these are bald facts.
What bothers me most is that someday
the moon will spiral right out of orbit
and all land-based life will die.
The moon keeps the oceans from swallowing
the shores, keeps the electromagnetic fields
in check at the polar ends of the earth.
And please don’t tell me
what I already know, that it won’t happen
for a long time. I don’t care. I’m afraid
of what will happen to the moon.
Forget us. We don’t deserve the moon.
Maybe we once did but not now
after all we’ve done. These nights
I harbor a secret pity for the moon, rolling
around alone in space without
her milky planet, her only child, a mother
who’s lost a child, a bad child,
a greedy child or maybe a grown boy
who’s murdered and raped, a mother
can’t help it, she loves that boy
anyway, and in spite of herself
she misses him, and if you sit beside her
on the padded hospital bench
outside the door to his room you can’t not
take her hand, listen to her while she
weeps, telling you how sweet he was,
how blue his eyes, and you know she’s only
romanticizing, that she’s conveniently
forgotten the bruises and booze,
the stolen car, the day he ripped
the phones from the walls, and you want
to slap her back to sanity, remind her
of the truth: he was a leech, a fuckup,
a little shit, and you almost do
until she lifts her pale puffy face, her eyes
two craters and then you can’t help it
either, you know love when you see it,
you can feel its lunar strength, its brutal pull.
See how that poem happened at How a Poem Happens.
This is what a workshop looks like. Poetry is for people who get loud on fruit, and salsa.