Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Last Evening of My Middle Years

September 1, 2016

Was at my space at the Riverside before dawn yesterday, and when I looked up, in the first light, a heron was flying directly overhead. Best of all possible signs. Then in the evening I went down to the pond to right the pot of papyrus which the wind had blown over, and when I did, a leopard frog rocketed away from my feet with a piercing yike! My first resident amphibian, in whom I rejoiced. Heard him singing briefly a little later on. Spent the last evening of my middle years sitting on my bit of back porch writing poetry. It was good. I was happy. The white swamp hydrangea clustered like a fistful of stars.
Calliope magazine has taken one of my Hungary poems, the first to see the light.

I made it rain by dedicating myself to a long garden watering. No sooner had I turned the nozzle when moisture began to fall from the sky. Blessed.
My students are not actually impolite. They would be appalled to be accused of impoliteness. They simply have had no training in what constitutes the theater of the private and the theater of the public. There is no public or corporate moment for them, no adaptation of immediate impulse to the social situation. Young lady yesterday comes in with a plate of scrambled eggs, proceeds to consume them in class. Another young lady unwraps a power bar, eats it, gets up (from the exact middle of the room) to throw the wrapper in the trash while I am lecturing. She sits down, peels a banana, consumes it, takes the peel to the trash while I am lecturing. I stop each time and stare. Finally she stares back and says, “Oh, you’re stopping because of me.” She’s surprised. I say, “The class is 75 minutes long. Adults can probably sit and concentrate for that long.”  She says, “What if we need to stretch or something?” I say, “The class is 75 minutes long. Adults can probably sit and concentrate for that long.” I could see that it never crossed her mind that classroom decorum should be any different from her and her friends in the dorm. Deep and unchallenged sense of empowerment.
I nap, anyway, like a champion. I did the math, and it still–what with me going to bed late and rising early– does not exceed eight hours. So--

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