I have been on a kick lately. 

That kick is called: CLEAN THE CLOSETS IN MY HOUSE. No closet is safe. I have two left to tackle.

And to be honest I am quite looking forward to it. 

Yeah, you heard me. 

Projects like this always take more time than they should because I become ENTRANCED in my junk. Entranced, people. 

I make discovery after discovery. 

Yesterday while cleaning a hallway closet I discovered what appeared to be a scrap of paper. It had scribbles all over it and I could barely decipher my own writing. After inspecting it closer I remembered that I had written on this particular piece of paper while sitting in on one of Brent's college classes. One year we decided that we wanted to do that- see what the other experienced in class- and arranged visits and checked with professors accordingly. 

In the top left I had scribbled a note to Brent: "he sounds like Gpa Schoon!"

Underneath I had signed my name with my soon to be new last name over and over and over, perfecting its loops and swirls. 

Under that another quick jot to Brent: "my womb loves you" Interesting. 

And then, as many a scribbly note book page of mine became, it turned into poems. The first a short one, starting with a line I had heard over and over again in writing classes of mine:

"Write what you know"
& I write about the field of grass between my toes
& you touching my face that way
& children laughing & babies sleeping

& I write about being tired
& being fully alive
& the way the rain falls in Missouri

& I write about family
& teaching Shakespeare to freshman
& singing off key LOUDLY

& I write about writing

"Write what you know"
& you'll never run out 

And then a jagged line juts through the page, as if all of a sudden I had a new idea. 

I turned the page over and found more treasures on the back; treasures of this day I sat in Brent's class and wrote with a blue ink pen. 

Another note to Brent: "I hate when ppl ask questions just so they sound like they know what they're talking about." 

And then I'm guessing he gave me a look, a  now famous look , of his.  
Because just beneath that I wrote: "I do it." 

Beneath this I must have gleaned a nugget from the professor because I wrote "WHEN YOU MATCH NEEDS WITH ABILITIES, IT'S A MINISTRY." I boxed it in, three lines thick. Remember this, I must have thought. 

And then I was off again, another poem emerging from my pen. In half cursive, half print I wrote:

Teaching Shakespeare to Freshman

kids in a classroom
eyes hungry, and tired
listening absently

they want more than 
Romeo and Juliet's words
they want to experience
"lips doing what hands do"

and they want to feel
the poison on their lips
"oh give me my sin again"

they misbehave because they don't understand
the significance of Lord Capulet disowning his daughter

they misbehave because they don't understand
the reason their father disowned them

"a rose by any other name
would smell as sweet"
and the girls think it's romantic
and the boys have checked out

Juliet is a "house bought but not yet owned"
and there are no snickers
so it's obvious they don't understand
or their puberty could not refrain from laughing

how do I reach them?
how do I touch them with 
timeless words?

how do I show them meaning 
in the midst of real tragedy?

tragedy, comedy, history
they see this everyday
and they scream from their desks
"let the show begin!"

their "poverty consents
but not their will"
and I pay their poverty
and I do't know if I've hit a nerve

but I hope they see beauty here
if no where else
and as they taste the words
of a play from then
that they taste life

In the top right on the back of the page, as an after thought I'm sure, or out of force of habit, I wrote: 

I doubt I thought I'd come back to it four and a half years later, while crouched on the floor of my hallway, covered in the dust of my memories. 

1 comment:

Brent said...

You know that's why you keep things like that, you like to return back to your memories and just get lost in them for a while...it's probably therapeutic for you. I probably did give you a look that meant, stop doodling and pay attention to my class! :) But that's why you went to NWestern and I went to OCC i guess, you liked writing and I like pondering.