While taking a brief respite from grading, I scanned some of the lower bookcase shelves for a few more poetry books to donate to the library. Found an old copy of William Hathaway's The Gymnast of Inertia, published by LSU in 1982, and of course I had to skim through it before putting it in the "go" pile. Here's a poem for all you fellow teachers:
I liked your poems "Michael," "We Are Seven,"
and "Idiot Boy" very much, even when
the teacher read them aloud and cried
and blew her nose. "Tintern Abbey" is really neat,
though I don't understand it. I did a walk-
athon for March of Dimes once. I hate your poem
"Daffodils." Ha-ha, that's just a joke,
I just don't know better because of television.
Seriously, why did you become such a crusty,
old poo-poo? Professor Borck at the university
says you got tired of not being rich. My
dad says poor people are happy being poor
because God loves everyone--even poets. I
think it would be romantic to have a French
girlfriend and a dopefiend for a best friend.
I can hardly wait until my creepy sister
goes to college and I can have her room.
My best friend is Veralee Broussard and I can
talk about anything with her. I wish you
could tell me what it's like to be dead.
It would feel neat to lie in a cozy coffin
underneath the flowers and know everything.
Really, you rot and go to heaven or hell.
Well, this is almost two hundred words, so
I have to go. Tomorrow we read Amy Lowell.
Mrs. Curtis says she smoked cigars!
Rodney Gomez: A Short Tablature of Loss
5 weeks ago