they walked
Saturday June 11th 2011, 11:56 pm
Filed under: damn,departure,exit pursued by a bear,leaving,memory,seasonal,teaching Tags:

I didn’t, not in the way that matters. And she gave birth to a healthy little girl (mazel tov), and I didn’t. All these passings and passages and rites thereof, speeches and words and photos and moments you’re supposed to remember. And I don’t, really. Or worse, I do, to the letter, but not the why, not the part that made you want to remember it in the first place. Significant for the process, the experience, not merely the symbolic. “What I am to you” says the music in the background. I’ve never known, but perhaps I thought I knew then. ….[update]. In Spite of Me the next track, all too apt in its all too aptness. Perhaps not far off what I feel for these not-really-kids. Another annual rite of passage, tomorrow, as my father sacrifices himself on the altar of his own mediocrity for another year, while Mark Sandman and I are hanging, late tonight, in my living room.

Regularly scheduled

Tonight’s regularly scheduled Nostalgia-Fest(tm) has been delayed due to eminently foreseeable circumstances. A contract offered, yesterday, an early morn and the closure of an exam today. One to London, one to New York, one here for a bit before heading to San Francisco, one to the Air Force and another back to his baby boy. They don’t tell you, not the places you’ll go, but the people you’ll say goodbye to as they go to those places. And so, flint (as is apparently the case with my Reading Abbey wall fill rubble) to the tinder, movies of promise and regret and loss before it’s lost to spark the few bits of fuel not already consumed.

…you stared at us
Thursday June 02nd 2011, 7:21 pm
Filed under: teaching Tags:

…like you were waiting for us to do something. Thus said a student in response to yet another awkward ending to a class. A year. For all of the ridiculously lofty (pompous), erudite (pretentious), dramatic (ridiculous) postures i strike throughout a quarter, I still haven’t figured out how to bring a class to a satisfying ending. So I quoted some devastating Wallace Stevens, and though I had originally planned on commenting on the poem instead just stopped, stared at them, and then wished them luck with next week’s final. They stared back, and quietly gathered their books and said muted goodbyes and shuffled out in silence. First quarter I haven’t been applauded, and I think I may have intentionally precluded it, yesterday by bribing my seminar with pizza and a Disney flick after an hour and a half of so of yammering. And today by a recitation of part of a poem that really doesn’t admit of rejoinder or response, only reaction. And so, again, I end, not for their applause, or even hoping they’ve learned what I’ve been teaching, bought what I’ve been selling, but that I can unbalance them one last time, send them out knowing that clarity can always be muddled and muddles made meaningful. That it’s their turn to teach themselves.

Effendi, he
That has lost the folly of the moon becomes
The prince of the proverbs of pure poverty.
To lose sensibility, to see what one sees,
As if sight had not its own miraculous thrift,
To hear only what one hears, one meaning alone,
As if the paradise of meaning ceased
To be paradise, it is this to be destitute.
This is the sky divested of its fountains.