I thought, as this is the first week of my official njpoet tenure, I should introduce myself.
First of all, could we take a moment to focus on me? I’m sorry, but one of us has been violated and traumatized.
I was drunk. I was comfortable. And I thought, “It’s okay. He’s a nice guy.” And I passed out.
Y’all sure know how to make a poet professor feel extra special. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for always reading along.
They got to talking about programming, and they’ve basically been hunched over their laptops coding together ever since. But there’s more.
“You really do think we’re doomed,” she said, “that’s not just something you joke about on Facebook. You really feel that way.”
The strange Internet story of the speech I gave at my mother’s 60th birthday party.
If you’re a frequent reader, follower, fan, or admirer, please consider dropping a few dollars in my virtual hat. Thank you.
This morning, Facebook informed me that Professor Samuel R. Delany will be retiring from the MFA Program at Temple University.
“We need healthy families with a mother and a father for the sake of the children and humanity!!!!!” wrote Immaculate High School teacher Patricia Jannuzzi.
A team of paramedics, firefighters, and police were busy scraping bits of machinery and people off the road.
I used to skim five newspapers every day, digesting all the headlines and reading up on developing stories. That was before Twitter.
A woman who works at my bank said I’m “worldly” because I knew the history of India and her home country, Pakistan.
Some people laugh when I say I live in a bookstore, but as the years have unfolded since academia, more and more of my private library has become the inventory for the #njpoet bookstore.
I could hear them bickering before they turned the corner. She’d dragged him to this department store before he’d finished breakfast, apparently. He was still protesting.
In the absence of a university classroom, I found that I naturally began using Facebook to share essays and articles I used to pass on to my students.
She graduated from one of the better-known journalism programs in the early 90s, used her business savvy to land herself a sweet job, used her charm and her talent to earn the beat she’d always wanted: Global Warming.
I remember a long bus ride to Washington D.C., en route to march in protest of the coming Iraq War. It was early 2003.
For the next ten minutes of stammering, our virtual judge explained to the roomful of overstressed people that the court had no authority .
Years before my life without you, we were leaving the supermarket we worked for, heading out to look for drinks, to meet women, when you spotted one staggering to her knees outside the adjacent drug store.
And then we’re snapping at each other over something stupid, something insignificant and not worth the emotion.
Last week I told my students that I used to be suicidal. We were thirty minutes into discussing Kafka’s Metamorphosis.
Someone in the back of the class muttered what I assumed many others were also thinking.
Every morning we see families of homeless people huddled together on scavenged mattresses, wrapped in dirty blankets.
Through my four years of college, and for one year after graduation, I worked in the meat department of a local grocery store.
My father was insane from the Vietnam War, abusive; my mother used to fight him off with anything she could grab.
A lot of the people I write about, ex-girlfriends, or random lovers, or former employers are often, are usually fictional mash-ups of several real-life people.
At a lecture, presentation, orientation, whatever, quietly speed tapping notes into a word-processing app on my phone.
The combat rifle was longer than his thigh, the muzzle aimed at a casual forty-five degree angle towards the concrete floor.
I’m writing a syllabus for a course that will pay $3600, eight bi-weekly pay checks of $450—before taxes.
a rape poem
It’s a fantasy that soothes us, empowers us in the face of our struggles to pay the rent, keep the utilities running, find and/or keep a job, and somehow prepare our children for what’s to come.
“I am so proud of you,” she wrote, but I didn’t know why.
It was a simple shot—casual, yet dynamic. The reporter would speak his lines while strolling through Zuccotti Park. But Zuccotti Park was not cooperating.
One afternoon, Professor Trust Fund interrupted my writing class—just swung open the door and interjected himself.
But it’s very expensive, they say, with a polished compassion. Not to worry!
a sex poem
War is still eating our families.
He told me I needed to work on my people skills, then leaned back in his chair and twitched his mustache—a slight, somewhat satisfied smile.
“Who are your dead? Have them meet in a poem, even if they never met in life [they didn’t], and describe how they interact.”
At least that was the general consensus at a recent social gathering. My female friends were all in agreement. The Buddhist thing was hot.
“Advanced education frightens employers,” he warned. “And try not to appear too intelligent if you land an interview.”
I walked into the NJ Peace Action annual dinner, a notebook in my hand, my head full of activism.