universe, I get it, message received loud and clear

I don’t always discuss the specifics of my life, but these are too good not to share. If you have been reading as of late, you know that I am taking a year away from being a classroom teacher to focus on my writing. It is also time for me to reflect on my career…

man and his best friend

Someday I hope that I can experience the kind of dedication and sincere love that a man has for his penis. After seeing Louis C.K. live tonight I am overwhelmed by how much he likes to talk about his penis. And even young babies love to play with their penis – they pull at it,…

being accessible

I am away from the classroom, so I don’t have my captive audience, the people who had to listen to me, or at least pretend to. I tried hard to not be a teacher who was alienating or direct by tunnel vision, I designed activities and an environment to engage students with their own thinking,…

things you could do instead of watching the presidential debates

It may seem odd for a history teachers to advocate abstinence from watching a historic event, but the value of such mainstay political events has become diluted. Radio hosts, college professors, authors. pundits, historians, past and present politicians dissect every word said and unsaid. The lives of the candidates is no longer kept under wraps,…

OITNB – Season 4 – how may we repent

I postponed watching this latest season of Orange is the New Black because at the end of last season the plot established the role of private prisons, taking over the establishment where the women live in the series, the last scene has the women exuberant in a brief freedom facilitated through a hole in the…

new visual landscapes

I love to wander, to arrive somewhere I don’t know and will never know again. I find deep relief in being amongst complete and total strangers. I don’t need any novelty or surprise site, I’m happy with the oddity of just that paint job, the houses and who might live in them, the rare shocks…

the only certainty is uncertainty

This will sound outlandish, but the 9/11 attacks occurred at the perfect time in my life. I did not profit nor truly suffer from that tragedy, but it did help to frame my world view. I had already come to understand true poverty by seeing children with distended bellies and victims of leprosy in the…

rejection

A person can have a rotting liver, an organ too full of poison to function any longer, a key mechanism failing, yet when the body is offered a new organ – a vital and healthy organ – the body can try to kill it off. The body’s immune system recognizes the new organ as foreign,…

“I’m taking the year off…to…um…write”

I am embarking on a strange new way of living, one that is structured only by my own self-discipline, rewarded in a currency of my own making, and with a high possibility of some type of failure. After ten years of teaching in a formal high school classroom, I am leaving behind that structure to live amongst…

from the desk of Marlon James

The author posted this note on FaceBook and it instantaneously illuminated for me a sensation I hadn’t been able to completely define. Marlon James Yesterday at 7:50pm · So I’m on a panel last night and somebody asks, how does one write when overcome with emotion, mostly grief I’m assuming. How does one get words…

[up from slobbery]

one of my favorite poets; we all need more poetry [up from slobbery] BY HARRYETTE MULLEN up from slobbery hip hyperbole the soles of black feet beat down back streets a Yankee porkchop for your knife and fork your fill of freedom in Philmeyork never trouble rupture urban space fluctuates gentrify the infrastructure feel up…