Saturday, November 14, 2015

Wish We Were Dead Poets Society

Remember that spastic thing you used to do when we were out scaring civilians?

I'd smoke, and you'd swear -
leaves caught in our hair
and graveyard dirt
on the cuffs of our jeans.
We were the Wish We Were Dead Poets Society,
you and me.
Embarrassingly, endearingly earnest;
certain that the world was about to end
and churning inside to write it all down
right then.

Can't go back again.

When I told you that I'd become a teacher
(all these years later)
it was if I'd confessed to hosting a game show in hell.
Sell out, sell out, sell . . .
unsaid the Burning Man just back from Burning Man.

I understood.  But, understand . . .

I still poet and rage
just like the old days
against the sorry state of this world.
I'm the same/not quite the same girl.
It's just that everything
is not personal
anymore.

Remembering for Karin's prompt at Real Toads.  Tough exercise!  I'm still not quite happy with this, but maybe it'll clean up later.

19 comments:

Sylvia K said...

You are always good and no one says it better!! Thank you!

Outlawyer said...

Dear MZ--it is so cool to read you at greater length--this is like a little story, told with wonderful musical and rhythmic touches--and it reads super well, and is very endearing and earnest as one has such a strong sense of particular character. I think it works well--I know what you mean though about not complete happiness as I feel that way with mine--it's a bit of an arbitrary sort of exercise and maybe one needs to let them sit awhile--I'm not saying that you do, as I think this works very well--I'm writing of myself here--Thanks so much for participating with this wonderful piece. k.

Gail said...

Everything's not personal...words I will remember

Sioux said...

Personally, I think it looks pretty "clean" right now...

Magaly Guerrero said...

Your last stanza says it all. When all stays personal we die while still walking. A mind can only take so much... and a heart, well... so much hurt has to damage that sensitive beating bit.

brudberg said...

To remember our earnest youth.. It was all personal and anger inside.. For me it really hits home, I think there are some general coming of age truths here...

Kerry O'Connor said...

When I told you that I'd become a teacher
(all these years later)
it was if I'd confessed to hosting a game show in hell...

These lines made me smile. So few understand the calling of a teacher and see it as a cop out from life, for some reason. I've made my peace with the prejudice, so you words made me smile.

Keep on poeting and raging... for our sakes.

blueoran said...

I think its a great way through with the challenge -- a note to one's earlier self. Some wonderful revelations of that prior ferocity and what age teaches us about it. We learn it isn't personal, which lends a lot more iron and flint to the blade. Amen.

hedgewitch said...

Like Karin, I always enjoy seeing what you do in longer form--you remain economical and succinct, but you are able to create a narrative that holds a few more sharp turns and collisions with (often uncomfortable) facts, objects, emotions and realizations. Last lines are killer, and do a great job at resolving the tensions between past and present, old self, new self, friend and self, and decisions made for better or worse accommodated.

Fireblossom said...

Who cares what they think? YOU're the poet, now.

Other Mary said...

And you can poet rage like no body's business.

angieinspired said...

I was right there with you, being embarrassingly earnest, and running through graveyards with leaves in my tangled hair. We are still the same and not. Superb ending, "its not personal anymore." I loved this reflection, and am still wondering if teaching is a sell out, as even my daughters are majoring in my family's profession in college wondering if there's anything else. Really, is there anything else?

Rommy said...

I can remember that teen-aged intensity. I see it in the eyes of my children where everything is now and nothing is more real than the moment you inhabit currently. With adulthood comes the ability to put just enough distance between our moods so we can express them without drowning in them.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I so love this! Every word resonates.......I especially love the ending. Fantastic write, MZ.

Ella said...

Your ending really got me~ So, much intimacy shared about life and its edges blurred. Well Done

Susie Clevenger said...

Wow! Life takes some things and keeps some things within us. This is powerful! It is nice to read a longer piece from you although your usual economy of words speaks volumes.

Marian said...

Understood completely! I love this. Age and years, a bit of perspective, still the same old gal, kinda. Love.

Marion said...

You had me at "Dead Poet's Society"!! Perfect. <3 xo

Mary said...

Ya, me too!!