I teach high school English in Ohio, and I climb rocks in Kentucky. I write poems and ride my bike along the river and through city parks.
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Oh gosh, thanks so much! That is very kind of you to say. I grinned at a few of your lines as well, especially this one, which resonated with me:
- but instead buy a carton of juice for the boyfriend
not wanting to be doctrinaire
about anything, even orange juice.
I have indeed published poems in Maudlin House, Rat's Ass Review, Poetry Pacific, and The Scarlet Leaf Review. I haven't been submitting much lately and have hit a bit of a dry spell in my writing, but I plan to get back into the swing of things soon! I'd love to appear in lit.cat -- it's such a fun publication with mixed media, which I appreciate.
Phew, I'm crawling back out of the woodwork for this killer prompt. Maybe it's because I've felt disconnected from my local writing community recently and have been doing a lot of rock climbing, but I couldn't help myself.
This is what it's like to climb into the storm:
Tilt against the rock, a crucifix
shod in rubber. Ignore the thunder—
uncertainty is why you came. Open
your mouth when you breathe.
The rhododendron and pine will be
gone tomorrow; taste them
on the rain today. At the top,
hook the metal back
to your waist. Leave the wall clean.
Leave your hands raw. Leave your feet
bare when they return to Earth. The sand
is soft in Muir Valley, and the snakes
don’t bother with cloudy weather.
This is what it's like to toss fear,
wet, across the ground where it will
run in rivulets with mud and melting
clay. Spill it from chest and gut.
Trade it for laughter. Grin with
bright teeth that know what it's like
to fight gravity.
Man, these Ohio threads sure do bum me out! I was born and raised in Ohio, and I still live here. I'm curious about how much time you guys have spent in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus. I live in Columbus, and the culinary and craft beer scene here are incredible, especially in the last five years. Our neighborhoods are havens for art-- the Short North Gallery Hop scene boasts all kinds of gorgeous work and good food on the fancier end, but neighborhoods like Franklinton and Old North are home to some of the most vibrant artistic and literary communities you could ask for.
I've spent time in Dresden, Berlin, Amsterdam, Seattle, Portland, and NYC, and I don't feel like I miss a ton by living in Ohio. I wish we had better mass public transit, and I wish Ohio had more wilderness and mountains to explore. That being said, living in Ohio puts you within a day's drive of a dozen wonderful outdoor spaces beyond fields and Hocking Hills.
Anyway, I felt the need to say something positive about Ohio. I couldn't stand to live in its rural areas, or probably even in Dayton or Toledo, but the three C cities are vibrant and exciting places to be, despite the bad reputation they get.
Ich studierte Deutsch als NebenHauptfach an der uni. Ich bin nach Dresden gereisen um Sommer Kursen zu machen, and ich habe viel gelernt. Wenn du reisen zu lernen kannst, so sollst du! Es gibt niemand, der besser lehren kann, als die Zeit, die man in Deutschland verbringt.
Ich wünsche, dass ich dir einen besser Rat geben könnte. Leider, mache ich fast nichts Deutsch zu üben. Mein Fähigkeit wird immer schlechter. Ich bin einen English lehrer, und ich habe drei Studentin, die Deutsch studieren. Sie sind sehr talentiert, und wir reden uns oft auf Deutsch. Aber sie haben noch so viel zu lernen. Ich habe noch keine Gelegenheit schwerige Unterhaltungen zu haben.
This does not surprise me much, unfortunately. What does surprise me in my day-to-day life is the incompetence of youth who have grown up with nearly unfettered access to high speed internet and a variety of devices. I teach suburban high schoolers from upper-middle class families, and my students are astoundingly tech illiterate. They do not understand, conceptually, the difference between cloud storage and local storage. They are unable to download a file and then locate it later because they have absolutely no grasp of files or folders or where/how to access/sort information on the machine. Hell, they don't even know how to navigate menus to change display settings, sort information differently, or save a Google Doc as PDF. These kids are freshmen and juniors in high school-- they are 14-16 years old, and if I let them, they would spend the entire school day staring at their phones, laptops, and iPads.
I had assumed, previously, that being raised on tech would result in a high baseline literacy with the software, but I was wrong. They use their devices all day, but it seems like they use them for such specific, shallow, narrow tasks that they don't pick up any skills beyond how to navigate Instagram and pick up the latest online Jugendsprache. I spend a depressing amount of instructional time either walking them through basic steps to upload an assignment or doing it for them.
I finished my book, Foundation. I enjoyed it, but not quite as much as I had hoped. I have trouble getting into sci-fi for some reason, with the exception of Kurt Vonnegut, who does it a little differently anyway. I am almost certain I sent mine on. It sounds like maybe galen has it? If not, it's in my box of books, because I still lack a book case!
EDIT: Yep, just checked my old messages. Galen received it a while back. But I just remembered I got a second book too. Sorry, I guess it's been a while. The second one was American Gods, right? I read that one as well, and it's definitely sitting in my box of books.
This was such a fantastically fun song, and I enjoyed the quiet, intense focus of each of you. What's your group's name?
Brand new leather built blisters that bubbled
and burnt, glistening wet like a fresh tattoo.
It took miles of massaging before the stiff soles
learned to hold my feet like a lover.
I have sat for hours, a gargoyle polishing his pedestal
with wax and horsehair, rubbing brown salves
over cracks left by the desert winter air
and milky streaks of saltwater rich with lime.
In turn, my boots have guided me blindly over brick roads
and terracotta roofs. We’ve scaled sandstone towers
and dangled above canals washed in red light.
They carried me home quietly when it was time.
When my toes touched the rain, I emptied my pockets
before a small-mouthed man with dry-ice eyes and a beard
denser than rubber. He tore skin and stitches, transplanted
a new tar-black body onto a worn face.
The hospital floor is pale green.
My boots glow warm brown.
Swollen lips part under fluorescent light.
Some souls can’t be replaced.
There has been an update on this discussion in that Michael Render, who has been promoting Bernie's campaign, spoke with Coates about Bernie and reparations. My favorite bit of commentary from Render is:
- The fact that blacks have to even justify the case for reparations is shameful. The fact that only 1 candidate is being called to task is Bullshit. Especially when that candidate is the only one with policy proposal that directly effects the black community if elected
I agree that the lost nuance can be recovered. I'm actually all about the secularization of mindfulness and meditation. It can remain an extremely valuable spiritual practice full of variation and nuance without being tied to anything mystical or supernatural, which is not my thing. I too notice daily benefit from my practice, and a lot of my day-to-day practice is based on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, but I still would not really call myself a Buddhist.