Sunday, April 30, 2006

Since You're Here...

Many of you know that I do a bit of writing. I don't often post it here; I don't know why. I guess I figure this isn't the place for it. But anyway, I was working on a poem this morning that I thought was sort of funny, and I thought I'd put it out there. Comments are appreciated.
(Some edits made--4pm.)

The Teaching Life

I light my Cuban with a Franklin
and take a call from the president.
“I’m sorry, sir,” I say, “but I'm in LA on Friday.
You’ll have to reschedule the dinner.”
He’s disappointed, but he understands.

My three cars gleam in the circle drive,
the solid-gold trim shaming the sun.

I have a shoe, just like Mike.
I don’t read books, anymore—
don’t have the time.

Endorsement deals, talk shows, personal appearances—
this is what my life has become.

At parties, when I say, “I’m a teacher,”
the ladies fall at my feet.

Men and boys ask for an autograph, a picture,
something they can show their grandkids, their buddies.
“Guess who I saw downtown this weekend.”

It’s a drag, sometimes, not being able to finish a four-star meal in peace.
I don’t go out much, anymore—
don’t have the patience.

I try to give back. I make more than I need.
Last month, I sent four hundred thousand pencils to Ecuador.
You know, to help with the earthquake.
I wanted to make a difference.
After all, Ticonderoga had just signed me to a $30 million deal.
My face on every box—
isn’t that success?

Some days, when I’m in my home theatre
with Dr. Dre and Bono and Gwyneth,
I feel an emptiness, but I can’t tell where.

One of my former students stopped me on the street yesterday.
“Reda! Hey, you were the best. I loved your class.
You taught me so much.” I posed for a picture,
shook his hand when he left. I couldn’t remember his name.
As he walked away, I smiled in satisfaction—
he was wearing my shoes.

2 comments:

Magdalene said...

Brought a smile to my face...nice wit...and a sigh at the end...

Does that make me a cynical wench? Hmmm....

Nice juxtaposition of the high life and teacherville (unless of course, in your corner of the world teacherville IS the high life).

In any case, a nice read.

UKM

Anonymous said...

Dude, where can a sister get a pair of those fly shoes you pimpin'?

Oh, I'm OK. Don't worry about me. I was just falling at your feet again.

It's gotta be the shoes.

(Seriously, that was a clever piece of writing. Do share more. And can I get an autograph to go with the shoes?)

Anon AMVB, she likes the shoes