Sunday, October 25, 2015

school performance 

The venue was Roscoe Wilson Elementary School, 4th grade, Ms. Goodnight's class. I'm proud to say, I read a few haiku from my book, e pluribus haiku, but better, I read my Dr. Seuss poem, Dr. Seuss Day at School (see below). Ms. Goodnight is doing a unit on using poetry and other things to express yourself. Earlier in the year, for example, my son had done a mime performance.

I was a little embarrassed calling myself a poet, and I explained that a lot of the poems in the haiku book expressed my wonderment at the wide open nature of the American lands. I'd open my pages of poetry randomly, and that's what I'd find. But one of my favorites was of the s-trestle ruins in New Mexico peeking out from under snow. I really read that one for my son, who has taken me there, and who loves that s-trestle ruins.

The Dr. Seuss poems, however, are light, they rhyme, and, as you can read below, they express more or less dryly what it's like to get four kids out the door every morning. One was the son who sat at my feet while I read, and he beamed to hear himself described as cracking ice on the streets and sidewalks, and going back home to get a toy. Yes, that was him. The Dr. Seuss lilt on the poem got everyone inspired, and they wrote poetry all day, he said. He himself wrote four or five on the way out to New Mexico, and while we were out there. They rhymed. They expressed what was going on in his life. They had a bit of Dr. Seuss in them.

I hope she liked it. If they were inspired, I'm sure she did. They had seen some orchestra people just earlier that morning. Well, I told them, I'm a musician too, and in fact, it's easier being a musician, because people respond more easily to your entertaining nature. They actually have to work to understand your poetry, and most people don't have the time for that. This leaves me free, pretty much, to describe my world in my poetry. Free, in the sense that people who get way in there, no matter what state they start in, will have to be in the mood, or they won't even bother with it.

I'm writing furiously these days. But I love the Dr. Seuss genre, and I'm not sure if anyone else is really taking up the cause. The poem expresses my joy at finding Dr. Seuss characters in the hallway of the school when I got there. This is my world. A kid on my lap (or two), and a book like Yertle the Turtle.

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