National Poetry Month Begins aka It’s April Fool’s Day

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Today is the first day of National Poetry Month. I left my bed an hour and 44 minutes after I typically leave my bed. I brushed my teeth, washed & moisturized my face, did something to my hair, mostly to keep the water off my hair as I washed my face, threw on some clothes, some deo, some boots, grabbed almonds and was out of the door 7 minutes after I left my bed. I had a meeting with a student 16 minutes after I left my bed. I walked on the pathway behind God’s Acre, and hoped my neighbor dog, Lulu, who always runs to the fence and gabs with me for a few minutes, would not be there. She wasn’t. The man who trims the grass around the flat white headstones was there. He’s a beautiful man and often I stop to watch him work, but not today. I didn’t even stop to marvel, as I often do, at the crows crowding the pine trees and the sparrows hopping on branches or the one bitchy squirrel who often squeaks at me. I was late for a meeting. When I arrived on the main road to work, a man who works for the utility company was there with another man. They were beautiful and one stopped me to ask me if I was heading to school. It was one of those awkward meetings, where a beautiful man sees a beautiful woman rushing down the street, but he has to stop and make contact. I quickly answered. I was late for a meeting. He persisted in  his question and his co-worker was smirking behind his back. He was beautiful. I stopped and talked and when we ran out of ways to say, yes, this is the college, etc etc, I pressed on down the road, glancing at my clock and damning myself for stopping. I would be one minute late. When I arrived my student was not there. 29 minutes later my student is still not here. I’m thinking about a conversation I had last night with a beautiful woman, how her eyes headed to the ceiling and her hand landed right between her breasts and she wondered at the life of the poet we’d just listened to, the poet who’d “had a life, a real life,” she said. Academia. It’s a life, I suppose, but not a real one. Not often one where we poets stop and marvel at the worlds around us, as we’re heading to the classroom or as we’re inside of the classroom, or once we’ve left the classroom feeling anxious about our teaching.

My morning feels like a poem for April Fool’s Day, so instead of sitting here any longer, I’m going to go to the student café and get some tea and a breakfast something, but before that, I’m going to remind myself of the evening past, of Ed Roberson and his beautiful face and his beautiful spirit and his beautiful voice reading his beautiful poems and that wonderful quip he made: “A student said you can’t have the word “beauty” in a poem so I put ‘beauty’ in this poem three times: Beauty Beauty Beauty.”

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