* the mess we’re in & Alden Nowlan

It’s the last week of classes here at UC.  I can read the strain on my students’ faces.  I, personally, am not at all stressed.

* here there be monsters *
* here there be monsters *

The above is what it looks like under my desk presently.  What in August was a slight stack of scratch paper has, uhm, well…scratched into more.  Is there yeast in paper?  That’s besides the point.

Mind you, the above may not look like much but I’m a Virgo and OHMYGODTHERE’SPAPERSONTHEFLOORI’MTHEWORSTPERSONEVER!

Ahem.

Seriously, I’m doing ok.  Only one major paper left to do.  I am making it my goal, dear readers, to have both the paper done and my desk area clean by this time next week.  I’ll keep you posted.

For now, please enjoy the fine sentiment of the following poem by Canadian poet Alden Nowlan.

What moves me most in it is the surprise made possible through the control of dialogue.  It seems deceptively simple, but this poem carries a lot of nuance as well as heart.

***

It’s Good to be Here – Alden Nowlan

I’m in trouble, she said
to him.  That was the first
time in history that anyone
had ever spoken of me.

It was 1932 when she
was just fourteen years old
and men like him
worked all day for
one stinking dollar.

There’s quinine, she said.
That’s bullshit, he told her.

Then she cried and then
for a long time neither of them
said anything at all and then
their voices kept rising until
they were screaming at each other
and then there was another long silence and then
they began to talk very quietly and at last he said
well, I guess we’ll just have to make the best of it.

While I lay curled up,
my heart beating,
in the darkness inside her.

***

Happy ignoring what the floor looks like for another week!

Jose

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