Monday, November 8, 2010

she was my first...

I was a freshman in high school... when I fell in love with an older woman... named Darlene... she was only 25 years older... my English teacher... she was my first...

It was with her I saw my first breast... a real one, not like those slick magazines my uncle had hidden... behind one layer of towels in his bathroom... (I bet they thought I had terrible bowel problems)... so it was Romeo and Juliet... when he gets out of bed... (pay no attention to that butt shot)... but there it was... beautiful... a pivotal moment in the life of a adolescent boy. She was ready to fast forward... got distracted... then just put her head down on the desk.

She used to write love notes... in the margins of the stories I turned in... in red pen. Do this... don't do that... this would be better if... more... longer... and I aimed to please... she chiseled me... pushing... pulling me... until I was salt water taffy... in her long fingers... stroking my ego well... urging on the great American novel... in her flowing, floral hippie dresses...

I had her again my senior year...& when my girlfriend...of two years...we had picked out china patterns... (in black to match our attire)... slept with my cousin... real Jerry Springer stuff... she stitched me up... saying I was now ready to write poetry.

& she tried to talk me down... when we led the protest... against using staged graduation pictures... in the yearbook... (because that has huge importance in the grand scheme of things)... but we did it... & she showed us how to do it right...

& she was the one I talked to... when my new girlfriend said... she was going to kill herself... the only one... & she took care of it... but we broke up...

It was tragic...I fell down the steps...tearing all the tendons in my wrist... unable to take the AP test... so wanting to impress... & even learned to write left handed... but it was not good enough.

So, if you ask... do teachers make enough... the answer is adamant...NO!...because every time I sit down to write... my muse speaks in the voice of an older woman... the first one I fell in love with... who could make me tremble... counting syllables... whose delicate hands spread me across the page for the first time... and you never forget your first...


Who inspires you? Today over at One Stop Poetry, I am opening the floor to throw the spotlight on someone you read recently or found in the blogosphere, that inspired you with their writing.

94 comments:

BeMistified said...

Wow... That was just wow.

Thank you for sharing :)

Sandi McBride said...

It's a bit early in the morning for saucy reading, but I enjoyed it anyway...
Sandi

annell said...

Lovely piece. Brian, yesterday, I posted my first piece. Hope you will take a look.

Magpie said...

I'm so glad you had her in your life to "be your first". :) You're totally correct...they don't make enough and probably never will, but money really won't compensate them for what they give. I just hope the special ones know how many lives they touch and the profound effect they have on us.

Bonnie said...

Lucky for us that she gently led you through adolescent trauma to the place where you can spread yourself so deftly across the page.

Jill said...

Could she EVEN have KNOWN the influence she had on you? How she played such a HUGE part in shaping who you are today?

Awesome tribute.

AmyLK said...

This is beautiful!

mama-face said...

love notes in the margins. sigh.


the problem towels...:)

5thsister said...

I'm loving your teacher as well! It's amazing what one person can mean to a young life. My teacher was Gee Tee (short for Mr. George Toland) He taught Biology and gave me a thirst for knowledge. He was known as being the toughest teacher at the school but he really was a kind hearted soul. I miss him.

Melinda Owens said...

This is beautiful and quite a tribute. My first was a college creative writing teacher, we called him "sensitive ponytail guy"...I still think about him when I write poetry.

Beedeebabee said...

What a lovely tribute to the teacher who encouraged you to write ... and let your love flow! ;)

Kathy's Klothesline said...

We are all teachers in a way and need to be aware that we can inspire greatness ........ or demolish it. You are right about the salary of teachers, but they are rewarded in other ways,too ......

penelopephoebe said...

That was wonderfully romantic.

Steven Anthony said...

a beautiful trubute my friend...

BLOGitse said...

I'm sitting and reading your poem. Suddenly BANG! There's a kid playing with bangers. Every time I jump off my chair.
He doesn't know that he's making me dislike this city even more. He's my first kid I don't like here...

Myrna R. said...

I still think of my first really good teacher also. Without her my life script would have been drastically different.

I'm grateful for her and for yours - for all good, dedicated teachers everywhere.

Valerie said...

I wonder if she knows how influential she is, or was. Tribute should be paid to her for what we bloggers now have. Did she teach you to sketch as well.....

Kim A. said...

I come from a family of English teachers. My favorite teacher is the reason I love and understand, really understand, the Bard. What a gift to a 13 year old girl with no vision, no self esteem and no direction. She will forever remain upon the pedestal she earned in my heart.

♥namaste♥

Mama Zen said...

This (former) teacher thanks you. This was lovely.

And, I remember that butt shot in Romeo and Juliet!

Bridgette said...

AMEN! Teachers DEFINITELY do NOT make enough! Trust me I know. :) Great story BTW!

Eva Gallant said...

I, too, am a former teacher. I hope out there somewhere is a former student or two of mine who feel this way. That was a lovely tribute.

Daniel said...

So wonderful and raw and honest and direct. Ahhh, me.

JStar said...

This is great Brian...It was my mom for me...Her poetry is amazing...I have always tried to reach her talent until I learned to find my own style, my own voice...

ladyfi said...

Lyrical and beautiful! Hope you told her what an inspiration she was to you.

SY said...

wow.. great post. We all have that person that pushed us to become what we want to be

and interesting tidbit about the cheating Girlfriend lol.. very Jerry springer indeed

Baino said...

Hehe . .something to be said for the virtue of experience! Then as we get older, there's something to be said for the delights of younger men.

blueviolet said...

I wonder if she feels the same way about you... :)

Melissa Campbell said...

It's amazing what you do with words. I am sure she would be proud. :)

Tina said...

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant tribute.

My junior year English teacher is my inspiration. Wrote about her in my second blog post ever. I was not in love with her, though. She ruined my GPA by giving me a B. She always said she never gave As, and up until my class it was true. But Helen got one anyway. Of course we hated her. Sigh.

Heather said...

It's amazing what an impression your favorite teacher can make on you. I agree, the good teachers out there never make enough...what a shame.
I bet she would love reading this...I did! xo

Heidi said...

My psych prof inspired me to major in psych for my bach degree. He was so nice and tolerant and just saw the good in everyone. He was like a hippie Mr. Rogers.
It didn't take that long for me to realize I could never be that nice and non judgemental.

Becky said...

Ah how cute.Lovely read today Brian.I remember those days well myself,lol.

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
LOL!!!! Some parts of your review was too funny!
Brian, thanks for sharing the story of your first love...Miss/Mr._______(I'am quite sure that both genders had "crushes" on their teachers too!) with your readers, and as part of One Stop Poetry.
DeeDee ;-D

Hilary said...

That's a beautiful tribute to your first.. and teachers in general. That infatuation seems to be quite the schoolboy norm from what I understand. Nicely done. :)

Claudia said...

so good to have such teachers...this was warm-hearted and encouraging brian...sadly enough i never had a teacher like her..

Mmm said...

We all had crushes on our French Teacher in highschool--she was from France, spoke beautifully even if we didn't know what she said--the perfect picture of a French lady.

Great story here.

Candie Bracci said...

Oh this was so nice Brian!!!Of course it never goes away and it should be that way.

Dulce said...

First ones are always first ones, what means they''l never be forgotten... oh-especially if they were a teacher!

OMG
;)

TALON said...

There are those people in life that see right into us...and they nestle in and stay there.

Nessa said...

Funny and sweet and romantic. A tad naughty too as all good things are.

Hannah Stephenson said...

Yay for teachers and how they inspire us, intentionally and unintentionally!

I teach freshman English, and Rebecca Skloot (author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) came to speak at the university I teach in. She talked about getting inspired by a biology class when she was 16--the instructor mentioned HeLa cells, and she was inspired to learn more. 15-20 years later, she has this amazing bestselling book, inspired by this moment. She mentioned that she sent the instructor a copy, with a note that said, "Here is my extra credit assignment. It's only 20 years late."

slommler said...

What a wonderful tribute to teachers everywhere!! Mine was a tall, dark haired history teacher. Blue blue eyes and the patience of Job!!
Thanks for the memory.
Hugs
SueAnn

Carmi said...

I married my wife, a teacher, because she inspired me just as the teachers of my youth had done. That feeling of, I don't know, magic in my soul...well, I hope my childhood educators know how they lit me up.

Based on your brilliantly structured writing, your teacher succeeded, too. Damn, you get neater with every read :)

Monkey Man said...

Left quite a successful impression on you. She also helped you with your lust for words. She is to be congratulated.

Janice said...

Quite simply, I loved this. It brought tears to this retired teacher's eyes.

Eddie Bluelights said...

You've made me jealous LOL
Unfortunately my teacher all wore moustaches and had deep voices.
Nice peice, Brian.

Me said...

I loved this, Brian.

After my recent post about a BAD teacher, I also got to thinking about the GOOD teachers I've had (a post is brewing, but not quite there yet). Anyhow, it inspired me to look up my best teacher on FB...and I found him. He had *such* nice things to say to me, even 23 years later. You can't even begin to put a price on that.
-C

Betsy said...

I never had a teacher that had any kind of lasting impression or inspiration on me. I feel I've missed out! :(

June_Butterfly said...

That was beautiful!Though my memories of my teachers are always mixed up,sure would have loved to meet this teacher of yours.She must have been one great woman.

I can't really rememeber when I started writing.But if we talk of now,you sure are one of those who inspire me to write.And write well.

Vicki Lane said...

Beautiful tribute...

Cloudia said...

*Super Soulful Applause*


And you can sketch salt too!!!!!!

you sure deserve your readership.

Aloha from Waikiki :)

Comfort Spiral

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OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

a tribute well deserved to the muse inspiring your talent... but you've got me at Romeo's butt! (lol)

Pat said...

I know a lot of your writing is based on truth, so I'm assuming this one is, too. It warms my heart to hear of a teacher that encouraged you this way. Look at how well you write - you owe it all to her - and yes, your talent, of course! Did you ever tell her how much she influenced you? Boy that would make her day!

gayle said...

What a beautiful tribute to your teacher!

Tracy said...

I hope she knows how much she meant to you. I know she means a lot to me because of you!

Terresa said...

Oh, this is moving, lyrical prose poetry. A first love, mine wouldn't be so poetic (he's a four letter word).

budh.aaah said...

Nicely written Brian so much so that I dont feel 'its not right' :) what I otherwise would have felt reading something like this. That kind of a positive presence in the growing up years is what shapes us into the being we are now..

Slamdunk said...

Wonderful tribute Brian. It is amazing what we can accomplish when someone pushes the right motivation buttons.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I wonder if she really knows that she was your first?

Nothing can measure up to the lives that teachers touch.

Teri said...

You made me think of my English Lit teacher. She was wonderful. Kind of a hippie. She wore beautiful dangling earrings of beads that she purchased from one of the girls in my class (another wonderful hippie). It's great to remember who has inspired you. If you are lucky, there is at least ONE teacher in your lifetime who will do this for you. I wonder if she is still alive? And, if so, does she know what a talented writer you are still to this day?

Bernie said...

Love this and think it is a beautiful tribute....:-) Hugs

Kaylen said...

Ha, you never do forget your first. I love your love story.

I wonder if she ever looks back at that time and remembers this love affair you had. :)

Sophia said...

Another brilliant write....

...."She used to write love notes... in the margins of the stories I turned in..."

.......

Anonymous said...

first love always stays inside our heart. even if we have moved away forever.

trisha
mydomainpvt.wordpress.com

Zuzana said...

That was so romantic, sweet and very sensual as well.;) I guess we all recall teachers that impacted our lives, in one way or another.;)
I wonder which Romeo and Juliet shot you refer to, as there is one just like that in my favorite 1967 version.;)
Have a great day dear Brian,
xo

adeeyoyo said...

I love it when you never REALLY say... much better than being explicit... You're right we never forget our first love/strong infatuation, Brian. Wish I could write as well as you do!

Just Be Real said...

Beautifully written Brian. Blessings.

the walking man said...

from THE LINE BETWEEN

His grandmother was the major influence regarding Durfee's love of the form, She was the one who introduced him to the works of poets she loved, rather than read him fairy tales when she took care of him while his parents were at work.

This book is dedicated to her:
Catherine "Mamie" Stewart
1889—1994

The inspiration and title come
from what we see and do on
that line between the
date of birth and the date of death.






You've already seen this Brian but I didn't feel like writing it again.

otin said...

Awww, and here I thought that you were banging the teacher! :)

sheila said...

Wonderful! And as a former teenage girl...?...yeah, I guess we are kinda sucky people sometimes ;o) Such is life. We help boys grow up and then search our souls til we're old.

Syd said...

I remember mine too. Those older teachers molded me to love words, to delight in math, to see the mysteries in science. Thanks for reminding me of those wonder years.

Pete Marshall said...

i just reread this again mate...as a treat....was a fantastic write...seriously was.....pete

Lorraine said...

Wow indeed very inspiring, the sensuous teenager falling for the teacher...sad and oh so beautiful

Jerry said...

you just layed yourself out on this one. thanks.

deb said...

read this without breathing..
wonderful.

(and I've a few posts to catch up on Brian, thx for your patience)

Kulio said...

ohhhhhh....could feel this one in my skin!! beautiful.

TechnoBabe said...

To be taught to express yourself at a young age like that! Amazing. And what a blessing for you for the rest of your life. You described your young man changes in life feelings while you were receiving guidance that would help you to be the blogger you are now and on beyond this for more and better to come.

Susan Deborah said...

I get goosebumps as I read this. Why? I am a teacher. Feels good to read something like this and second, I teach English! Voila.

I loved this one. You show how everything in life an be turned into a story :)

I wonder how you will write your story of blogging and inviting an assortment of lovely comments. That can wait, by Jove.

Big hugs for this one, Brian.

Joy always,
Susan

Reflections said...

Nice thoughts toward those wonderful teachers who forever change our perspectives... I was actually writing a mystery novel in his class, but then... became frustrated with the other students taking the pages from under my pen at the ends of papers... Disposed of it somewhere along the way, but later and now wish I still had it.

You are right, they are so underpaid and sometimes underappreciated for the impact that they carry.

Raven said...

Amazing. Simply amazing.

Hope said...

nice! now that's a memory that will never be forgotten. you did it justice with your talent to romance the words.

thank you

Shell said...

"she chiseled me... pushing... pulling me... until I was salt water taffy..."

Ah, sweet Muse....bringing out the best in us.

Glorious tribute...I read with a smile.

Marla said...

Great stuff. I still have my first paper with love notes in the margins. I still get butterflies when I read it.

Paul C said...

I had a crush on my first grade teacher, but endearment for an English teacher in high school who loved language.

Shari Sunday said...

You really had me going as usual. Great share. Hormones and youthful angst push us a long way and influence our lives forever.

The Retired One said...

Geez, I might be a tad Gay then, because my first one was a woman..my creative writing teacher. I swear if she had asked me to murder someone and then write about the experience, I would've done it for her. And you are correct, I still hear her voice when I want to write something worth printing or when I edit something I need to write for a purpose (other than blogging).

natalee said...

As a teacher I am eating this up!! lol.. LOved it.. ps.. I remember watching Romeo and Juliet in HS and watching that scene of Romeo... It's still one of my favorite movies...

Mom said...

What a tribute! I wonder if she reads your blog...she would love it.

Goofball said...

great teachers really change lives forever...we cannot tribute them enough

Jen Chandler said...

This is absolutely beautiful.

Thank you.

Liza said...

Brian, I love the versatility of your writing.

YOU are inspiring : )

California Girl said...

how wonderful.

I had a big crush on my 11th grade English teacher who became an inspiration again in Jr College when I switched to an English Lit major. he was terrific and I worked hard for his approval. I stayed in touch with him when I went away to finish college at university. Last time I saw him he was crippled up with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 35.

PattiKen said...

Wow. just wow. I copied this (but promise not to sell it!) and sent it to Lisa, who is teaching high school now. She'll love it. She may comment, if she can find a minute in her day.

She Writes said...

I am older than my boyfriend by a good deal of years (that will remain uncounted here). So, I LOVED this :)!