Tuesday, August 21, 2012

OpenLinkNight: bell to bell

roadside, Branson, MO
First day----bell rings
    & i'm back

in high school (my mom even called
this morning to wish me off, dad joking---
'you're lucky she did not walk
you to the bus stop') as if i never left---

never escaped these halls---home room, freshmen
asking the same questions, playing cool
while scared shit-less, seniors giving a shit less,
unsure of the new guy-we'll get there
it's not changed much, a drop

of coffee on my crotch & it looks
like i'm leaking, still brutal

'Mr. Miller'
                                     'Mr. Miller'
           'Mr. Miller'

'what is history?'

'old people'          'some dead'
     'wearing powdered wigs'
'that did something'
        or
    'changed the world'

& at the final bell, i crouch
against a brick column, fingering a tuft
of grass by its base as the buses
                                pull out

laughing to myself,  (at myself, us)
                        IS THAT IT?
ALL THERE IS?
                        glad, men in white wigs
are NOT the only heroes

they just sign the pay checks
         of those that write the books & i decide

 to spend a few minutes with Kerouac
in the library, before leaving.

It is OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets, time to write a poem and come join the excitement...it opens at 3 pm EST--but in the mean time if you pop over you can see the winners of our anniversary poetry contest as well.

Thanks for the grace as well as I figure out working the new job and keeping up with you as well. Smiles. Only able to really visit early in the morning and at night right now.

125 comments:

sonny said...

gimme kerouc any time....grins

actually history was one of my favorite subjects....

hmmm...open link night ..is it ?

sonny said...

OMG FTC ON brian miller post ...!!!

lol

otin said...

At least you found a job. That's the main thing. Congrats on getting something so quick. It must be interesting to be in High School again.

Dave King said...

Great script, this. I particularly appreciated:

to spend a few minutes with Kerouac
in the library, before leaving.

Inspired ending!

Mary said...

Nice capture of the first day of school, Brian. I am sure the job will get itself into some kind of rhythm. I could almost smell the chalk dust in your poem. Those first days can be exhausting.

Daydreamertoo said...

Scary times for everyone as the new ones settle in and the older ones try to make everyone feel unsettled, including teachers.
Many congrats on having found a job so quickly. A history teacher...I should have been one. Love history! That's exactly what Chloe wants to be too. lol
Loved the new ones scared shit less and the older ones could give a shit... it's true. Opps about the coffee spill..
Great writing once again Bri

kaykuala said...

Have fun, it's all that matters. Going by what you've given I see lots of fun written all over. Keep it coming Brian!

Hank

G-Man said...

Sounds like...
Ferris Miller's Day Off!!

the walking man said...

Try Bukowski--i think he had abetter understanding of the High School way of mind. Seeing as he lived it his entire life.

Shell said...

Oh, those lucky kids:) You'll be brilliant and inspiring to all who are lucky enough to cross your path...Evocative write~

Valerie said...

I never undertood history at school because the teacher had no idea how to teach it. You, my friend, will be good. Please can I join your class... Smiles.

Having trouble with internet access, something to do with DNS (unable to open pages) error, so may be a bit tardy with commenting for a while. Fortunately I have posts already scheduled and I'm thanking my good fortune that I own an iPad! How I wish I was a techno wizard :0)

Tina said...

So you got the job??? You say high school hasn't changed, and to some degree I agree. It's still a rite of passage that for nerd (that would be me) to suffer through. However, watching Jake and how cell phones have completely changed the landscape of communication between the kids (and oh boy are they still kids, on the inside, when they in the middle of the night let their guard down and ask the hard questions). No more letting the problem solve itself over night while everyone just calms down. No...texts get sent that escalate one thoughtless comment from a tired "friend" and all hell breaks loose. Sigh. But hey, guys who can do what you do are needed now more than ever!!!!!
Loved this work. Especially the Mr. Miller from all directions. I remember those days SO well, even though the last time I taught was 1996...
Tina @ Life is Good

Daniel said...

I loved that you still found a few moments for yourself at the end of the craziness.

Leif G.S. Notae said...

This was a good poem. It is always tough to go through and equate history to those who don't understand it yet, but that is the beauty of youth. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Tara Miller said...

Very good description of your first day my love. Your words made me feel a bit of nervous anxiety about the day....being pulled in all directions, learning new routines and this being your first day of high school again probably brought a multiple of feelings as well. Once you settle in and find your balance, you'll be amazing. I believe in you and am so proud! Those students need someone like you to help guide them.

Betsy Brock said...

You're going to be great. The kids will love you.

Fix that hole in your lip...lol...

izzy said...

Oh my! you need many hats and wigs to work that crew- Really have to be
'on' and grounded at the same time!
Go for it we will be cheering you on :)

DJan said...

Sounds like school to me, whether it's being a student or a teacher, it's still back to school time... :-)

Grace said...

I am sure you will find your balance and place in the new surroundings. Plus your keen eye will give us more stories ~

Congrats on the new job~

All the best Brian ~

Pat Hatt said...

Oh the first day
Can be something to display
And yeah many write for pay
Just to add another room to their oversized bay
Or maybe buy a boat
Or get a goat
Who knows what fetish may reside
Now I've lost my stride
Back on track
Having a job and letting a few comments lack
Is better than none
Mine lets me still have fun haha

ladyfi said...

Don't worry about us! Good luck with the new job.

Margaret said...

I am so glad you are in a school setting. The kids need both role models and approachable people. I have a feeling you are both (just watch those coffee stains :)

Susan said...

That awful/great picture! This year I do not get a first day! boohoo. "On the Road" huh? And all of the illegal-in-school-stuff-he-did that goes with it? And just because Mom called!? I was laughing and catching back a sob here and there all of the way through this poem! Those men in the wigs couldn't hack it, and shouldn't be evaluating those that are on the field in the game everyday. Just pay us and go away.

Next time, I promise to get back to commenting on your poetry-but this moved me, as you can see.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Hope the new job will work out perfectly Brian. I imagine they students will find you to be a cool teacher!

First day of class here today...glad I did NOT walk my high schoolers IN but certainly THOUGHT about it! :)

Rachel Hoyt said...

Ha! My dad would've been the one calling to wish me a good day at school. :) It would be a trip to be "back in highschool". Thanks for sharing this glimpse into that world.

ayala said...

Brian..so cool..I love that your mom called you to wish you off...sounds like someone I know :) Love the details of your day..those kids are lucky to have you! :)
Smiled at this..., i crouch
against a brick column, fingering a tuft
of grass by its base as the buses
pull out...maybe I read too much into it?

Monkey Man said...

CONGRATS man...Looks like the big guy was looking out for ya :)

thingy said...

OMG. Just gorgeous. Every line.

Teri M said...

You survived your first day! :-) You will be used to it before you know it.

AmyLK said...

school never changes, does it? ha-ha. And you'd have loved to have Mom walk you to the bus stop. Smiles.

Best part, you SURVIVED! lol

sage said...

I am not sure what would have happened to me if I had discovered Kerouac in high school--I'd probably still be on the road. Congratulations on the job!

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Brian,

Interesting profile photo.

Congrats on taking up a job. It will surely keep you more busy. But then that is life, TO KEEP BUSY.

Wish you all the best,
Joseph

Magpie said...

New job is at a high school! Did they let you keep your individuality (mohawk?) or make you conform? You'll be the most popular teacher before you know it.

Claudia said...

good decision on spending some time with kerouac before leaving... thanks for taking us along your first day back in school on the other side...think i read this to Miri...smiles

Carrie Burtt said...

You will be an awesome teacher Brian! And I am sure your career will inspire much more stories as well.....I know how it is trying to read blogs when you are working....by the way when is "Open link night"? Is that always on Monday?

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Some days the job is fulfilling, some days the job just fills, and I always say educators like their jobs at least 12 days a year. I loved the cyclical destination of your high school. Wonderful! Leaking, indeed!

Tabor said...

I think your life is so cool because you make it that way...just saying.

Pat said...

This made me grin - freshmen scared shitless and seniors giving a shit-less! And poor you with a drop of coffee by your crotch! First day jitters for all! How cute that your parents called you. Good luck at your new job.

hedgewitch said...

How you bring it back--and that's across a gap of years that is quite historical in sweep for me, brian. Best of luck with the new/old job, and see you on the trail as time permits--you do more than ten people when it comes to the visiting and interaction, so I'm sure no one has a problem with you dialing down a tad. right now. I really got a strong visual of you, hunkered down by the column, then takin five with Jack.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Always an adventure starting a new job. Good luck with it!

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

[bell-to-bell]
Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing your very descriptive poetry as [one door closes an[d] another door [Of opportunity]opens for you too!]
Good-luck! and Tks,for sharing the image too!
deedee :)

Natasha Head said...

Good luck Poet! No amount of money in the world could convince me to go back THERE!!! ;) Hope you find your flow...and loving the General Lee shot!

Laurie Kolp said...

I love this, Brian. I agree, it's surreal to go back as a teacher. Sounds like you have very supportive parents. Hope you have a great year!

Wander said...

Brian I am so glad to hear that you got a job...
I like the poem as well...the victors create history, I wonder when it will be in vogue to tell the truth about how our country was founded...and the atrocities that have been perpetrated in the name of progress...who needs truth, when you can have a pretty fiction...those damn Brits were so horrible :-)

Wander

Sue said...

What I know for sure is this. You will be a GREAT teacher.

=)

Gloria said...

Im sure you will be an amazing and nice teacher I know because nice teachers were SO important to me until these days I think in my Languaje teacher who teach me poeasy and love to read she was a really amazing woman and others were nice:)
Hope all goes nice!!

(IN all works we have some things you know)

Gloria said...

and the lovely be a teacher too are the vacances LOL
Is true!!

happygirl said...

Good luck in HS. Congrats, and for what it's worth, I think history is fun.

awakenedwords said...

love that impression of the teacher being just like the new kid all over again. I moved a lot growing up so know the feeling well.

Mama Zen said...

Hang in there and get your rhythm, Brian!

Fred Rutherford said...

really nice job conveying that first day scene, it was as if I was back in High School. Great word play in here, and love the Pic of the General Lee. My sister teaches History as well. I was always a math and English guy.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Brian, brilliant flashback. Have you read "Lies My Teacher Told Me"? Not knocking teachers; rather, an in-depth consideration of our Eurocentric Soc St textbooks.

And yeah, after the high of returning to high school, some Jack, verrrrrrrrrrrrry cool! Happy for you, man. Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/08/20/three-hymns-naming-constellations/

Beth Winter said...

Yeah, take me back there to those sterile shiny surfaces, the cliques, the jocks and the teachers. Wonderful work, Brian. Love the car, too. Made me smile as I remembered Dukes of Hazard.

thecourseofourseasons.com said...

your mom - hilarious - so much the same old story. Wonderful glimpse into your day - and happy for you. K

Steve E said...

Mr Miller, I have a question. Is that room for one more student in your class(es). He is age 79, rides a scooter, and sometimes(?) acts like a crazy Peep.

Hmmmmmm?

Also, he is never late for a train or plane.
He doesn't RIDE them--grin!.

johnallenrichter said...

It's so important to follow your heart, life is too short to waste interest on uninteresting things..... Young hearts can be so impressionable and Kerouac definitely offered something other than the same old status quo... And knowledge comes in so many venues....

Chris Lawrence said...

Brian wonderful placement of events made me think of high school and could i return ... probably not and good luck to you

libithina said...

remember that bell and that feelng - sick to your stomach, churning, hoping upon hope you would become invisible or something and it was over quickly :)) oddly I ave shared something from those 'carefree' days :)) - great minds ey!! Hope you're well Brian and the family x Lib

The Linnet said...

Ah yes, history... really enjoyed this one :) Thanks for sharing.

Timoteo said...

I love your description of history, man. If I'd had a teacher who put things in such a way, I might have actually been motivated to learn something!

Vernon Wildy, Jr said...

The first day of school is scary for everyone. Glad you captured it from a new teacher's perspective.

Bodhirose said...

I wish you well, Brian...thanks for bringing us along on your first day back in school/work. Your parents sound sweet...

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Congrats on the job--and on surviving high school twice!

mrs mediocrity said...

oh, perfect!

I have to say, lately I wonder what history is myself, certainly it's not something we have learned from... oy.

love that your mom called you like that, and your dad's joke, sounds so much like my parents...

poemblaze said...

Great poem. Kerouac doesn't do it for me, but I know what you mean, in part. Without the vast populace of unknowns, history would not be made.

hollyannegetspoetic said...

Always good to sneak a few minutes in the library... ;)

Uneven Stephen said...

Ha, congrats again on the new job. "while scared shit-less, seniors giving a shit less" .... the contrast here is just brilliant (and hilarious). And I love me some Kerouac. Best of luck to you this year, man.

poemsofhateandhope.com said...

So pleased about your new job! And teaching? An honourable profession sir! This poem has LIFE- your great narrative style as always and capturing the sights and sounds- but more than that- you show us what it's like to be you. So enjoyed this

Polly said...

Aw Brian, 'wearing powdered wigs', how fabulous! We all have to wear them at some stage of our lives (!)

So pleased you found a post ~ well done you ~ wishing you well ~ great poem ~ love that you always seem so upbeat :) x

Susan Daniels said...

Brian--Loving this--smiling re the attitudes--the more things change, the more they stay the same, right?

Like the quiet rebellion in the end.

Aidz Giannini said...

As Im back to work after a few days leave, parts resonate like the bell as I contemplate my return... enjoyed

colleen said...

That bell! I had almost forgotten.

I can hear the rhythm of you reading this.

Heather said...

COngratulations! A history teacher...how wonderful! I am sure you will be the best creative teacher these kids have seen!
good for you - i love this write btw and love the picture, too!

sharonlee said...

I never went highschool, I mean I did highschool, but at home, with my mum teaching.

I think I missed out on an intrinsic pat of growing up.

Excellent write Brian.

Martyn Kerr said...

It is such an interesting parallel in cultures from across my side of the pond. The 'high school' dynamic is identical in the way it is viewed on the first day. Really pleased to hear you've got yourself sorted out in a job Brian. All the best sir!

Annette said...

You sure captured the nitty gritty-ness of high school here. Thankfully, you can laugh about it and write!

Victoria said...

Those kids are so lucky to have you. I love how you dragged us into your first day on the job, Brian. And the coffee stain! So many good lines in this. I used to hate being a docent for HS tours...working with that age group takes a special je ne sais quoi...and I know you have it!

Karen Maeby said...

I love this. I remember my first days at high school. The day before school started, I would go and help my teacher friends set up for the new year. I was excited that day, but even more excited for a "new year" and what it could bring.

There's STILL something about hearing about those "first days" and the school supply aisle in stores around school starting. It makes me want to buy everything and do something crazy like go take a random college class or something. :)

Loved the poem!

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

Congrats Brain on your new gig. awesome first day account.

FrankandMary said...

Life can be one big freakin' high school. I am very fond of jobs ;o.
CONGRATS CONGRATS. ~Mary

Archna Sharma said...

Congrats to you for ending up here and finding the changing shades in your first day. Are you teaching history? I can't think of anything more delightful to do, around children, rather than English, of course, but you can't do one without the other. I'm glad that there are other heroes too, like the one that wrote A People's History :P. I can picture the scene on the turf so clearly, 'still brutal', and your thoughts drifting to Kerouac and that's a lovely way to end the day. Like so many, I'm pretty crazy mad about him too!

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Nice recap, Brian. Sounds like you're off and running. Give what for!

Alice Audrey said...

Stuck back in high school? Actually, if I could have all my old friends stuck there with me it might not be too bad.

Poet Laundry said...

"in high school...as if i never left---never escaped these halls"

I can so imagine this--that it would feel that way. There are not too many places more "brutal" than high school can be. Your upcoming adventures are sure going to be interesting to read!

joanna said...

nice capture, brian. happy you could steal a few minutes there at the end to get your poet-grounding. :) good luck finding the rhythm to the new routine; know you'll make a stellar teach. smiles.

Kay Irvin said...

Love this. Congrats on your new job. Best wishes ~

RMP said...

Ahhh...the excitement of the first day. You should have taken a picture and sent it to your mom...I'm sure she would have liked that.

You get "what is history?" I get "why to we need to learn algebra?" I finally figured out the perfect answer, but most wouldn't get my Mr. Miyagi reference.

You definitely described freshmen quite aptly.

Annmarie Pipa said...

congrats to you!! my 16 yr old is reading Ivanhoe right now to prepare for the first day of classes tomorrow... I think he would like to have you for a teacher....good luck!!! I hope you have enthusiastic students!

Ginny Brannan said...

" 'old people' 'some dead'
'wearing powdered wigs'
'that did something'
or
'changed the world' "

And so the new job begins, eh Brian?!! Made me smile all the way through! Doesn't matter how old we get, some things will never change. And all kinds of good stuff to fuel your creativity! Best wishes on the new road you are traveling!

adan said...

there's a deep cycling going on here -

"glad, men in white wigs
are NOT the only heroes"

;-)

Jackie Dick said...

Think of it this way, Brian. You will be the kids' Kerouac...You will take them on journies they won;t forget, white wigs that changed the world and all..and you have it in you, I know to change and grow those kids! Good Luck..you're gonna be great!

Arron Shilling said...


a few minutes with Jack
always puts the power back
into the pen

where it belongs . . .

Oh Man!

the Dukes of Hazard, Knight Rider
The A-Team . . . thats my History
right there!

of course i graduated . . .

to Baywatch!!!

keeping the beat alive brian :D

S.E.Ingraham said...

Good on you Brian and good for those kids who will probably never know just how lucky they are ... teachers are the unsung heroes of this age and I salute you ... good poem also

http://seingrahamsays.wordpress.com/2012/08/21/every-now-and-again/

emmett wheatfall said...

This is a tight right. You spend serious time crafting this piece. The subject is perfect for the poems design. Good stuff, Brian. You keep it real.

Semaphore said...

Bukowski, Ginsberg, and Kerouac - these are the poetic trinity I always find you genuflecting to, in the psalmistry of your poems. Excellent as always.

JANU said...

Congrats on you new job. Nice description of having butterflies in the stomach. :-) Good luck!

ds said...

Those kids have no idea how lucky they are. Any subject you offered them would be a treat. Sure times are different, but the unwritten rules of high school never seem to change.
You will have an awesome year, Mr. Miller.

Goat said...

So many ironies about teaching high school in this culture. Gather them like a bouquet at the end of the day. Press them into books. Bring a mirror so we can see the flattened angst. And may your presence be the light of hope for this new generation. Point the way well, Brian. Yes, you will point the way well.

sreeja harikrishnan said...

I can relate to this very well....every bit I enjoyed.....

zongrik said...

how come no one said "Mr. Miller what's the General Lee?" or "who's the General Lee??" or...are your kids so smart that they know the answer to both!

I do, I do. said...

AMazing, amazing. Truly.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

So you are teaching history? I like the Mr Miller thing..makes you sound so...old...do you still have the Hawk?

She Writes said...

HAH!~ I would like to have had a poet teach me history. That would have been a whole new world.

Cressida de Nova said...

I'd rather be busking:)
My sincere commiserations.

Anyes said...

Congratulations :-) Your students are going to be very lucky

my heart's love songs said...

i agree that your students are very lucky to have you for their teacher! i hope you enjoy the job!

Charles Elliott/Beautyseer said...

A year out of high school, I went back for a visit and was astonished when a student approached me with, "Excuse me, sir..."

Liked seeing the first day of school through your eyes.

And how you needed a dose of K after the day was done -- to clear your head, I'm guessing?!?

Kimolisa said...

Congrats on surviving the first day. I like your perspective of the first day back to school. I also love the structure of the poem.

Tigerbrite said...

Love this and congratulations :)

SueAnn Lommler said...

High school again?? Heaven help us all!!
I still have late to class dreams!
Ha!!
Hugs
SueAnn

EKSwitaj said...

So I guess, in a way, you can go back again?

lookingforroots said...

Oh excellent capture, Brian! I especially love the bit about fingering the tuft of grass...something familiar rings there.

Bauke Kamstra (@wyrde) said...

It seems I never leave class with everything left to learn. History is the illusion of time, a semi-viable trance state, it's impositions of importance suspect.

Kerouac, now, is a highly suspicious character whose echo I seek in others, that madness he was guilty of that makes men worthy.

James Rainsford said...

As usual Brian, powerful, precise and peceptive.Loved it.

beckykilsby said...

It's immediate and packed full of significance.. and love how you work round to Kerouac.. another journey just beginning :)

flaubert said...

Yes, Brian, this is precise and powerful. Nicely done. Congrats on finding a job so quickly. So happy to hear that, and the best of luck to you.

Pamela

Glenn Buttkus said...

Busy as you are, you found time to drop by my blog; thanks for your continuing support. Loved this memoir, especially the last line. I would have thought you were a good student; I was def.

Grandmother said...

Oh, this brought back those days! But you're loving them already and that's the secret of how teachers save lives. As a psychiatric nurse who heard every horror story possible and asked what saved you? It was always a special person who took the time to see and care and it was most often a teacher. I silently blessed you each time.

Goofball said...

how sweet of your mom to call!!!!!

Mom said...

Loved your words...yes, I will always call on the first day of school..love you special

irene said...

Great in being downbeat, Go guy, back in school!

Sheila said...

high school - awesome! I've got one in middle school and love that age - bet highschool is even more entertaining. I think those on the front lines of education are greater heroes than any of today's check-signing, wig-wearing ones. :)

vivinfrance said...

Congratulations - job and poem. They say that the first day in a new job is one of the most traumatic events in a lifetime, up there with birth, death, marriage, divorce and moving house!

Margaret said...

I'm back ... and got to thinking. The kids would think you were so cool if you drove up in the "General" car. (I'm assuming that isn't your car :) But did you really see that car here in the south? ha

poeticlicensee said...

Miller, Byron & Tennyson shall serve well as history teaching poets...