Monday, April 29, 2019

Reading at Da Shop, April 27, 2019

The poets: Lee Tonouchi, Christy Passion, D. Keali`i MacKenzie, and myself.

Lee Tonouchi, Emily Benton and Spencer Kealamakia (curators) and myself.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Everything that Rises

The two young women were sitting next to each other. I asked them to read their poems out loud to the class. The first woman, from Hong Kong, wrote a poem about her grandmother who lost her land in Indonesia, was exiled in China and then moved to Hong Kong. She has terrible memories that she never shared with her grandchildren, but she turns down her hearing aid the better to forget. (Dementia does the rest.) The second woman, half-Japanese, wrote about her African American grandmother in South Carolina; her mother died in her arms while working in the fields. She'd never told the grandkids about her searing memories. And then I realized: they had written nearly the same poem.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Poetry reading on April 27 at DaShop

Should be good. A various line-up and a good location.

Dear Leader on Morning Joe n+everything

Dear Leader does TV reviews.
0. Morning Psycho (Joe)
1. Moron Psychoanalyst (Joe)
2. Morsel Psychologist (Joe)
3. Mortal Psychology (Joe)
4. Mortality Psychopath (Joe)
5. Mortar Psychosis (Joe)
6. Mortarboard Psychotherapist (Joe)
7. Mortgage Psychotic (Joe)
8. Mortician Pterodactyl (Joe)
9. Mortise Pub (Joe)
10. Mortuary Public (Joe)
11. Mosaic Publican (Joe)
12. Mosque Publication (Joe)
13. Mosquito Publicist (Joe)
14. Moss Publicity (Joe)
15. Motel Publisher (Joe)

A death in the neighborhood

Saturday I talked to my neighbor as her older dog, Buddy, made her anxious interacting with Lilith (as usual). A smallish brown dog with black snout, Buddy had had a tooth out, and that was after he had eye surgery. Buddy was costing her some money. But Buddy's eyes looked better, far less bloodshot, and he didn't seem to be in distress over the missing tooth. My neighbor had her wide-brimmed tan hat on, but didn't answer directly when I asked how she was. On Sunday, she died.

The things we leave behind. This was Charlene's car, she who died on Sunday. Months ago I heard someone honking relentlessly, but not in the way a car alarm cries with utter regularity. I went out and found Charlene in her car laying on her horn. Seems someone had taken her parking space; she thought that honking would draw the perpetrator out of one of the many townhouses around the parking lot. I assured her it wouldn't work. When I glanced in the car just now, I saw an orange and white squirt gun in one of the drink holders. That must have been for Buddy, whose civility she perpetually tried to govern.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Reality stories

Outside class, a student is locked into her device; I say hello. "I'm having an argument," she tells me, and returns with busy thumbs to her device. Outside that same class a couple weeks ago, I asked a desperate young man who was dropping the class, if he wanted me to walk him to Counseling. Another student is doing better on meds; early in the semester he told me he has no interest in school. His pallor was a symptom. He said no. Outside that same class, a young woman tells me she's missing classes because her father is trying to detox at home, but binges every few days. Inside that class, a student bursts into tears because her dialogue essay wasn't funny. Another young woman (out of state) has a mother with pancreatic cancer who wants her to stay in school. Her neighbor in class, also out of stater, lost a friend to suicide; her father keeps threatening it. Inside my other class, a young woman has her head down on the table. She looks up, says things are not going well. I ask if I can help, and she doesn't answer, putting her head back down on the table. In that same class a student is just now coming to class after suffering terrible PTSD and finding no one at the Counseling Center, which has a long wait list. In that class another student writes to me about his meds and tells me he can't pay his rent and has to move. I've not seen him in a long while. In that same class a student has a mysterious ailment that means he has to have constant blood tests; it's probably an auto-immune disorder. He participates avidly, when he's not shrieking in a high pitched cough. In that class, a student burst into tears telling me that she'd had to take on extra hours at work (during my class) because she had to cover rent for roommates who weren't paying. In that class I have a student who now comes to class but who has done none of the work; when I advised her to drop, she said she needed the humanities requirement and did not. I have 30 students total this semester.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Upcoming events

A reading with Lee Tonouchi, D. Keali`i Mackenzie, Christy Passion, and myself at DaShop in Kaimuki.

Saturday, May 4 at 11 a.m. I'm receiving one of the Loretta D. Petrie awards; the other goes to the other huge Cards fan on campus, Joseph Stanton. This award is for "outstanding service to Hawai`i's literary community."