Friday, August 8, 2014

Q: Why does Greta think her students will be better next term?

A: Because she's drunk.

From College Misery, May 15, 2013

another goddamned bad haiku ... for the end of another goddamned bad semester

the whiskey on my
breath should make my mood less dim;
this grading was not

easy.  grade grubbing
began immediately.
so did the drinking.

i didn't always
need to drown the chorus.  used
to be that the spring

peepers were the lone
voices signaling the end 
of winter's long term.

now, coming to terms,
with may's new gifts: dealing with
endless whining, threats,

bluffs, tears, deans.  it ends ...
but it lingers like the stink
of a bloated corpse.

ergo, whiskey.  ah.  a
week off before it begins
anew, a fresh batch

of tadpoles new to
this peculiar pond, some time--
perhaps--to detox

from too little sleep,
too much whiskey, too many
choristers, too few

incentives to live--
too much cynicism?--and
knowing full well that

next week, two full, big
rosters of swarming tadpoles
begin the cycle

again. the whirlwind
waltz of a short term may bring
a few surprises,

a princeling writer,
a queen of content, evolved
from mere peeper to

poet in eight short
weeks. it's this potential that
hooks me every time:

this time, it will be
different, princes from frogs ... but
i will not kiss them.


  1. Aha! I just noticed the allusion in the opening stanzas. Should have noticed that earlier; I certainly know the poem, and Greta mentioned Roethke elsewhere.

    Speaking of grade-grubbing, I posted mine to the LMS (which sends alerts to students' phones when a new grade comes in; ugh) nearly an hour ago, and I haven't gotten a complaint yet. Is the internet broken? In any case, I'm going to put up a vacation message and skeedadle. There's just a bit more of summer for me to savor before it all begins again.

    1. They all started whining to you at once and clogged the email system. Run, while you still can.