Friday, December 28, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


A last rock-skip hurlstorm (crazing river-glass)
the closest they ever were.

In right lockstitch

snared and split some fire-supper cooked on sticks.

By dawn the older brother took to chucking

what bottle-frags he could find and crud-oysters across.

The (high-pitched) younger blacked our waters
with a yowl.

Lord the sound such as rose from him

carried so


into us. Clings.

Hadn’t they clung tooth and claw to branch and bark.

—Came a man (and truck) to take them off.

Dieseled those boys off

some say somewheres upcountry,


Where it was they landed (why) nobody not them knows.

No body not them knows

just how they humped and grubbled home

what road they’d graved what woods criss-crossed

which creeks which trains they’d hopped who helped.

Came safe home sure        but blank as houses.
Came safe home       —as him  —and him.
—as (evermore) not them.

I've been thinking about this poem since it came up on my "Poem of the Day" podcast yesterday. (Audio of the poet reading it here.) I remember reading it in Poetry Magazine not too long ago. (Okay--apparently it was published in April 2011.) Anyway, I find it quite powerful--sad, mysterious, and inventive. The unusual spacing and margins are intentional, really forcing you to think about words and the spaces between words.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Just uploaded the last of the grades. No need to get creative searching for some chair-dancing music. This was literally playing as I hit "enter" on the grade submission page.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Almost there...

Checking in on the grading countdown...

Here's what's left:
1) Thirty ENGL 215 exams. But oh my goodness, I am having a hard time getting through them. The students only took them today, so I am making some decent progress, I suppose.

2) Five ENGL 407 presentations, to be delivered by students on Friday morning.

3) Compiling/computing the grades for WMST 201 (a joint venture between me and the two women with whom I've co-taught the class.) We'll take care of that tomorrow afternoon.

The new water heater is going in tomorrow morning, so I'll be home then and hope to knock out those exams while the guys are working. 

How 'bout a link to a new favorite tumblr, complete with appropriate gif


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Paper Grading Totals: Fall Semester 2012 Edition

So here's what's left to do before I bid good-bye to this semester:

1) Fourteen ENGL 407 seminar papers. These are 15-20 pages each. I've actually made my way through three of these so far.

2) Eighteen ENGL 101 portfolios. I've made it through four of these so far. The rest come in tomorrow morning.

3) About fifty ENGL 215 final exams, each with a take-home essay component and an in-class short paragraph component. These come in on Wednesday.

4) Respond to five more ENGL 407 seminar paper presentations. Nine of the students already presented their papers (in class last week). These last ones will be delivered on Friday morning.

That doesn't seem too bad, does it? Final grades are due Monday, December 17 at 9:00 a.m.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

All I want for Christmas...

I had no idea that I all I wanted for Christmas was a new water heater. But it looks like that's what I'll be getting myself. The joys of home ownership!

For the record, the old one is still working. It's just got something called a "dip tube" in it that is breaking down and causing all sorts of problems for my pipes--with the inevitable promise of getting much worse. You can read about the problem here, if you are interested. Since I am fortunate enough to be able to afford a replacement and since I like to be really proactive about this kind of stuff, I'm going to have the old unit replaced next week.

I suppose it's also worth noting that all of this started when the water pressure in my kitchen sink dropped off and I thought, "Well, I suppose I really ought to get this fixed and might as well replace that garbage disposal that the plumber told me to fix back in January..." And so it began...