Everybody Thinks They Know

Everybody thinks they know.

There must be something.

Try it this way.

Say it that way.

They’ll respond to this.

They’ll respond to that.

“Just give it time.”

Sooner or later they’ll come around.
Just don’t give up. You can never give up.

Don’t give up?

Who the fuck do you think you are?

Give up?

What the hell does that even mean?

No matter what I do. Anywhere, anytime,

They are in my thoughts constantly.

I’ve reached out, so many times, and been slapped down, again, and again.

I have a right to survive as well.

If you want to offer me help, and support,

An ear to listen, then fine.

But don’t pretend to know. Don’t speak of that of which you have no experience,

no knowledge.

Give me a hug,

But not your fucking blind ignorant hope.

My hope is chiseled. Focused.

Doled out deliberately in small doses,

for where I think it might be most effective.

At times, even after all these years,

It slips away from me,

And I find myself, against my better judgement, hoping with reckless and wild abandon.

Till I reign it in

Knowing that that way sadness lies.

I have hope, a goddamned motherlode of hope.

But I will not squander it foolishly.

It will be tempered.

It must be tempered.

Forged, and made strong in the furnace of my heart,

Able to withstand,

The time, and the journey,

No matter what the cost.

I understand never, oh yes,

from too many angles,

So don’t give me your platitudes,

Give me your shoulder, and perhaps a smile,

In the darkest times hold me,

But don’t placate me.

I know of what I speak, from the depth and breadth of my being.

Respect that, learn to just listen.

Nothing more.

Naughty or Nice?

All my nice has a little naughty,
My naughty well sprinkled with nice,

So without sounding too high and haughty, 

I recommend that you take my advice, 

Don’t be completely good or bad,

Before you commit, think thrice!

For it’s the balance twixt the two,

That gives our life its spice!

The Flashlight of Wisdom

I’m the anomaly in the class.
That older student,
Who has been down the path before,
And is back for another go.
Twenty years have passed since I used to be them.
And I feel it more keenly than ever before.

All the the mistakes I’ve made,
The pleasure and pain, and triumph and defeat.
The joy and despair I’ve felt.
The things I’ve done.
And learned.

And learned…

I’m not necessarily smarter than they are.
I’ve just been around a lot longer.
I guess this is what you call wisdom.
Am I wise?
I don’t know.

I feel both envy and apprehension,
About all the experiences,
That will shape and harden,
And break and reform them.
There’s so much I want to tell them!
But I know it won’t help that much.

I can give them a flashlight,
But it won’t illuminate the whole path.
They’ll have to stumble their own way through,
Just like I did.

Basic Math

I suppose death is the final answer,
To the basic math that is aging.
But one lesson we are all taught,
Is Show Your Work.
How did you get there?
What was the process?
For age is not merely a solitary number,
On an otherwise blank page.
It’s the accumulation of life.
A gathering of knowledge and experiences.
One cannot move on to the next lesson,
Until one fully understands the previous one.
But most of us do not learn,
And thus we are unprepared.
We haven’t learned this formula,
But we try to move on anyway.
New knowledge is acquired,
But old lessons are not learned.
Mistakes are carried forward,
And forward.
And forward.
Until we finally realize,
Those mistakes,
All the pain and frustration they cause,
Are actually the most important part of the lesson.

How art thou crazy? Let me count the ways…

Of a picnic, thou art short of sandwiches, thus.
And in thy belfry resideth many bats.
Thy engine runneth, but hath no one behind the wheel.
Thou art a man of many cases; of head, and basket, and nut.
And verily misplaced by thee hath been thy marbles.
How lost thou art in space.
How lost is thy plot.
Away with the faerie folk thou hast flown.
In a canoe, thou art, but sadly missing the essential oars.
Thy faithful rocking chair hath deposited thee thus on the floor.
A cage of many pads is the place for thee,
Since thou believeth thyself to be a tweeting bird:
The Great Orange Crested Trump Tit.


You are filled with grace,

An effortless respect,

To act,

With great affect,

To interface,

So that all you meet,

Feel raised up,

You fill their cup,

You wash their feet,

Albeit as a metaphor, 

But they feel more,

For having met you,

Having known you,

You improve their lives, 

Simply by,

Your acts of kindness,

Your refusal to,

Accept daily blindness,

Your example,

Is not lost on me,

I wish,

That all of us could be,

Our better selves,

The we, we should,

The inner good, 

For by your actions,

You show and say,

That Love,

It is the only way,

We can’t walk,

In everyone’s shoes,

But just like you, 

We can choose,

To understand, 

To use the will,

 At our command,

To testify,

Crave and demand,

A better way, 

So that one fine day, Yes one fine day……….     ❤

Back to School

I’ve never really left school. There have been very few years in my life in which I was not involved in some capacity with education. I finished high school in 1993, and after four years of working dead-end minimum wage jobs, I started community college in 1997. I had no plan, no idea about a major or a possible career. I just started taking classes. After the first year I had to pick a major, so I chose music. I chose it because I could play the piano and sing, and it seemed like a challenging but fun choice.

As a performing arts major I became heavily involved in the department. I acted in plays and worked in the costume shop, all while maintaining stellar grades. Music theory was difficult at first but after a while I was an expert at it. Unfortunately, what I didn’t excel in was performance. I was horrible at sight reading and could never manage to play a piece of music that was set before me with any degree of confidence and ease. In both Chamber Choir and piano I was expected to read or sing the notes off a page and I was just so bad at it. I had always previously learned through memorization and repetition.

You see, when I became a music major, I thought I was pretty good musician, but it turned out that I was actually mediocre. I wasn’t terrible. I wasn’t that good either. So I sold my piano, decided to drop music and work on getting a transfer degree to the local university.

I started university in 1999 as a junior English Literature major, but almost immediately changed my major to Humanities. English Lit was too confining. I wanted to read other subjects, like History, and Art History, and Classics, and Philosophy. There’s only so much you can do with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, so when I got my B.A. I decided to keep right on studying. Graduate studies are generally more specialized so I chose English Literature for my graduate major. This wasn’t as fun as Humanities. Graduate seminars are long and intense, but at least this program didn’t require a master’s thesis. It required twelve seminars and accompanying papers.

There was the option of skipping one seminar and doing a thesis instead, but I chose not to do this. Instead, I began to prepare myself for a teaching career and enrolled in the GTF training program. All of the undergraduate English classes at my university were taught by GTFs (Graduate Teaching Fellows). The training consisted of one term of theory, one term of internship, and a final term of teaching and theory combined. This was a paid position at the university, and they offered a tuition waiver as well. So while I was working on my graduate degree, I was also studying teaching, and eventually I was studying and teaching.

When I finished my graduate degree, I didn’t get a career-type job right away. I didn’t even start looking for about six months. I quit the office job I had while I was studying, and worked for a few months for an online clothing retailer. Then I decided it was time to get serious. I had a master’s degree. It was time to get a real job.

The only “real job” in which I had any experience was teaching, so I focused my search on that. About a year prior to finishing my studies, my ex-boyfriend and I had gone to Japan for a week. It occurred to me that there were lots of openings for English teachers in Japan. I applied to about a half a dozen schools and was eventually hired at one of them. On February 4, 2004, I boarded an airplane for Tokyo where I would truly start my teaching career.

It has been fifteen years since I taught my first undergrad English 101 class at my university. Since then I have moved countries twice. I have worked at secondary schools and upper-secondary schools. I’ve worked at international schools and after-school programs. I have worked as a Business English consultant for corporations.

And now, it’s time for a change. I’ve gone back to school, although, as I mentioned, I never really left. I am a young-looking 42 year-old professional enrolled in university classes 20 years after I first started college. And just like then, I have no plan. I’m just taking classes. And it’s so. Much. Fun! I’d forgotten how much I’d enjoyed being a student. I’m not stressing over getting a degree or a job. Those things will sort themselves out later. For now, I’m just enjoying every minute of it.

Concerning the Care and Maintenance of the Trump

It’s ego needs constant inflation,
Adoration and validation.
And it requires a weekly vacation,
From the pressures of running the nation.
Send it off to a rally or golf course,
Let it scream at its base till it’s hoarse.
Reassure, re-emphasize, reinforce,
Of all greatness, it’s the only source.
Give it lots of diet coke, and fast food.
Make sure it’s always in a good mood.
Don’t make it read things; that’s just rude.
Deviate from these rules, and you’re screwed.


According to our friend René,

The fact we think was his small way,

To prove that we exist,

Bur lately I am of the mind,

That thinking is on the decline,

Perhaps an angle that Descartes missed, 

We used to think, therefore we were,

Deep and philosophical for sure,

We used to have a hamster on our wheel,

Kind of sad, but I’m not whining,

In fact I see a silver lining,

Just maybe none of this craziness is real!