Well, it’s September and I’m pleased as punch to present another inspiration of the month. And in honor of everyone going back to school, I thought I’d feature one of my all time favorite teachers. Meet Wayne.
Wayne was my very first college professor. I took English 101, Introduction to Literature, and two creative writing courses with him in my freshman year. I’ve told him this before and I’ll say it again, he has a way of approaching the students’ heart and work, as if they were equally important. Wayne taught me to look at the whole person, to treat myself and my journey (and the journey of others) with kindness, and to look at writing as a way to crawl inside the soul and shout with joy. Some of my best memories in a college classroom…Wayne jumping up and down, waving his hands, over the moon that he might actually get us to really, truly HEAR a poem. I could write and write about the ways that those first classes with Wayne shaped my views of education but I’ll simply say I would absolutely not be where I am today without him.
I also owe him a huge debt for all of the poetry I read/heard in his classes. Wayne is a working poet and has graciously agreed to let me feature one of his poems here.
mourning-jazz for my mom
(alice may gilbert, 1929-2010;
“what are human beings that you are mindful of them. . .” Psalm 8:4a)
when we were re-united the last time
my mother was young her head full of mirthful hair
i hear her laughing now behind the door
on my side it’s raining
the cold wind has followed me home
the price of my usual luggage was too high to carry on
the ice has split herself open
my head is full of icelandic ash clouds
magma borne gaseous plumes
envelopes of post-eruptive matter
job’s god screaming at the inert world his new word order
solar fistulas flying out of the universe
older than the first droplets of sacred water
imprisoned miles inside arctic ice
the dark for her is sweet now lazy now as chocolate streams in thick milk shakes
she says her body is light
i’ve walked here without a cane
waiting waiting i’m
medicinal herbs in a swallowed capsule
the chemical in the head of a match to be scratched
her last exhalation spilled into my brother’s cupped hands
i press my palms against the cold wood
mirth bleeds through the heavy slab into my withered hands
runic syllables bubble up gurgle scat on my tongue
the wind offers a reedy chord
the rain picks up the rhythm
we stand on the dark porch-stage
making m u s i c all night long
You can find Wayne’s book, Magma-Mystic, by visiting HERE. He is also available for readings and workshops, especially in the Rocky Mountain area. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He writes and performs in Colorado, most often under the name Magmapoet with a group of improvisational jazz musicians. Be sure to check out his work! I’ll be posting a link to his new website on my sidebar soon.
What about you? What teachers have made an impact in YOUR life?
PS: Incidentally, Wayne’s the first dude inspiration I’ve featured on Love is the Adventure so he should feel preeeeeeetttttttty special. Ha.