Thursday, September 21, 2017

whoa, haven't posted in a month, and i'm afraid you'll be afraid i fell of the earth. no, didn't even fall off this mountain, though i go curving down 6000 feet to the valley every morning, and push my way up in the afternoon. i've been very busy - i'm an educational aide at a middle school, i'm in class at night, and i still have a job as a tutor - so some things have gone by the wayside. i've become fanatical about my quilt, which is almost done (pictures coming), but unfortunately, it's eating my free time, and i haven't brought in wood for the winter, or cleaned up the yard, or written much, or even gotten my music organized adequately. i actually play gigs (i will show pictures of that), so i have too many hobbies, and that leaves my kids endangered - not getting enough attention. not to mention, three dogs and three cats. i at least help take one of the dogs for walks.

started one more promotional blitz this weekend - partly because it's rosh hashanah, though i'm not jewish. i enjoy this weather. i get my blood going with the chill in the air. i want to do everything at once - bring in wood, make a box for kindling, finish closing in a back porch (to keep out the drifts), put bicycles away, that kind of stuff. i want to go for a walk in the mountains while the leaves are starting to change. but i have this class - online, education, blah blah, and then there's this test, the ELA (english language arts) test, that will make me a qualified english teacher, high school or middle school, state of new mexico, and to tell you the truth, i had reservations about it, but anyway, i'm taking it monday, and we'll see if i qualify as an english teacher. it could be, that i'm wasting ninety five bucks, and i really don't know my english at all, but the fact is, that's not what's bothering me, it's actually teaching the stuff that's bothering me. it could turn a generation of kids into literary critics.

history, however, is full up, too many people want it. i'm too new in the game, and can't be a history teacher, right out of the gate. so, this weekend, it's the english test, and if the spirit moves me, it's on to math or maybe spanish. get qualified. start teaching. embrace the tiger, that's my new motto.

the quilt is almost done, and it's so nice, it makes my fingers hungry just thinking about it. red, pink, gray, & black, is really what it's about, but it has some hints of blue on the edges and some other stuff too, most notably green. i couldn't resist slipping that green in there, next to the red, more or less, and that's more of a james joyce thing, than a christmas thing, but the quilt is really more red and gray, red and black, pink and gray, pink and black.

and the poetry keeps on coming. i try to make three a day, and i will say, i've missed a few days, got caught up in things and just let it go, i kind of have to be in the mood. but it's easier now. i can think of a state - today it was wisconsin - and i have a reservoir of subjects related to the state, that i've already written about. there's plenty to say about all these topics. there are some characters and characteristics that each state is noted for, though i avoid cliches, and so i can sit there, in my free forty minutes for example, in the sixth grade teacher's lounge, with a cup of keurig starbucks, and i can write three or four wisconsin ones right on the spot. i'm actually coming to the halfway point soon - october is halfway - and i'm nowhere near five hundred - but i can crank them out when i want to, and i do. like i say, the days i've missed have probably cost me. a day i'm supposed to write three, and write zero, now i have to write six on another. not easy. but, can be done, especially over break, by a fire. or careening down a hill. it's a matter of discipline.

but what of the other writing projects? there's free range flash fiction: a hundred stories under a thousand words each - that one, i'm maybe twelve stories into. quaker plays - i'd love to do hoover, or have it ready by quaker day, october first. quaker calendar - it would be wonderful to see pop art and "first day" "first month" on some calendars. not to mention, language as a self-organizing system, a texas novel, the saint louis novel, and my autobiography, almost finished. it's like, these projects, they're just waiting to be done.

it was a cool summer - rarely got over 80 up here on the mountain, and that's calming me down. it's ok, going down the hill, when the worst of the heat is gone, and i can always come back up. my dad, over ninety, still takes my sundays, but it's worth it. las cruces is ninety miles away and boiling, pressing in the heat; i do shopping for him, and he takes me out to lunch. sometimes i bring kids, two or three of them, to make everyone nervous. las cruces is the big city to us - our town doesn't even have a stoplight - and i'm grateful to get back home, kick off my shoes, and relax.

my job pays like crap, but i've made a difference in young middle-schoolers' lives. they try to pass, even when to some degree, they've lost their spirit. things have happened. the school, maybe, could be a refuge for them, a place of hope, or at least, a place where someone cares what they know or do. it's just a place, tucked up against some mountains, a wild view (it's called mountain view), in the valley, very hot, and the grass doesn't grow, not to speak of. it's desert. we're the jaguars. one announcer says, "have a jaguar day," every morning, but i think i'm the only one who hears it. today he didn't say it. makes me wonder, and i kind of like the place. it's work, it's not easy, lots of coffee going down, but i'm gainfully employed. there's something to be said for that.


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