Thursday, September 9, 2010

Put on Your Best, Boys

From the September 2010 issue of The New Criterion:

"In-school suspension" by Ernest Hilbert

We sweated and dozed like barbarians
In a deer-hide tent at the height of spring's
Roasting heat, crowded in for various
Affronts, crimes, and faults. When one among us

Was handed, from the disciplinarian's
Office, a pink paper slip, listing things
He'd done that were deemed truly nefarious
(To us hilarious) and to say he was

Expelled altogether from school, he heaved
The heavy 1950s stapler from
Our minder's desk and hammered the paper
To his head. The first two staples rebounded

And clicked on the tiles. We were almost relieved
When the third clinched, pressed deeper by his thumb,
And seized Subcutaneous hold. This caper
Did it: We were, for once, astounded.

With the form draped over one eye, he smiled
For us, turning slowly in the humidity,
A satanic clown, our own Spartacus,
For a sparkling second we won't forget.

We roared and roared in our hot galley, piled
Up laughs till they hid any stab of pity.
We all knew he wouldn't even be missed
As, clutched by the wrist, he loosed one last threat

And was hauled from the room and the door boomed
Shut. We never saw him again. One by one,
We turned our faced downward and resumed,
With the dust he'd raised churning in the sun.

This issue has a really wonderful argument against building the GQ Mosque so close to the WTC site as well, in the Notes & Comments section. I highly recommend reading the three well-written pages.

My friend Ariel is currently down in Texas. She's working at a high school. This comes from her latest blog post and I thought it would be fun to see the results here too:

My last consideration for you, and for myself, is about a poem I came across while cleaning out some old folders in my office. They were stacks of poems written by seniors from the past three or four years. They were given the following format and asked to supply their own, personal answers. I'm working on my own and I would love to see what ya'll would write for yourselves. I challenge you to try it and share!

Biography of an Artist

First Name
Four traits that describe character (3 items)
Relative of_________________ (3 items or people(s))
Lover of __________________ (3 items)
Who feels _________________ (3 items)
Who needs ________________ (3 items)
Who fears _________________ (3 items)
Who gives _________________
Who would like to see_________
Resident of _________________
Last Name

Note: your answers can be in simple list format, or sentences with semicolons/commas 

Bona fortuna! I can't wait to read y'alls responses. :) 

Oh, and Ben- Vivian introduced this song to me:

You could always use a healthy dose of American anything, I am sure, while in Tours. I think the song's sound is just beautiful and if the lyrics were a literary genre, Southern Gothic. I don't even like country music in most circumstances, but I'm a big fan of the mandolin and their use of Tennyson's "Lady of Shalott" imagery.


  1. This song is amazing!!! I just bought their IP off of iTunes. And you are totally right! I always need little things to remind me that I do indeed love calling America my home. :) Your blog is always a great reminder of that, no matter what you say. Your intrinsic love of America always comes through. :) P.S. I might be going to Dublin. If so, a Guiness will be had for least one. :)

  2. I love knowing someone is drinking a Guinness for me. I usually get texts late at night and it makes me so happy! Have so much fun in Ireland! Say hello to the Motherland for me. Also... I need a Ben poem, s'il vous plait!

  3. Biography of an Artist
    Bubbly, laughing, loving baker
    Relative of Giles, Margaret, and PeggyDee
    Lover of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit
    Who feels fear, excitement and joy
    Who needs love, security and her Saviour
    Who fears loneliness, doubt, and cockroaches
    Who gives baked goods and culinary love
    Who would like to see her loved ones happy
    Resident of Canton
    Merry Christmas!!! Well.....not quite but, oh well. Love that song and their music in general. Sweet post ;)