They are closing down the schools again, and the world is in an uproar. Parents worry about losing their jobs, kids are worrying about losing their minds, and with good reason, since isolation and unemployment can bury a future as quickly as a life-threatening disease without a cure and an unenforceable mask mandate can, I think we can all agree on that. I mean, I’m a bitter, social democrat hermit without a family and even I agree kids and their families aren’t feeling safe and supported. But since we’re on the subject of schools closing, it’s pretty easy to remember my snow days when I was a kid and how many tubs of black raspberry ice cream, bags of tortilla chips, and microwave pizzas I gorged myself with while I marathon-watched movies and spooned girlfriends in my friend’s basement beside a space heater in the television-lit dark, the face of the miniature Cyberpunk heater glowing orange in the corner like a neon bar sign. Songs written with a guitar and sung with friends come to mind, as does the camaraderie of stuffing a diesel with people and scooting to the nearest ski mountain for an all-day slosh fest. The point is other really good things happened and educated me on days school was cancelled. I think this is why the idea of kids missing days in school because of Covid doesn’t feel like such a big deal to me, and in fact, just one more educational opportunity for a youngster to enjoy Life’s unexpectedness, and develop some real resilience doing the same thing every day in school isn’t going to help with, you know the kind of resilience that borders on superhuman kindness and that keeps walking down the hall with its head down in an effort to hide its watery eyes, but every once-in-a-while looks up and laughs overeagerly at terrible jokes made by strangers, and each time says shit that was stupid under its breath, but just loud enough for everybody in the hallway to hear, while it imagines someone noticing and coming over to walk alongside it on the way to Language Arts, who playfully looks into its eyes and says I’m so glad you’re here, then offers an almighty fist bump before waving goodbye and bouncing through a doorway into the cave-like uncertainty of a different classroom.
Published by Chris Russell
Hi, I'm Chris, and thank you so much reader for visiting my blog and wanting to learn a little bit about me. I know time is a hot commodity these days, more so now than ever I think, which is why it’s my hope that you make it a priority to read my poems under some low light when you have some time on your hands and can really read and reread them closely and experience something shining in them. It’s my sincerest hope that they make you want to look at yourself, your world, and poetry itself a little differently, while they also encourage you to be more kind and gentle with yourself and others. I know when I read a poem, regardless of its subject, I expect to feel asked in and touched by its speaker. Sometimes it happens. Sometimes it doesn’t. That’s the way it goes, right? It would be great though if some of these poems brushed against you. As for when I write, it’s always my intention to lift and exteriorize more understandably complex emotions and states of consciousness I’m currently experiencing, and it's usually through an analysis and highly conscious reframing of my childhood that this happens, though I’ve been known to veer into writing surreal-like absurdism and allegorical prose poetry when the wind splits me that way. Where am I on the planet? This MFA in Writing fossil with an ever expanding Dad bod now lives and works in Concord, New Hampshire where I currently divide much of my time between writing, blogging, assisting middle school students who have special needs, and navigating the journey that is my own really unimpressive, but no less valuable dark night. From my own cave in the wilderness, I’d like to say thanks again for stopping by and spending some of your invaluable time. I invite you to please put your feet up and subscribe for a while, and if you’re feeling moved by one of my poems please share it with a dear friend, preferably someone who doesn’t like poetry. View all posts by Chris Russell