I talked to students today about Kerouac–the writer, the San Francisco Blues… I read to them: “I’m goin on ho-o-om.”

I read flesh memory…I said I was married to Akilah Oliver’s work. I teach an “at risk” high school reading class. I can read poetry–discuss the main idea– share my favorite books and occasionally someone will ask in a nonchalant way… “Miss, can you recommend books for me to read.” These questions are rare gold, sweet honey nectar to the ears. After so many “I hate reading,” the heart pangs harder–searching for the magic spell to call these bright minds to read the good word, the bad word, and all the words inbetween.

Sometimes you can only reach two students. Is two enough?

Today I asked for dreams…only one shared…his dream is to make it out of ghetto, gang bang, stoned turned up high. and help his family survive.

I shared Akilah… I shared Dr. King.

I shared Kerouac and Geek Love carnival freaks.

I’ll share my words in the hopes that they will share theirs.


“Miss. What is the meaning of a noun, a conjunction, a verb, a preposition.”

The deaf ELL student tells me his hearing aid battery is dead. [I ask students who speak espanol for help. I tell them I only know poquito.] I ask a student to translate for me. He signs the correct answers to him. He makes the letter C with his hand.

Do I learn more from them than they learn from me?


Next week: tone and mood. vocabulary quiz. tell me: what is a bandwagon?


all aboard.