On Not Flying to Hawaii

I could be the waitress
in the airport restaurant
full of tired cigarette smoke and unseeing tourists.
I could turn into the never-noticed landscape
hanging identically in all the booths
or the customer behind the Chronicle
who has been giving advice
about stock portfolios for forty years. I could be his mortal weariness,
his discarded sports section, his smoldering ashtray.

I could be the 70-year-old woman who has never seen Hawaii,
touching her red lipstick and sprayed hair.
I could enter the linen dress
that poofs around her body like a bridesmaid,
or become her gay son
sitting opposite her, stirring another sugar
into his coffee for lack of something true to say.
I could be the reincarnated soul of the composer
of the Muzak that plays relentlessly overhead,
or the factory worker who wove this fake Oriental carpet,
or the hushed shoes of the busboy.

But I don't want to be the life of anything in this pitstop.
I want to go to Hawaii, the wet, hot
impossible place in my heart that knows just what it desires.
I want money, I want candy.
I want sweet ukelele music and birds who drop from the sky.
I want to be the volcano who lavishes
her boiling rock soup love on everyone,
and I want to be the lover
of volcanos, who loves best what burns her as it flows.

Alison Luterman


What happens when I begin reading articles on the internet...

Through a weird chain of events today I started researching dog food on the internet today. Mainly because I found out that IAMS supports some pretty cruel animal testing (http://www.peta.org/). And I'm not one to rant on and on about PETA. I do agree that they can be extremely irrational. And I'm usually not one to believe in all the "holistic" hype, but the more that I read on various websites, the more I realized that the dog food that I was using (IAMS), which I thought to be a healthier brand of dog food, is actually crap. I used to use Science Diet because that's what I thought vet's recommended, but I found that that was a joke as well.
I didn't want to spend any more money than I already do feeding three large dogs, but I did want to try to find a healthier brand of food to feed them. If you are interested in learning more about what we should be feeding our dogs, then check out these articles. http://www.healthyhappydogs.com/DogFood
If you just want to see what kind of rating your dog food has, then check out the website below. The dog food that I chose to buy is almost comparable in price to what I was paying. Nature's Variety makes the brand I purchased, called Prairie. It is a five star brand. IAMS is a one star brand. A little scary, especially considering all of the dog food scares that we have had in the recent past. That in itself is due to multi-international outsourcing by major dog food companies, like IAMS and EUKANUBA.


Making Me Your Jack-O-Lantern 10-13-1999

I am a swollen orange gourd. Solid, Lush,
and Mellow. I wait for your hands to veer me.
You turn me, searching for a place to enter.
Finding a smooth, unflawed surface,
steadying yoru warm hand at my side,
you sink yoru knife into me. Puncturing my flesh, a slow
descent into the fruit of me, until your knife
succumbs to the hollow cavity inside.
You cut for me, a delicate nose, and eyes
too beautiful to be my own, and though
I was born to smile; I receive luscious,
slightly parted lips. Keeping me from words.
Finishing my face, you reach deep inside me-
grasping small, tender, pale seeds that surrender
to your pull. Your hand wet with my inner secrets will
soon be dry, and I'll be stuck
in the creases between your fingers-
loose strings of ripe fruit crusted under your nails.
Complete, you place a fragrant solid wax
in my center, granting me radiance.
Resting me on display, I wait
for someone jealous of your creation,
to steal me, smashing the weak shell, of who I as,
in disgust, on the street.


Late night

It's almost 2am on a Sunday morning and I'm pissed. The problem is, I"m really not sure what it is that I'm pissed at. I really don't have many worries other than the typical credit card debt from too much shopping. I mean, I have a beautiful house that I love more than anyone should love an inantimate object, a nice car, a good job; and above all, I have the love of good friends and family. There is not a moment in my day where I could not call someone and have a knock on my door if I needed them. But for some reason I feel like I'm waiting on something. And the thing that pisses me off, is that I really don't know what it is that I'm waiting for.
Sometimes I sorta feel like I'm waiting for the life that I want to live, to start. There are so many things that I want to do. I want to live so many place, just pick up and move. I want to travel and experience new cultures and see things that I have never seen, or possibly never will get the chance to see again. I want to drive to Colorado, lie in a field of wildflowers and write poetry. I mean, how cheesy can you get. But that's what I want. And the thing I can't figure out, is what is keeping me from it. I have a good job and a comfortable salary, but I think that I'm scared to do things. Everytime I think that I am just going to up and do something that I know in my heart I want to do, I convince myself otherwise, thinking that it wouldn't be the "wise" decision. What the hell is the wise decision? What am I waiting on?
Last night I decided I was going to take all the extra money I earn working four extra part time jobs and put it towards a trip to Italy. I studied Art History in college and I've always wanted to see Italy. What have I waited on? I think it's someone to see it with. And that's what scares me, is it smart to just head out to another country alone? Will I regret all the time that I spend alone when I could have "waited" to see it with someone else? But who? I watch as friends of my head off to other countries without another thought, and I stew in jealousy, knowing full well I could do that same thing.
I think what it sums up to is that I need to make a change. I'm too damn comfortable. I need to shake things up a bit. I'm starting or shall I say motivating myself to write again. Which is all I ever wanted in life. God, what I wouldn't give to be a travel writer. And why not?
Why am I so scared to do what I want to do with my life?
" I want to be the volcano who lavishes her boiling rock soup love on everyone, and I want to be the lover of volcanos, who loves best what burns her as it flows. "


So I'm turning thirty this May, and I feel that I need to add a piece of art to signify reaching this age of wisdom. I hadn't really thought about it until one day I was joking with my students. I was reading them my favorite "poem" by Ezra Pound. Because they are so gulliable I told them that I was going to have it tattooed across my back with a large black tree limb. Some of them believed me, some of them looked at me as they usually do, questioning who put this idiot in front of them to teach. The more I thought about it, minus the large tree limb, the more I liked the idea. So instead of the lotus flower or weeping willow that I've always wanted on my back, I am going to get these two lines instead:
The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough.
When it comes to poetry, there isn't much else the evokes that much imagery for me.

Stolen Staplers

This is why, somedays, it's fun to be a teacher....
On Friday I chose to take a personal day. Upon returning to school on Tuesday, I noticed that someone had stolen my staplers. Now one of these staplers was not simply a 'normal' stapler, but rather a stapler with the power to shoot a staple through a stack of papers with the ease of a nail gun. I went balistic! Who would steal my staplers? Instantly I accused another teacher (which I realized later was a bit irrational, but hey, i was upset). I sent students down to other classes in search of my staplers. They were no where to be found.
For motivation, I told all of my classes that I would go anywhere in town and buy lunch for the student who 1) returned MY original staplers and 2) told me who had taken the staplers.
My students were so concerned, searching everywhere, offering to buy new staplers. But they were still no where to be found. I had all but given up. Then today, I noticed a gift bag sitting outside of my classroom door. I mentioned several times to my students that someone had left a present outside, but no one said anything. Finally, after passing by this lone present many times, I peeked in.
There were my staplers, and this note:
Dear Ms. Hoeb,
I humbly apologize for the theft of your staplers. It is hard for me to admit this, but I have recently discovered that I have a fetish for these wonderous office supplies. I know, this must come as a surprise that someone could have such an obscure desire; it took me a long time to come to terms with myself. The curves and contours were just too alluring, I could not resist my baser urges.
Please, try to find it in your heart to forgive me. I am checking into therapy soon and I believe it would do me a world of good if I knew you forgave and believed in me. As Jon Bon Jovi once said:
I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride, wanted dead or alive, I'm a cowboy, wanted dead or alive.
I believe these words accurately convey my sentiments, and I hope you feel the same way. Additionally, I have enclosed a Taco Bell coupon good for one seasoned beef crunchy taco (offer expires 4/30/2008. Offer good only at participating Taco Bell locations. Offer excludes Chicken, Steak, and Supreme versions) to help facilitate the healing process.
Sincerely, Anonymous Stapler Lover
p.s. you might want to wash the staplers before use.
pps. to further facilitate the healing process, please keep this gift bag to use for regifting in the future.
ppps. you might want to wash the bag too.

In response, I have written the following to be read to my students tomorrow:
Dear Humble Student
I do accept your apology. We all have our own problems and I am accepting of people and their flaws. Yet, I can't help but want to bring to your attention the sincere depression that I was placed in due to the "hostage crisis" you created when you violated the delicate balance of office supplies on my desk. I cannot even begin to express the shock wave of grief that wracked my body as my eyes ventured across my desk, in search of a stapler, my hands subconsciously contracting in a "stapling motion."
Every night this week I have gone home to the meager abode, that my teacher salary can afford, climbed into my cot, pulled the worn wool blanket around my head and cried my eyes out. I mean, how else could I complete my nightly grading rituals without my trusty stapler at my side? What point was there in going on? Twice, I dialed Mr. Copeland at home to resign. What is a teacher, besides a poor pathetic human being, without her stapler? For the first time since my junior year of high school, I asked myself, "Who am I?"
I feel that only Death Cab for Cutie can truthfully express how I felt in losing my stapler:
It stung like a violent wind that our memories depend on a faulty camera in our mindsBut I knew that you were a truth I would rather lose than to have never lain beside at all Now that I have my stapler back, I will be able to sleep peacefully tonight. And thanks to your gracious coupon, I will have a scrumptious taco for dinner rather than the bran muffin and buttermilk that I had planned.I hope that in the future, with therapy and much counseling, you will learn to control your fetishes. Please use caring, judgment and leave poor English teachers' office supplies alone. Truthfully yours, Your English Teacher

Don't ask me to dance...

seem to have a serious problem. Guys want to dance with me. Not sure if it's my volumptuous booty they are seeking, but I am constantly battling with men on my lack of interest in dancing with them.
Take for instance this past weekend. I'm sitting in a club, in a booth, with six friends. A guy sits down at our table and begins to ask me questions about how I'm doing. Behind him stands a young man in his "dad's" blazer, a pair of horrible jeans, and a beaded necklace. I soon figure out that the horrible blazer wearing dude is waiting to dance with me and has sent in his minion to do the dirty work by convincing me to dance.
Suddenly I find myself being asked to dance, over and over and over, even though my answer remains NO. I start out polite and become increasingly insistant that this would not be a good idea. I know the evil woman that I can become if forced to do something I don't want to do.
"But he picked you out of the whole bar," his friend says as my six friends stand around me batting their lashes and shaking their head slowly at my answer. "You have to go," one girl says. So once again, I am guilted into dancing with a man/boy I have no interest on earth dancing with. Oh, but it gets better.
He wants to two-step, something i do not understand, to a Sublime song. Did you hear me? A Sublime song!! So now I am two stepping, (which involves him taking tiny steps across the dance floor with me following him) when I didn't want to, with a guy I have no interest in. Then he begins to spin me. Take into consideration that I have be drinking all night, am exhausted, DIDN"T WANT TO DANCE, and then picture in your head him spinning me as I come within inches of busting my ass. "Don't do that again," I yell at him.
Then comes the good stuff, he wants to pull me close so I can smell his cheap cologne, and he tries to rub on my leg. He grabs my butt, and I grab his hand and place it on my side. "What?" he asks, and puts it back on my butt. "NO!" I yell at him. And the song ends all too soon as I have begun contemplating smashing his grin into his mouth.
But this isn't the only complaint I have with guys wanting to dance with me that night. Oh there are the weirdos that stand beside you in a crowd and stare at you (oh, and they aren't dancing, just staring, ALECIA, you know exactly who I'm talking about). Just waiting for you to turn around and face them so they can take a step through your legs and grind on you.
I do not understand how the most insecure, shy, inappropriate men can become so gutsy when it comes to asking a girl to dance. And for some reason, they NEVER take no for an answer. Don't they realize they are dancing with someone who obviously didn't want to dance in the first place? Do they think we will change our mind because, damn, he can two-step so well?!!
In conclusion, if you see me sittting alone at a bar, PLEASE, don't ask me to dance.