I Think Perhaps I’ve Taught Too Long



I think perhaps I’ve taught too long —

None of my pop cultural references register.


Allusions to Barney Fife, Ricky Ricardo,

Beaver Cleaver, Hoss Cartwright

Produce stares as blank as if I’d dropped

Anaximenes’s or Parenides’s names

at a Tea Party conclave.


Anyone out there have any idea

Who has replaced Eddie Haskell

As the prototype for insincere obsequiousness?

Or Ozzie and Harriet as avatars

Of wholesome vacuity?


If you know, please text me.


The teenagers I teach have never listened to

Mitch Ryder and the DE-troit wheels

Or Wicked Wilson Pickett,

Have never heard Koko Taylor sing

“Wang Dang Doodle.”


When the fish head fills the air

Be snuff juice everywhere

We’re gonna pitch a wang dang doodle all night long


All night long . . .


What’s an uncomfortable kind of old scarecrow to do?

Bone up on Dr. Dre and Beyonce?

Binge watch Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory?


No suh, un-uh, no thank you.


I think it’s time to take that proverbial timecard

And check out of this here career,

Transplant my ass to Lisbon’s Bairro Alto

Spend the uneventful

Dwindling days sipping IPAs

In that lovely park overlooking

The lower, less ancient, sections of the city.

the author and his son, the King of Nowhere

the author and his son, the King of Nowhere


7 thoughts on “I Think Perhaps I’ve Taught Too Long

  1. Wonderful start to the day. I like hearing you read your poem, I relate to its sentiments, and I love the picture of you with Ned in Lisbon although those kids in the classroom photo lack a certain presence.

  2. There is a line in the movie Goodbye Mr. Chips ( try that one on your students) where Mr. Chips says something to the effect The students never get older but I do. I remember the day I mentioned Teflon to my chemistry class and got blank stares. I knew then I was past my sell-by date.

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