the syllabus as poetry

Thinking about the syllabus as a literary form led me to thinking about using, or playing with, the syllabus form in not-syllabus ways…this is one result.

Course of Study

contact information
What violence, what nerve:
their flashing soles,
their dream-lidded eyes,
their unmarked skins.
Blackboard dust breathing
up, and that swing, barely moving.

course description
A child’s head knocks
with his name, his mother’s,
and a million million songs.
And in each song, another child,
and in each child, the treasured
names, the million songs, each one
a blue-green crystal thing that may,
that may, that surely one day will be.
And then. And then. The days come. Or they
do not. The songs themselves play out. The end.

Not to loose the moth in your chest.
Not to pin its wings to wax.
Not to show it the blood on your teeth.
Not to forgive the world that will kill it.

required texts
Arms, Laurel. In Case of Fire, You Burn. Cold World Press, 1972.
Hess, J. G. “These Murderous Waves.” in Best Things, Warren/Fields, 1979.
Pryderi, Sophia. Building Without Materials: or, Wishes Can Be Houses. Neverlands Press, 2006.
Wren, Niko. The Fabulist Forgets Herself. Chosen Books, 2007.
Zora, Forma. “On Being Born.” in Living Here and Other Options. Last Exposures, 2013.

Did you read him the book with the owl? Did you
change the endings that scared him? Did you
choose well your words? Did you let him find you,
did you hold him, call him my boy? Did you
let him see you, did you make him see himself
through the broken lens of your heart? Oh,
you have failed. The blue-green glass
will never show him, never, though you gaze
and long. You thought you could keep him
in your head. In that, you were wrong.

2 thoughts on “the syllabus as poetry

    1. Tessa Joseph-Nicholas Post author

      How kind of you! I’m delighted you came across it and took the time to comment. Thanks!


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