This poem began in the sudden return of a very old memory.
You don’t see them much anymore.
Mostly schools have gone dry
erase and smart board and flipped
classes, but maybe one slate hangs
in a gone classroom, where a gone prof,
young and powerful, smoking in a window
leapt down and began writing, talking,
wearing chalk down to a nib then
flicking it at a trashcan, smoke still
hanging in the air filling with chalk,
talking Shakespeare and Shaw
talking Brooks and August Wilson
and filling every corner of the board
rising to crescendos sinking low
and slapping the board to wake
a sleeper, but hardly breaking stride,
then writing in the white cloud
of words on words with an eraser–
words only decipherable to the rapt.