Ruminate, and ‘Weekend Plans’ by David Holper

This week, I received my first hard copy of Ruminate (Issue 14, Winter 2009–2010). First impressions? It’s beautifully produced, and aesthetically yummy. Now, having read through it all, I remain delighted. This edition – like most – comprises of mainly poetry, but also includes two short stories, and is peppered with some provocative images (ink and charcoal, serigraphy, intaglio) by Scott Kolbo. Here’s my favourite poem from this issue:

‘Weekend Plans’, by David Holper

In a talk I recently heard, the speaker said
that at 50, a man has less than
1500 weekends left in his life.
Having chewed on this fact for the last week,
I now realize that my 1499th weekend is coming.

And so I’m making big plans:
On this 1499th remaining Saturday,
I plan to grade a stack of student papers.
But knowing that there are only so many of these
Saturdays to sit through,
I am planning on writing the most
remarkable comments and grades
I have ever composed.

Instead of pointing out where the prose clunks,
I will say that the sentence over which I stumble
reminds me of a ’62 Fiat convertible
I once owned, a car that ran well enough
when I bought it,
until I rear-ended a truck one day
and the front end crumbled
pushing the radiator back just enough
that the fan chewed a hole through
the back end,
the blades not only making an unearthly racket,
but also bleeding the radiator dry
and leaving a green stain on the pavement.

And instead of pointing out that a comma is not a coma,
that noone and alot are two words,
that a manor is a large country house
(in a manner of speaking)
and that collage
is not an institution of higher learning,
I will point out to them that Shakespeare, too,
invented new spellings and words
so that rather than see their grades as a kind
of condemnation,
they might rather embrace these marks as a sort of celebration
of their wild and anarchic spirit
which has emancipated itself from all bounds,
from all pedestrian, prosaic concerns
on this glorious, remaining 1499th Saturday.

One comment

  1. David was one of my most memorable teachers while attending college of the redwoods. He has such an interesting view on life and brings a great deal of energy and joy to his teachings.


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