Teechurs aftur hrs

Th howls r sighlint now
Zombeez shuffl 2 th mayn offis
wear janitur tecknishuns
cunnect th regulurz
2 tall hummean genuraturz
Kwalifyed pursonel
delicutlee remoov th leftovr braynz
cheking them 4 damidg
& vakuum out th hedz

Fullee sirvisd & smyleen wuns agin
th teechurs trayd all-noing glansez
(Boy if th kidz cud c us now!)
& reterneen buy instink
2 there classrm sells
thay clime on wuden deskz
& lie soopine i’s opin
awayteen don &
the furst arriveen skool bus


Originally published in This, That, The Other–Selected Poems of Spiritus, 1991. Probably the right time to trot this one out as teachers everywhere sink deep into the long winter haze over a month b4 Xmas. The poem works on a number of levels. It was inspired by a student who was once looking for me at school long after the working day ended. He was genuinely surprised that I had not been there and may have assumed I lived there and had no other life. The subject matter blurs a bit with memories of olde science fiction movies about clichéd robots and mad scientists. The language choices were inspired by the latter (as in HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey running down–the reading aloud of this poem is also an aural experience for sure) and by eccentric ’60s Canadian poet bill bisset who played with language in a ‘dumbed-down’ pre-texting world way.

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