Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pun of the Day: 23 May 2009

(This one is an Andrew Ek original)

If, instead of using palm-reading to tell the future, I am using nostril-reading to tell someone's future, am I making prognostrilcations?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Poem: Love Letter from Ares, God of War, to Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Wife to Hephaestus, God of Blacksmith'ry

(Draft 1 - critiques welcome)

“A Love Letter From Ares, God of War, to Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Wife to Hephaestus, God of Blacksmith'ry”
Andrew Ek

Can you feel the sunshine, love,
bearing down warm upon your face?

You spend so much time underground
with him, the lord of volcanos, but
the world deserves your beauty;
your belief that you do not deserve
its beauty in return mystifies me.

I do not understand why you
render yourself absent so often,
and yet you do, Aphrodite.

His reason is simple; he is outcast, as am I, markedly different.
His mark a disfigured body, mine a disfigured soul
both too twisted for the realms of perfection
and yet I strive sometimes for normalcy, for calmness.
It is in these moments of lucidity that I can think.
These moments unnerve me, but I find myself in one now. 
Still, I much prefer the blind passion
of battle, of love, of conquest.

You, you are love incarnate,
and found in carnality, in the flesh.
We are kindred in temperature
and temperament, with none
of the cool rationality that marks
him to whom you bound yourself.

But Aphrodite, you and I are
creatures of passion, and the
blood coursing through your veins
is much the same as mine,
as is the blood left on the battlefield
by my work in the affairs of men
and their foaming at their mouths.

It is all the same, all made of heat.

Aphrodite, your name means “foam-born”
and your very birth was an act of violence
when your father stabbed his father
and stole the throne
you were borne of the droplets of blood, of conquering
it is only natural then that we should love each other.

We are not like your husband working at his forge,
steely and deliberate; the impulses he delivers with his
hammer are different from the impulses which govern our lives;
They are arguably more pure.

He loves you deliberately, beautifully, but not like I do.
His love is a cool and solid thing.
He is the better man.

We are that which we create, Aphrodite:
lust for flesh and lust for blood;
you and I create passion, blind and fervid.
We are the genesis of the uncontrolled,
making men and women out of cowards,
but it is just as often that we make cowards
out of men and women.  Surely you remember
how we fled the shores of Ilium?

I create bloodlust and hatred;
I am rage and destruction.
These are hardly conditions for you.

Your husband, Hephaestus, creates strength;
his creations at the forge are solid, ornate, beautiful.
You inspire him in a way that you never did me,
and every shield, every breastplate, every buckler exists
to bring a warrior back home to his lover after the fighting ceases,
after my work is done.
I am the cause for death, grieving, tears and destruction.
He preserves life, such that you might make life joyful
after the burnt farms have grown back and the dead are buried.

It is too often that our works destroy each other, Aphrodite,
and so it is better that we are apart,
lest we destroy each other too.
It is better that you are underground.

But even with this distance, Aphrodite, I still wonder:
can you feel the sunshine, love,
bearing down warm upon your face?

I do
like waves of blood
on the fields of slaughter.
The feeling reminds me of you;
there is a certain serenity in it,
a certain sense of peace.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Things My Students Said

1) "The Almost-Present on My Front Porch"

One of my junior boys: Mr. Ek, have you ever seen a badger?
Me: Yes, (student), I have.
Him: They're kinda freaky lookin', don't you think?
Me: Yeah... kinda awesome looking, too.
Him: Y'know, I found one last night.
Me: Yeah?
Him: Yeah. It was dead. I didn't know if you'd seen a badger before, so I was gonna come and put it on your front porch, but I didn't really want to put a dead badger in my pick-up if you'd already seen one, so I buried it instead.

2) "They Say Dogs Don't See in Colour"

Student, pointing at his choice-novel project (a drawing): "This is the house, and this is the kid, and this is Old Yeller, only he isn't yeller yet 'cause I haven't coloured him in."

3) "I Know He's a Good Actor, But He Isn't That Good"

One of my freshmen after school as she worked on an English extension project (basically, extra credit) over modern adaptatations of "Romeo and Juliet": Wow, Mr. Ek, this version of Romeo and Juliet earned a ton of money!
Me: How much did it earn?
Her: 46.3 million dollars! That's a lot!
Me: That is a lot of money. Was this the Leonardo DiCaprio version?
Her: No... it's the William Shakespeare version.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pun of the Day: 14 May 2009

[stolen shamelessly from the Mensa website]

A man enters a bar with a 6-inch amphibian perched on his shoulder.

The bartender (as is the norm with these jokes) asks, "What'll it be?"

"A pint of Guinness for me, and another pint for Tiny here," he says, pointing to his shoulder.

"You call him 'Tiny' because he's small? He looks pretty big for a salamander..."

The man laughs and says "No, I call him 'Tiny' because he is my newt."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Puns of the Day: 3 May 2009

These were written for one of my students who competed at the State Forensics meet with a compilation of poems by Langston Hughes:

1) If Langston Hughes were ten feet tall, would we call him Langston Huge?

2) If Langston Hughes weighed twice as much, would we call him Langs-two-ton Hughes?

3) Langston Hughes wanted to run in the Boston Marathon, but was not allowed because of his skin colour. So he started a new Marathon that went through New York City.  It's name: The Harlem Run-assaince