Jeff Wise, 10/19/2015

Current Occupation: High School English Teacher
Former Occupations: Veterinary Assistant, Motorcycle Detailer, Music Instructor
Contact Information: Wise's poetry has previously appeared in PiP. He is also writes short fiction. Wise grew up in Indiana, attended Indiana University—Bloomington, and now lives in Memphis, TN with his beloved orange tabby, Ms. Devereaux.


Author's Note: I wrote this poem while sitting through a day-long professional development session in which attendees (teachers at a high school in  the Arkansas Delta) were subjected to a litany of sales pitches by  providers of insurance and legal services. After every presentation, the room erupted in an eerie applause. After one salesman finished his speech in which he celebrated the speed at which his company paid out claims to cancer patients (pray you get cancer if you buy his policy) I decided I could no longer condone the passive acceptance of these "professional development" sessions in the form of applause. While my co-workers sat attentively, I furiously scribbled in my notebook.




Together we make
Noise to celebrate
The world
Before our half-attentive eyes
That signals something
Buzzing in our dormant
Buzzing minds.
Someone follows the path.
A thank-you
A clank of a dropped
Microphone blasts out of
Ragged, sharp, treble-heavy
A slight echo
Yelling the last cue which
Falls on the ears of a few in the back
That stare out the window,
Whose minds buzz louder than the others’.
Clap clap clap
Starting in the front moving like a
Ripple throughout shared space.
A boat leaves a dock.
Room for those with tickets and a desire to board.
So all clap
For fear of being left on shore
In a world with a few
Whose minds buzz louder than the others’.



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