“little report of the day” — Jack Collum

“little report of the day”


Jack Collum

9:13 p.m., Lucky Bock in hand,
I inscribe: walked the lovely
33 blocks to school today, streets clear and
thick melting snow all around.
taught my 4 hours of poetry; the afternoon
class was hard; kid named Schweikert
kept on fucking up. took typed-up
poems of yesterday to Platt and put up
poster there of Anne and Reed’s reading Sat.
ate nearly 2 peanutbutter sandwiches with
raw carrots. typed. read kids’ poems.
at 4 I started home, got a ride
with Jim Bay. press release to daily paper.
stopped in Baird’s for 2 beers,
looked at paper. home, kissed Mara, Sierra.
in the mail: Out There, from Chicago, and a letter
stating the city of Grand Island had decided not
to prosecute re my arrest
Friday for intoxication. wonder why. Nick
the landlord didn’t show (he was supposed to
have us sign lease on the new duplex) (this place
gonna be torn down). ate
a very delicious supper, ham-and-cheese
rarebit with cold broccoli and cold oregano’d
tomato, cooked by Mara. paperwork, played a
game of solitaire, harried by Sierra’s
new red car. dropped over then
to the Korner Bar, put up a poster under the phone sign, said hi
to a few folks and got halloo’d by this guy I’d
spoken to 2 months before, who’d said his high
school son adored me, but it might be thought improper
that I hang around, shoot pool in Korner Bar.
a beefy mid-30’s man, he bought me a beer, apologized and
told me of his luck: he’d won a thousand one-hundred eighty
dollars today betting on one horse at Fonner Park.
we talked of poetry, family, work — he mentioned Kilmer,
Stevenson, Nash and others, quoted verbatim
his own published poem on fire-fighting (he is the G.I.
fire-chief). his boyhood favorites, whom he reads all of
even now: Edgar Rice Burroughts and Jules Verne. his son,
though epileptic, does the high jump at the high school; he was
disturbed that it wasn’t the broad jump, in which he
himself still holds a record, set in 1959.
the taxes have jumped up like crazy on their nice
spread just inside the city limits. I got up and
slapped him on the back and left, stopping first to ask
Clark, standing end of the bar, what he knew
of me on Friday night at the Kyriss. I’d blanked out
completely (woke up in jail, ate
blue oatmeal). he said I’d just got drunk, he thought Rod
had taken me home. he said, at one point,
just waking up, I’d grabbed the edge of the table and
tilted it till the glasses all came sliding
down and almost off, then tilted it back till they
slid back to where they were, and never spilled a drop.
he said I’d bought some beers for him and Pat but
before they could get to them drank
them up myself. okay, Clark, you’re a good guy with your
black curly hair and toothless grin, and your wild life. I was just
wondering. check with Rod when have a chance. —
and off, through mud and occasionally-lighted puddles,
home, where Mara’s napping still and there are (were)
5 Lucky Bocks in the white (today!) icebox. 9:50.
           (no. 2)
after finishing that
(immediately after, during, in
fact) the
strange thing is there’s so much left out.
last night finished reading
The Vicar of Wakefield. the bluejays and cardinals that called
on the way to school. my beard
suddenly seems soft (that thought
off some day-dreaming about talking to
poetry students). reread
(for the last “making” time) “the 14,” the magazine; it is
all set. the poems
there, here now, seemed so abstract,
compared with what I’m used to,
but that in a way intensely and properly shaking
feeling and talk, tonight. the
(Mara gets up, starts drinking Pepsi)
and all that. (yellow sweater).

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