Art Class in Real Time

From the collection published in 2021, And Don’t Come Back.

Art Class in Real Time

Two down eight to go:
the students pull out their paints and papers
listen to the lecture thankfully short
begin to work on the assignment
some will like it some will not but
in time
a cautious calm finds its way
into the paints onto the papers until
the overheated studio now
a place of at ease

Three hours in:
littered with scraps of paper
askew and adrift in color
trimmed from magazines with gluey scissors
working with a chipped end
Blue pencil
sticky pink fingerprints down its length

And then
the water runs
the broom sweeps:
soap and rinse
every session a tick mark
against a short difficult lifespan
ending with a flip into the trash
though none make that trip today
fan the pages dry them out
Paint tubes
match them with their caps

Three down seven to go:
The studio poised to reclaim its solitude
but not before
now let’s see
what everyone did
the teacher says

the students
spread out their work for display
like jewels
on a velvet background


6 thoughts on “Art Class in Real Time

    • When I teach classes I always have a sharing section at the end, and we lay our work out on the tables. I have always thought it was just like opening a case at the store and setting the precious items out for their best display.

  1. You have conveyed the atmosphere of an art class vividly and I really love the way the rhythm of your poem is so suggestive of the shifting rhythms and energies within the creative space.

    • I wrote this poem about a class I taught. Your mention of the shifting energies is exactly right, how things go in a class, and as the teacher it was my job to make sure I managed them, so I was really paying a lot of attention to this so that the class could progress at the right pace and intensity.

    • I wrote this about my experience of teaching classes and I have always felt that in each session, we need to finish by reviewing and reflecting on our work, and most of all, appreciating it. I do see the work the students do as jewels, of many kinds, and I also want to promote this idea in their attitudes and feelings about their work, that they will see it in this same way .

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