Kendall McClellan’s Lesson Plan: A Pandemic Miracle

CSUCI Spring 2020

Kendall McClellan’s Lesson Plan: A Pandemic Miracle  

By Tyler Lucas Mobley

We’d emerged from Baldwin and Hughes to “Let America

Be America Again” she took a brave stance behind the 

lectern and said “when I made this lesson plan back in

Christmas break, I never would’ve guessed that the day

I planned to talk about the stock market crash of 1929, 

the market would fall by a percentage that exceeds the 

record set the week that began the Great Depression.” 

The students just shift in their seats already convinced

their future is moot. This is what an education buys, 

informing you of the irony over head like a bucket of

icy water ready to drench, who’s recording?

The Diamond Princess hung on the horizon as an 

appetizer for things to come, while most were 

fenced on how Buttigeig gave suspicion that if you 

peaked inside his suit there would be dozens of 

mice pulling levers. Then it happened, the world

held it’s breath, some became deciders of 

essentiality while others never picked up their 

heads from the task at hand. 

Never more definitive uncertainty in the air 

her head recoils as if hit with a whiff of awful,

dispelling a reality she’d rather not accept. 

And then class went on, because that’s what 

we did back then. If I’d known it’d be my last 

day with her I might’ve made more of a goodbye. 

Notes to Generation Fortunate Son

Spawned from a memory of Eli’s 4runner.

Notes to Generation Fortunate Son 

By Tyler Lucas Mobley 

Fuzzy flags carried off planes

no one needs to ask about. 

Spare my eyes the sight

society says to itself. 

Protest read aloud the writing on the wall, 

a cousin, a brother, a father ties a nation 

in a knot no one is sure they should be in. 

Growing pains diagnosed from the comfort 

of their sacrifice, 40 years later teenagers 

returning from a high school lunch at Chipotle 

hang out car windows, hands managing the recoil 

of machine guns mounted to the chopper they’re 

clipped to, because Creedence is playing on max,

Lieutenant Dan taught us to walk again. 

Covered by the freedom those died providing

colors fade with the fog of endless war.

Not that anyone notice when times grew slack,

media removed vulnerable to reality’s attack.  

Cosmic Lottery

For frame of reference: https://youtu.be/I0rVovLWCXw

Cosmic Lottery

By Tyler Mobley

The initial burst of laughter startles, plexiglass didn’t see you there.  

Jumping out of my seat at the top of the track, reaching for the 

volume knob, the worst passing before appropriate reduction. 

Why is it every time the engine turns over laughter fills my cabin?

Spooky technology, a street thief affair, pocket picking entanglement. 

The phenomena has evolved, Aces High had its hour, RKL enjoyed 

a spot then Ache with Me was out alphabetized by Dane Cook’s 

Abducted. Comedic concrete, cementing the three minute bit into 

my mind is worth the occasional inconvenience. 

Nothing better than nailing the spaceship landing sound effect

in real time, not confusing it with the summoning sound of the blue beam. 

An idea forms, shaping a path I didn’t realize I was on, becoming aware of a 

tune being played on my most personal strings, Ahab’s lampoon, 

spotlight meaning. How “Sometimes I’d just go hang out in the woods,”

 becomes “God damn it they’re huge Indians, alright good game America,” 

hits home in inflection alone. A long ago listen at gas station along the 

Gulf of California I snapped my fingers twice and said, “country country,” 

a friend in the car shouted, “Spain” thinking he’d been put on the spot. 

No, just reenacting American foreign policy. 

There is no way of knowing who put this flying saucer on this shirt. 

A token to when algorithms began listening in, the shirt advertised

on my feed seemed summoned from Cook’s bit. Blunt, bold 

“Get in Loser” over the silhouette of a man being sucked up by his

chest in a beam of light through a grove of trees. There came a day 

while wearing said shirt, on a hike through the woods a passerby 

would say, “I like your shirt,” insert life achievement notification, 

the moment years in the making. Immediately a cone of light 

strikes the ground disappearing the complimenter.  

Bones say uwww searching for ground, an image of Earth recedes to black. 

Familiar with the Earth rise perspective it took awhile to realize this reality 

was no reproduction. “Wait, wait, is that? That’s really?” Silence, a door opens

with a hiss of escaping air, words never make it out, shocked stiff locking eyes.

Said Shirt in Yosemite

Aboard Nimbus Nine

Most falls in during morning flows. Pen & Page be-pressed for days. Welcome to the Xander Zone!

Aboard Nimbus Nine

By Tyler Mobley

Does the world speak through your eyes? To know is to know anything at all. No fantastic beast, a spice caught mid drizzle down forearm scruff posing to the onion if the slice was worth the cry hoping the answer may remain to remind of what is present, like shower confidence carried into the world, a Sesame Street stride “a good day to garbage grins, bird, thank you for your song, Tree wood you settle your branch brood and leaf yourself blown, any stranger can tell you’re a bit knotted up.” Is that enough? Ok one more, “I went for pizza last time Mr. Tree, leaving your wallet in your trunk is no excuse.” If only money grew on … our backs. 

For the love of God traffic lights have more personality than some elected officials. Respect the runway’s duty, a performance demanding stage. Floor is yours, the lights hot, dance as if you’ve practiced all your life, no doubt you have. Imagine every word spoken by a congressional member must include a jig or dance at a minimum of eight counts, carried out before or after the statement being left to the members discretion. Not a thought mind a movement goes unweighted in expression, art or ability the absolute passion for life shines under recognition in unbearable fashion, if one were to gaze directly at this primordial flare the result would imprint itself onto all seen thereafter for embracing our undeniable order, complexity maintained under elegant guise, meditating bottoms know to sink to rise, morphing bubbles on surface ascents, a dance perhaps, prescribed to those who’ve not thought through the depths from which they’ve sprung.

That ought to sort things out a bit. Dance if a lash bash is all you can manage, propel your mind with Saturn sneeze rockets any less is just another dance, pads of melting butter for skates, we must roll, a days roll presents no choice and every option each time time time time time time time.  

Checks and Balances

My poem is a response to each line of Bertolt Brecht’s poem. A reinterpretation, remake, using a model and making it my own, originally written for Claudia Reder’s English class.

Checks and Balances

By Tyler Mobley 

In circles of squares 

often they forgets to look beyond,

to lines that bend for food or 

a vote. 

Those scraping by taste more hope 

than sugar in their lives,

not always wanting more.   

The day’s demands leave out 

questions of how we ended up 

like this. 

Table manners have us at each 

other’s throats, no chance 

away from home. 

Keep talking about 

America’s gilded age, 

and you’ll never get it.  

Milk has spoiled  

meat left for the beyond 

and fast food wants to be slow.

Moving in different directions

ushering a world to it’s grave,

we were friends, then facebook

friends, now I don’t know 

where to find you.   

The Apprentice speaks of 

A return to greatness,

it was on vacation 

in Russia I suppose. 

He who blesses a nation 

hears the stampede of buffalo, chased by arrowheads 

on horseback, and vibrating houseboats

blasting Ted Nugent  

coast to coast.   

Sundays begin the calendar week

but ends the misery of those who live it. 

Tracking our days around the sun 

Not one left open to

have some fun.  

Teachers hold signs for more pay,

factory workers buy the goods 

they use to produce.

It will take more than a 

promise, to heal this

American scar. 

Mr. Mesquite watches his face bob 

on signs spread over a crowd of angry lettuce.

We called your siphon on trickle down,

and went months without work,     

you speak of prosperous times nearing. 

all the while clearing trees

for mass graves. 

We’ve let our trust out on a line 

and can’t get it back again.

Believing in a TV show host, 

we lose track of the producers. 

now it’s the democrats calling for

a national roast, no longer 

Comedy Central.

We say elites of D.C. 

Does the 1% mean anything to you?

Special interest groups 

for those who get to have 

special interest, or is a lunch break enough 

to make another Hilary documentary. 

Please cut your food, not me 

in this line for work to be of service

at Gala’d events, filling those 

Who lobby against us, preserve a laid

back lifer in the highest tax bracket.

We got you cover in the back

Next to stoves, and heat lamps 

for the overnight, 

some don’t get to go home.   

There, written in a populist play,

give them what they want,

and all power shall be yours. 

Your name forever next to all others,

as if we needed more it.

Why not, give the people what they’ve

wanted like never before. 

Try with your torches, 

try with a crowd, 

bring up a fixer, and

down goes a wall. 

Crisis are happening, small ones 

all over, that deserve what they deserve 

though we deserve better, to be held accountable for 

our enemies, and our friends. 

To embrace the good, and not give in to the unraveling 

of the west, for all it has taken, 

it has sure given back, 

to a few, but to most when it mattered. 

So let us accept a way forward with respects to the past 

and not begin from ashes to rebuild what was.  

If an original thought could save a nation, 

what does it take to think for yourself? 

All influence has spoiled, 

been dragged into the fight. 

Your power is lied beyond your means

so kiss my feet in reparations, 

and I’ll think twice about another lick,

at the backs of those who built the Pyramids, as

the dollar holds it’s appropriated value,

we watch, unsettled, for what the future 

holds.   

From a German War Primer

By Bertolt Brecht 

Amongst The Highly Placed 

It is considered low to talk about food.

The fact is: they 

Already eaten. 

The lowly must leave this earth 

Without having tasted

Any good meat. 

For wondering where they come from and 

Where they are going

The fine evenings find them

Too exhausted. 

They have not yet seen 

The mountains and the great sea

When their time is already up.

If the lowly do not 

Think about what’s low 

They will never rise.  

The bread of the hungry has 

All been eaten 

Meat has become unknown. Useless 

The pouring out of the people’s sweat. 

The laurel groves have been 

Lopped down. 

From the chimneys of the arms factories 

Rises smoke. 

The house-painter speaks of 

Great times to come 

The forest still grow.

The fields still bear

The cities still stand.

The people still breathe.

On the calendar the day is not 

Yet shown

Every month, every day 

Lies open still. One of those days 

Is going to be marked with a cross.

The workers cry out for bread

The merchants cry out for markets. 

The unemployed were hungry. The employed 

Are hungry now. 

The hands that lay folded are busy again. 

They making shells. 

Those who take the mart from the table 

Teach contentment. 

Those for whom the contribution is destined

Demand sacrifice. 

Those who eat their fill speak to the hungry

Of wonderful time to come. 

Those who lead the country into the abyss 

Call ruling too difficult

For ordinary men. 

When the leaders speak of peace 

The common folk know

That war is coming.

When the leaders curse war 

The mobilisation order is already written out. 

Those at the top: peace 

And war 

Are of different substance. 

But their peace and their war 

Are like wind and storm. 

War grows from their peace

Like son from his mother 

He bears

Her frightful features. 

Their war kills 

Whatever their peace 

Has left over. 

On the wall was chalked:

They want war. 

The man who wrote it

Has already fallen. 

Those at the top say:

This way to glory. 

Those down below say:

This way to the grave.  

The war which is coming 

Is not the first one. There were 

Others wars before it. 

When the last one came to an end

There were conquerors and conquered. 

Among the conquered the common people 

Starved. Among the conquerors 

The common people starved too.  

Those at the top say comadreship 

Reigns in the army.

The truth of this is seen 

In the cookhouse.

In their hearts should be 

The selfsame courage. But 

On their plates

Are two kinds of rations. 

When it comes to marching many do not 

Know 

That their enemy is marching at their head. 

The voice which gives them their orders. 

Is their enemy’s voice and 

The man who speaks of the enemy

Is the enemy himself.  

It is night 

The married couples

Lie in their beds. The young women 

Will bear orphans. 

General, you is a powerful vehicle 

It smashes down forest and crushes a hundred men. 

But it has one defect: 

It needs a driver. 

General, your bomber is powerful. 

It flies faster than a storm and carries more than an elephant. 

But it has one defect:

It needs a mechanic. 

General, man is very useful. 

He can fly and he can kill.

But he has one defect: 

He can think.  

T.R. John Wright, Ralph Manheim, and Erich Fried (pg.213)

Forche, Carolyn. Against Forgetting: 20th Century Poetry of Witness. New York: W.w. norton, 2009. Print.