MR. PORTER’S ASYLUM (Creative Writing – Rm. 106)

We came from all walks,
volunteers in self-discovery,
elective enrollees for the cause
of poetry and the like.

At the door he stood,
animated and quirky,
highly smirky in a
Dick Cavett sort of way.

Much to say for the honor
of poetic verse, practicing
without a license, suffice it
to say, the man had a way.

Senior Class of Seventy-Four,
filled the roster, none was more
interested than the next –
always perplexed by his methods.

A disembodied beat poet,
a diminutive sort, of sorts,
surrounded by we neophyte
poetic cohorts.

Abandon was reckless; inspired,
all wired crossly, delving for muse
where even bravado refused to go,
and no show was complete

without a silent cheer. The milieu
expressed and implied; the bold, the shy,
the “Superfly”, some people looking for a pass,
and even with us, he had no class.

Mr. Porter was our liege,
lost in the siege of modern thought,
what man hath wrought was dealt with
promptly, sparking the flint, hoping

to catch the tinder of ideas;
into a conflagration unbridled.
Mired now in aleatory, only telling
half the story. A curiosity piqued,

and a genre explored, self-expression
with no convention, all but for the lead
of a steady pulse. Where pathos, pith
and schmaltz met for a good time.

Embroiled in rhyme and a well worded verse,
we could have done worse with another mentor.
Verbal barbs fired and a musical
based on “The Exorcist” was truly inspired.

But the man and the place stay close to heart,
for such was my poetic start.
Watching as the sacred cows would fall,
Mr. Porter’s Asylum, just down the hall.


POET’S NOTES: The talk lately has centered around the 40th Reunion of Lackawanna High School – Class of 1974. A bittersweet memory – connecting with friends better now than I ever did back then. The “Invisible Man Poet” came to life, in part to the cranial manipulations of one Patrick M. Porter and his Creative Writing class in Room 106. As I am finding my modicum of success with poetry, I am again reminded of old friends who have helped catapult me to this level. To the “Fruits of 106”, I thank you!

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014

Submitted for dVerse/Poets Pub – Evolution 


13 thoughts on “MR. PORTER’S ASYLUM (Creative Writing – Rm. 106)

  1. What a rich memory, Walt, shared so well in your words. I fondly remember my Mrs. Nabors, eccentric but vivid in her excitement for the language, who dared me with her passion to write out of bounds. Thanks for sharing.

  2. that is cool….it was an english teacher that first propelled me into writing short story and creative writing….which eventually led to poetry for me…would have been cool to have a beat mentor….

  3. I enjoyed reading about your poetry mentor, Walt. I think many of us have someone along the way who inspired the love…. for me it was a crotchety near-retirement English teacher who inspired fear in her students as well as the enjoyment of poetry.

  4. Glenn Buttkus

    Yes, from the dozens of teachers we all had, a few stuck in our cortex, like peanut butter to our craw; for they were real teachers, shaping, cajoling, giving, taking, molding, managing. Later, as a teacher myself (after giving up Acting), I strived to be someone, a teacher I could admire my self. Odd, how the poor teachers all huddle together in a fog of lost, hardly retrievable memories, a tangled tapestry gathering brain dust in dark corners.

  5. very cool… i wish i would’ve had some teaching in poetry when i was younger – we read goethe and schiller – and that about was it… really cool story that walt

  6. what a delight it sounds to have poetry classes. I second Claudia above me, I wish I had had any teaching poetry, I know it would have made me a much better poet, that or at least I would have worket meter. 🙂


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