A boy sits in the corner
He is bookless and
going without sleep.
His eyes are like
the red tide
with jelly fish floating.
He practices the electric guitar
sure of stardom
reading, writing, science and math.
“Job security comes with literacy!”
The teacher cries with broken voice
his words falling into an abyss.
One true beauty,
hating homework and books,
wants to go to college
and become a shrink
solving the world’s problems
along the way
while dreaming of a banker
buying the million dollar mansion with
a Rolls Royce and Mercedes Benz in the garage.
They will fly to the South of France once a year
where their villa faces the sea.
“Today,” the teacher says, “we study irony.
There is dramatic irony, situational irony
and verbal irony, which is where someone
says the opposite of what they mean.”
The rock star refuses to listen
not learning rhythm and rhyme.
Instead, he knows fame awaits—
The dramatic irony is that the teacher
already knows the ending of his story
where at thirty
the future rock star
falls into the toilet of lost dreams.
Another adolescent dreamer
plans to earn an MFA
and write books
that change the world.
She hates reading and plays every angle
will stand in line
begging for her
raw literary talent
with no need for revisions.
Her parents believe every word
she drops like dew
on blades of grass
glistening in the morning light.
Her mother says “My daughter is a rare genius,
the next Joyce Carol Oats.
Any teacher who gives her less than an A is incompetent.”
The teacher sees this as an example of situational irony.
He bites his tongue
knowing the truth
no one wants to hear.
That Alexander the Great,
was not stupid.