The following is a Blog post from my "Last American Baker" series.
However, had this "Poets Are Lame" project been running at the time, I would have channeled it through here.
So sit back, relax....and enjoy this mornings rerun.
Friday, March 16, 2012
The Finley Tribute
If I have ever written anything that has inspired you, or brought you joy.....90% of the accolades would have to go to my writing mentor/master Mike Finley.
Over the years i've popped over to his house to hit him up for advise, or wisdom on different things I've worked on.
Under his tutelage,I have secured book deals, written hundreds of columns and basically opened my world to all the freaks that one only meets through literature LOL.
My favorate time to go to Mike's house is around 11 a.m. because often times he'll offer a guy, what he calls "Pollack Breakfast."
Finley's step father was a Pollack who worked in the Food Show, and Mike often celebrates his memory by making a late breakfast that incorperates eggs, sausages, bacon, little red potatoes, onions and hash browns.
Everything just gets swirled around in a cauldron and then after plating it...well lets just say it wouldn't been unheard of if an Irish beer get cracked open.
Well Mr Finley.....how does one thank their Master?
How can a recipient of such a priceless gift return the favor.
When I think back on the volumes of advise and correction you have so graciously dispenced throughout my "career" I am always on the lookout to find ways to....not repay the debt, but more appropriatly offer tribute.
The following is submitted for your approval.........
Several weeks ago I teamed up with Saint Paul's Poet Laureate Carol Connolly.
We met at an inner city high school were we were asked to discuss poetry with the students.
When the gig was brought to our attention....my friend Carol advised me....
"Expose as many tattoo's as possible, it might buy us some credibility."
Then the 2 of us went, discussed our work, and I was really moved at how open these 17-20 year olds were.
Yesterday I receaved an envelope in the mail.
It was large and thick, when I tore it open and dumped its contents onto my desk, I was thrilled to see that each young person sent me a "Thank You" letter that seemed more than the generic ones that your teacher forces you to write....
But this one that I'm going to show you now is the very first one I read.........
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING YOUR TIME FOR BEING OUR GUEST IN CLASS.
I APPRECCIATED YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON POETRY. YOU BEING A BIG GUY, I REALLY DIDN'T EXPECT YOU TO BE EMOTIONALLY EXPRESSIVE. BUT WATCHING YOU EXPRESS YOURSELF, MY MENTALITY TOWARDS EMOTIONS HAS COMPLETLY SHIFTED. I KNOW I AM EMOTIONAL, BUT I'M NOT USED TO TALKING ABOUT IT.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CHANGING MY MENTALITY.
AND THANK YOU FOR THE CAKE...IT WAS WONDERFUL.
Can you believe that Mike?
A kid a the height of "coolness" daring to say something like that.
I sat in my office stunned, for like 10 minutes.....your Goodwill has moved down the line, and I thought it was important that you get a return on your investment.