My Sidewalk Stage
by John Yohe
Strange, almost scary, to stop on the sidewalk, put my guitar case down and opened it. People passing glanced, curious, as I slung guitar strap over shoulder and strummed an open E chord, fine-tuning strings. Part of me even expected cops to show: “Alright buddy, move along!” Perfect day though: Sunday, early Autumn, sunny, a few clouds. Not too hot or humid. I was standing at my favorite two block section of Ann Arbor, in the world really: the T where Liberty runs into State, right outside Border’s Books & Music, across from the Michigan Theatre where they showed good indie films, and with the lingerie store next door, so I was comforted by all my favorite obsessions. Also, it was a strategic location: Liberty a main pedestrian route between stores on State and stores farther west on Main. Plus, relatively quiet, less traffic, and Border’s took up the whole block, so I’d be visible, and hearable, for a long ways either direction, giving people, I hoped, more time to listen to me, more time to maybe form a favorable opinion of my singing, and more time to consider making a donation.
A Box of Incense
by John Yohe
Gift from a woman he tried to become intimate with, which he felt could have been good—ie perverted—since supposedly she was into that but she was also into talking non-stop about her ex-boyfriend and despite that failure they continued to say hello at the café, talk about teaching, and she asked him to make comments on a grant proposal, which she used.
On Teaching Again
by John Yohe
At the urging of friends, after moving to Salem, a little south of Portland, I apply for the part-timers teaching pool at the local community college, just to see. If it doesn’t lead to another full-time position, it’s not worth it. It’s a gamble. Which thousands of other adjuncts, young and old, are taking across America. Maybe being back in the ‘system’ will allow me the chance to be hired full-time again. I have doubts, based on what I’ve observed over the years, that no matter the experience, committees prefer younger candidates spouting the latest Comp Theory buzzwords. Though they have to also value experience. Though curious too to see if I still enjoy it, if there is a value beyond the monetary. If I can help, if I can give back, if I can make a difference, all the clichés. But I don’t want my experience to be a cliché. Something real happens. Or, it did. Of which I was a part: Learning. Real learning. My own, but more importantly ‘my’ students’.