Mr. Morris: Senior Revolt

Mr. Morris, a few years from retirement,

didn’t give a shit

and he’d tell you that, even after

administrators told him not to; even after

he showed us why we should.

A short guy in your face with a coffee and cigarette

dirty mouth covered with a graying beard.

We watched 1984 in its entirety, including

full frontal female nudity, and we were

called jerks for hooting.

“Get the hell away from the windows,”

he’d advise during our daily five-minutes free.

“Someone on the first floor is spying on us.”

And that was fact for us as much as his army stories,

which he confided to my dad were often embellished.

Wait, embellished is not the right word for Mr. Morris—

I believe it’s bullshitted.

 

His philosophy on race was maybe a bit brash, but I

would have been disappointed with more:

“White people have the right to move to wherever they want,

and black people have the right to chase them.”

Mr. Morris also got me hooked on calling Whitefish Bay

WhiteFolks’ Bay and an apple an apple.

He told us how much he loved to sail his small boat

under movable bridges

and wave at people waiting on the street above.

His souvenir belt buckles unabashedly beckoned

high school girls to gaze at his midsection.

He pointed out all of the references to “sexual intercourse”

in Hamlet and told us to go down to Racine if

our appetites were whetted.

(I still don’t know what was down in Racine).

 

I wrote my public school senior research paper on Jesus

and Morris said, “Aw hell, why not!” in approval.

We were warned of the future of virtual reality when we’d

all be mindless vegetables in EZ chairs, living vicariously

through computer chips, eating potato chips,

smoking death-free cigarettes and bad breath-free coffee

while sailing through unmoved bridges—

unable to revolt.