when the brown jock uprooted from the Bronx
beats his teacher at literary charades. Flared nose
pointing toward a ceiling, the teacher cants dense
lines of verse, of which, the homie always knows the authors.
What you may recall is the kid’s Scottish mentor
sauntering into an assembly, squashing plagiarism allegations
and saving the brown jock from expulsion.
You’re probably thinking this is about white men.
About gold-encrusted measuring sticks. How in the world
outside that movie, those men could pass for twins. You’re right
I was wrong. Their game, more like literary “name that tune”.
Guess which dead white dude poet wrote this quote?
Wrong again. Do you figure a brown jock from the Bronx
could grasp geometry behind an arc or pool cue?
From whom or what does he learn dead white dude poets?
Here I am, stumped about whose brother I be. I think the teacher
was playing a game. I think the jock was maybe acting
bookish, but then, how does one finesse canon?
*Title borrowed with permission from francine j. harris.