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Four Poems About Bullying

by John J. Guiney Yallop

Includes:
January 21, 1977
Tenure is Like Ordination
Why Bullies Make Me Sick
We Will Speak For You
Published January 4, 2017
Eleventh Transmission. http://eleventhtransmission.com.
Eleventh Transmission: "Four Poems About Bullying" by John J. Guiney Yallop
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January 21, 1977

A picture of a birthday cake
with eighteen
written in candles;
a knife,
my hand,
a Junior House Common Room,
an Irish Roman Catholic Seminary.
Slices for everyone.

In September,
I came in,
a boy;
in June,
I would go out,
a man.
The final third piece of January
became the fulcrum
of my becoming.

Just a month before,
I told one of the Fathers
that I would not be leaving,
resisting his belief that my sexuality nullified my calling,
but when another Father told me not to worry about it,
I decided to leave;

sometimes an embrace
is a way for us to let go.



Tenure is like Ordination

Tenure is like ordination,
a sacrament that is bestowed;
we approach it with reverence
and prostrate ourselves before the altar
renouncing worldly pleasures—
our bodies a sacrifice.

The laying on of hands,
our heads clamped,
or our dossiers—
binders filled with the products of our minds
and,
at least for some of us,
of our hearts.

We are encircled with the fellowship,
taken in,
or simply taken.

Prayers are whispered like gossip:

       Did you see what was included as research?
       
St. Jude, pray for us.
     
       And service was more like a list of hobbies.
       
God, have mercy on us.

       He probably sucks up to the students.
       
Lord, hear our prayer.



Why Bullies Make Me Sick

“You don’t belong here.”

“You’ll never be able to do it.”

“This isn’t your thing.”

“I have other plans for you.”

“We have other plans for you.”

“If you weren’t so…”

“If you were more…”

“Don’t talk with him or her or him or her or him or…”

“Hang around with us, and everything will be fine.”

“You’re expected to do this.”

“It’s part of your service.”

“It’s part of your professional growth.”

“It’s an expectation of the position.”

“It’s how we’ve always done it.”

“I may have to write you up.”

“YOU DON’T GET IT.”



We Will Speak For You

This is our church;
your body is here,
your body is ours.
This is our school;
your body is here,
your body is ours
This is our staffroom;
your body is here,
your body is ours.
This is our union;
your body is here,
your body is ours.
This is our faculty;
your body is here,
your body is ours.


Biography
John J. Guiney Yallop is a parent, a partner and a poet. He is also an
associate professor at Acadia University where he teaches about literacy
and the creative arts in teaching and research. John’s research is called
poetic inquiry. His writing has appeared in literary and academic journals.