Spring 2008, Volume 4

Poetry by Jerry Schaefer

the chosen

Singled out to be able to read
this poem
to have entered this page in life
knowing another will follow
not blank, but fairly filled out,
food, soap, toilet paper, hot water,
the essentials we've gotten used
to having to the point of distraction—
oblivious of the island we've located to—
we wash the abscess of guilt from our mouths
with Third World organic mouthwash
manufactured in the rainforest
by a happy pygmy collective.

Jerry SchaeferBIO:  Jerry Schaefer was born in Cut Bank Montana, went to a Catholic boarding boys' high school (St. Norberts) in De Pere Wisconsin. From thence he joined those very Norbertines at their cloistured abbey for daily prayers and meditation. After 4 years, he left the abbey, went to Carroll College (Helena, Montana) for 2 months, then to the University of Montana (Missoula) for 2 weeks, then joined the army for a 2-year stunt. He left the army after 6 months and 13 days, feeling a bit crazed. He lived in NYC for 5 or 6 months (near Fort Dix) after his army careeer crashed, then went back to St. Norbert College to finish his degree (started while in the abbey).
There, he met his 1st wife, went to Marquette University to get his 1st M.A. degree in theology (1966), took his 1st teacing job at Ottumwa College for Girls (Iowa), left after one semester and started gradualte school at the University of Iowa (1967-1969). With his 2nd M.A. from Iowa (English), he went to teach at Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illlinois. Two years later he moved to Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and 2 young kids and became a bartender, along with other assorted occupations.
In 1979, he moved to Long Beach, clowned around (as Kooky) for a few years, tried some stand-up comedy, then married Bea and settled into a teaching career. He discovered LBCC, Frank Gaspar's poetry for some years, then the novel class, and lived happily ever after.
In December of 2007, he published Women: DOWN through the Ages, How lies have shaped our Lives, a non-fiction book. He continues to write poetry and is still working on THAT novel.