Fall 2008, Volume 5

Poetry by Jerry Schaefer

Sophomore Biology, 1955

We sat at the butcher block table
secretly trying to gas each other
while we swiveled our stools to watch
the parade of students file in,
the back row of chairs filling in
with the prettiest girls,
sitting ducks in their little seats,
their legs drawn tightly together,
taut skirts not quite reaching
over their knees,
and the constant tug-of-war,
my eyes lifting Janet's skirt an inch higher
as she gently tugged it down, over
and over till finally the heavens opened up
revealing a sliver of white cotton,
miles back from her knees—

BIO:  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 cloistered 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 career 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 teaching job at Ottumwa College for Girls (Iowa), left after one semester and started graduate 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, Illinois. 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.