Meg Nichols (Art Teacher)
Whoever is doing this,
Has art down,
She, at least I’m leaning towards a her,
Understands that artists set moods,
That art challenges authority,
Making a mockery of pomposity,
And by just flat out calling shit out.
Choosing mushroom houses for her canvases
Makes sense given the constitution of the compost.
I see clues suggesting it’s one of my students
Who is responsible for the protest pieces,
Little hints the artist is dropping
That suggest who she might be, like that
One of the kids
With sports uniforms and musical instruments
Delivering tampons for charity,
It came out at the end of our school’s
Tampon drive. That’s a sure clue that it’s one of our students.
But what did that piece say about the situation?
Maybe that the whole thing is a mess,
That these kids on the vacuous mushroom house walls
Should be playing, practicing, or
That nothing can hold them back,
That they are more than athletes or musicians, oh
I don’t know, but I’d like to ask her.
Nicole Shaw (Art Student, Smart Kid)
I buy my stuff with cash.
I go to Maryland to buy it.
I sneak out at night.
With the steam rising
From the mushroom soil,
That I do my work.
Morning brings the art.
Everyone is confused.
Riley Parsons (Local Reporter)
I hoped there would be fireworks this summer,
Sonic booms of arguing, effusing of opinion,
Sparkly displays of emotion,
But Taylorville has settled into a nothing of a summer.
I’ve been covering the dog park,
Mutt news as I like to call it,
First Fridays, and a rumor that a Banksy copycat
Is hitting the mushroom houses.
At least there is intrigue there.
Summer has a way of
Making things go away.
The beach, the fireworks,
The heat, each conspiring
To make for the best time of year.
This summer for Taylorville proved
The opposite. Everyone settled into
Their away from school
They were secretly scheming,
School begins again tomorrow
With the undercurrent
Of canning coaches,
Pedestaling music, and
Ducking responsibility the normal way of things.
Janelle Gibson (Taylorville Athletic Director)
I’m left holding this
My bosses do not have stones
Where’s the leadership
Alannah Alvarado (Principal, Taylorville High School)
I hate it when he does that,
Putting me in a place
To speak for him.
I think he should have confronted the parents
Instead of playing this little game of his.
“Yes, sir, I’m right with you.”
“I’m right on it.”
“That’s exactly what I was thinking.”
“Not to worry, sir, I’ll handle it.”
I hate this.
Ralph Higgonbothem (Taylorville School Superintendent)
This is the first year
I’m not dealing with complaints
Like a teacher putting a zero in the grade book
Before the assignment is even due.
I usually defer,
Telling them that’s not how we do it in Taylorville
Then passing it on to a principal
To do whatever they do with that kind of thing.
This year it’s all about me,
I made this glorious mess
In what could best be described
As a presidential move.
Everyone is fighting, parents, kids, community,
All of them.
They all blame each other
Leaving me out of the crosshairs.
Grant Pearce (Guitar, Music Friends of Sports Parents)
Wouldn’t it be something
If my dad could grow weed legally?
I would love joking with my Health teacher
About how my dad was a drug dealer
And he was making it legit
In a way Michael Corleone and Stringer Bell never did.
The rest of this stuff is bull,
I’m about to graduate,
Take a year to take my skills on the road,
And then figure out if college is for me.
Maybe I’ll go back, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll farm,
Like Stan, that Jamaican kid my dad always talks about.
Alfie Pearce (Mushroom Grower, Music Friends of Sports Parent)
Things are getting tougher,
I can’t find workers for business.
Trump and all…
So I’ve got bigger problems
Than whether Watts and that bunch
Get their way.
I want music and sports in school.
I want to start growing marijuana,
Mushrooms are running their course.
Jerry Dean (Basketball Player, Eight Bars Parents)
My parents are pathetic with this,
They don’t understand that a mob mentality is ruling,
What if it was the President acting like this,
Would they still care so little?
I don’t want sports to be canned.
I don’t want music to be canned.
I don’t want to grow up without stones.
I care what my friends think.