Contributions by John Samuel Tieman

Instructions For My Funeral

By | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

First, remember it’s not my funeral.   It’s yours.   I won’t hear the music.   I won’t hear the prayers.   I won’t hear the cries or the laughs.   I won’t be of much use.   So indulge yourself.   I only have a few requests. Do my funeral like I did my life: don’t be cheap but don’t be …


By | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

So the army lets me out a few days early to register for college.   I should have been in till February, but they send me home from Vietnam on 7 December 1970.   I have to enroll right away.   Until then, I’m still on active duty, a member of the 4th Infantry Division.   But from the …

December 7

By | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

It occurs to me that, thirty-nine years ago, at about this very hour, I returned home to St. Louis from Vietnam.   I always remember it because it’s Pearl Harbor Day. One day a rocket flew right over our hooch.   The next day we were down on the coast, checking out of the Nam.   The day …

To My Student, The Catholic Kid Who Asks About “The Spiritual Method”

By | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

I, too, went to bed amidst the howling of the autumn wind and awoke early the next morning amid the chanting of the priests … Matsuo Basho My Young Friend, After almost sixty years, I have learned so little in life that I’m not sure if I can impart anything except sure methods for garnering …

Nancy Pagh’s No Sweeter Fat

By & | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

Literature teachers are often want to say that anything can be made the subject of poetry.   And this is the collection that proves that point.   From diets to seafood to the treadmill, Nancy Pagh’s No Sweeter Fat makes the reader laugh, cry and reflect, often in the same poem. Concerning style, Pagh often evokes Walt …

The Teacher’s Guide To Fuzzphraseology

By | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

At some point during the academic year, educators and administrators at all levels will be called upon for their quarterly cognitive meta- paradigm projection. Such folks will need all manner of fuzzphrase. “The Teacher’s Guide” transitionalizes this problematic function by facilitating the following referentials. Choose any three numbers between 0 and 9, say 3-8-5. From …

A Commentary

By | John Samuel Tieman, Prose

I teach English at Soldan International Studies High School in St. Louis.   Last Thursday, a student asked one of those questions that are near impossible to answer.   Like, “Would Juliet have lived if Shakespeare had been a woman?”   Or, “Who’s the greatest poet who ever lived?”   Questions like that. Except last Thursday it …

Joyful Noise: An Anthology Of American Spiritual Poetry

By | Book Review, John Samuel Tieman, Prose

A Book Review by John Samuel Tieman

Here’s something new: an anthology that can be appreciated both as a collection of beautiful poems, and as an aesthetically pleasing textbook.