Professor Louis Pan Vista’s Retirement Speech at Farley’s Bar & Grille

It took courage, business acumen,
& Louis feared Boilermaker effects, a lisp,
unease about Baden Baden School District Severance Package,
knowledgeable many colleagues bolted “teaching-racket” years ago,
“when going was good,” but Louis defied puppet-gravity,
hung around ’til 70, defied math department’s young whipper-snappers,
figured shifts at Home Depot would cover health insurance –
He could relax inside a cabin on brother Leo’s farm,
start believing once again all one needed was college education.

Tipsy, Louis listened to Reverend Digging’s “grace,”
Bless us O Lord for these thine gifts…,
The Poets’drummer concluded Wipeout, & the Professor modestly rose
before ballroom filled with Patriot Acts, Athletic Adviser Brandy Gulch,
3-school directors, the Knock’ Em Stiff  Kilvitis brothers, Moral Reason,
art teacher, Barbara Kubrick,  Nobs Boone, Maintenance Director,
Universal Peace Deng,  N.E.A. steward Maxie “the Knife” Mekilo,
the Works Progress Administration, Mayor Wendell McNulty, Boss Tweed
drum-majorette, Whitney B. Hickok, Connie Francis & King Farouk.

Attention please – Ladies & Gentlemen of Baden Baden Blue Blimps,
… I introduce for last time our retiring Professor Louis Pan Vista!

Louis stood, grinned, unloosened bow-tie, heard echo Auld Lang Syne –
he sipped ice, whiskey-tinge gone, he’d be home soon, no more hurrahs,
no more hand-guns & crack in lockers, pesticides in coffee,
Hoover Dam completed long ago, and little Johnny Firestone
could count to 700 feet high. calculate 4,4440,000 cubic feet of concrete,
& courtesy of Louis’ lessons, Johnny counted how many troops remain in Korea.

Grumpy, sentimental – perhaps Louis got paralyzed, choked-up,
academically side-lined… just plain looped, I do not know?
Well-meaning people politely listened to his speech, forgave, forgot,
said, “Louis’s done for, we’re a democracy, contract negotiation soon,
a picket-line, & open- bar comes next.”  

Lah DEE dah, intoned Louis too loud & mad, he began –
Memes, memories, memorandums, madmen,
Hiawatha-skin sold for a potato, Theodore Roosevelt said every President should get accountants, “a sense of continent,” & LaSalle raised a cross nearby Navosta River, later axe-murdered by his men.
Men, men… a few more good men at Little Big Horn?
Extreme pain & suffering, tax-free, attention: please answer texts at 65 mph!
Amelia Earhart-wings turned paratrooper silk, Monica Lewinsky
stitched conquest-stars upon New Glory Flag, Patrick Henry got death,
free-checking, Oppenheimer a bolt out of blue, Ayatollah Gingrich pressed on uranium enrichment…can anyone tell me how many KGB agents fit into a wired-Mayberry telephone booth?

Everyone gone, very gone; lights-out at Farley’s Bar & Grille –
Parole in America, did somebody want to become known as Education President?
Jesse Ventura on Tammany Radio, read between lines…read my lips, can Manning escape?  I don’t mean to get personal but what do you think of Guantanamo? May I speak to my Gonzo-lawyer?  Naturally the answer is “no” – there are lots of good jobs, only losers fight progress, no guts, Mission Accomplished, Almighty Dollar, attend Church picnics, love Sandy Berger until dawn, get a tan, you will be up & around in no time, be on toes, there is nothing to lose but loss itself, Redskins (+) 3-points, a man who dies poor dies disgraced.

Fee-fie-fo-fum, Professor Pan Vista paid Union dues, persisted to end, kept
speaking, re-enlisted into Southern Comfort until I saw bones beneath a table.
Cafe quiet as S.A.T. Test, a mathematical 21-gun salute for Professor Pan Vista,
bump, bump, bump, the slow beat of Ben Hur’s warship-percussion section.
I lowered my body into a booth, fingered pages from the Book of Numbers – 
Not breathing, Louis dressed in Playboy pajamas, smiling, he marched home with numbered-Saints, 6 inch penis caught in zipper, he got Liberty Valance death
instead of a TIPS shakedown, the Cafe microphone ran to infinity.
Hungry for education, good job, a future, a window-washer entered Farley’s,
looked around, saw me not, fished Professor’s wallet, found Weimar Republic I.O.U.s., Whistler’s Mother pocket-change, ran off to Cleveland to find work in Marcellus Shale Fields, dreamt of something better, maybe Extreme Fighting racket someday?

Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pa. He can be reached at: . Read other articles by Charles.