Life out of Stanley
Life out of truck
Life out of city
Life with sandwich lunch
Life out of control
Life stuck inside
Life without aversions
Life between lines
Life out of time.
Free Local Midwestern Poetry, By Terry Scott Niebeling
Shades of the trees toward western skies rest a cool shadow
on a once brilliant face,
where the lacquer for paint
Smack of fuzzed tennis balls hurled in the wind,
zipping with bugs in
a St. Paul end-summer August warm.
Reflections and shadows hung on until it was time
to go back home—
just after supper and just before
candlelight vigils and auto headlamps scans rushed
into closed windows and about vacant streets.
the world come to close another day,
morning would be the same except reverse
on those tired night dweller’s eyes.
A can was crushed and we biked back
to SE through mosquitoes.
Entering new worlds to escape another
I woke up from a dream in a lonely bed.
Real life sat next to it on the nightstand,
in the early stretches, in “slept like a rock”
preparation for what’s to come. Today
was like any other, though different—shall
we double: it is shit and it is great. I would
cite Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, but
they are dead. I would cite Anton Chigurh,
but he is nowhere to be found. “They are.
It is.” Those statements defining the
day, the morning, the thrown pillows, drool
stained, and crumpled blankets with their cat
hair, are your shell, your cocoon exited.
They rest there, waiting for another moment
to bring adventure, where you fall into the
fold and escape this life to REM, to where
monsters and mistresses await, where gold
and garbage stay; past loved ones welcoming
you in boats, and in jest. That to this, this
to that. Don’t become unwrapped for awoken
reality hits full on hard. There fellow man
meets to never actually meet. We relate,
but never truly. Reaching for the water on
the dusty dresser top, cat at my feet, shades
drawn, another day to walk to the kitchen,
open the fridge, to make breakfast, marks
and tracks, to make me. I enter this world
from another. I wonder, do we ever actually
sleep? And then I wake from this dream.
In the cistern of my mind
live water’s beckon thought;
is it the past or a dream—
the difference, I can’t tell.
“If you can’t please yourself, who can?” -Ma
In the morning I start planning,
by the time I am done it is mid-afternoon.
I find that I have all things figured out,
in finding that happiness is without.
When I have specific plans completed,
seen through to fruition, I can only hope for one thing:
that I still feel as good as I do when I just open my eyes,
young, in love, and surrounded by it-
when I just walk outside—lost and uncaring,
when I do the first thing that comes to mind, even today,
now, to escape. I hope to still feel as good as I do right now,
with no excess in what I have about me, and there, no excuses,
because none of those institutions will change anything, ever.
Not one. They only complicate and muck up straightforward.
Fuck plans. It is how you feel when you feel you in the end.
I hope to feel as good as I do when I wake up
in the morning, before I start planning.
At the enormous back windows of Hodson Hall, looking east towards Falcon Heights’ standing homes, over an expanse of grooved fields—carefully worked, a person can gleam breaking light caught on cement sidewalks, red bricked structures, and shined square glass low in the early day haze.
Outside seagulls float, calling, in caressing morning brilliance at you, asking “caw?”
What does that mean??? I wonder.
Their questions as ambivalent as a cloud’s shape and meaning to curious children…
I wondered, how did they get here, there is no sea in Minnesota (smh).
These worldly reflections begged, knocked, and retained sharp attention of waking eyes, pupils pulled tight at the warming occurrence, such nature for a sparking mind to ponder, as if synapse was crackling, as if creation was tore in two.
Supple ears held the bird’s sound in their netted web of up and down—their inquiry, as they danced, above, gliding, laughing high pitched at you.
Only to stand and watch, only inside what is inside.
The sun had begun its orbital voyage, those with white feathers and all life in tow, infinite unending, and all the connections of connections exposed.
It paint as an artist’s brush over lands, trees and grass, overhead, above polo shirts and homeless ragged men, showing.
Leaving for a moment its mark; then as fleeting as it appears it vanishes to dark.
The warmth was there to stay—so ephemeral, as a Mayfly’s life, in a moment’s hesitation lost; shadows draw long in the absence, as flowers quick bend their praise.
A day we have, then not.
It is here, then it is gone.
This colorful set constantly changing, to the chagrin of progress, to the luck of fickle nature, and to the impromptu dialogue of the local theatre company.
Another tomorrow awaits at the end of coming dusk, with quizzical seagulls, with fascist sunlight, with worldly reflections in tow, with fired synapse and buttoned polos and people begging for change, anything you could spare will do, until they take their bow.
And the light caught it all at the back of Hodson Hall.