Posts tagged ‘La Crosse’

August 7, 2014

downtown La Crosse, circa 2006.

Buying the Tribune
in the morning
in downtown La Crosse,
velvet touch-

A Coffee,
walk the redbrick sidewalk.

Past the Bodega,
and Chairs,
and last night’s Cigarette Butts,

washing dishes in the back of some restaurant.

Faux-Progressive airs;
Talking a lot, stale-
actions and words; NOTICE: they talk a lot.

Burnt-Out Transcendentalists,
watching drunks, and pre-cancer patients and cars being parked—

Save the day.

Wearing shorts under blue skies.

Call clandestine spies, looking up at the corner apartment window-
wondering what’s inside__
… As she wakes,

long legs lie.

Moving, thinking, that fresh brewery smell, now new adult.

In summer heat- beating down,
The Mississippi River on the breeze—cesspool,

I walked back from where I had come
trying to not feel so numb.

Because I had to walk back.

June 17, 2014

Lock and Dam No. 7

On a boat close an expansive dam
A boy accompanied an Old Man
Fishing for hours cold hands
Only to have come up few clams

The river remained rough
Water spray wet brown splash
Bubbles in the water swirling
Bottom of boat held beer cans

Farther up the boy could see birds
Up close to the tumblers brightly red
Over white-caps exchanged few words
The Old Man palmed his rod in hand

Lock and Dam 7 lent no pension
Yet many prospered in its wake
The Old Man and the boy lay patient
They trolled up and down, but had to wait

Ice coated concrete walls
With rope or hook they fastened tight
Daylight lasted only so long in afternoons
The highway lights suggested night

Untying they came undone
River smell and worms in hand
The fish on the stringer were meager
Pushing off they went towards land

They passed others by and by
Anglers that were mastered
Coming closer to the landing point
Lights on avoiding disaster

Trailing wake in full gait
An out-board went ‘bout 20 knots
Blackness and bugs flew by about them
As they came closer to the docks

Lamplight held empty parking lot
Shown just below the river’s edge
The flat-bottom came parallel the wooden structure
The boy managed at his sea legs

With a hard bump from running in fast
A rope was fastened—quick, and down
The boat made way with the water
The boy made feet with wooden ground

Cold rushed from the river valley out
Nothing held the boy more in life
Than to be out near the Mighty Mississippi
In the dwindling hours of night

As children we are exposed to habits which prove a tradition
As adults we revisit those events to see what lessons were given.

April 15, 2014

“The Apple Capital”

This town
Under bluffs of a river valley

Ancient trees
Fixed in rich dirt of sediment

Through the
Sandstone foundation of long forgotten
Specters under the sky
Incarnation of this “American Dream”

Their progeny haunt
Stalk
Past the dying brilliance
Of traditional affairs

–The audacity of Business
Gathering
From the land
Of which they do not own
–the view
That warns
The conscious being

A vast distance between states
Two, as splendid
Establishment in the new frontier
Dust to flesh

Once whited maps
Growing with pride
Now what it stood for is merely a novelty

February 26, 2014

Amtrak’s Writer’s Residency

Amtrak

Early arrival

Intent on leaving

Small talk survival

 

Minneapolis to La Crosse

We can get lost

Step aboard

Minimal cost

 

On the no-one-will-stop-me policy

Here, showcased for the recital

They’ve caught on to me

Alert words signal my arrival

 

Life on ice,

On Mars,

How Nice,

Trains vs. Cars

 

On to where the tracks lay

Lying all the while

Spoke of being on time

Waiting hours with luggage piled.

February 17, 2014

Stop Now (Uptown Unidentified)

Re-shelve Successful

Doubt

 

Compromised

 

Fail

Small as a Whale

 

Pink Elephant

Stupid Intelligence

 

Smell the Permanent Marker

Average Car Parker

 

Pure Pollution Cloud

Truth Solution Crowd

 

A Tidy Mess

Tortured Unstressed

 

Hyper Rest

Atheist Blessed

 

Blue-Red

Alive-Dead

 

Zombie Nation

Smiling Frustration

 

Obvious, without traces

 

Synthetically Organic

Freeze-Dried Wet Pages

 

Going on for Ages;

Stop Now.

 

***

Uptown Unidentified:

 

New Trendy Clothes,

But the Act is Old

 

Speaking of what you’ve almost sold

As if you’re talking to a fool

 

Stepping with everyone- the everyday crowd,

I bet you make Art too.

November 30, 2013

Travelers of the Hometown

With a moderate hangover we wake to unfiltered light.

A sign of the debauchery transpired last night.

 

Weather view tempts those to wander outside.

If they take time and mind to leave confines.

 

Travel,

Family,

And the Local Paper -

 

We barter borrowing the car to visit familiar strangers.

 

Beer,

Coffee,

Bowling,

And a Walk in the Books-

 

Finding matters of interest-vague yet specific,

Travelers of the Hometown, try? …

 

We didn’t even have to look.

November 19, 2013

Weekends in Bush Valley

Always flannel, mouthing big cigars, and coffee,

In the cold, smoke would rise from a few.

 

Sawdust and dirty dogs,

Not insulting, just talking, they were barking,

There was cussing at ideas, and the sky blue.

 

No need to ask why, things just happened.

 

An old Ford pickup,

We were loading the flatbed back.

 

Playing in dirt, waiting on something, or someone to make tracks-

What had occurred?

Occupied with running around, yet relaxed.

 

-Shooting a rusted BB gun at beer cans and stray cats.

(AND I ACTUALLY DID SHOOT MY EYE OUT.)

 

Hoses and a wood splitter,

An old horse named Drifter.

Hydraulics and the sounding of the oak wood’s crack-working toward a heart-attack.

 

Donuts and words,

We conquered a bit of the forest and this part of rich black earth; a necessity of warmth, and a peace that calms the nerves.

 

No cell.

No net.

No Beatnick hipster belief for the minimally absurd, chasing fame, and admiration of friends.

Just content with technology and life as of just yet,

 

And a few words we had learned:

Play,

Love,

And Respect.

 

In nature we couldn’t forget,

The smell brings back memories directly to the present tense.

 

Landlines and old relatives,

Hardened and happy, they prospered simple, and simply prospered.

Good life they lived.

 

Weekends in the valley as a child,

We were never so satisfied to work so hard.

Small towns remain so rich.

 

Of me it is much more than a part.

October 13, 2013

On a Rock I Set

Wind blows cold
so I reach for my hat.

Blue skies and clouds above;
forthcoming sunset.

On a rock I set.
Beer to forget.

Much on my plate,
But I already ate.
Never take me away from this place.

On a rock I set.
A dried-up flood-plain, refuse and sediment.

I am okay here because no one is near.
Just myself, distant noise, wind, fishermen, birds, clouds, and the sunset.

On a rock I set-

Close to the Mighty Mississippi.

Times like this there is nothing to fret.

Relax.

On a rock I set.

August 28, 2013

Dew Point (Part 2)

Around 80, with the dew point, similar to 100 and lost.

This is only for a few days, and we measure the cost.

 

There remains a great contrast, from shut-in at negative 20, to shut-in and very sunny.

 

All above and everything below have theirs to tow.

 

Weather, a well suited rival, for wherever we are we strive for survival.

We learn as we grow.

 

Some clutch drink, others clutch the Bible.

I am just preparing for the recital.

 

My glass remains sweating on the table, the fan blows hot air in, and I wear a smile.

Now, about the weather today…  Where do I begin?

 

August 21, 2013

When I am Gone/Blue Moon

When I am Gone,

By Terry Scott Niebeling

 

When I am gone think of my face with bright eyes and a contagious smile-think for a while.

 

When I am gone know that I am still near the Mississippi River.  I am in each village, town, and city, respectively.  La Crescent, La Crosse, and Minneapolis-truly.

 

My thoughts will be more resilient than mortality.

 

When I am gone I am actually with you.

Don’t remember me for the things I did, but for the things I do-pleasant memories.

 

 

 

When I am gone you are actually with me too.

And when I am gone know that this is the beginning; we are not through.

 

When I am gone just know that I love you.

And when I am gone know that I know you love me too.

 

All comfort, it is true.

 

When I am gone make every enemy friend.

And when I am gone smile and make amends, because all your thoughts make you.

 

***

Blue Moon,

By Terry Scott Niebeling

 

In the end, when we are all through-said and done, look up in the sky and remember the Moon is a Hologram.

Made by those on earth to feel better about being alone in the universe.

Don’t ask why

However, I am still with you.  So fear not.

Standing right by your side.

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