Posts tagged ‘La Crosse’

July 5, 2015

Riverside for the Fourth

How interesting that fireworks now bring us together
when they represent devices that once tore us apart.

-Terry Scott Niebeling

***

here, 10pm, crowds on spread tarps and chairs,
thoughtfully placed earlier,
chatted along a spilt-over sidewalk path,
coming down to the Riverside fest grounds
with family and friends;
these goers were just stepping through, at a time.

taking air along the luminescence of the waters’ edge
waiting for fire, explosions, light and smoke,
waiting for a show of power
on the concussion boom’s holiday eve
of a hot summer day.

notice the faint ghost outline of the Cass st. bridge,
it went up tall toward the south on wet glow,
pale blue in orange light as navigational lights
sent from boats bounced to and fro below signaling.

where mayflies flew, stunk, buzzed;
their fate kept them at lamps
busy for their annual dance.

people in groups—no worse,
buttoned up, oohing and aaaahing,
taking such a spectacle.

for a time
the mass was all American,
for a time nothing else mattered.

viewing were homeless and rich
in the same theatre vantage;
spirits were aloft as this year’s sparkling
in gunpowder and smoke,
the thought that everything was all right,
illuminated on another shore—
in a time of celebration, in a nation
under a spangled flag.

June 24, 2015

Adjusted Advantage

The world can seem so small
when assessed from the confines
of a one bedroom apartment.
A space tight, sticky, stuffy,
and near unbearably drab.
For a person to go outside and look,
to see all there is to see—to expand the expanse,
to imagine what one might attain
in the span of a lifetime,
at the change of a thought,
on the prospect of a whim, at the drop of a dime.
A perspective can be released
from its rigid boxy cage to stretch sore wings
and to grasp the once unthinkable,
for merely a chance thought,
and for adjusted sight, mercy!

May 2, 2015

Between Wisconsin and Minnesota, an evening interstate

Here I sit, fast going on an evening interstate drive,
as all the world is turned an end-day blur.

The convertible top was dropped
as the dripping moon strutted in high heavens
to flash each blemish loved,
outline each scar deep, detailed,
a desirable waning pale—the color of a tooth ache.

Cheese curd grease and fish guts lingered in the broad smiles
of each captured moment, of each phone in hand.

Hair in the air, messed,
as familiar ghosts styled each malleable strand,
I wonder if they could smell the product on their hands.

Blue Lake came rippled shining,
bending slight the reflection of dusk’s
passing azule.

Comforting speeds blew ears quiet,
as the Chrysler’s engine hummed
at a stoplight break, loved ones in tow.

The car went as we waved to neighbors
and backyard exhibitionists.

There was a police car and prom.
There were city fires burning.
There was a quiet green village turning dark.

I am JFK,
I am in horn-rimmed luxury,
vantage,
I am sitting,
surrounded by everything that I am.

I am first world problems burdened
—too full to starve, too apathetic to cry.

An extended stomach,
a dented head,
beer burps,
and you were in Mexico playing,
as the world passed on.

April 22, 2015

the beauty of writing

To the Workshop Gods, to the Weekend Artists, to the Loud Talkers, to the Local Name Droppers, and to those who say they do important things for the art without taking action. Good Job. TS_

***

The beauty of writing
is sharing your words,
spreading your ideas,
whether it is
unique or not.

It is touching keys
with love,
fucking them,
forgetting the edit,
and doing what you want
just because.

Writing is either part of your life fully,
or great distances far away,
or in between;
it can come back at any moment,
and it can sit there and stay.

Writing is expressing yourself
not for those around you to critique,
it is for you,
it is with you,
it is by you,
in all the experience that you’ve seen.

Your everyday trivial
is more poignant than
yesterday’s raved about
new modern messiah.

Writing can be a target,
with a big bright red mark on your back to attack,
it can show humor
and sadness
and fun
and inspiration to act.

The beauty of writing
is it is actually you,
no matter how weird,
how rough,
how edited,
how wrong,
how the labels others choose to use,
or who it will prove to confuse.

Writing is religion, Allah, Christ, Academia, Professors, and God,
it is verses out of rhyme,
it is punctuation out of time,
and it is of topics trite,
and themes grotesquely odd.

The beauty of writing
can be called flawed by all,
but when it comes time to write,
to share,
to express,
to give,
the loudest have nothing at all.

March 13, 2015

Prelude to Spring Break 2015

As early March had come in biting and the best were kept inside,
a span of two weeks had passed slowly and sleep had become elusive.

Professors watched second hands tick and gave out faux tests;
these symbolic life quizzes—it’s who makes it who matters.

Desks became confines as concentration went out open windows,
to welcome hands of mild weathered-breeze and new-season sun.

People—tired students, red-eyed lecturers, they didn’t exist;
regular situations became stimuli for a stagnant comatose: why?

No answers formed, except that three days later a person could be a week away,
anywhere—abroad, nothing to do, only to read titles and books which please.

Yet we all sat watching that clock, it moved slower despite us;
now, it would have to stay indoors and assess classrooms of empty chairs.

Scholars and administration would hopefully be in Spring air, taking it in,
with a cold beer in hand and tender sunrays on their back;

minds would exist as empty—blank slates, to pen a tale—an experience,
with no thoughts of what was left sitting behind, with not a hint of rigor.

December 25, 2014

Unpacking the Snow

First alarms sounded of a white snowy morning. Heavy and wet, flakes covered the ground as those in the river were covered by water, never to come home again. Fast late last year turns to right now present; and years, and sorted experience before. It came out like a pocket knife to test, to screw, to cut once, deep. It was the kind sharpened to a fine edge. Dead bones rested below, and in the back of one’s mind. People came and went; flesh loosened, darkened, slackened, and dusted with age back to dirt. Blades of toy windmills caught the grey air, while leaves fell zigzag to the browned December ground. We just ran by. Air brakes of a semi sounded off far on a distant highway, for those who traveled about the countryside, between the bluffs, near the riverbed; all to hear, all to unite in this one thought, some time, some date, in one mind. Ubiquitous green trees once loomed watching over this tiny town, Apple Capital, providing breath, under thick blankets of sepia cloud; brisk and cool in winter light, it moved through valleys touching rock, touching sand, touching faces, creating must and dew, on bark, and Fall’s fodder, on all who caught a glimpse. Each little speck floated soundless, seeming endlessly to the darkened pavement, as eyes took to more than they could unpack.

November 30, 2014

The Morning After (Downtown La Crosse)

The morning after,

Early new day;
“Bar hair” and Fishbowls,
Smell of smoke,
Sore throat-

Subtle suggestions: Let’s walk down by the river.
Last night’s concepts seem less conducive to life.

Now,
Light which sneaks
Through venetians blinds.

_even though they are closed.

Painful to eyes-
And then a piss.
Then a brush of teeth,
Under dry lips.

Moving,
Aching,
Wasting,
Stiff tender bits-

The evening before, knowing full well it would come to this.
Downtown: the nightlife, old friends, the drinks, to witness.

October 25, 2014

Like God

If I were
Made in the likeness
Of God,

I wouldn’t
Exist.

Thank God.

October 24, 2014

Driving Around Town

Driving around town in a small truck
What is black and spots of rust
Casually burning off dewed steam
Cruising around amidst a day-dream
Remotely relaxed at assigned red stop
Cautiously avoiding few local cops
Riding through this quaint little town
One would hope to not get found
A village in rearview present
Life, time of reminiscence pleasant
Coming down for family and funerals
City opposed typical, simple, usual
Though it were anything out of the ordinary
One might even see something extraordinary
Appearance placeholder; -one’s perception
Holding wheel tight, releasing tension
Midwest-mild resulting in interpretation
Contemplate while we cross this situation.

October 19, 2014

The Mississippi River in La Crosse

I recall the smell of fish from the brown water
And white caps rising high—
Brown, dirty… undulating—
Ducks stood in speckled sands,
Trash mixed rock…
And a cloud passes overhead
Casting a new shadow;
Ducks waddle under the dock,
Disappear
And below they quack.
And I see boats
Moving across the River,
And waves,
And I see that water
Has been moving past.

***
Inspired by Frank Herbert’s Dune: (source: Unbroken Thread): One of Gurney Halleck’s Tone Poems for Sad Times

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