The Ides of March to
April bird song,
where sprouts push
and pull to, through
fertile soil; come the
warming sun heat
on affectionate breeze,
past the months of
cool cold torturous toil.
The Ides of March to
Waiting the day
wasting the now
for the then.
Sharp alarms, busy commutes, weathered words,
we are too—
local tasks, art, lists, work, and trends.
Sharing small town concepts,
language, in hopes to pave a path;
at a bar stool conversation,
after an empty whisky shot throat-sting,
as beer bubbles trace a 1/3 full pint glass.
One local could move forward with art,
or make it easy—take a step back.
Laugh , and seize the moment…
I think about it…
I say: but the proof is only if it kills you,
Bukowski said that,
I sort of believe the man.
We are not perfect artists, really—no one is,
the evidence is: we are still alive, mostly.
See: I’ve been to a few funerals;
I know the end of my story will be
surrounded by a shovel, dirt, words, and a box.
Then, a man I don’t know will tell others about me.
(The real artist is the priest who doesn’t know you acting like he does,
he swears to god. You were good, though god doesn’t understand death.)
Then, no more art will come out of you,
but they will hear it.
That is the perfect artist and art.
That is the truth, perhaps.
There are pieces to account for
while getting out of Dodge,
on a Friday eve, away from the city—
on the mind of those,
sat in an aged black truck on edgy burnt-out energy;
a person can purchase a mass of pink-violet
spectacle taking over western skies,
glorious sunset in tired eyes,
heavy dark, invoking peering pupils.
That giant burning orb,
is sinking into a foreland field,
browned is a Minnesota plain’s silhouette to come,
spotted with tail-lights
and oncoming forgotten brights;
before cars snaked out of the city
on veined webs of pavement,
onto highway 35,
which roller-coastered up and down,
thru and around,
wheels traversed crude potholes
and bad drivers—ones inciting rage,
to 52 South, to less ego.
And in the cockpit:
a cracked window,
a rear-view gaze,
changing bootlegged CDs,
and easy conversation.
The journey goes:
follow the lines to-,
follow the lights to-,
follow the signs to-,
each less visible moment passing,
each shadowed monument dusted;
stop here, stop there, no stops at all…
Make it back.
under shrouded moon above,
each sparsely laden gas station,
each pre-ghost town affixed—
to Rochester, by Rushford,
past Winona and Houston,
fast 73mph, thru Nodine—
establishments wax a dimly lit yellow,
down a long hill stretch to 14 61,
along hulks of vibrant-by-day bluffs,
past looming Lock and Dam No 7,
along the sounding Mississippi,
waters show streetlamps caught in the flow, luminescent,
and we go into town,
La Crescent, past the Hub
to Apple Village Liquors,
then to home.
a warm room,
my smiling family,
and hugs await.
Pieces of what’s become
getting out of Dodge.
A good aspect of the city
can be getting out of it.
Observe the scattered common stones of these Twin Cities,
dusting sidewalks crumbled—ubiquitous,
taken in hand at foot, and thrown to,
from a bridge’s span above fast flowing currents of the Mississippi below.
Here flies to splash an artistry tangible,
before honest spoken words,
a sharp tone in tender ears,
which is contrast to what’s pictured:
Seen drawn lines,
Seen paintings bright,
Seen music made,
Seen night life.
Though observe them,
they are outside, heads aloft in thick-clouded dreams,
banded, mouths in perpetual motion,
hands seldom untied,
broken parts of stone—
proof over talking about the scene you’ve seen.
How those stones have accrued.
Some things get overlooked,
some things get stepped on;
other things get talked about profusely;
What of art does one hear?
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.
One time you had a thought,
One time you didn’t;
The difference is:
My God is