I am of Minnesota,
And of the heartland
Good man, think I thee,
For of great community,
Come and live with me
I am of Minnesota,
Sitting an hour between classes seemed as days elapsed,
at a Washington Avenue coffeehouse table,
where tall transparent windows
beamed reflective light,
beaconing inquisition: “just look outside”.
Taking the hint, lazy eyes gazed to witness a fashion of layers,
dark shades of boots, and clench-fisted gloves,
blankly moving full-through their owner’s stepping saunter;
blurred these creatures came going along the sidewalk’s edge,
tracking herds in asymmetrical circles,
in late-winter’s dressings—
they gave a bob and weave dance,
contrasting against the
silhouetted patrons standing inside in line, motionless.
A cigarette had fallen central to the commotion,
and became squashed-to on the wet ground—
accordion-like, a thin pale smoke drifted above and into the street air,
between stoplights and cars,
vanishing with exhaust fumes
and puffed exhalation plumes of each passing pedestrian.
Cold feet, slick rubber wheels, and the Green Line’s steel
came around loud moving through,
bounding over the dotted masses of miniature speckled glaciers,
emitting a cacophony of moans, shrieks and squeals
one’s ears could not avoid, even within shut doors.
On a stage there stood warm vessels waiting
for huddles of hypothermic;
metro transit arrived late near soon to be ice-melt
and future city gutter streams.
I sat sipping hot sepia
with this view, with this wildlife,
wondering how the animals at the zoo
felt about the
who poked and smudged at their glass view.
June: It seems so far away, I wish it were today.
A room full of Artists standing high in watch,
One opens wide a mouth, exit words of thought,
An occurrence of perfect* art, too unmeasurably so;
Those in the crowd would attempt not to know.
Night black as Bakken
oil, which malignly pours past silent
shipped in cryptic-marked tanker cars
under cover of darkness, rightly
so, they move obtusely opaque—
opposite downtown lights which stick to a wetted haze
in the distance, making this Midwest city glow
for miles—some say 150 of them away.
The shit we’ve seen, and haven’t.
That which creeps along can be found in a jet, in
a car, or on foot,
rock snow-crust, cold as a
flushed-toilet shower’s mist—you know; everything
is connected, retraced, unplugged,
tubed, tied, aborted,
Truths for lies:
This is safe,
This is fact,
This in fact is safe,
We care about you.
It is snug-up, or snug-down, or
just snug enough, or caught in between comfortable,
and I can’t go outside,
I have to decide.
Then it is: A pub visit, a flipped
switch, a lit door in the distance—these
palm trees have become foreigners
in desert sands which have turned to mud
by native rain power in your very living room
by way of: your very hand;
the vessel you hold,
repurposed from some ornate
decoration, from some ornate
description, from so-and-so’s ornate party,
or from some ornate magazine—ornate parts
And that is life:
black as night as petro ships by, as exhaust fumes fly,
as exhausted you sleeps, you snore, you don’t think;
as an “elected” official’s bank account goes cha-ching,
as a CEO draws outside of the lines, and talks energy.
(of course we need)
as the air goes in and out
of his mouth,
and in and out,
and in and out—
Like fucking, really.
Hey, you thought it. :)
Humans without a care,
they are there happily unawares.
With smiles on their dreaming faces,
as that napalm tube rolls on steel wheels in their backyards.
I once met this “poet”,
He hadn’t written a single word—
It’s been years since then,
He bears the same rank and title.
When our drinking waters have been set aflame,
and we’ve destroyed our pristine rolling bluffs;
the people of the Coulee Region will be ashamed,
while the mining corporations won’t have enough.
A life made of days,
A year made of moments;
How we will forget—
The places in between.
A Midwestern city holds its frozen contents—
These hardened pieces go about on their own.
Uniquely conditioned to unforgiving climates;
Still those passive parts make up the whole.