and I slip into the deluge of everyday life
to pull myself out where I so choose.
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.
To my astonishment
there was none—
people were content
with old formulas
and bad news.
The “best poet I know”
It was a real treat.
I can sleep a lot, a lot easier.
The sound of white fan blades, nimble cat’s feet,
and heavy outside traffic
woke with the beeping alarm.
Monday life was on its way,
just before breakfast, shower and shave.
Pieces of inspiration fell off in stretches
and movements onto the wooden floor.
As a backdoor opened to musty wet rugs
and well watered plants,
at a place where occupants had been days away.
Coming to again as rebirth:
a second, a minute, a day, a week, a moment chance;
where we’d thought we’d be now is the past.
We were housed by such movements
of certain contraptions, waking, stirring, just as—
sounds and actions unplanned,
came over and overlapped.
In varied ways
The city’s buildings stand;
Tall as they are, up with birds
Holding those lives
Seething, going, and watching
Mazes put up for institutions,
Humans go about with same minds.
Bridge, cut from sandstone
standing hard in the distance,
below thick electrical wires
& quick ascending planes,
where guts of our city’s downtown,
with its sharp-edged contrast
at one end, lie exposed,
under smoking black chimneys
four as die, & pink light skies
falling slowly to a cool dusk
in shadows of pillars, of rocks,
of trees, & of bridges north,
where people had ran, walked,
& captured photos, talking,
had so frequently happened.
The deep vein of a country
swept brown & debris below,
where near a dam you await.
Your heavy arch did not bend,
your dusty blocks did not crumble,
your purpose outlived its creator,
& still you met the citizens first,
on each side to let them pass.
Without question birds flew to you,
clouds dotted heavens & your flank,
& sounds bounced off of your make
from other ancient past-lives.
The Stone Arch stood fixed,
even in the pitchest darkness,
or when the layered homeless sat,
in faded orange lamplight glow,
or the late street walker came
on a hot summer evening drunk.
Up late to watch the metro night,
to make sure people made it back
over a fast Mississippi, so wide.
Texts of love were left drawn
on post-it’s at the kitchen table—
outside Southeast was dark green
light blue and a soft cream, where cars played
musical chairs with endangered spaces.
A “truly real” JFK documentary flashed
on an antique dusted Macbook screen
as dead lions were tracked—bloody, slaughtered,
on airstreams of a dim kitchen scene;
talking heads were barking so loud,
along with representatives and agencies;
they described him as going out
like the late and tragic Francis Macomber,
like a stiff drink for Hemingway’s hands,
on a hot African Safari-esque day.
In the hot seat with cold feet, dew points
gone with yesterday’s sweltering heat.
Where, the frightened tenants overhead
were bumbling, dragging, moving,
as winds blew over the porch chimes, sharp,
an inordinate happy metallic song—
a cat jumped at the natural commotion.
Oblivious, like don’t you know?
What the fuck, and where’s my lunch?
A man oversaw over honey mixed coffee,
Hard eggs, and chicken-scratch lines.
Happy and broke, happy bloke,
and happy to be in a Midwest City, alive.
In a room with one warm thought:
I am not world infamous yet,
I am not like Dr. Walter Palmer.