One of my favorite phrases to hear on Monday is,
“Oh, you got a bit of sun over the weekend…”
The idea of going outside and sitting in the sun
without buildings, without work, without people,
without being stuck in-doors, without a thing to do,
without being paraded around like a fool at a party,
without the constraints of what society deems correct:
you should wear sunscreen, you should cover up!
you should avoid a sunburn—it will cause cancer!
I have to assume that people die of accidents daily.
You should avoid cigarettes, and expensive scotch,
and domestic beers, and fishing, and jerking off,
and relaxing for no reason, and not doing anything,
and cooking raw red meat, and frying fillets of fish,
and reading a book, or two, and driving an old truck,
and thinking about sexual fantasies, or debauchery.
Yeah, you should probably avoid all of those fun things,
and while you’re at it, make sure to hide from the sun.
Nah. I want to say, “You didn’t get any sun at all?
That’s great, I am sorry to hear you are a shut-in.”
But rather to save some time, I just say, “Yeah.”
There was an attractive space recently filled,
which became an empty void.
That empty void,
became a great opportunity.
That great opportunity,
became a fleeting moment.
That fleeting moment of great opportunity of an empty void,
was then filled whole.
In the process of planning,
you missed the entire occurrence.
O now how the coffee tastes
so bitter at the bottom,
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.
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.
Coming to with a pin-prick realization
at waking moment’s light,
out of a dream more like real-life than itself,
a concept: that our perspectives are the only reality we see;
we were only dreaming then, we are
only dreaming now, we are but dreamers—
as fast beams of light we flash in dark skies,
and in the still night everything is fine.
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.