On such a late night sitting and full,
Contents of a stir-fry made of tofu;
She packs for Wisconsin: days away.
Still I sit & watch and wait & laze.
On such a late night sitting and full,
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.
Abandoned train bridges make for the best retreats,
Under empty blue skies which remain always there.
Cotton wood branches waved leaves as a busy fleet,
Fading summer months made all those about aware.
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.
The only change they want
is the change they make,
even if it’s the same.
Atonement for guilt
simply of being;
humans the way we are,
the unjust that we do.
Fixing all past, present, and future
with institutions, and enigmas—
what is there for neutral
wrong or right?
like switching drinks,
not from one hand to another,
but the beverage entirely.
Finding a new drink…
How could one come so set in their ways
that they don’t find the nerve to change?
Standing there, waiting,
watching the water boil,
face turned red,
ego on high alert—ready?
This sergeant don’t take no lip,
unless it’s yours,
and he will eat the entire thing…
And those herbs will turn to taste,
and you can bet your ass on it.
There is no need for filter or mug,
no need for a full pot or the caffeine shakes,
just one cup to get me by.
Life in moderation, and we fumble at the keys.
And it was pure fate,
the Irish black tea beckoned
as if to take me back—
far away, into distant lands,
as if I missed Dublin
and the 5th floor flat at Staycity.
I could see most of The Liberties
from the number 43 balcony—
on walks aside double-decker buses,
smooth euros in my pockets,
along the river Liffey.
And everyone watched as we drank whiskey
and fresh Guinness, and read books,
and they pronounced three as “tree”,
and we were slagged as “yanks”.
As we sat on cross-country excursions
thru endless rolling green hills
and stone walls and winding roads
and puffy sheep.
As we saw things some of us hadn’t seen before,
with a drink in hand and our feet on the ground.
And I sip.
And I recall.
It will be awhile before I get back around.
But it was good to try something new.