Posts tagged ‘Spoken Word’

July 8, 2015

Minneapolis Offers A Melting Pot Literary Scene

Sure, they tell you to
join their literary groups
in order to get your words read,
in order to get your art noticed,
in order to make an impression on
the blossoming local scene.

Well, it’s just that: local,
and it still is, that’s it.

And a person can become
an organization alone.

Few think about a broad world
where 9 billion people might enjoy
everything or nothing that the creative
text you wrote has to offer…

Yeah, I think, gatherings are good for some—
those who need crutches for strong legs,
or those who need stitches for band aids.

Those who need editors
to change their ideas
so they will sell
and morph into comfortable writers.

I need approval
from institutions to feel good
about myself,
imagine that.

That would have to be
my anti-motto, something I truly avoid.

Ha! Such jokes…

Years back no one would read
new cognitive prose,
my free work, no one would talk
about it,
zero recognition—I certainly wasn’t overseas then,
and I still am as called before
a “failed writer”.

Everyone was doing their own thing;
others were not as important,
it was about self—well, selfishness,
but on the side there was
a feigned pack mentality.

The only change they wanted
was the change they made.

Now poets go around
and pretend as though
everyone in the Cities
should get involved,
because what they were doing
back then, individually didn’t work,
so lets band together.

It didn’t pan out for them.
Their dreams came only at REM.

So, now they organize cliques,
they establish large groups into
bad plays on high society hierarchy,
the kind of thing that real
artists have vehemently loathed.

They set their own rules, now,
and their own guidelines—
if you can’t beat them join them—
yeah, good idea.

What a theory,
such lack of heart.

I think in this case
to become a part of it,
to get to the epicenter,
to get to the whole,
to be welcomed into this special circle,
the imaginary self-actualized poet,
non-starving artist,
famous, you-know-me sort of thing,

you would have to admit defeat,
you would have to admit you lost,
and that your initial passions
were complete shit.

You would probably have to change your ways,
attempt to be more like them—
assimilate, like the rest,
figure hip dress, obscure verse,
employ ten-dollar words,
cloned topics—of course gendered,
racial, anthropological, progressive,
and leftist political,
try for universal acceptance, right here.

***

Yawn, I say,
describe a situation,
an actual event:

CC was on 4th street SE at the bus stop,
she had forgotten my name,
her lips were red,
she said she had a new job.

I rode away on a bike
while passing out flyers.

***

I mean, you might as well kill progress,
just so your road is less rocky.
Leave change by the wayside,
never go against the grain.

A conformist mentality
will help you fit in better,
don’t ya know?

Your personality, your ideology discussed
only in past-tense phraseology and terms,
it all must go.

More of the same than Minnesota lakes.

But then you think about
how you were once a unique person,
an artist, that no one read,
no one cared about,
and how it was fun doing what you loved.

People read, they were baffled, confused,
or were turned off—or became aroused.

Now you do it to please others,
while not pleasing yourself,
while pandering to their ways.

They stare, they clap, they record,
they namedrop, to charm the masses, for a club,
to be accepted, to be loved for being
something that they are entirely not.

No way.

See, I imagine that.
I fancy fickle easy artists,
they travel in bands
with big words and little action.

One would have to sell off
their creative soul
to even try to get involved.

I imagine fellatio costs less,
either way they get ahead.

Am I in Hollywood?
It’s so confusing.

June 5, 2015

Modern Poetry in a Nutshell

Some transcendental thought
about my present situation:
O’ angst, O’ cigarettes, O’ beer,
O’ my identity, O’ job, O’ rent,
O’ apparent unique awareness
in a bubble, misconstrued,
and lain out before you, spread
and you judge ME, i the same.
How sad. I am a poet, I tell the world,
though I never write. Listen! I am a painter,
though I never paint a picture, how sad. See!
Everyone is the same in this tiny city,
where is little progress? Where is change?
Who cares? Who doesn’t make hip-hop,
who isn’t in a band, who doesn’t make art,
who doesn’t have a bad or good day?
I’ll throw some big words (effect)
in the mix to make it more modern, more real,
here you go: lithe, sinewy, post-structuralism
puissant, Midwesterner, Mississippi,
oh, i am sorry, that ending was pat.
here are some interesting and semi-ironic ideas,
and everyone talks about it.
they were never heard before, but they were!
My best friends are editors and I am a solicited writer.
I have paid the price, which is time and titles.
My contemporaries all think I am the best,
we are very close to one another,
they name drop me because I am a genius.
Come to my seminar, my summit!
Let me read for you, to you…
So. Fucking. Slow. I am god. My thick frames
and tweed jacket match my skinny jeans
and my leather shoes. Now, I have
one question: Who the fuck are you?

April 1, 2015

Poetry Workshop, Senior Seminar

He sat as we tore him to pieces,
limb by limb; every sentence sound, lost thought, and errant period
became our subject, our purpose to change.

Critical words and suggested alterations sliced deep,
a pain was scribed on his taut winced mien, perspired.

I said nothing more, no more from me.

This was where their sticks and stones became surgical instruments, their say on his say, tools which cut to, with their subjective opines on art, on personality, on poetry.

I sat and said nothing,
until words came, “…any last suggestions?”

Then I spoke: I think your piece is good.

March 21, 2015

Out of Dodge, 52 South to La Crescent

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,
painting cloaked-clouds,
heavy dark, invoking peering pupils.

That giant burning orb,
light-years away,
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 time.
Make tracks.
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.

There,
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.

February 26, 2015

Bakken through Minneapolis

Night black as Bakken
oil, which malignly pours past silent
communities,

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,

in hardened
rock snow-crust, cold as a
flushed-toilet shower’s mist—you know; everything
is connected, retraced, unplugged,
tubed, tied, aborted,
and rewind.

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
of these

-Cult clubs.

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.

February 25, 2015

Free Me

Blood for ink,
the page for flesh,
and few words for character
description;

their imprint does stain,
the pinprick storyline
of a feeling—

I would sit and count
for minutes,
hours,
days,
months,
years,
etc.

but sitting is not conducive
to good movement, patience does nothing
except waste time
and progress
and dull the mind…

They may say: relax, let it pass.

that time; what could be
a particular goal seen to fruition.

Those who hold the ties that bind,
the keys we need,
are working steadily behind my
eyes,

the nerve—these nerves,
and more; each synapsis connects to
the message passed,

this circuit board commanding:

a knee jerk,
a hand slap,
an orgasm,
twitching muscles going to
bed—as you rock to zzzzzzzzzz.

Found out in between,
no verse to discuss,
no song to critique,

just the rigid clock’s tick,
and those who run by it (and from it):

they tell us what to do—
how to eat sleep and breath—
where to be, what to wear, how to look,
when and where—
there—and how to see.

Now who tells you how to be?

February 20, 2015

Make Everything

Make
everything in
life,

But
excuses.

December 10, 2014

Conversation’s Plight

I remember when words had meaning;
A man was only as good as his word.
I thought about this over a conversation,
As my partner’s words were never heard.

November 3, 2014

Words to Action

Ripping down a sign
Out of angst and pure passion;
Having changed a mind,
Put meaningful words to action.

September 13, 2014

Ruled by Cats

Dust management,

scoop,

Lid removed;

Stench to prove-

Ammonia and hardened poop.

This moment,

What it is.

No king cleans out cat shit.

In the air hangs

remnants of digested remains.

Eyes pained

Hands to rearrange

Next to the toilet stool

What a silly fool

To be a cat;

To actually rule.

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