Life out of Stanley
Life out of truck
Life out of city
Life with sandwich lunch
Life out of control
Life stuck inside
Life without aversions
Life between lines
Life out of time.
Free Local Midwestern Poetry, By Terry Scott Niebeling
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.
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.
How interesting that fireworks now bring us together
when they represent devices that once tore us apart.
-Terry Scott Niebeling
here, 10pm, crowds on spread tarps and chairs,
thoughtfully placed earlier,
chatted along a spilt-over sidewalk path,
coming down to the Riverside fest grounds
with family and friends;
these goers were just stepping through, at a time.
taking air along the luminescence of the waters’ edge
waiting for fire, explosions, light and smoke,
waiting for a show of power
on the concussion boom’s holiday eve
of a hot summer day.
notice the faint ghost outline of the Cass st. bridge,
it went up tall toward the south on wet glow,
pale blue in orange light as navigational lights
sent from boats bounced to and fro below signaling.
where mayflies flew, stunk, buzzed;
their fate kept them at lamps
busy for their annual dance.
people in groups—no worse,
buttoned up, oohing and aaaahing,
taking such a spectacle.
for a time
the mass was all American,
for a time nothing else mattered.
viewing were homeless and rich
in the same theatre vantage;
spirits were aloft as this year’s sparkling
in gunpowder and smoke,
the thought that everything was all right,
illuminated on another shore—
in a time of celebration, in a nation
under a spangled flag.
Motion reflected between where you are and where you will be;
Void for a shadow where you were, ever lying in wait to reconvene.
“If you can’t please yourself, who can?” -Ma
In the morning I start planning,
by the time I am done it is mid-afternoon.
I find that I have all things figured out,
in finding that happiness is without.
When I have specific plans completed,
seen through to fruition, I can only hope for one thing:
that I still feel as good as I do when I just open my eyes,
young, in love, and surrounded by it-
when I just walk outside—lost and uncaring,
when I do the first thing that comes to mind, even today,
now, to escape. I hope to still feel as good as I do right now,
with no excess in what I have about me, and there, no excuses,
because none of those institutions will change anything, ever.
Not one. They only complicate and muck up straightforward.
Fuck plans. It is how you feel when you feel you in the end.
I hope to feel as good as I do when I wake up
in the morning, before I start planning.
a million worlds balanced atop globules
of settled wake and rain, dancing on strung-up
green leathered water lilies in rolling waves.
These beaded reflections, moving,
were a million of you and a million of me;
crystals bouncing with electric light, cosmos lithe,
changing, above tadpole, water beetle, and autumn’s fallen leaves.
No question these microcosms stand in wait,
bobbing on a clear lake,
on each movement thrown within,
contemplating nothing—save for seen,
by those who pass in man-powered vessels,
just a moment in time, taking what they can.
Seagulls carried shadows
above their lives on a lake.
Here, undulating up and down,
and many worlds away.
The day you have
is of your design.