The day you have
is of your design.
The day you have
A passenger side ranger inquiry,
lead to fresh blinding light
and splashing potable water.
Campfire embers smoldered
after an evening’s neighborly introduction and proclamation
of “Uptown Pride.”
—We, not so much.
no room for outside,
where the suburbs subside.
Huddles of families on holiday,
weekend campers on parade;
an International Airstream
sat local in a vast
golden marsh glade.
Pulling from the Bulleit bottle,
to crack a cold and wet brew,
gathering sticks with the best,
for warmth under
the firmament in rolled tents.
Loud bullshit and no possessable fish,
dirty fingernails and a waxing moon paled.
Lagers along a road near the St. Croix river,
walking long lengths pinecone covered trails.
Shoes on jet rocked gravel drive;
where the sunrays seeped cutting dried eyes.
Here was Sunday morning,
packed and coming down
to the sound of classic rock, shutting doors, and moving tires.
How it got away.
The man who could
teleport as far
as his eyes could see
in a room full of mirrors.
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.
Snow fortresses wall vacant early Spring streets,
under a shadowed loom of port buildings and storefronts,
near silt, stone, and trash;
a bay city industry,
north in a blanket of cold, under veiled clouds,
welcoming those coming through,
as Lake Superior holds puzzle-pieced ice in the fore,
central view a downhill road.
And on culture, are you Finnish yet?
Exchange rates and customs await;
crossing lines, affecting time;
to transcend this border
is to travel into the future.
On one side you are 5pm on the other you are 6.
Coordinates do not matter,
to warmer unfamiliar dwellings after a night under stars,
in conifer and winter’s accumulation.
Now, here waitresses speak of our home,
and her visit—of the Twin Cities,
mentioning the food,
the night life,
and how here is better in the next season.
We are visiting Thunder Bay,
with cats and coffee,
at an evident reader and traveler’s house on a sleepy Sunday.
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.
Double-Decker Buses, Outlet Adapters,
Dirty Seagulls and Elegant Flats;
European Cafés, Dublin City, -Ireland,
So much to pack and bring back.