Posts tagged ‘twin cities’

June 26, 2015

How I write poetry

Could they hear me at the desk oozing prose onto the page,
clipping hard at the keys for grammar,
few words and blank space,
giving my all just for free writing?

Had they known my walk through the pre-day skyway,
the negative eighty degree cooler I passed—I am like that: cool and old.

Had they been blinded by a window’s reflection
or kissed their love before exiting a truck?

Could they feel the concentration,
the poise,
the inspiration,
of each line, in each book
held in heavy hand?

White came black, black came red—what you read this heap (?),
red turned pale, then yellow, then green—the fear, coming out of me.

This was it,
the beginning of the end,
and I had just opened Word
to give my fingers a stretch.

How coffee, how Grape-Nuts, how banana,
how milk, how ab workouts and a tepid shower
had been the muse to it all.

My body in the morning, my morning.
They hadn’t known.

Or at least that’s what I thought.

May 27, 2015

New Danger: Water Balloons and Squirt Guns

Nowadays water balloons and squirt guns
are considered dangerous weapons.

Oddities which can get you tackled to the ground, cuffed,
and thrown into the back of a police cruiser.

It’s kind of funny.

I remember being younger, maybe 8 or so,
and having all-out wars with other kids
at Wildcat Landing near Brownsville, MN.

No one won, there were no casualties.

We would be throwing water balloons
and squirting each other with Super Soakers,
these dangerous weapons.

Their biggest offense was they wasted water.

To get it in the eye would sometimes start tears,
someone would inevitably run to Ma.

The midday sun was usually high,
the smell of sand and the chopping Mississippi
would be in the unbroken air.

Adults drank domestic beers and listened to classic rock.

We were just kids back then, with colorful toys.

Later on as a child, I remember my dad once shot his rifle
in the sky above a plainclothes officer
in our driveway at 1045 Bush Valley Rd.

The agent told us to get all of our guns/weapons.

I went inside and found my squirt guns
and brought them out.

The officer said with surprise, “Not those, son.”
He didn’t take my guns,
back then they were harmless.

He let me go, slap on the wrist.

Nowadays you can get arrested for that kind of stuff.

The shit we got away with,
man we were bad.

May 20, 2015

The Cat and The Squirrel (55414)

The backyard squirrel foraged
Rolling through a thick grass,
Rubbing its underside on dirt,
Thin belly in a thin brown fur,
Moving thru sniffing, bobbing.
The cat watched from the sill,
On a makeshift dresser drawer,
Eyes darted at every twitch made,
At every moment of food found.
The two were close, intermingled,
Not viewing each other though,
Just seeing themselves different,
Obscured by a dripping window,
Staring at what could’ve been.

May 16, 2015

an evening apartment

where gin drinks made wet rings upon wooden floors,
as open windows became sirens ringing in my ears.

April 29, 2015

An Evening Walk (View of Downtown Minneapolis)

I would walk Central Avenue in soft
evening light, or go through Father
Hennepin Park around the same time.
A group of people to gather and become
pedestrians again on The Stone Arch’s
sandy beige bricks. To be seen smarted
by simple standing architecture, art,
and all of its cracked parts—the park too,
its sentiment with skyline shapes inset
in the distance, contrasted, outlined
in values: greys, whites, blues, golds,
and blacks. Shades reigning, measured
to a straight line and immensely looming,
cast down at those eyeing below. People
sit in fast passing cars, as those on
foot step. Thoughts to traverse, within
and without. It was another day to walk,
to watch, to wait, and to go, to move,
or to stay, on this dusk path through
downtown Minneapolis and straight back.

April 20, 2015

Commute Home through Como

On a home commute lately,
on Como Avenue’s length,
under streetlamp’s orange presence,
with blurred trucks and cars,

where sleeping neighborhoods
and empty industry wait;

I am moving between point A and point B,
I am alone in the dark nodding hello
to the stoplights changing,
empty storefront’s grey,
and mounting sidewalk debris.

Still some bars glow,
still long trains roll.

Coming to me are night smells
of dried hay—ironic spring,
careless weed smoke blown,
and fabric softener exhaust—all biking home.

Lost in darkened new elements
under low heavens, star speckled skies,

lately through Como,
on a commute between two cities,
resting local economy,
where sparkling broken glass
is scattered—reflect, a sight,
in clouded purple shade
of night, no sun, to my eyes, and going home.

April 16, 2015

After the Midwest Poetry Summit,

settle in,

I sat on a wooden deck
regaling
the Midwest Poetry Summit,

what a night, sights
with friends
and poets,

tightly surrounded,
though alone,

whisky breath and sunburnt,

looking over
to
see Scott Seekins—the Artist, the artistry,
everywhere and nowhere at once: art,

here
were
local artists sitting in a corner,
all talking and laughing,

patting each other’s backs with hard-handed purpose—see(?),
an overzealous—bee sting effect,

saying: “we are” and “oh ho!”,
and smiling;

it was enough
to make a common person cry,

so
my eyelids
unhinged
a tidal wave
and
I
hugged
myself
to
death.

April 12, 2015

Experience the Movement: during AWP 2015

In a tight vanilla pale room
with a tangerine sunset view,
where high association
shared big words
and accomplishments tacitly,
wink to a nod,
rubbing elbows,
touching pinked-white hands—shaking,
close, related, akin,
with more than five dollar’s worth of language present, presented,
of which few perhaps did understand,
it didn’t matter though,
behind modern dark faux wooden frames, Lennon round,
piercing eyes darted—knowing names, big thanks,
as bodies in ironed button up shirts,
suit jackets dusted,
leather shoes shined,
and neutral colored slacks creased,
hair done stiff, fine—slicked back shine,
reading aloud
lines and verses and words;
poems unfamiliar,
as those within oohed and aahed,
at each vocal cord’s articulation,
as attendees and audience members
smiled, drank, laughed, explained, translated, and clapped.
A brave man said with confidence to the glaring crowd: this was the movement,
we were it.
I guess maybe I couldn’t relate;
I felt more like a dried stalk of corn in a Midwestern summertime field,
some monocultures are unescapable.

April 10, 2015

Minneapolis Streets

Hennepin
Central
Franklin
Nicollet

March 31, 2015

Right/Wrong

Some wrong is right, some right is wrong;
the only matter is who sings the song.

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