The Ides of March to
April bird song,
where sprouts push
and pull to, through
fertile soil; come the
warming sun heat
on affectionate breeze,
past the months of
cool cold torturous toil.
The Ides of March to
A few brittle flakes of flesh fall to
the standard grey University desk in front of me.
Evidence of one memorable bench-sit sunning had brought me gifts today,
parts of me and more.
They came in gaggles of yoga pants, sparkling wet sidewalk pools—dripping,
and the wafted smell of thawing topsoil.
These odors damp and dank, some familiar and sweet, natürlich;
smells a boy can never forget.
Sharing words of Baudelaire and Schadenfreude,
Chaucer and April—but, hypocrite reader, you are not guilty,
it is I with the pen and the paper and the view and the thought in mind—
These other student-creatures saunter forward naked, empty, out of
static blasé bundles of winter climes, too Springtime is due, unawares.
I smile at the idea of my taut semi-reddened flesh, dried and cooked
in yesterday’s ultraviolet rays—as my significant other warns of skin cancer,
but this is my proud ignorant trophy to own.
I can only thin-lipped big-tooth express, and fiddle with dead skin cells
as they rest on my desk in cross-shadows and heated-light.
Sitting an hour between classes seemed as days elapsed,
at a Washington Avenue coffeehouse table,
where tall transparent windows
beamed reflective light,
beaconing inquisition: “just look outside”.
Taking the hint, lazy eyes gazed to witness a fashion of layers,
dark shades of boots, and clench-fisted gloves,
blankly moving full-through their owner’s stepping saunter;
blurred these creatures came going along the sidewalk’s edge,
tracking herds in asymmetrical circles,
in late-winter’s dressings—
they gave a bob and weave dance,
contrasting against the
silhouetted patrons standing inside in line, motionless.
A cigarette had fallen central to the commotion,
and became squashed-to on the wet ground—
accordion-like, a thin pale smoke drifted above and into the street air,
between stoplights and cars,
vanishing with exhaust fumes
and puffed exhalation plumes of each passing pedestrian.
Cold feet, slick rubber wheels, and the Green Line’s steel
came around loud moving through,
bounding over the dotted masses of miniature speckled glaciers,
emitting a cacophony of moans, shrieks and squeals
one’s ears could not avoid, even within shut doors.
On a stage there stood warm vessels waiting
for huddles of hypothermic;
metro transit arrived late near soon to be ice-melt
and future city gutter streams.
I sat sipping hot sepia
with this view, with this wildlife,
wondering how the animals at the zoo
felt about the
who poked and smudged at their glass view.
June: It seems so far away, I wish it were today.
Overcast clouds open to
A downfall of frozen crystals;
Which sparkle broken on the ground,
A straight wind carries me off – strong,
To far, to present, to past;
Grey sky day
Take me away.
Weather which is not to be overlooked.
On a bridge
In broad daylight,
Somewhere in Minneapolis—
Between something is the metaphor…
Below light rail trains and buses pass,
The sun is out, yet it is cold.
Alas, we have mirages in Minnesota too—
Desert quality right here, local.
The highway buzzes; 35W is Nascar, and gridlock, and exits;
People are frantic, manic and relentless.
Commuters are driving into downtown,
Between high-rise shrines proof sponsored by your dollar.
But you can only watch.
On East Bank:
Students are walking fast to class,
Near traces of snow, they appear fleeting for February.
Is it spring yet?
Can a poet get two cigarettes?
See what others exhale.
Coffman Union is aflutter,
Not with birds,
Or domestic animals,
More so with paper and motion,
Punctual devotion for the prestigious scholar;
Little trappings and emotions,
A queue to loosen the tight collar.
Trash bins stand, cement benches sit, and the air moves through carrying few leaves and even less sentiment.
Though, they are evidence of last fall.
A lifetime ago, standing on a bridge like this would have been the future,
But it is now,
Here is to another day in the crowd,
The traffic moves without you.
Downtown Minneapolis by way of Nicollet, by way of bike, by way of bus, by way of foot; the puzzle pieces which we’ve put in
On one sunny Saturday,
Through Nicollet on two wheels,
Over the Central avenue bridge
Above the Mississippi unclean—
Ahead along this busy way
Skyscrapers jutted through fog,
Vehicles slid moving quickly past
On pale snowmelt roads—
Downtown became a beautiful trap
For tourists and newsstands,
Dirty buses carried riders:
The working and the unengaged—
Fed pigeons saunter the ground low,
As artistic homeless flew their signs,
People wore designer sunglasses
Lest the sun blind their eyes—
And they layered in light bundles,
Standing heavy in their packs,
Slung purses, scarves, and rucksacks,
Watching cautious, avoiding attack—
Mirrored window reflections
Caught the lights of fire engines,
Ambulance flashes and sounding sirens
Made attentive onlookers stare—
Groups walked by to restaurants
So some could sit and sip a beer,
Others ate a late hungover breakfast
Watching soccer, giving cheers—
And I with my family went,
For the Foshay stood in the sky,
Stepping on lively marble stone
We viewed and passed the time—
Breaking at each stop light met
Cross traffic moved in front,
Bits of the city puzzle fell out;
For new hands to put them back—
The connector bus sways
On each turn and pass,
As students await in cold,
Near snow, behind glass.
The city center has
Been filled with
These spots to grab attention,
To make you buy: react.
Local rags remain,
Good at that, and intact.
What stands out is
The importance they lack.
We have books by the stack,
And bike paths.
We have beaches
In the summer months to relax,
And theatres like
The Guthrie to see acts.
Local mags don’t really map that;
-With photos, lists, and ads.
Painting a picture without paving a path,
They write on setting precedent, because they can’t.
I suppose one day I will be surprised when an article proves friendly to my eyes.
But only after realizing how much effort was put into marketing to my demographic.