Posts tagged ‘WI’

July 5, 2015

Riverside for the Fourth

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.

June 23, 2015

Fixed Mesh

Barefooted feet sounded aloud the carpeted hallway,
Where people passed in sunlight of a side window view;
Forms drew on, each bearing a different meaning—each,
New reason passed by, as all parts came meshed true.

May 2, 2015

Between Wisconsin and Minnesota, an evening interstate

Here I sit, fast going on an evening interstate drive,
as all the world is turned an end-day blur.

The convertible top was dropped
as the dripping moon strutted in high heavens
to flash each blemish loved,
outline each scar deep, detailed,
a desirable waning pale—the color of a tooth ache.

Cheese curd grease and fish guts lingered in the broad smiles
of each captured moment, of each phone in hand.

Hair in the air, messed,
as familiar ghosts styled each malleable strand,
I wonder if they could smell the product on their hands.

Blue Lake came rippled shining,
bending slight the reflection of dusk’s
passing azule.

Comforting speeds blew ears quiet,
as the Chrysler’s engine hummed
at a stoplight break, loved ones in tow.

The car went as we waved to neighbors
and backyard exhibitionists.

There was a police car and prom.
There were city fires burning.
There was a quiet green village turning dark.

I am JFK,
I am in horn-rimmed luxury,
vantage,
I am sitting,
surrounded by everything that I am.

I am first world problems burdened
—too full to starve, too apathetic to cry.

An extended stomach,
a dented head,
beer burps,
and you were in Mexico playing,
as the world passed on.

December 25, 2014

Unpacking the Snow

First alarms sounded of a white snowy morning. Heavy and wet, flakes covered the ground as those in the river were covered by water, never to come home again. Fast late last year turns to right now present; and years, and sorted experience before. It came out like a pocket knife to test, to screw, to cut once, deep. It was the kind sharpened to a fine edge. Dead bones rested below, and in the back of one’s mind. People came and went; flesh loosened, darkened, slackened, and dusted with age back to dirt. Blades of toy windmills caught the grey air, while leaves fell zigzag to the browned December ground. We just ran by. Air brakes of a semi sounded off far on a distant highway, for those who traveled about the countryside, between the bluffs, near the riverbed; all to hear, all to unite in this one thought, some time, some date, in one mind. Ubiquitous green trees once loomed watching over this tiny town, Apple Capital, providing breath, under thick blankets of sepia cloud; brisk and cool in winter light, it moved through valleys touching rock, touching sand, touching faces, creating must and dew, on bark, and Fall’s fodder, on all who caught a glimpse. Each little speck floated soundless, seeming endlessly to the darkened pavement, as eyes took to more than they could unpack.

December 1, 2014

One Wonders (Camp Cult)

One wonders,

Have I missed a step?
Am I still asleep?
Has the logic left?

Oh, to think again… Now I don’t “know”.

November 30, 2014

The Morning After (Downtown La Crosse)

The morning after,

Early new day;
“Bar hair” and Fishbowls,
Smell of smoke,
Sore throat-

Subtle suggestions: Let’s walk down by the river.
Last night’s concepts seem less conducive to life.

Now,
Light which sneaks
Through venetians blinds.

_even though they are closed.

Painful to eyes-
And then a piss.
Then a brush of teeth,
Under dry lips.

Moving,
Aching,
Wasting,
Stiff tender bits-

The evening before, knowing full well it would come to this.
Downtown: the nightlife, old friends, the drinks, to witness.

October 30, 2014

Essen-tial

On this afternoon
Food is of essential;
As Essen is of -to eat
In German Language.

October 25, 2014

Like God

If I were
Made in the likeness
Of God,

I wouldn’t
Exist.

Thank God.

August 7, 2014

downtown La Crosse, circa 2006.

Buying the Tribune
in the morning
in downtown La Crosse,
velvet touch-

A Coffee,
walk the redbrick sidewalk.

Past the Bodega,
and Chairs,
and last night’s Cigarette Butts,

washing dishes in the back of some restaurant.

Faux-Progressive airs;
Talking a lot, stale-
actions and words; NOTICE: they talk a lot.

Burnt-Out Transcendentalists,
watching drunks, and pre-cancer patients and cars being parked—

Save the day.

Wearing shorts under blue skies.

Call clandestine spies, looking up at the corner apartment window-
wondering what’s inside__
… As she wakes,

long legs lie.

Moving, thinking, that fresh brewery smell, now new adult.

In summer heat- beating down,
The Mississippi River on the breeze—cesspool,

I walked back from where I had come
trying to not feel so numb.

Because I had to walk back.

June 17, 2014

Lock and Dam No. 7

On a boat close an expansive dam
A boy accompanied an Old Man
Fishing for hours cold hands
Only to have come up few clams

The river remained rough
Water spray wet brown splash
Bubbles in the water swirling
Bottom of boat held beer cans

Farther up the boy could see birds
Up close to the tumblers brightly red
Over white-caps exchanged few words
The Old Man palmed his rod in hand

Lock and Dam 7 lent no pension
Yet many prospered in its wake
The Old Man and the boy lay patient
They trolled up and down, but had to wait

Ice coated concrete walls
With rope or hook they fastened tight
Daylight lasted only so long in afternoons
The highway lights suggested night

Untying they came undone
River smell and worms in hand
The fish on the stringer were meager
Pushing off they went towards land

They passed others by and by
Anglers that were mastered
Coming closer to the landing point
Lights on avoiding disaster

Trailing wake in full gait
An out-board went ‘bout 20 knots
Blackness and bugs flew by about them
As they came closer to the docks

Lamplight held empty parking lot
Shown just below the river’s edge
The flat-bottom came parallel the wooden structure
The boy managed at his sea legs

With a hard bump from running in fast
A rope was fastened—quick, and down
The boat made way with the water
The boy made feet with wooden ground

Cold rushed from the river valley out
Nothing held the boy more in life
Than to be out near the Mighty Mississippi
In the dwindling hours of night

As children we are exposed to habits which prove a tradition
As adults we revisit those events to see what lessons were given.

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