The man who could
teleport as far
as his eyes could see
in a room full of mirrors.
The man who could
You, me; us we—forward or backward,
together we are the same.
Parts of a carnal body, whole—
built of dust, thoughts, and air;
no scar is without a measure,
no action still unmoved,
shell of human being outside,
ghost of us within.
We are compelling a kind,
eyes peer to see;
from Franklin and Nicollet to NE,
Middle America to Middle East.
Still, forward or backward, we are the same.
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.
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.
There is a lecture coming aloud from the local radio,
As a slab of raw meat sits red on a kitchen countertop,
And hard words attempt to cause cutting glances,
Only stirring those with argumentative proclamations;
Two pieces of toast are burning in a dusty toaster,
While the sun’s white rays angle along a windowsill,
Taking note as my hand goes numb with the heavy pen,
Arrhythmic palpitations, these sensations of surprise;
Our domestic grey cat licks herself on the made bed,
Shoes cover feet from the stones sitting on the floor,
As socks come wet within, toes sweating at warmth;
Dried plants stand tall from the wooden tongues up;
A chair, rigid, and a couch, soft, are waiting too,
On this cold coffee morning, the taste is so strong
Of sweet outdated milk, bleeding steak, eggs, and onions-
Pieced are parts which come at present just to pass thru.
Night black as Bakken
oil, which malignly pours past silent
shipped in cryptic-marked tanker cars
under cover of darkness, rightly
so, they move obtusely opaque—
opposite downtown lights which stick to a wetted haze
in the distance, making this Midwest city glow
for miles—some say 150 of them away.
The shit we’ve seen, and haven’t.
That which creeps along can be found in a jet, in
a car, or on foot,
rock snow-crust, cold as a
flushed-toilet shower’s mist—you know; everything
is connected, retraced, unplugged,
tubed, tied, aborted,
Truths for lies:
This is safe,
This is fact,
This in fact is safe,
We care about you.
It is snug-up, or snug-down, or
just snug enough, or caught in between comfortable,
and I can’t go outside,
I have to decide.
Then it is: A pub visit, a flipped
switch, a lit door in the distance—these
palm trees have become foreigners
in desert sands which have turned to mud
by native rain power in your very living room
by way of: your very hand;
the vessel you hold,
repurposed from some ornate
decoration, from some ornate
description, from so-and-so’s ornate party,
or from some ornate magazine—ornate parts
And that is life:
black as night as petro ships by, as exhaust fumes fly,
as exhausted you sleeps, you snore, you don’t think;
as an “elected” official’s bank account goes cha-ching,
as a CEO draws outside of the lines, and talks energy.
(of course we need)
as the air goes in and out
of his mouth,
and in and out,
and in and out—
Like fucking, really.
Hey, you thought it. :)
Humans without a care,
they are there happily unawares.
With smiles on their dreaming faces,
as that napalm tube rolls on steel wheels in their backyards.
Waking to this early Tuesday overcast
Love and work scatter the wooden floor below
Amongst dust rhinos and smudged folders, as
Stacked bound books beg for openness
Violins float in the apartment, making classical
Air, as though class systems didn’t exist
A tea kettle is burnt alive at the stove top,
While I starve in scraps of last night, of last minute,
Of yesterday, and of the rest of my life;
These pieces abstract on this yellow kitchen table
The body is fine when the temperature is above freezing;
Spring is here, teasing us back out of our shells—
Newly just out of bed, just in new light,
Now is the product of our sensitive closed eyes
And a person should acquire all of it,
And it’s just the second day of the week
I once met this “poet”,
He hadn’t written a single word—
It’s been years since then,
He bears the same rank and title.
A Midwestern city holds its frozen contents—
These hardened pieces go about on their own.
Uniquely conditioned to unforgiving climates;
Still those passive parts make up the whole.
only hard fate;
this is your life,
so why wait?