Archive for ‘american thought’

August 25, 2018

believe in you

you can craft a life better now, think, you.
no excuses, no fair, no perfection, nothing at all.
no history too much for we animals.  today.  yes.

hard work every day, daily.  grind. all. moments.
sharp, clear compass.  fast, go, fly. weightless.
no obstacle not fragiled to dust.  bridges do fall.

when we believe.  believe in you. now. now. now.

***

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May 6, 2018

a trip to the zoo (and Disclaimer)

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***

through the zoo.
wheelchairs, strollers, phones;
pedestrians, families, staff on phones;
everyone on phones, capturing
videos of things not on their phones:
glass, zebra, giraffe, fish, primates, et al.
interesting, i think about
the monkeys the most, moving, trapped…
do they want to be here?
do i want to be here?
watching them?
do they want to be on that person’s Facebook
or Instagram, do they like likes as well?
i don’t know.
i am gentleman animal, a zoo apart.
i know that in crowds tho,
i can’t get by
or go away easily with the stroller i push.
always: risk assessment.
please, human, i don’t want to be trampled.
i suppose our flaws define our paranoia, uselessly.
#dadlife, right now.
our animal minds change for our progeny.
food, housing, money, college, college debt, mortgage, retire.
that’s why the monkey shares its food.
it knows better to have a credit card.
why the monkey doesn’t kill it, rather starve to protect.
why the monkey… well, it’s there.
in buildings smelling of hot dogs and donkey shit.
we toil hard through the weekend days in the sun.
the tiger grazes.
the lioness croons, then culls a mate.
people care about how they look virtually, online.
in lines they wait for cotton candy, t-shirts or popcorn.
i am down at the zoo, down-gazing.
i want to get out to the field.
applying sunscreen, getting hungry.
time to walk out to freedom.
and i do.
but i feel bad for those
left there when it’s dark: the sloth and the mouse.
i guess i am not sure entirely
but someone with us left a donation at the door.
now’s you turn to do the same.

May 5, 2018

The American Underdog

The underdog is the
all-American hero.
They have no chance,
no hope to win, everything
against them. But with
astonishing effort and self-belief
they make the impossible possible.
It’s a beautiful thing.
The American Underdog inspires.

April 27, 2018

3A then up como to st albany

… the 3A stop then
over washington i float
from under
a bridge, light rail
lights spark ultraviolet purple.
winding away from it all.
Mississippi spiral java white foam below.
crackle, hum, bump, buzz. thump.
transit lines like veins spreading to midway limbs.
i head away to daycare near a lake.
crowds by the fair grounds, police waving traffic.
to a stray dog in a parking lot,
sniffing at trash, people with odd stares.
maybe not stray, wears a collar.
calling to say i made it, where are you?
we are talking of Oswald and weather,
“…they said it was supposed
to rain today, but it’s clear
over here.” Yeah, there’s a cloud
over my head, no melancholy intended.

i always say i am starving.
it’s a good way to lose weight to stay in shape.
phone to my face. that dog barked.
i jumped, embarrassment, scaredy cat.
i walked to the back entryway door.
opened it. read the letters stuck with tape.
smelled of diapers and lotion and food.
a church now a school, then dark, very.
same thing. same thing. same thing.
then we all met and left.
in the shadow at that stop back there.
before i left i thought:
i take the 3A now, not the light rail.

April 4, 2018

shells of us

judging a book’s cover, imagine my face imaging.
infinite sides to a story, to a story’s story, but i know.
my flesh tells a tale, probably, as yours does too.
drawn in the blood of i forget them, never met, who cares i guess.
Passover at Easter, some pink ham in me again, belching.
nothing like anything. nothing like i just exist.
broken short nails, overgrown cuticles and shining bald spots.
adult acne keeps me younger than you might think i am.
alphabet soup of words keeps me sane.
reflections of thin air, in thin air scares, wisps.
clowns were in that movie of course, dark rooms, found footage.
still, i see apostles for anything relevant: novel sorts.
new, spring, green, now, on top of the every-thing, any-thing that is
trending hashtag section of their Twitter feeds.
until tomorrow’s Godzilla prowls painting a new-thing to hate,
until the next big no-thing, the next day.
then you do what they say, like clockwork spinning good, wait.
and you want to be different, unique.
then you tell them how much you can relate.
i guess they covered this on the cover. forget this poem.

March 31, 2018

When I Commute from Hamline/Midway in St Paul to the East Bank of Minneapolis at 7:20 in the Morning and back at 5:15 in the Evening, it’s a very personal experience that I will share with you because you are part of it too and everything and you should know

outside, on the street, other drivers can’t drive.
i mean they drive, but badly.
going on University Avenue to CVM by Surly
i realize this frequently, daily, to my surprise…
i want to see all my surroundings at once,
close captioned, in HD, real-time,
over 280, let me explain.
people choose not to use their turn signals,
they choose to not stay in their own lane,
they find illegal parking on the side by Dunn Bros…
when we pay taxes we pay for both sides of the road, i get it.
at West Gate Station, get ready to abruptly stop, always.
Get ready to get looked at hard, in a not nice fashion.
there is no open road freedom.
further, pedestrians look at crosswalks like patrons look at art at the MIA.
here, nothing special to see, white lines, no meaning apparently; awe-inspiring.
i am stuck in Frogger, these are the frogs, i am the cars.
try me, run for the train.
when i sit shotgun i am a shackled dictator repeating:
slow down, babe!
watch out, babe!
OMG, don’t tailgate, please, i know this person loves
causing accidents…its probably
an insurance scam waiting to happen…
see those dent’s, i can tell they are texting and driving 3 cars away.
what a nice person, what a great driver, i substitute curse words.
i like to think about things like that, and potholes.
they make the moon landing less believable, these craters on earth.
both cities, just please fix the fucking roads.
this is in my head i never say it.
only more cordially or through art…
i don’t care about politics because they just talk.
just make it so i can get to somewhere without destroying my vehicle,
at least when i am in the beautiful city of, i am between.
if i wanted to off-road most days i would go to the farm.
still i am offered excuses, told how hard it is, all at once, patience.
as an adult who pays taxes, officially, and who drives a leased Subaru
i can appreciate the idea of better infrastructure
for logical reasons like having nice things, if you can’t agree
that’s not for me…
but again, outside, other drivers can’t drive.
and, now, the construction site that took away our child’s daycare
to make cheaply built expensive high-rise condos
also takes away the single lane
after they took away the double lane a few weeks back.
and i got no condolences, i make nothing off it only lost time.
it’s hard to apologize for wanting better roads
and better drivers on those roads, and people to get off
their phones, and for some dangerous bikers to be careful, to choose a side.
i guess for a safer and better life for all, a better community…
that’s initiative today, just complain about it.
i can’t recall the last time
i didn’t pay for insurance, tabs, plates, gas,
parking, repairs, oil changes, general maintenance, deductibles for insurance
after hitting a twilight rodent; that’s just life tho, my choice, i know.
but other drives, O, it’s so hard to understand them!
and they breeze by and scowl like i have a problem!
(probably it’s me too, we are all to blame.)
and they act like they have never wronged or sinned or failed,
or mistakes don’t happen to them, ever. i think we know better.
that’s America though; we never do wrong. they do, right?
we are all Gentlemen Animals, no different. human animals.
covering so that the Thought Police don’t get to us at some point.
but the Thought Police are Facebook and Twitter and WordPress and GMail…
but other drivers out there, please drive safe you add value.
i don’t know, i love you because unless i am eating
i talk, so i would make a bad spy… and you are great.
i don’t know, i like the view to curtail this complaint or Ode,
it’s beautiful, i race trains and buses and
the sun’s glare from St Paul in the east. i see all people,
and i love them, even as drivers, commuters, they are part of my day and me.
it’s a perfect way to get to where you need to go.
it’s a perfect way to be a part of it.

March 18, 2018

Mainstream Minded

perhaps, those off-minded thoughts
to not think like a herb of cattle
while tying shoes just right,
loading cars in tight,
catching trains on time;
daycare money, 40 hours,
to the weekend, to my life,
where those minds don’t exist, perhaps?
are they just wrong?
are they unpopular? YES. What’s left?
talking words–mind your words closely.
freedom of speech and fear of it.
paying many the bills
paying large the rent; too high.
barely a sinking ship just sinking, again, and again, over.
paying it forward always.
the sun sets and comes up again, my friend.
i worry about my worries, no time for any cares.
i don’t trust the news. or what it says.
i eat when i can if i can eat when i can eat, if i can.
same for the bathroom mostly.
but worry about your likes.
worry about your likeness and who like its.
appearing like others appearing like others.
your movement won’t fix your debt.
your movement won’t pay your rent.
and my union offers me credit cards now
because credit scores say you like to pay interest.
so where do my payments go to anyway?
and where is that interest anyway?
will i get parental leave soon, as a human person?
and i can’t afford to pay my master’s for life.
the lender is that person for everyone.
you see where i am going?
and they use you too, so go get a sign and yell about it.
and they tell you how to think about it.
but don’t say it too loudly.
i still have to catch the bus.
don’t hold your head high, they may not like that pose.
just be and stew and chopped liver.

March 9, 2018

north woods and north shore

i’d like to escape
north woods, northshore
past Duluth, past the ships,
the mini sea
comes into view, comes to mind.
all past-life in the rearview.
empty agendas found blank,
just wake lapping at the shores
where red rocks are shone.
through arched tunnels, further,
Two Harbors, Castle Danger.
a million years in a minute gone by.
how did it happen?
i’d like to escape like lava from crust
to create this Superior lake,
this setting. read it in books as a kid.
the Edmund Fitzgerald and 28.5 barometric pressure.
time’s i can’t take city’s measure.
but these thoughts save me mostly.
nothing but canary lines on the highway: open road.
would go to Lutsen, dad would, drink Hot 100 in a Jacuzzi.
he’s gone too. long gone.
would show the earth’s curve to
flat-earthers to prove them,
as we ate Betty’s pies, or famous pizza,
all the way to Grand Marais.
i don’t know. maybe go
along the snaking Gunflint Trail
to where the road ends, way up there, and
think about finding that square rock
which came into view like some ancient monster on
Lake Sag, i don’t know. Ghosts bobbing in white caps.
still looms in my head when i think
about catching bass or time to put my feet up,
or about my father and what he
would be doing now. i’d escape.
i’d find it. and why not?

March 5, 2018

neighborhood mission creep

fix the world for it,
but cannot mend the potholes in
this very neighborhood.

February 24, 2018

a million pieces in my head from the 1990s, in summer and winter and with my family

one time, in wintertime,
my dad flew his ultralight plane
to about a 1,000 feet above La Crescent.
he was over blue lake at the time,
at which point
he dropped an old bowling ball,
straight down from the blue heavens.
it hit mature ice and shattered
into a million splintered jet-black diamonds.
its inception played out in reverse on mute.
in summertime, over Wildcat Landing he did the
same stunt with a Santa and a parachute.
i wonder about physics and propellers.
i wonder about moments and momentum.
i suppose he was creating novle myth here locally,
reprising antiqued beliefs,
taking awesome to new inspiring heights.
and now the dust settles on one-of-a-kind.
i suppose, or not. i don’t know.
i guess i sometimes remember these things
and wonder where those new inconoclasts reside.
too many sycophants to being glib modern Spectacle.
maybe he was just raising hell in the 90s,
being like he wanted to be, naturally,
high up in the wind, free.
no politics had a hand in it.
no opinions that were unreal.