Archive for ‘american thought’

September 9, 2017

logically you are not even if you say you are on account of your actions and that language’s histories

i wonder if when I,
poets, activists, or protesters
disparage Western concepts, culture, constructs,
in their precious american English
they realize that they are
wading in the deep waters of
conflicted ideology.
(i am not defending or attacking it, just a thought.)
i wonder if they realize how careless they potentially look.
(tho it could be misread or misinterpreted, easily.)
the language of the Oppressor
suites well for an offensive, good thought… Lorde’s

master’s house with master’s tools (as explained):
same with antifa violence–end’s means,
or narrow-mindedness politics, not for me.
some things are only those things in name.
i want actual world peace.
i literally want equality.
i have begged for equal parental leave rights for fathers.
(and sometimes i just want coffee or beer.)
i can’t care though in a world of apathy towards definitions;
maybe you can see what i look like through texts.
there must be a proper algorithm for that.
i write in it,
i teach in it,
i think inside my head in it,
how do you do in it?
language is that prevalent, do you think in second languages?
probably told something
about how i am in it by someone i don’t “know” in it.
but i must re-reflect in it, hypocritically.
do i wear cotton clothing?
most likely my parents did, and their grandparents did…
that crop we should truly burn for its despicable history.
who is this building i live in named after?

Occam’s razor a bit more and start removing those bricks too.
every pattern is another pattern resembled: what did it mean, again, then?
that lovely beach you go to, named for?
he must have friendly-fired at some point, making it somewhat ok.
did the Viking‘s not sack Dublin perhaps
raping and killing and plundering that Emerald Isle?
something about my favorite football team that doesn’t win…
the homeless may sleep for free in that structure’s shadow, cold tho.
i can’t recall because i wasn’t there
but these poets, activists, and protesters,
perhaps, they are backwards really–me too,
with language rooted in vile pasts they (and i) despise,
so fluid its will can change fast daily
just to make some poignant moral point work out for a new sign;
like media statisticians, i can make numbers speak too.
get them to sing like a well-oiled machine at church.
a few words in print, alas, but my Narrative… shit.
i can speak another language.
i have visited new and different lands.
i will never stop reading or changing my mind on anything and everything.
perhaps, if you are a globalist who has
never left the States and who only speaks
one language, mother tongue, how good are your big ideas?
practicing and preaching are two different things.
no big deal though, just saying, reflecting.
so how would you like to say what you think now?

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July 30, 2017

cheap breakfast (over a hot stove in quiet peace frogtown usa, why for fruit and eggs and butter and spice and time and memory)

my morning of foreign language speak spoke
wrapped with a stale beer-feel haze
and cut fruit–tomato, bad reviews, and 2 fried eggs
and contrived paddlewheels
at St Paul later; i am meeting to mend broken pinion gears
for inconsequential yard work
and forget the past
which does not affect us,
so remember not to forget.
with fork turned knife, i cut the
fragile membrane and watched it ooze and
sluice yellow the barebones plate: perfect presentation,
where is Gordon Ramsey when you need him? fuck.
if only for toast–
but they say processed carbs are so bad
with guesswork lexicons,
and so is not just agreeing with…
but dont talk those politics out loud in public,
they could hurt your morning stomach,
could hurt your local pride,
could hurt you like if you were that red fruit right there
unresponsive, go letting out,
about to be devoured by something much bigger
than you could ever truly imagine
and only for cheap breakfast
next to lowly coffee more precious.

July 23, 2017

if monsters could leave the city

oh tru morning between aging cof
fee and covfefe and chuck dick,
one resignation away from a full deck,
and the meeting the Washington press
people who are good actors–
i mean really fucking good actors,
for saying things like fair and
balanced like a fat thumb on
the honest scale but it doesnt matter.
not like the gamma rays cutting,
not like a baby bouncing new teeth
through the clouds haloing above
the old trees and cut grass: lawn boy:
a broken pinion and the late sunday paper.
more gas on the ground than in it,
more save the world than wtf? locally
heard a domestic disturbance yesterday,
saw someone stealing a mainstreet car.
i suppose if i dont shave
the people who i teach in China wont care
probably wont notice beyond my American smile…
coffee again, father john misty again;
i like the art on the vinyl.
car parked in our odd garage.
monday take out our hot garbage.
so many movements to make,
only got to make movements.
i want to take the time to watch the snake
eat itself slowly as they say bye bye Betsy–
to hear her say she wont have it,
and i think what does
she think of party-made monster,
probably should get through Frankenstein,
probably should hideout somewhere.
or like a scapegoat leave the country.
if monsters could leave the city.

July 15, 2017

the black hole of the nextdoor app where they tell stories on social media and everyone really cares

someone on the nextdoor app
had a bad encounter with authority and expounded,
like that has never happened before…
we both live in St Paul, near Falcon Heights…
like anyone cares IRL…

July 9, 2017

how to talk poetry at lake como and there is free stuff on the corner that is treasure and local poets on international ideas and non-profits in the sun on a saturday reflection

we walked Como lake in the sun
at 3, 4, and 5 pm as others ran the circle proper.
i found a wife and a child very happy,
found ice cream and Miller Lite and monarchs floating.
descried a man and a woman stealing caterpillars
from milkweeds near black walnut trees,
recalled that caterpillars arent stupid–get free.
take the insect out of its habitat for safety
lock it up and observe it–for the better, really?
doesn’t make sense to us thinkers.
a couple of canoes reflected off the water
shimmering like a solar eclipses bright, tinfoil cut up.
found blisters on my moccasined feet
found a green Kelty and Boy Scouts of America.
topics of 1995: how to be a U.S. Citizen.
not much has changed much really…
thoughts of running into Tish Jones with another “writer”
a few weeks back, spoke of connected poetry.
i dont think she remembers my name from the
poetry workshop we had together at University.
told me she is international non-profit now
i didnt say what i do… she met teddy and jess.
red bugs and phosphorescent bugs and stabby thorns
and rocks and dog shit and strollers and runners, again.
thoughts of a broken garbage disposal at home
and the fire alarm that fell from the ceiling sky.
cellphone photos in the sun and an empty beer can in hand,
the tallest thickest cotton wood in the city, in this park.
a dockside where people fish in weeded muck
and walk around naked and hot and confused and hungry.
said focusing on everything is focusing on nothing.
trash cans and stone walls and people coming.
the time is late and our child cries for milk.
a parking lot where inordinate occupants move.
pine trees and green grass past Gabe’s patio.
the owner’s car is always parked in front, shining.
found two Colemans in a trash heap of a vacant house
on our tiny and nice street in a good area with good transit.
the rent is ok, the property management is aloof;
this is some american-dream-privilege-fantasy void.
one hundred percent labeled by those who “know”.
i compare indentured servitude and renting property for a moment.
then again, wonder if the neighbors are trying to sell…
it’s a good time to try to make a buck from nothing,
look at this poetry and how it goes and ideas,
especially in this market where easy sells fast
with the right persuasion and movement behind it.
only a walk in the park on a beautiful day.
i promised to be positive from now on
and still i invite the challenge of it all.

July 1, 2017

rabbit in my heads

i followed a little grey
rabbit as it
leapt at the outside
window low while

hanging my curtain
readying the act
talking to China
as they talk back, my show.

i watched the tree
tied for its stiff branches
noticed leaves
all around on the ground, thinking…

going upstairs two dogs lay
startled and wait,
and startled again and came
at me to the gates.

above at the coffee pot hot
readied the night before,
here, much surprise
take it just black, i take it back.

tho my woman startled as
i left the bed
thinking i was child
and i was not, she said.

again but out the high window
a rabbit, same one, came
leapt on red bricks
of a neighbor’s drive.

ere we came to a locked door evening
the green grass straight
mosquito birds and
they wanted us to join,

told them “no, maybe… thanks”
broke the new fence
went around to a
La Crescent unlocked door

and here i stand, mug, ready to teach
watching a rabbit go about
thinking like us all too
it must eat breakfast.

June 25, 2017

i notice and i think you should too

i will tell you, if you want to be unique,
differently skewed and
especially noticed or adulated where you are,
dont be a poet.
coffee and beer are my fuel during this grey day;
opposites like that do attract, like defined words and me.
(Sunday morning coming down,
wrote this yesterday while
teaching students how to speak Midwestern English in other countries (plural).
i could say i am international by now, wont.)
(anyway) to get noticed, get a real job,
work very hard every day, and
mind your own personal business
in this capitalistic venture,
otherwise known as your broken dream land,
otherwise known as real life.
dont take photos to share on social media;
nor add filters for likes, #NoFilters.
nor wear a bunch of makeup
to make up for your flawed human makeup.
nah, you needn’t do that.
just be, thats really real and really noticed.
people think you got a problem then.
tell them to unplug and not scroll.
my breath applauds me, my feel stings as truth alone.
that would be unique in a world where going viral on CNN Breaking BS
or standing on 94 W or E rebelling pointedly,
maybe cutting off ambulance service to someones grandmas dilemma,
like the rest of the thoughtful group
over 12 peers turned to one loathsome local department,
under adjectives: fascist, systematic, murderers et al.,
is considered some sort of special star sticker and truly esoteric
and great advocacy and activism novel, true, poignant, necessary.
but i understand sort of, well i do…
it seems too obvious and you know it…
you do.
products of media brought to you by you and look at those pricey ads.
so go ahead and think,
how can i not be like them, working for someone who doesnt pay me,
the others that do the same thing (as others)
that i do, yet with more good friends
with more important memberships
with heavy solicitations–sell my books, ever heard of pulp?
pulping happens.
with more performances at more trendy publishing houses
at more hipster coffeehouses.
i also wrote a poem today that wont get noticed.
like everyone else(s).
it is bigger than pale generalizations.
more complex than a Saltine cracker
and its box–squarely.
you know, i wont put some same sign in my shitty yard
for people to like.
for i dread mowing and wont water for more work.
the neighbors enjoy my company already, go ask.
there isnt enough space on it already too,
to say what i want to say, with open meaning,
and it wont make the community feel better anyway
because no group backs it, i havent donated to prove i believe,
and because it would say: each individual should do better
themselves as a unique individual, individualists themselves.
because if it were that easy to fix the neighborhood, with signs,
then everyone would be doing it…
and if the doorhandle opens the door i won’t fix it either.
even if i kick the door in and the handle is still on it,
then probably the doorhandle still works.
like poetry–it doesnt take much really.
getting noticed though…
so i dont know what else to write,
that’s true or fiction or thought.
besides: nothing special here, just i notice(d)
and i think you should too.

June 19, 2017

dads day

i didnt really get to say much about my dad
on father’s day, but he was a good person.  
biggest funeral la crescent will ever see.
that is with me.  now after 3 years underground
many conversations removed
the same inscrutable believings of what he would have wanted
and everyone trying to get over on that too.
its hard to give reason, excuses or meaning to.  
things, they: just happens.  are how it is.  …and people die.  
yeap, and then i sit here thinking hard
and envision my everything vanish quickly;
was naked in a motel room hungover watching tv getting calls
and i become him for two seconds
hoping that some evil stepparent wouldnt take everything.  
no surprise, it costs currency to see me now;
i am a reborn materialist because
a lots been taken, lost.  it takes unhinged
strength to drive up past grandmas house
and see strangers for the caretakers of where i grew up
unknowing of the past ills and hollowed dust.  
sort of like mine once, how to usurp everything.
the saint-gaudens eagle, the burnt will, the rent to feed mouths.
it makes me soft like nursing homes and very bad news.  
thats why i don’t say much about it anymore.
maybe some day i might change my mind.
maybe some day it wont matter.
maybe some day, anyway.

May 27, 2017

morning sun, knowing it’s god in ways that we don’t

morning sun apart,
i apart the sun cutting the shade
cutting the street cutting the car cutting my eyes.
birds standing dandelions pulling worms
like i do zippers in the northern cold.
the used car lot neighbors crowded the street again
like modern protests,
disrupting a conscious flow
though lacking the initiative as most–
there is no justice to be given back here on the boulevard
and not peace. take history for example…
i see no change in the human condition.
tho that’s me.
it was there before they came as most
they just didn’t see it,
not until it was stirred cause bright schisms
for their eyes to take. redoubled.
i only have a problem when it’s before me
usually i remain silent and wait for it.
still wanting what’s replevin them.
no getting it, they are no robin at the soil.
i am no robin at the soil elsewise.
no glare to morning eyes.
no standing stem to be lopped at rusted blade,
and the mower will start.
a hundred years old, my dad fixed it before he died,
that is how fucking trusty it is.
arcature of the gods–nay, with purpose.
sun reclaiming its take, no problem.
it doesn’t believe in science to be a spinning orb
in blackness of space
to heat up something it does not know, earth,
and does not care to
and we can call it what we want for naught
because it’s still there and we are proud.
that glare and those cars.
never moving. why should i? never knowing
something impossible, keep asking for it.

April 5, 2017

social sensitivities

here i see social sensitivities
so let’s stretch
his hands out and ride the 16
to the 67 to wind in the face and more wait…

or really cry about
something that won’t happen, ever.
like justices being served in prison terms;
like i won a million dollars.
and the crux of the biscuit is:

we know jason isbell personally,
sort of through someone else, a best friend,
through someone else, a wife,
through someone else, a bandmate
and probably not.

Bourdain said it right tho…
right there on the tv
with Bill Murray over Budweiser
or whisky or wine or food or jagermeister…

all because of a tee shirt
all because of a wet cough

and some sort of talk about needed monies.
but that’s truly a redundancy.

seeing pretty houses and i might buy mine own
all from the comfort of this overpriced rental,
on my living room couch,
just sitting next to you.