Archive for ‘art’

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 12, 2017

the logic of selling books at a public library

i never got it
while tutoring at hamline/midway
the evening crew
would ready the chairs
get the event set up
and talk
and put cookies out
and put coffee out
and the sun would drain away
in the winter void
and people would come in
and wait and watch
like stand men or trees
and listen
and i would read books with my student
at a round table with a sign
and talk words
and say this and that
and this is what that means
and i would get done
and bundle up for the walk down Minnehaha Ave W
to my warm home and wife and son
and wonder to myself
how could a person
possibly sell a book at a public library
full of books
that any person
could check out for free
with proof of residency
or a driver’s license,
a piece of mail with your address on it.
and that is why i love libraries
on negative 30 degree ice
walking home in wet boots
thinking wow, the sales poets are very bold
or just not that smart
or just i don’t know.
it’s not bad,
i don’t care,
it’s just interesting…

July 10, 2017

saint paul / perfect evening

no stir in the hot trees
a confetti kite hung resting strung
a wave from a man in a yard
plotting with his finger and his wife
not spilling coffee ice &
milk at 8 O’clock PM at night
on a monday night, outside– just,
then back on 3 wheels, he reels,
up Hamline, let’s turn
off Van Buren by Jon’s–get a cut,
laundry dripping water from AC, lucky…
i want to teach again
i want to volunteer and tutor
up at Hamline/Midway
watch poets try to sell books in a library
like watching god sell souls to the devil;
there is something ironic here
and there is something secular here…
mistaking the beans for leaves
Diane is outside watering plants
in her night gown
eating ice cream on a stick,
talking about the green beans we got her
from the farmer’s market last weekend,
garden hose in hand
batting mosquitoes–yuck! shes says…
the cat slips out and nothing happens…
Jana from Breaking The News sees my point…
i water some of my tomatoes too
what a night, nothing better
tweet about how you should walk outside NOW
in Saint Paul somewhere MN outdoors
like canoes chained to trees in Stillwater
up Manning then a right on Nolan then…
waiting for a drink
waiting for a lock pick and key
waiting for this walk again
and the trees stood still
same kite same in the same tree still
we got another year here;
the ink will never dry cause it never was

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 2, 2017

tour de la crescent

on borrowed bikes we rode
up and down quiet vacant streets
where we went and where we stayed
we had yet to decide.

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 21, 2017

my schedule.

Sometimes they tell me to not take the train
because of scheduled preventative maintenance.  
So there is a bus, the number 3.  That is OK.  I can deal.  
I’ll have to walk a bit on Lexington.  Anyway, sometimes I read
while on the usual train in the morning,
while sitting next to naked monks speaking in tongues
while fresh girls get out of their seats
and move to the door for fear he might find them evil
or something like snakes to crush.
White spittle crazy in the corner of his lips.  
Then I go to the back of the train too–to get away
and watch reflections on plastic or the sky above
or building’s tops and tree lines.  
Sometimes.  Sometimes we make loud abrupt stops.  
Sometimes I get nauseated and ride the train backwards
on accident or lack of space.  
My mom tells me she might get seasick.  
The green line is great if you like gentrification
that causes rent that makes rental refrigerators empty
and arguments to flare up in summer heat with no AC
like mosquitoes on naked arms near still lakes.  
I don’t care though.  But then I do.
I love the way I get to where I am going.  
Now on the number 3 it will take a bit longer…
It takes me 20 minutes and a few pages to turn.
From there I will have to walk longer in the heat.  
I get some knowledge from my book.
I carry it under my arm and bang my wallet with it–check.
It’s all in my hand, information.
It’s mostly tax free and friendly
and I don’t have to make friends.  
But sometimes it gets canceled
and I realize that it means more to me than most things
because it is so easy (and when it’s not there…)
and it is so convenient
and everyone talks about it
and tells you how great it is
and wishes they could live in a big city
because all these things are close
and nice and expensive and very cool.
But tomorrow I can’t take the train to my regular station.
Probably get a ride and talk about my schedule.

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.

June 7, 2017

no ode / summer cold

oh man, you have problems,
i look in the mirror:
when your
sore tender nose
is running
sluicing, flowing, going
but you can’t blow
your throbbing nose,
i do really hate you
summer cold.
it runs down my face
to my lip,
to me, leaking somewhereselse..
like me wanting to be.

May 21, 2017

auspicious believers (so i cant. so i wont.)

we can never know or understand relateable language no matter the familiarity in whatever function we choose to fancy.  interpretations involve smells and times and deaths and climes and thoughts that no longer exist; bygone dusts could tell better stories, persuade better truths.

i reach for douglass and derrida, and they ask me not to in their words, but i don’t know or understand the meaning.  they say our nostrils could not handle the 1800s and we use words from that season in ways we couldnt image.

tell me its wrong young scholar, fad intellectualists, your precise wisdom is your precise debt.  trapped in a box.  chained.  shackled.  nailed in.  it won’t be the last time.  mind askewed biased abused.  never knowing language; i teach it too.  want to understand study the single meaning for a life and pull it out timid.

i beg you to caution your wits safety.  close and zip your loose lips.  stick a sock in it, save those ships.  there is no exact exactly.  here is a free lesson.  don’t get me started on labels.  sad fools pretend to command it just as you see and read.  ask them about affect or effect, their there theyre, its and its.  sound familiar?

its not, never will be, never has been, never was.  concomitant, concocted, intermingled, fluid, assumptions that others have brains.  and they work well.  when they spin wheels in voids tending to spires metals and idols just past their eyes, telling you what you are with these same words so sure they arent wrong.  try not to laugh.  so right, believe.

so i cant.  so i wont.  every single word.