Archive for ‘human’

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 12, 2017

basement vinyl reflection

there is no need to worry
my passwords are foreign languages
the spider webs cocoon me and beams
old light and new light dance just there
a records spins and pictures stand
miserable hours ago though
there is no need to worry exactly
florescence from below, flowers grow
be bold, be bold, be own, old soul.
be alone, confluence with those.
just here skin and bones, skin and bones–all those
acting like they know but they dont
acting, just do it for the show, tho–
there is no need to worry
there is no need to hurry
and then i think about it some more
begin to sweat, begin to whittle
my fragile courage into tooth picks
sitting in a creaky chair and staring
on the floor at my feet in the dust
and the record spins and goes
more of me gone trying to find it too

May 16, 2017

fresh breath of water

here are words and thoughts.
here are posts and talks.
where we go and where
we dont… rather not say.
rain falls through windows
sideways, kissing a leaden sill.
the broken internet is dead,
that means my castle is down.
ok google, make me rich.
ok google, grant this wish.
ok google, play jazz.
see, that one works–soundtrack to my life.
one works and works and works.
and one really doesnt.
they dont like the prospects, every option.
probably not a pension in protest.
and me too, many things are hard.
i am worried about all these poets
with all their problems–no odes,
saying all of the same things
begging for different, acting as fact similes.
we are and we arent the same and writers.
stand up comedy was much easier, welcoming;
comics want the same thing, yes: a laugh,
and they get it in different ways, yes. that.
i am just wondering, worried.
will be home to teach English in China.
will be home after learning them to read.
will be home some day when i get one,
now i must buy a box–be sure.
a million different reasons
to not be the same, to create change–but talk,
but friends and donations and money
might dictate that. the focus. the appearance.
no one wants to hear about
what i look likes problems.
there are bigger and more unjustices,
there are impossibles that simply must.
i trust that it will smoothly be
ironed out over time by talking heads.
and they keep praying. and stay awokened.
tell me to believe, hard to do now.
i cite science, but i respect all religions;
that is not a dichotomy, that is reality.
i am just looking for my free lunch,
and my wife and my sons, and everyone else’s too,
an ad hoc lottery ticket: to win,
and some time to find some time.
when i do i promise to buy you something…
no one knows though,
and our roof disappears in July,
as the money did for my emergency health.
all in the same fish bowl
trying to find the fresh water and good shade
and not get called out for it.
buying the cheapest beer,
hardly eating anything at all.
enjoying what i did in the past more and more.
man, i was living the dream then and now.
and that is how i got here, you too. 🙂

May 13, 2017

he died doing what he loved

the day before my dad died
my grandma told me to call him,
she handed me the phone and i dialed.
he answered and asked me to visit him in Lanesboro.
per usual, of course i couldnt,
i was busy marrying my cousin
and her new husband,
i was to fish brook trout and hunt morel
at an expansive farm in Highland, MN.
he told me about how midget strippers
were from that area
and he told me he could fly me in a plane
back to the Cities on Sunday. and he could truly.
but i get sick on planes, ex: my whole life.
i would tell him that so he didnt feel bad.
i laughed, so did grandma–a-mid-dementia.
now the cat barfs on the windowsill in St Paul
and i cant move to clean it.
you read, he told me this story.
that was the last i knew of his soul.
now i want an old motorcycle and three kids,
i want a lot of land in the countryside
and to own my own business, sort of like him.
i want to tell rude stories and make people laugh.
all around me is this fabric to weave,
even that old dreaded piece of a phone call
i hide because it worries and bothers
and turns me 4 years younger, less jaded and
more naive. i see him leaving every day is a possibility.
i just wonder when he will come back.
and some believe in ghosts and gods and scripture,
i havent seen much in the way of poltergeists or apparitions;
the afterlife exists now in tongues and no more.
i only feel the ones i never knew
and could care less to just pass
and call my imagination gone astir
or drunken views taken in the timid darkness.
i heard he died doing what he loved a lot,
and when that happens they say it is good.

April 30, 2017

new motivation: no reprieve, no peace

they say fix one problem at a time
and then you reach the base of a mountain,
trying to stay warm and dry
and then it rains–why?,
you can see the dampness on the walk outside.
they tell you to get a real job,
get a second too, and still you are a slave
for land that you will never own
and always pay for on your own, drone…
and most of the poets i know talk about the
biggest problems/issues/talking points, ones that are truly
out of the imagination across the nation–seems
nice and unbelievable, only because
i have fought wars over paying rent
abused furniture because of college debt.
it was really nothing personal, but it follows your person.
as if just doing and getting focused is cake.
seems nice to be able to forget, to relate.
seems nice to be able to hesitate, wait…
doing that no more, the more chores.
rents in St Paul are like walking through closed steel doors.
and then you wake up in it.
decide, now. buy now. i want to hide now, some how.
all ashamed, all to blame, all made UP, games.
solve one of them at a time,
and the floodgates just opened,
flames in a paper factory surrounded by 40 gas stations,
and about a million dying suns,
and they start another protest.
they write another book that their editor/publisher friends like.
i am just hoping the tomatoes don’t die
in the backyard cold–draped with ragged blankets
that might be food later,
and that another collection agency doesn’t call
i’ve tried to block them all…
all because i was sick
all because of insurance
all because of medical
all because of this.
i told my colleague a joke onetime about how if
the mafia came and broke your legs with baseball bats
you would have to deal with something worse
right after:
and that is the health care industry
of america. yeah. go fix that, you activists.
i pray that you never get sick, in a secular way.
one thing at a time, becoming an extra.
now please donate to my cause.

April 24, 2017

make your house your home

home sometimes means family.

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March 30, 2017

press on strong…

every day to the last,
and make that so.

March 24, 2017

my painting (even with tired eyes)

i woke up this morning
thought about
painting a painting,
put the colors in it,
gave it detail,
and so it was.
minor moves in maelstrom.
then i called it my own
and asked for a museum,
a place for it to
be put up in,
a place for it to call home.
eye of the storm, so settle in.
and then i woke up again.
and then i found my painting.
and then i found my museum.
to the leeward we form.
looking at the mirror
even with tired eyes.
thank you for this day.