Archive for ‘Midwest’

May 6, 2018

a trip to the zoo (and Disclaimer)

Disclaimer: I DO NOT make money off of the advertisements you see on my WordPress page. I find them rather annoying and ridiculous.  Perhaps, WordPress makes money off of these advertisements and charges $30 to have them removed.  Weirdly, I create the art on this website and they make the money off of that art. 

Accordingly, the poetry I share with you here is free. I make nothing off of my writing in or on this poetry blog. Here is where you come in! If you read and enjoy my poetry, or any of my writings, please take the time to donate and contribute to the art that you enjoy.  It helps make my unique poetry free to all.  paypal.me/TSNiebeling

***

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.

Advertisements
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 8, 2018

we all know nothing except for that

dusted shades cut the coming light like warm butter,
at the inside hard wooden floor
shadows of imagined exotic and warm,
where rental plants went fastly and
turned terminal in our Saturday’s hue,
in the camera slant, above the golden lamp…
did that rhyme enough for you?
i think i am worried about space debris.
i feel it again, undiscern…
and question everything as everything should be, like:
where are the lunar rovers on earth’s cameras, now?
where are the gods in tragedies, how could they allow?
where are the other sides being told under microscopes amid ads?
deep reflection then a Snapchat to friends
and family who i wish were closer in outer space
and inside with me because of the cold
outside, that is here in April…
what do we call it again… what do we say today… ?
i think they changed it from global warming
to climate change yesterday in below average temps, to
work with our subjective weather model,
so the Narrative can stay the same when it bleeps on the network.
by the negative assertions and constant commercials…
that is why i love modern literary criticism
and the scientific method.
i know nothing, as we all do and i know that.
but you might need this pill to smile.
perhaps something is wrong with you and you can’t tell yet.

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?

February 17, 2018

375

cold, and the famous old man statue
conjures me with a grimace of polished rust.
walking the circle on St Paul campus, I see
naked trees, they are hung up with rope;
scholars going somewhere on them to the the sunshine.
just above the snow and ice and frost and knots.
cutting my buzzed sheen head, skimming my glance.
a glare off the white. constant this time, lunch…
and we just spoke softly of bugs and his Vietnam
and Hodson in letters, inquests, and ways to
go about taking care of others’ dogs.
and making dog food and fixing end boards.
cold, there, cold outside. had a coffee too.
just walking around the circle, such is life.

February 13, 2018

un-stir-crazy

layering is my relevant exercise
in wintertime around these parts,
try to stay un-stir-crazy.

February 3, 2018

Cub on Larpenteur yesterday

the Cub on Larpenteur
let me know
what i never wanted to do again…
allow myself to be treated low.
i never wanted to do that in the first place.
had to to pay the rent at first tho.
still that fear that lives in my head.
still there is a future out there.
thoughts: maps, directions: how did i get here?
he was an old man beyond driving wind, pushing carts.
no reprieve, no help–he told it all to some kid walking in.
– wonder how he got there?
i will go some other way, away.
surprises, changes, alterations, non-linear.
he told his colleague. up close. personal.
this was him and not him and this was him.
i don’t want that path, i don’t want that.
kaleidoscope of me spinning, no peace.
i walked past to chicken, beer, whiskey, a cashier, etc.
could not see a wedding band on his hardened hands.
wasn’t sure if he was wearing gloves.
at the ground, at the lot, at the cars…
highwaters, dark, wet, soaked, dried, stained; do it again next day.
does anyone have to have pain?
didn’t matter, let me know.
didn’t matter, let me know. let me go.
didn’t matter, no one saw this but me i guess.
six years ago, i did six years, i figured.
i bought my things and carried on, had to go, goodbye.
i think this old-timer stayed. not sure why.
i guess we all gotta eat.

January 21, 2018

as your lovely boat is sinking on the horizon, it’s all being caught on camera for everyone else to review later as they eat

your dinghy is sinking
slowly,
five tens and twenties–no worries
a tube is distracting
asking you
to invest in triangle shirts
and help a flooded mass institution prosper,
their sharks spin wild
blood in these gray waters,
coming for you, now, every day rising, surfacing:
account negative and sinking
no life jackets, no reprieve,
no stopping these silent, faceless monsters, as
your enemies await at their beach house afar
funded by you,
filming the metaphor of your financial demise,
to later monetize it on YouTube..
open that periscope,
your actual debt death sells,
asking you to buy into it.
all problems are yours but your own.
telling these pills will cure your buyers remorse more later.
now, now, now, now, now, got to have it.
look the same, talk the same, feel the same or shame.
you need that new thing, Jack.
like that life jacket voided yesterday, today, tomorrow again.
oh, it will happen, that water will come up edging.
those teeth will close fast and faster.
stomach twisting.
theirs need to be filled.
but carry those signs which do not signal you for better,
and shout language that does not tell your story true.
the more in the water, the greater the feast.
and show that you do care
because they don’t when they eat.