Archive for ‘Midwest’

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 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 7, 2017

hands foot and mouth disease

… yeah, being a dad you see things,
saw hands foot and mouth disease again
from the other end, i say this now
but when i was 17 years-old i got it too:
sister taylor was an infant
she had it at the time and my hands turned
to blisters that couldnt pop with knives
feet turned to pins and needles and nettles
and things that couldnt pocked hot and roiled
something not nice at all
the doctor said, yeap hands foot and mouth
like yeap, i had HIV in 2007 and it was positive
and then it was false positive and gone
and my head is still living with the idea of dying
living with this is not a medical facility
living with the idea that labels changed me then
now my son has hands foot and mouth disease
like its a problem but i can relate
O’ you havent had it? you got it easy
and now he is teething to top it all off in twilight
i love sleep for not having it
i love having someone like me growing up
love is a beautiful thing
Plato said a grave disease of the mind
now look at my appendages

July 4, 2017

not popular enough

while you are out there living your life
just don’t kill me with your car
while you are texting and driving,
that’s all i ask.
(i am a husband and a father now…)
it’s hard to do to put down your phone, i know.
you swerving hard too, nbd.
that text is important like social media likes.
while i am out there too just don’t ask
me a thing about what i really think or care about
unless you can just agree
instead of proving me wrong
on something unproveable, because i really do.
i am triggered by dissent, as a self-identified never-wrongist.
because i get easily confused…
are you some sort of great god?
are you in the always-correct group?
are you my boss or the president or taxes too?
rather the sun ascends the west.
rather saunter New York City lost.
rather eat Texas Toast cold, raw.
this coffee tastes old like last week’s status update,
and coffee is not like wine.
salad dressing and pasta make a good cheap salad.
scroll the day away or stay awake.
find a new hobby app to find a new hobby to attack.
let the clothes pile up.
the chore list gets more amassed,
the opposite of my bank account.
never reline the trash cans with plastic sash.
shit happens but why me?
bike to a junk yard through a swamp in noonday sun.
around and past a brave frog standing.
tanktop sunburns, rooftop bars.
wondering which card to use to pay, a tip, how large?–sorry…
anyway, the extent of my road rage
is calling someone a fucking dummy
from the safety of inside of my car.
see me as i walk across the street
just remember to hide your phone.
no one would facebook live stream something like that
like finding another penny,
it won’t spark protest or make the front page.

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.

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 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 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.

May 17, 2017

reinventing the wheel

adulting is a non-stop everything, everywhere and always. no more mac-n-cheese naps with mommy and mr. rogers. keep the bathroom open. listen for the monitor. wake up early, that’s late. eat later, after the feeding. get used to it. dont try.
try not to complain. the heat will turn up. the cold will come. the furnace will die. never really had AC, so… the bills will grow higher in a pile until they start to call your phone from unknown numbers that look familiar. growing. like your gray hairs. like your thin patience. like your elongated nose and drooping ears. coffee stained teeth black holes between. like the grass when you let it go for 2 weeks. and still, humans turn to antique glass. fragile to the touch, sagging at the bottom, blemished for worth. thicker and distorted. probably gravity we blame. and the wheels will stop. and the wheels will fall off. kick them tho. be ready to get down and dirty and fix it, even if you aren’t a pro. that’s how it goes. a new something for you to find a new way to fix a new something. reinvent the wheel why don’t ya? –for gods sake. or try to imagine a time when and where things get much easier and you grow softly younger and everyone thinks positively the same, that they are happy too… and you can keep your wisdom at that.

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. 🙂