Archive for ‘Midwest’

October 21, 2017

52 south in minnesota and some thoughts that i can’t escape like the blood on the highway and the lights up ahead

the dead deer leave their stains on 52 south
longer than the sun hangs in Oktober skies wide pale,
i hope to not create that sort of artwork tonight.
probably someone died in the accident at Coates.
glass, lights, backed up traffic and silence at the crossing.
entrails and scattered viscera, nature and force.
later, i hope this poem doesn’t take a dive on me.
matter and brain matter and matter matted.
where softly playing wind chimes alight and inflatable
Halloween decorations on the lawn greet us, hum.
barefoot in the street talking visas and books and
cars and presents, my mom’s birthday is this weekend.
above some star dies and the cemetery up the hill knows.
at least two beers on the couch, check in at motel home,
at least some pictures. my little man is awake past his bedtime.
teaching language in the morning, then they talk like me.
these strangers aren’t strange, they are nice.
wake in the morning. talk talk talk talk talk talk
talk talk talk talk talk talk. what’s the problem?
i know how she is when she is the way she is, love.
same costume as the last 5 years or so, goodwill find.
there is no surprise like there is no surprise.
an animal jumps in front of the dashboard, it’s a leaf.
there is not change there, no change there, there.
lock and dam no. 7 is an empty street where josh died.
dan will be at jules and wives will be in andere Staaten.
nextday i have coffee and talk to China and think
of the money that i don’t have and need to find somehow.
doesn’t matter, but that fucking deer is dead again now in my head again.

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October 7, 2017

saturday morning with my grandpa (how i became me)

saturday mornings could smell
like burnt eggs
and old cigars stamped out years ago,
bacon grease splatting, hiss,
dogs wet fur from the rain coming down,
a damp dusty basement clouded,
unbrushed teeth speaking true words
to loved ones about what will be done
what we might get to,
grandma and grandpa and dad and cats in La Crescent
sitting in a wallpapered kitchen, rented out now,
pantry full, cooking bean soup on the stove,
waiting for NASCAR on sunday, those tomorrows,
and god, or the lord or heavens knows, who cares?
got to get better at it, all of it,
that smell reminds me of nothing now
and the dead and chopping wood in the forest,
and how he would show up with donuts
and his dog, in leather boots, early,
before most “hard workers” today even think about
getting up because he drove semi trucks
to where i live now, just south of us,
until in his mid-seventies,
when he first met me, 70 times my age,
and i can still smell that stuff upstairs.

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 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.