Archive for ‘Minneapolis’

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.

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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 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.

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.

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 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.