Archive for ‘modern thought’

September 8, 2018

A Lesson in Persistence (When Everyone Tells you you Can’t Do It), John S. Harris (Horticulturist) of La Crescent, MN. SOURCE POEM, Words and Inspiration by MSHS.

“Although most people agreed with
Horace Greeley’s
notorious 1860 assessment that
apples wouldn’t grow in the
often-harsh conditions of the brand-new state,
Harris was undeterred.

He planted more trees every year, thousands in total.
He shared his experiences,
along with apples and seeds,
with his neighbors. In his persistent pursuit of apples
that would thrive in Minnesota,
Harris experimented with hundreds of varieties,
most of which, he admitted, were failures.

At the 1866 Minnesota State Fair, his exhibit
of 20 apple varieties inspired
the state’s fruit growers to
form the Minnesota Fruit Growers Association.
In 1868, the group changed its name to the Minnesota Horticultural Society
and Harris was elected president the following year.”

MSHS

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August 25, 2018

believe in you

you can craft a life better now, think, you.
no excuses, no fair, no perfection, nothing at all.
no history too much for we animals.  today.  yes.

hard work every day, daily.  grind. all. moments.
sharp, clear compass.  fast, go, fly. weightless.
no obstacle not fragiled to dust.  bridges do fall.

when we believe.  believe in you. now. now. now.

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May 6, 2018

a trip to the zoo (and Disclaimer)

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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.

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.

February 24, 2018

a million pieces in my head from the 1990s, in summer and winter and with my family

one time, in wintertime,
my dad flew his ultralight plane
to about a 1,000 feet above La Crescent.
he was over blue lake at the time,
at which point
he dropped an old bowling ball,
straight down from the blue heavens.
it hit mature ice and shattered
into a million splintered jet-black diamonds.
its inception played out in reverse on mute.
in summertime, over Wildcat Landing he did the
same stunt with a Santa and a parachute.
i wonder about physics and propellers.
i wonder about moments and momentum.
i suppose he was creating novle myth here locally,
reprising antiqued beliefs,
taking awesome to new inspiring heights.
and now the dust settles on one-of-a-kind.
i suppose, or not. i don’t know.
i guess i sometimes remember these things
and wonder where those new inconoclasts reside.
too many sycophants to being glib modern Spectacle.
maybe he was just raising hell in the 90s,
being like he wanted to be, naturally,
high up in the wind, free.
no politics had a hand in it.
no opinions that were unreal.

February 12, 2018

point the finger

the tragedy of our misadventure
begins when we blame others
for where we stand now.

November 18, 2017

ghosts cannot kill

life after life
life after this coffee is gone, slipped out of its cup
computer screens bleeping, drama queens screaming
after a walk in the woods, after silence
thoughts of my father
pop up like mushrooms in spring,
me as a father now especially
as that one spire, strident, fixture in my life
once was, as afraid of the dark
as bumps in the night, he stands there
dead eyes, calming, voided, silhouette doorway
telling me the same thing he told me to make me feel safe:
a ghost has never killed anyone in the history of time,
no one has died from seeing a ghost,
and if i were going to die i would have done it by now
he told me that without exaggeration
i wonder are they real
or are they just gone when they are

October 1, 2017

our cat is a dreamer

my wife’s cat
is a dreamer,
every day at the back door
she waits to make her escape.
she’s not fixed and doesn’t have tags.
she’s a thrifty ad hoc anti-vaxxer.
motivated by nature and toms perhaps.
meowing and purring,
her only feline actions,
pawing at it, batting like the Twins near some threshold.
she needs to get out very soon, clearly.
sometimes with hands full
when we get home after a hard day’s work
she takes the open opportunity
to let loose timidly…
goddamn, stinky cat!!!
Get her, get her, get her… 
we will say, some chorus
no Clover! get back in, girl, get in there!
Get back in there, now!
we love her very much, like leftover pizza.
shoeing her in and shutting the door behind us.
she has some dreams–big ones, innate,
i tell you,
she goes for it every time, so fast.
true persistence, tenacity, super human.

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 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.