Archive for ‘Prose’

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.

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May 5, 2018

The American Underdog

The underdog is the
all-American hero.
They have no chance,
no hope to win, everything
against them. But with
astonishing effort and self-belief
they make the impossible possible.
It’s a beautiful thing.
The American Underdog inspires.

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?

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 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 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.

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.

April 30, 2017

new motivation: no reprieve, no peace

they say fix one problem at a time
and then you reach the base of a mountain,
trying to stay warm and dry
and then it rains–why?,
you can see the dampness on the walk outside.
they tell you to get a real job,
get a second too, and still you are a slave
for land that you will never own
and always pay for on your own, drone…
and most of the poets i know talk about the
biggest problems/issues/talking points, ones that are truly
out of the imagination across the nation–seems
nice and unbelievable, only because
i have fought wars over paying rent
abused furniture because of college debt.
it was really nothing personal, but it follows your person.
as if just doing and getting focused is cake.
seems nice to be able to forget, to relate.
seems nice to be able to hesitate, wait…
doing that no more, the more chores.
rents in St Paul are like walking through closed steel doors.
and then you wake up in it.
decide, now. buy now. i want to hide now, some how.
all ashamed, all to blame, all made UP, games.
solve one of them at a time,
and the floodgates just opened,
flames in a paper factory surrounded by 40 gas stations,
and about a million dying suns,
and they start another protest.
they write another book that their editor/publisher friends like.
i am just hoping the tomatoes don’t die
in the backyard cold–draped with ragged blankets
that might be food later,
and that another collection agency doesn’t call
i’ve tried to block them all…
all because i was sick
all because of insurance
all because of medical
all because of this.
i told my colleague a joke onetime about how if
the mafia came and broke your legs with baseball bats
you would have to deal with something worse
right after:
and that is the health care industry
of america. yeah. go fix that, you activists.
i pray that you never get sick, in a secular way.
one thing at a time, becoming an extra.
now please donate to my cause.

March 28, 2017

how to be a thoughtful globalist in the wake of fake intellectuals

this would make me empassioned, or
impassioned.  i am passionate about this something…
that’s how i get
when neo-globalists
who’ve never left the states
try to fix
other people’s problems
with
their English language exclusively.
the irony of westernization; fixed only by itself. YOU SEE?
and that is what they call backwards and selfish.
tho, there will be no stories of this on the news.
because just get out there and disrupt because.
and they should
call those who
think locally “nationalists” too.
a bunch of loud fools.
you know, somethings don’t translate.
you know, people might have different opinions.
this is how language works.
so when they/you designate
their/your ideas, ideations, and ideologies
as such, i just smh in realtime.
so silly, so stupid, so same.
that is why i am a where-ever-i-am-at-ist,
because i am right there,
i can attempt to understand
what i see and experience around me,
for me, for truth, for better.
maybe even for you…
but honestly, not for you (i don’t care)
or the tv (forget tv), i won’t facebook livestream it
or create a clever sign that
gets thrown away next day in some ironic carbon footprint
(that you too should actually hate)
after the post and the filter and the likes–fretter fakes.
and that is what i am passionate about,
or empassioned about, or impassioned about,
all that is around me
because i can touch it tangible,
as they said, i can feel the real,
i can set the clock next to the bed.
and there is something about language and labels.