Archive for ‘season’

December 23, 2016

what to expect when you sit down to write a poem

When you sit down to write a poem
it mostly happens. I believe that anyone can do it.
Writing poems is easy, depending on the poems
you write and the audience you write to.
If you were a press and your goal was to make money
off of poems, then your audience would be donors.
I assume they are harder to write to than bloggers.
I guess an idea that blew my mind is
publishers would have competitions
and offer cash prizes and then after they rejected you
they would send out emails about
how they need your money. I never got that.
People asking for donations after they rejected your work,
as if the words you wrote lacked the luster
and the importance of the words of others.
I suppose certain grant writers get more money
for certain words, certain editors need salaries,
and certain ideas hit closer to home.
I mean, I am a father, a husband; I am white and male
(but none of that matters; but identity is chic now);
I have tried hard as any to get to where I am.
I would say I am a poet but by most accounts
and the emails I get, that means I am a failed poet.
I don’t make rent or pay bills off of my work,
it pays in smiles and a sort of pride
that only you and I would understand.
What I do is safe as a handrail on icy stairs.
What I do is very, very, very easy
because doing something you love shouldn’t be hard.
What I do isn’t exactly defined, thankfully;
in a scene you have to either be or not
or just keep going until someone notices you
and either says “shit” or “genius” or “you are that poet”
and that really depends on the time of year
and who you are close friends with,
and what kind of poem you read at the open mic, and how.
So, I have noticed, when you sit down and write a poem
it usually happens, and you can do it,
though I would say most are worried about perfection,
how other people feel about their ideas,
and would hide their art because
it might lack meaning, identity, or a soapbox purpose,
absolutely defined by others in a social vaccuum.
But we will never know. And that is why I wrote this poem
precisely for you. I find it a huge success.
Writing mostly happens, or I guess it doesn’t.
Easy as mom’s Facebook post or Trump’s tweets.
Easy as pressing keys and not marketing.

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November 12, 2016

what is art?

last night i picked up a Bukowski again and
read something from his THE CONTINUAL CONDITION

then i thought in the parking lot
after the lady behind me bought my lottery tickets
and dark coffee because
the guy behind the counter
in the unwashed and untucked shirts
didn’t know if they accepted credit cards
or not and the line grew,
and no more money came from my pants,

what is art?

rat is art
tar is art
tra is art

i guess anyway you look
at it, those letters are art.

and the lady in line said: take it, no just take it.
and threw $2 on the counter.
she had a gallon of 2% milk and was serious.

like any-thing is any-thing
else.

perhaps decomposition of a loved one
since the year 2014 is art,
like pumping milk from a cow is art.

or maybe since the year 4201 is art.

i don’t know.
don’t i know.

i watched from the car
as breastfeeding went down in the lot
i didn’t want to be followed,
what a major calamity of sorts.

the gas station lights could
sense my growing shame and
how my patience was lost
in staring at walls or looking
for a cd that wasn’t scratched,
hoping for B.I.G..

crystalline frost formed on the vehicles
near the front lawn.
and i am happy they were there.

we rolled up late, an hour of stationary
before we got back on the road
and i tried to dodge deer
where brown and red smears said they died.

like the leaves piled and decomposing
they are tra, or rat, or tar

or art.

whatever you call it it is that.
like those bleeding hearts couldn’t take a loss.
like losing the lottery in america.
like driving at night with desert eyes.
like coming in late without an excuse.
like not needing one, but you do.
like knowing before others and pretending to not.
like apologizing for everyone like you for guilt, your guilt.
like feeling sorry that you don’t.
like telling people to move on in your shoes.

i suppose

maybe that’s why we all drink coffee
and tell our friends what we think.

and one day the sun won’t spin,
so bring a few extra layers,
everyone will be there.

October 30, 2016

dreary sunday

sunday, when candles burn,
when tired rugs sleep,
when time does nothing
but crawl forward
to the coming future,
when tomorrow is another monday,
much disliked, much despised,
and talk is always so drably
forlorn– such a tragedy.
this is when and how
i beg for ice 9,
i pray for a time machine
to instill religion in me better,
to make sunday slow sabbath.
i could smile longer.
i could be more kind.
i have faith in hope and fate
on this dark dreary sunday,
when i think of new seasons
as plasticed windows droop.

February 10, 2016

To Nicollet for a Tailored Suit in the Cold

Smartphone weather predictions
established as the standing Foshay,
and you could be downtown with it,
yeah, you could walk all the way.

February 3, 2016

The Groundhog Day Blizzard

was stuck inside an office
checking local news for
hourly traffic reports and
telling the folks to go home
hopefully before five.

It was natural driving a truck,
and where does one exert so
much energy walking places,
and when else is everything
in view majestic as fuck?

I commend the bus drivers
and bike delivery workers
just out there doing their jobs,
just out there commuting, so
that others don’t have to.

More, were the processions
of landlords clearing paths,
and motorized snow removal
machines doing a dance;
how slick ways faired.

It really is like this no place
else, a bleak sheet filtered
the sight of once open walks
roads and schoolyard parks
muted and muffled by white.

Just the thought of it,
this is why we live here.

January 11, 2016

9 below

9 below
and nothing
really
matters.

A dusting
of snow,
but what’s
that?

The forecast
doesn’t
mention the
wind’s biting,

the aching
bones,

or heavy layers
of clothes:

hat, gloves,
scarves,
long underwear,
and coat.

We Minnesotans,
we know.

9 below
is what
they call it,

but it’s something
else, something
more imposing;

it’s cold life,
like that,

nothing more than negative.

And I prefer zero,
calm and neutral.

And I prefer anything
but minus digits.

December 27, 2015

Motion

I find myself
in motion–

in driving;
as a vehicle,
a vessel.

not waiting.
Just go.

November 3, 2015

constant reminder

i supposed
i’d rather listen
to the room’s
pipes bang,
& put the kettle
to the rang,
and have
a clear mind,
than think
about why
i woke up
late last night.
they say the
artist will
starve, but the
cat, and the
bills, and the
debt, and the
truck, and the human
food, and the rent,
all those things
are enough to do
you in. but
i’d rather not
think about that,
those things are
just moments,
and most things
do change.
seems i am
constantly
reminded when
noticing
the colors fade,
and the bare
nude trees,
and the cold
chill in
foreign winds of
new seasons.