the objective thermostat here
is hard butter on a dirty
busy kitchen countertop.
other contraptions don’t work.
i am front page, B & C,
and Columbia Heights business.
they want coffee shops for
auto care, they want a place
to find what they need.
they, they, they, but who?
this is sunday with my nose
in a creased Star Tribune.
i am at home with Jazz 88(.5),
with the smell of burnt sourdough.
that which surrounds creates.
sounding the packaging from
yesterday’s christmas market parade;
that was money well spent.
coffee travels with it in aromas and
heat to our morning stomachs.
empty then, now made stuffed full.
just two grown up children
at a register, talking about getting
quarters for laundry, where baristas
broke food & beverage codes,
and what goes on later that day was told.
i don’t want to get sick, i just want.
i love the short weekends for
what they are, for what our
society allots a persona like me. i can
afford this for just five days of paid toil
out of the lengthy work week, and
i think, it might be worth the wait.
new sunday measuring the warmth,
running in the cold; we are finding two
for five for a 40 hour amassing life.
and that is how exactly i am i.
the objective thermostat here
I’ve seen doors locked for all time,
purpose in moments changed,
and boxes closed indefinitely
with familiar occupants inside.
Yet, still I lift my head in ice pellets
coming down on the campus mall,
and still my view is fixed straight-
forward when allowed, and with
this aside, and taking on alternatives.
I exist in a one bedroom apartment
in Southeast, brushing teeth, put-
ting my eyeballs in to see just this.
St. Paul in the fall,
whilst leaves change and thin.
Whilst festivities and fairs
under tents, bearing food, creep in.
Whilst trees bend
with robust forceful wind.
A time to reflect the mess we’re within;
past and coming years, one which end and begin.
Peers and loved ones we’ve lost,
at grand experience’ cost.
Standing growing moving,
shedding one layer at a time
A tan peals and pales,
A secret is revealed.
Skin and bone become frail,
light years fast pass the snail.
A north shore lake-effect patience,
Months under sun we’ve waited.
Suffering rain snow and gale,
Minnesota weather: what it entails.
In and amongst everything;
though a singular unit, alone as one.
Walking fresh cold press coffee in hand,
scanning distant verdant lands.
On this walk towards autumn- new times and old friends,
alternatives we enact; to the ever changing plans.
Remember the voices we will never hear again.
Remember the times with loved ones we spend.
Perplexed by this simple yet inspiring life,
St. Paul in the fall feels cool, close, fast approaching, and right.
Broken bones under flesh fortress
lacking compassion, brass tact,
watching misshapen clouds float by
lives ending every breath they pass.
Dine on colon cancer while
sipping cirrhosis of the liver.
Indulging just to indulge,
dropping bombs, “peace giver”.
Common sense factors in this;
complain about maligned malaise,
bike past full-up Mc Donald’s
those sick and confused sit for days.
People stunned, smoke and speak,
running once a week, not for health-
weakened knees, speckled disease
always giving up when in doubt.
I can’t, I have a mirror to answer to,
how does one explain that?
No need for a child right now,
I already own a cat.
Women in a hallway laugh in high-pitched gasps
Keyboard sounds each letter, each word, each mark
Columns and books and pages and paper and carts
Hands have been tied; set in motion, all of our lives
Anointed anecdotes for possible and realistic potion
Motion in the lines, value and dots; we make art a lot,
Half-assed cross-hatched chicken-scratch, this and that
Comparison in passion, although found it tough to relate
Mouth agape, unwanted sentences we slate, as of late-
Contribute contraband, questions, and propaganda
With what is the stamina; have we not enough coffee?
Have we lost are heads in puffy clouds above so lofty?
Most moments digress, then forget, find the path, then again forget
Minutes we have have been lent, meant, it stops only when it can
It moves, bends, manipulates, morphs, and changes for nothing.
What else is there to say about everything besides that: It’s lovely.
Stand in a pale room funeral home.
Dim yellow dances striped walls.
Close fake ferns and fresh-cut flowers.
Not into gleamed opaque casket.
My father sits, near his stepfather lay.
A soda can rests on stained wooden edge.
Here bright reflections of unnatural dye.
We have to pick him up, so heavy- and out.
Grab hand on cold pallbearer’s hold.
Navy Cadillac hearse backs to still box.
Pull with strained arms, struggle to balance.
Measure more densely than expected, hot day.
Hung-over and dried out, stiff- filled chemicals.
We get in the van and head to the American Legion.
Family and a buffet line inside
We sit close and speak soft
A pastor comes up to talk
He says he is with god
I go and get seconds
My grandmother does not understand.
First thoughts of morning,
poor vision blues in a book.
Hung on each dark word as the guilty-
grabbing tired mind as it takes me inside.
Scanning each sentence, detecting its mention;
importance of just this, and just that,
I put my head back
on a pillow,
Thoughts of last night stir as my belly aches.
Reading inspired relaxation as I ready the day.
we sit behind walls to pay for sitting behind walls.
Wheels spin, no gas on deck,
armies fight wars waged for black gold;
these things are related.
Glass punctures and creates an escape,
you sit roadside with a flat-tire and deflated ego.
An IED blows off a soldier’s leg,
an obese man eats a sandwich and drinks a diet coke,
a beautiful young model hates her reflection; finding flaws;
a CEO makes money.
And no one knew the half.
a book weighs down a hand,
words play heavy on the head.
Cottonwood seeds float on thick air,
tombstones bask in the sun.
So far away no voice could reach;
even so not of native tongues.
Days we have lost and the one that just began,
my toast is burnt,
furniture sits un-rearranged.
Affects leave me unchanged;
for certain of, same, -oh distaste.
Life goes on
a cat meows
a clock ticks
the heat moves in and settles down
Fall is here.
Only this time it’s without you.
I wish I could tell you about that.