i knew what it felt like to be a ghost,
or an earthbound flower,
all information, all the time
on these matters: doxing and politics,
when that is all we absorb in our bones.
where the oatmeal ran cold
below contemporary jazz notes
and a vase full of roses.
here were also books in layers
onioned out over our wooden shelves.
and dying temptation had me
money in my pockets–full,
rich like those other in-tune saps,
unwanting and vainglory lame,
found doing the same ways,
for another 8 years with no change.
then i read through it entirely,
a children’s book saved me.
Fox In Socks again, very closely, and smiled,
we don’t do that enough;
it’s lonely at the top,
it’s quiet at the top,
other people hate the top–what hate(?).
humor, the distasteful, slop.
i think about time and how it escapes me,
i think if i could make it stop
and smell the fancied spring flowers
i’d want to make it start again.
i’d know that they were never really there.
modern days of trials and errors
never let you live it down;
beauty never seen, a flower underground.
on Saturdays i can usually
drink a whole pot of coffee, not just half
so it sits until the next day and maybe
goes into a growler in the fridge.
my stepfather says it’s a waste to make less
than a full pot of coffee, so today i feel
accomplished and un-wasteful. on the way
to write this i played with the stinky cat
with a painful foot that possesses an ingrown
toenail on the big toe and has athletes
foot unrestricted. i turned on the kitchen
light and opened the shades and perused
the backlot as i filled the pot with tap water.
my wife changed a dirty diaper and prepared
for work. i cleared my mind for getting my
ID updated and a new credit card;
i would have to change accounts. i poured what
was left of the old coffee from yesterday
into a tall glass, added creamer and drank.
thought about how i won’t buy beer this weekend
and how our podcast went so well. it’s things like these
that matter, keep the full pot full, positive.
my stepdad was right, and then she walked in
to ask what i was doing in here, listening
to funky soul on Google Home and writing.
waiting for the full pot of coffee to be done.
an empty glass
with coins. $52.something.
turned into food.
the capital hanging
its pale dome
on the dim shoulders’
of University Ave
in the fore.
there, loving couples
at a cross-
and am now.
the statue of liberty
played by a man,
holding this bright sign:
we pay cash inside,
how american, on this corner.
i sit in a turn
pulling to the side,
brown bags and
local ipas in the trunk,
mouthing an old song
in Drive–mechanic’s glove hands,
tight grip on
the supple wheel.
all before 11 am
crossing Lexington Parkway
and light rail tracks
in St Paul, going, hungry, mad.
and then, thinking of
a hotel in Belfast
conversing continental divides
and the divided conversation,
and the painted murals,
people took photos
on their phones
inside of a bus because we couldn’t safely get out.
ah… mission control,
my pink floyd head
can’t handle the
layered, fluffy driven
snow. i thought
about that easy idea
for a moment and
shoveled it past fast;
a dog’s muted bark echoes;
beyond cut crystals
that adorn clear glass.
what a cold day to be
spreading out on this
red yoga mat, sooo ready
to take a shit,
ready to sip my coffee
with some honey in it,
in a tall white mug.
sort-of, kind-of like me
in the right light.
ah… mission control,
where is john glenn,
where is our politics
as usual, where is
my old cold medicine?
got to watch meet
the press, got to…
tell me what i should do.
it is 6 degrees in frogtown, mn,
i am inside sick watching cspan
and a baby sleep in his rock
& play, wife in the kitchen watching
a cracked screen. my face is full
of snot, head full of congestion, watching
talking heads tell me about “fake news”
and debates and their influences.
(easy, i could take their words for it
they probably don’t care about mine.)
someone wears a bandaid on his cheek;
the president wants a deep dive
investigation; and the red hot chili
peppers had a forgotten album in 2004, says reddit.
i wonder about where i was at that time,
i don’t know how that all factors
into everything, but mostly i care
about what is right here, around me.
wooden floors and naked feet–pallid,
lemon sinks to the bottom of my mug
as a blue whale in the south pacific,
muddy water coffee waits on a tablecloth,
plastic snug on the windows, electrical heaters
and baby toys. a coat hangs slack
like yesterday. i know how hillary
felt when she fell into that van,
now i’m with her. now i am sick.
now i am achy as a lab skeleton cold.
ere the cold wind
hardened person debacle,
i become less like
those who represent me
and more like myself,
still running from its presence.
we are found, as errant snow
in misplaced cracks
along the street–
never should have been there.
at the bus stop proper
under pink and sable skies,
this industry: dying trees, real waits,
away from it all,
lights out in the house,
purely darkened for late payments.
a book stands in my side pocket,
slick along the turns,
a clear door opens, “Hello, sir.”
and then the same door closes again
to shield me from it.
ere the cold wind, just as
it touches me whole.
what i have learned since last Tuesday,
and the sunny Tuesday before that
which so unceremoniously passed,
is that when someone tells me something
is a true something, it usually is. the labels.
the fears. the concerns. impending doom,
obviously. the end. i understand that
it usually is, and not just some spectacle
to make you watch over there. or closer.
i mean, no one ever cries wolf anymore.
no one really gets paid to say. or maybe i’ve
wasted 2 years of my life for their chance at 4.
or maybe the 67 bus will arrive late today,
so i can wait longer. man, my good ambitions.
and nothing ever changes. here comes the sun
slowly shedding light onto such fancy.
perhaps, in a country where we have made it
to meticulously disrupt and replace
those in far-off scapes
to be concerned for. think of that day
that hasn’t happened yet, and be worried.
mornings like these
leaves come crashing
through the limbs
of stiffening trees
where fat squirrels
bound like jack rabbits
in search of
something to call winter shelter
inside the silhouette paint
of an autumnal tie-dye day
inside, they spin at change
what sound of cut silence
delineated by robins call
a bus, the 67 going by,
and a “V” flown southeast
our house cat mows grass at
my pale naked feet,
on some cool broken sidewalk
merely rented–what to own?
entryway of flowery vine
as stairs coming alive
at this venture of fallen
dead photosynthesis–dry leaf dying
i imagine if it
thought to spark a moment
in the morning mind
of some drifter standing
i imagine it like
it was some actor being told
to “ACTION!” by
some muted invisible god
in the distance biding its time
(fall to the set)