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 19, 2017

american times with jim morrison

our heads of dead fuses
our mouths agape true voids
a spectacle for wires
a mind melts to ash, to lava
thoughts run thin, amok
edgewise at horizons flesh
horizontal at still birth
vertical at death above a sink
eyes cutting the mirrors veneer
blood wet like new glue
mind between here and there
mostly gone anon along
and someone was something-else
as the church bells rang like a lost phone
and the doors closed tightly
to darkness and morning like
vacated loving foreign tenants
of our american times
of our american times

July 16, 2017

compost in st paul

new life out of old growth
rinds and skins in the compost
tomatoes potatoes and avocados
new plant grows out to the sun

July 15, 2017

the black hole of the nextdoor app where they tell stories on social media and everyone really cares

someone on the nextdoor app
had a bad encounter with authority and expounded,
like that has never happened before…
we both live in St Paul, near Falcon Heights…
like anyone cares IRL…

July 12, 2017

the logic of selling books at a public library

i never got it
while tutoring at hamline/midway
the evening crew
would ready the chairs
get the event set up
and talk
and put cookies out
and put coffee out
and the sun would drain away
in the winter void
and people would come in
and wait and watch
like stand men or trees
and listen
and i would read books with my student
at a round table with a sign
and talk words
and say this and that
and this is what that means
and i would get done
and bundle up for the walk down Minnehaha Ave W
to my warm home and wife and son
and wonder to myself
how could a person
possibly sell a book at a public library
full of books
that any person
could check out for free
with proof of residency
or a driver’s license,
a piece of mail with your address on it.
and that is why i love libraries
on negative 30 degree ice
walking home in wet boots
thinking wow, the sales poets are very bold
or just not that smart
or just i don’t know.
it’s not bad,
i don’t care,
it’s just interesting…

July 10, 2017

saint paul / perfect evening

no stir in the hot trees
a confetti kite hung resting strung
a wave from a man in a yard
plotting with his finger and his wife
not spilling coffee ice &
milk at 8 O’clock PM at night
on a monday night, outside– just,
then back on 3 wheels, he reels,
up Hamline, let’s turn
off Van Buren by Jon’s–get a cut,
laundry dripping water from AC, lucky…
i want to teach again
i want to volunteer and tutor
up at Hamline/Midway
watch poets try to sell books in a library
like watching god sell souls to the devil;
there is something ironic here
and there is something secular here…
mistaking the beans for leaves
Diane is outside watering plants
in her night gown
eating ice cream on a stick,
talking about the green beans we got her
from the farmer’s market last weekend,
garden hose in hand
batting mosquitoes–yuck! shes says…
the cat slips out and nothing happens…
Jana from Breaking The News sees my point…
i water some of my tomatoes too
what a night, nothing better
tweet about how you should walk outside NOW
in Saint Paul somewhere MN outdoors
like canoes chained to trees in Stillwater
up Manning then a right on Nolan then…
waiting for a drink
waiting for a lock pick and key
waiting for this walk again
and the trees stood still
same kite same in the same tree still
we got another year here;
the ink will never dry cause it never was

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 7, 2017

hands foot and mouth disease

… yeah, being a dad you see things,
saw hands foot and mouth disease again
from the other end, i say this now
but when i was 17 years-old i got it too:
sister taylor was an infant
she had it at the time and my hands turned
to blisters that couldnt pop with knives
feet turned to pins and needles and nettles
and things that couldnt pocked hot and roiled
something not nice at all
the doctor said, yeap hands foot and mouth
like yeap, i had HIV in 2007 and it was positive
and then it was false positive and gone
and my head is still living with the idea of dying
living with this is not a medical facility
living with the idea that labels changed me then
now my son has hands foot and mouth disease
like its a problem but i can relate
O’ you havent had it? you got it easy
and now he is teething to top it all off in twilight
i love sleep for not having it
i love having someone like me growing up
love is a beautiful thing
Plato said a grave disease of the mind
now look at my appendages

July 5, 2017

Pioneer Press

I love the local paper
In the morning
No matter the grade of slant
Headlines scream alarmistly
Pictures evoke my tender emotions
Even the coupons look good
Even the petro smells nice
But the letters to the editor:
Thats the realest news youll get
Surprise me insides
100 degrees today ok
Now i turn the page
Now i deplastic your outer
Now i spread you on the bed
Take it in, each page–o yes
Will be different tomorrow
I guess i love the change
Always the local paper

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.