Midwestern Poetry, By Terry Scott Niebeling
On such a late night sitting and full,
Contents of a stir-fry made of tofu;
She packs for Wisconsin: days away.
Still I sit & watch and wait & laze.
Shades of the trees toward western skies rest a cool shadow
on a once brilliant face,
where the lacquer for paint
Smack of fuzzed tennis balls hurled in the wind,
zipping with bugs in
a St. Paul end-summer August warm.
Reflections and shadows hung on until it was time
to go back home—
just after supper and just before
candlelight vigils and auto headlamps scans rushed
into closed windows and about vacant streets.
the world come to close another day,
morning would be the same except reverse
on those tired night dweller’s eyes.
A can was crushed and we biked back
to SE through mosquitoes.
Turning day to night as a light switch in a room
had shadows evaporating into themselves,
outlines seen were hot and sticky
for the summer humidity and sharp shine.
A black car sheen stood burning
in an open lot as a dead mouse
in grey fur swelled and swarmed with flies.
The sweet cloy of trash hit nostrils
like a left hook of some welterweight
sweating hard, pulling in the ring.
Plastic garbage bags expanded
in the sweltering heat of midday July
becoming tight as the skin of a drum.
Few cotton clouds cast no guard in
vast rich nitrogen blue skyscapes,
going on, what fast changed above.
Seems Sunday was properly labeled for
this weather; there was tan leather,
blue jeans, bright bandanas, and cold beer.
It was unlike any other beautiful day.
It is the flit of
a blue jay’s wings
It is a potbellied squirrel, tan beige,
on a bent limb in the
It is the faint
sweet smell of ripened honeysuckles
on winds getting lost in
a township forest.
It is a reflection of
Warrior and orator.
“If you can’t please yourself, who can?” -Ma
In the morning I start planning,
by the time I am done it is mid-afternoon.
I find that I have all things figured out,
in finding that happiness is without.
When I have specific plans completed,
seen through to fruition, I can only hope for one thing:
that I still feel as good as I do when I just open my eyes,
young, in love, and surrounded by it-
when I just walk outside—lost and uncaring,
when I do the first thing that comes to mind, even today,
now, to escape. I hope to still feel as good as I do right now,
with no excess in what I have about me, and there, no excuses,
because none of those institutions will change anything, ever.
Not one. They only complicate and muck up straightforward.
Fuck plans. It is how you feel when you feel you in the end.
I hope to feel as good as I do when I wake up
in the morning, before I start planning.