Posts tagged ‘art’

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 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.

June 26, 2017

wake

A cool pale morning,
Birds chirping their song.
A day to be taken whole,
I, hitting snooze again.

June 25, 2017

i notice and i think you should too

i will tell you, if you want to be unique,
differently skewed and
especially noticed or adulated where you are,
dont be a poet.
coffee and beer are my fuel during this grey day;
opposites like that do attract, like defined words and me.
(Sunday morning coming down,
wrote this yesterday while
teaching students how to speak Midwestern English in other countries (plural).
i could say i am international by now, wont.)
(anyway) to get noticed, get a real job,
work very hard every day, and
mind your own personal business
in this capitalistic venture,
otherwise known as your broken dream land,
otherwise known as real life.
dont take photos to share on social media;
nor add filters for likes, #NoFilters.
nor wear a bunch of makeup
to make up for your flawed human makeup.
nah, you needn’t do that.
just be, thats really real and really noticed.
people think you got a problem then.
tell them to unplug and not scroll.
my breath applauds me, my feel stings as truth alone.
that would be unique in a world where going viral on CNN Breaking BS
or standing on 94 W or E rebelling pointedly,
maybe cutting off ambulance service to someones grandmas dilemma,
like the rest of the thoughtful group
over 12 peers turned to one loathsome local department,
under adjectives: fascist, systematic, murderers et al.,
is considered some sort of special star sticker and truly esoteric
and great advocacy and activism novel, true, poignant, necessary.
but i understand sort of, well i do…
it seems too obvious and you know it…
you do.
products of media brought to you by you and look at those pricey ads.
so go ahead and think,
how can i not be like them, working for someone who doesnt pay me,
the others that do the same thing (as others)
that i do, yet with more good friends
with more important memberships
with heavy solicitations–sell my books, ever heard of pulp?
pulping happens.
with more performances at more trendy publishing houses
at more hipster coffeehouses.
i also wrote a poem today that wont get noticed.
like everyone else(s).
it is bigger than pale generalizations.
more complex than a Saltine cracker
and its box–squarely.
you know, i wont put some same sign in my shitty yard
for people to like.
for i dread mowing and wont water for more work.
the neighbors enjoy my company already, go ask.
there isnt enough space on it already too,
to say what i want to say, with open meaning,
and it wont make the community feel better anyway
because no group backs it, i havent donated to prove i believe,
and because it would say: each individual should do better
themselves as a unique individual, individualists themselves.
because if it were that easy to fix the neighborhood, with signs,
then everyone would be doing it…
and if the doorhandle opens the door i won’t fix it either.
even if i kick the door in and the handle is still on it,
then probably the doorhandle still works.
like poetry–it doesnt take much really.
getting noticed though…
so i dont know what else to write,
that’s true or fiction or thought.
besides: nothing special here, just i notice(d)
and i think you should too.

June 19, 2017

dads day

i didnt really get to say much about my dad
on father’s day, but he was a good person.  
biggest funeral la crescent will ever see.
that is with me.  now after 3 years underground
many conversations removed
the same inscrutable believings of what he would have wanted
and everyone trying to get over on that too.
its hard to give reason, excuses or meaning to.  
things, they: just happens.  are how it is.  …and people die.  
yeap, and then i sit here thinking hard
and envision my everything vanish quickly;
was naked in a motel room hungover watching tv getting calls
and i become him for two seconds
hoping that some evil stepparent wouldnt take everything.  
no surprise, it costs currency to see me now;
i am a reborn materialist because
a lots been taken, lost.  it takes unhinged
strength to drive up past grandmas house
and see strangers for the caretakers of where i grew up
unknowing of the past ills and hollowed dust.  
sort of like mine once, how to usurp everything.
the saint-gaudens eagle, the burnt will, the rent to feed mouths.
it makes me soft like nursing homes and very bad news.  
thats why i don’t say much about it anymore.
maybe some day i might change my mind.
maybe some day it wont matter.
maybe some day, anyway.

June 18, 2017

i am serious/sometimes i feel like i care and sometimes i do

probably carbon monoxide poisoning conceives in my virgin lungs and kills my numerous superior brain cells as mowing the grass commences and spins dust and kills plants and other parts of the environment for government ordinance and acquaintance interaction reaction into my eyes–she waited, then I handed her a fresh tomato off the vine for condolences, cherry explosion, on the fresh air of the neighborhood, told her i would get the rest after lunch: father’s day, you know.  call me dad.  Either that or they call the city about the yard looking like shit, either that and I don’t own the property just renting here for a moment, trying to past muster.  Other tenants could be worse, yep.  Other property owners too.  Just doing what i can; every day of my life.  Can’t even save a buck because God killed my internet connection last week in the middle of some lesson about your daddy’s car, so not teaching people in China how to talk like me while using my college degree perhaps more than actual local teachers with their state credits and college degrees saying they can in the public schools where they make less than me and complain considerably more about not being able to deal with students.  Foreign students call me “teacher”, say thank you very much teacher, you have good English teacher, you are handsome teacher, you are funny teacher, you are this and that.   i am humble.  money. I am that guy.  unknown poet.  He is my son.  She is my wife.  And this is how we do things in Frogtown, USA.  That’s life.  Running cords through the wall, drilling holes in the floor, rebooting, resetting, calling and haggling, and not taking names because I don’t have time to remember them anyway, nor do I care.  You have five minutes to fix my problem or I cancel my service, all because of you.  move on.  Thinking: which rung are you and how long can you hold me as I make my ascent?  I am serious.   sometimes i do and sometimes i don’t and sometimes it is sometimes.

June 12, 2017

basement vinyl reflection

there is no need to worry
my passwords are foreign languages
the spider webs cocoon me and beams
old light and new light dance just there
a records spins and pictures stand
miserable hours ago though
there is no need to worry exactly
florescence from below, flowers grow
be bold, be bold, be own, old soul.
be alone, confluence with those.
just here skin and bones, skin and bones–all those
acting like they know but they dont
acting, just do it for the show, tho–
there is no need to worry
there is no need to hurry
and then i think about it some more
begin to sweat, begin to whittle
my fragile courage into tooth picks
sitting in a creaky chair and staring
on the floor at my feet in the dust
and the record spins and goes
more of me gone trying to find it too

June 7, 2017

no ode / summer cold

oh man, you have problems,
i look in the mirror:
when your
sore tender nose
is running
sluicing, flowing, going
but you can’t blow
your throbbing nose,
i do really hate you
summer cold.
it runs down my face
to my lip,
to me, leaking somewhereselse..
like me wanting to be.