Posts tagged ‘conversation’

January 23, 2016

awake: the play

A poet writes in SE Minneapolis about the trials and tribulations of a Friday night gone mildly awry. He is surrounded by the cat’s meow, a blowing electrical heater, and the buzz of a refrigerator standing in a near vacant kitchen. The sky is overcast mute through slitted shades. He broods in his mildly sarcastic Minnesotan fashion, feeling the pains of last night’s waste while coming to terms with how his workouts aren’t working out. And nothing happens…

scene 1:
to wake in uptown
fully clothed and hot,
recounting bad
pajamas and enough
beer to consume
an entire Heggies pizza.

(and people starve abroad,
and others win
the lottery at home, and he
still tries.)

here,
i’d rather see myself
in Beat coffeehouse
having conversation

about
cutting ties with
negatives, and always
smiling through the shit,

and elaborate schemes…

i’d rather be
confused and
frightened,
than comfortable
in the same
old place.

*
certain days you wake
up away, and certain days
you don’t wake up at all.

*

monologue:
but i won’t wait,
why, why sit back
at the theatre
and watch the
other performers
take what they will?

(all life is
performance art;

even the
bathroom is
theatre.)

monologue 2:
no, it was a nice way
to wake up, in the dark
on the phone with love

at five am,
to need water,
to set the alarm,
to find my glasses to
see it all perfectly
clear in grey light.

(the cold was there
waiting for him just
as it was the night
before, and he went to it.)

scene 2:
i just found myself
at the darkest place before
i came back home
huffing on a cold bike,

and someone at the open
mic knew my name,

still all the words for
the poem were lost
in alcohol and water,
in laughs and sighs.

they snapped at the wrong
parts and guffawed
at pigment jokes;

i guess pink is a funny color.

scene 3:
so, sitting over
simple english and
talking academia
with coffee on my breath

i found the song
i had searched months
for and wrote it down
with my blog link
shamelessly on the back of
someone else’s ephemera,

then i stuck it to a blackboard
and biked with thin layers
from south to north,

to home to shower,
to think i think.

this is where you can find me.
awake.

FIN

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November 5, 2015

because I look like this

Things that concern me
more than anything else
stem as the thick roots
of a century old oak

grown through barbwire fencing
and around hardened stones,
immense on a hillside,

entrenched in pastoral lands
so deep and so bloodied, with its past,
it would be hard to tear out entirely,

even if uprooted
we could never forget.

It comes from death stares
so sharp your heart beats faster
and you sweat,

heads turn in a snap on the neck
at the question you just asked—

one which you just simply can’t,
and where,

in a place of research and academia,
a place where words like “fact”, “objective” and “truth”

float up as shit in
a waste facilities plant.

Even with air quotes in inquiry
a person couldn’t truly
reflect, safely,

couldn’t say a “group” idea
had nothing to do with
the individual raising a pale hand,

posing a pure question,
asking of a device with logic

and understanding
used so precisely daily—

an openness that did not come to conclusions,
in ways that would affect me
up the street on the walk,
being called a “devil’s advocate”
and “wrong”.

See, I was bothered because I don’t
believe in the devil… or any Other god.

I pointed at my face and said,
“Just because I look like this?”

They answered with a nodding “yes”.
I told them it was nice
to have this conversation

and walked across the street
dreaming of epiphanies.

June 3, 2015

Moving Wood in West Lakeland

Wood laid in a pile,
brought down in the days before;
years of life soon ash.

May 29, 2015

A Ride to Work with Late Masters

Sweet smell of morning
and leavings of last night’s rain
were scattered about,
sluiced on glass and ground,
left abandoned for drying.

A naked wrist called to remember Warhol.

The wild storm came and went,
as 4am was time, as day break was birthed,
as the tired feeling that reels one to a cold shower expires,
as eyes to a mirror interrogation, to face this—
was deep and strong.

Hands never moved on the melting clocks, where ants carried away.

Haring said, “I am becoming much more aware of movement.
The importance of movement is intensified
when a painting becomes a performance.
The performance (the act of painting)
becomes as important as the resulting painting.”

In order to become whole energy burst through,
coming down pieces, it restored movement.

Where stiff blades of grass begged of overcast—end this holocaust,
“Just drop, fall already!”

And it happened, moving in a storm-window screen
as a runaway train through a dark tunnel,
as a maladroit thief in the night—confused at access, loud.

And that was the waking siren emboldened,
no firetruck’s scream, no squad car whoop, no alarm bells ringing.

Dali enjoyed watching Gala with other lovers, they came.

This sound predated them all,
and it was just pressure and water and air and now.

I caught the leftovers in a rearview mirror flared reflection
at a stop light turned red; the droplets cascaded down
at the truck’s growly acceleration.

Soppy beads rocked in zigzags about the exterior of a blackened rusted frame.

Sun caught on the cloy smell of dying lilacs—sweet,
chain coffee in the console—weak,
and exhaust from a boxy bus that was slipping by noisily—disgust,

motivation to kill, the latter cacophony in soft mushroomed cartilage.

The formers caught porous nose at the same time.

We were all traveling in the storm’s wake to get somewhere,
and some of us were living unnoticed.

March 22, 2015

Perfect Artist

Sharing small town concepts,
language, in hopes to pave a path;

at a bar stool conversation,
after an empty whisky shot throat-sting,
as beer bubbles trace a 1/3 full pint glass.

One local could move forward with art,
or make it easy—take a step back.

Laugh , and seize the moment…
I think about it…
I say: but the proof is only if it kills you,
your art,
Bukowski said that,
I sort of believe the man.

We are not perfect artists, really—no one is,
the evidence is: we are still alive, mostly.

See: I’ve been to a few funerals;
I know the end of my story will be
surrounded by a shovel, dirt, words, and a box.

Then, a man I don’t know will tell others about me.

There’s advertising.

(The real artist is the priest who doesn’t know you acting like he does,
he swears to god. You were good, though god doesn’t understand death.)

Then, no more art will come out of you,
but they will hear it.

That is the perfect artist and art.
That is the truth, perhaps.

May 2, 2014

How to: Career Planning

Gold ring found had been nearly drown
Old times from past, histories step to advance
Trees walk among the least, from Sauron they flee
The brave stand their ground as the weak bow down. -OTS

How to Make (Do)

Here I sit at the bar
Not contemplating life
Not outlining my day
Not drinking away my night

Here I sit at the bar
Long faces gather round
Supping dry liquors
Some clear and some brown

Drawing on politics
How the world spins round
Group caste of another knit
Supply far distance around town

Before the sun has long gone
Or merchant door fast locked
They show a gaze forlorn
Of the have and have-nots

The old they say:
Go not to school
But make hay
Education is for indebted and feckless fools, they claim

I’ve polished the boot
I’ve washed piled dishes
I’ve stacked up dirty loot
Backroom illegitimate kitchens

I’ve been told what to do
What to think and how to move
I’ve gone full circle to prove
The importance in abandonment of marionette rule

One surprised at how life takes place
Scholarly alterations of changing ways
They say make haste- time is not to waste
Lest become pastiche of those with taste

People, they talk and they chat
Reacting as they can to this and that
Doing little for much complaint
Devising no real plan of attack

Again, at the bar I sit
Reflection on past
I drink to the good life
To others I say, “Relax, only just act.”

They are merely talking when they say they are making plans
Lips move grand ideas but what movement do they place in their hands?

***

The loudest people with the best ideas
Have nothing to do, and so much to fear.

Excerpt:

Only to enhance our frowns
Taken care of by indebted future lot
It comes with major threats and frets
Stuck in made plans, yet to disband they have not.

April 30, 2014

The whole world in 105 lines (amongst peers)

The whole world in 105 lines (amongst peers):

Here’s a start:
We all have Minds
We all have Hearts

We all have Eyes
Contemplation of kinds
Time;
Histories and Pasts,
That we forget

Movements

Moments we haven’t
Spent

That of what
Of which
We can reflect:

Before, Now, Happenstance,
And Present Tense–

There,
I said it in less.

Let’s not digress
There’s more to life
Than what’s defined
Even in 105 lines

Even if you were to try,

However, at least you did

I promise-

The whole world is like this.

(End)

The only person stopping you from doing anything is yourself.

September 1, 1939, By W. H. Auden.

March 14, 2014

On the Balcony with Love (at the Kitty Cat Club)

On the Balcony with Love

By Terry Scott Niebeling

 

Outside of the house

Watching droplets all

They bounce up in the sun

Lit sparkling they fall

 

Sunlight how nice

Made an ass of self

For getting after my girl

On account of my fault

 

Amber transparency

Whiskey glass fixed

In a cold dark corner

Full beer can of tricks

 

Bikers sit in the light

Talking weather and trash

They deliver their product

They careen as they pass

 

Balcony noise raindrops loud

Cars go by, and up, and around

Melt snow liquid moves splashing through

University sign scrawled illuminated blue

 

Machine gun fire streams

They fall from above

Perspiring from the heavens

Yellow orb showing love

 

Sit sip this splendid thought

Read and ponder this springtime hot.

August 26, 2012

End Scene: V.V.

Entities in an establishment longing for one another, undercover of foresight, she’ll be back in a fortnight.

Encased in white, encased by mother and brother.

 

Liquor and culture about; a jovial spread.

 

Eyes locked, avoided for the most part, pondering a predicament; this angel is heaven sent.

As not to draw attention, unwanted suspension of situation.

 

Something to mention.

Something to mention.

 

We wait…

 

Ducking down to create a sense of loss.

We did this before, a few hours back.

Hardly an instance of thought is put into the sleep that was lost.

 

The moments harden and crack to black.

Sat back and relaxed in the past.

 

Eyelids as rusted metal; oil maintenance is a necessity posthaste.

 

I am gone only but from the trivial times, coming out from the galley.

She has left-

 

Left me a souvenir, a created past; empty glasses on the table, plates removed by the able.

Staff wipes the evidence into a stained bleach-soaked towel.

Napkins rest crumpled with DNA of my lover, true fable.

 

Never before has there been such an intelligent and learned listener, empathy for we…

Empathy, you see.

 

Gone.

 

Rush out to the floor to observe what was before.

(Has this been the last sight I will see of her?)

 

Praying she hasn’t passed the doorway.

I explore.

 

Hands splayed at the side like a madman, but calculated.

I have two occupations presently.

 

Find her.

 

Straight ahead and to the right, she does the same but to the left.

She has not the latter.

 

Across the room, and we lock eyes again for the last time.

As she is looking for me.

 

Smile as long as the Nile.

True glee.

 

I raised an arm and opened my mouth as if to say, “Love!  Don’t forget, don’t go just yet.”

There is a lot to do, us two.

 

She ran back, as I, we met half way.

A hug, a kiss, and this I think of today.

 

She sits on a plane…

I watched her walk away.