Posts tagged ‘Creating’

April 30, 2017

new motivation: no reprieve, no peace

they say fix one problem at a time
and then you reach the base of a mountain,
trying to stay warm and dry
and then it rains–why?,
you can see the dampness on the walk outside.
they tell you to get a real job,
get a second too, and still you are a slave
for land that you will never own
and always pay for on your own, drone…
and most of the poets i know talk about the
biggest problems/issues/talking points, ones that are truly
out of the imagination across the nation–seems
nice and unbelievable, only because
i have fought wars over paying rent
abused furniture because of college debt.
it was really nothing personal, but it follows your person.
as if just doing and getting focused is cake.
seems nice to be able to forget, to relate.
seems nice to be able to hesitate, wait…
doing that no more, the more chores.
rents in St Paul are like walking through closed steel doors.
and then you wake up in it.
decide, now. buy now. i want to hide now, some how.
all ashamed, all to blame, all made UP, games.
solve one of them at a time,
and the floodgates just opened,
flames in a paper factory surrounded by 40 gas stations,
and about a million dying suns,
and they start another protest.
they write another book that their editor/publisher friends like.
i am just hoping the tomatoes don’t die
in the backyard cold–draped with ragged blankets
that might be food later,
and that another collection agency doesn’t call
i’ve tried to block them all…
all because i was sick
all because of insurance
all because of medical
all because of this.
i told my colleague a joke onetime about how if
the mafia came and broke your legs with baseball bats
you would have to deal with something worse
right after:
and that is the health care industry
of america. yeah. go fix that, you activists.
i pray that you never get sick, in a secular way.
one thing at a time, becoming an extra.
now please donate to my cause.

Advertisements
December 23, 2016

what to expect when you sit down to write a poem

When you sit down to write a poem
it mostly happens. I believe that anyone can do it.
Writing poems is easy, depending on the poems
you write and the audience you write to.
If you were a press and your goal was to make money
off of poems, then your audience would be donors.
I assume they are harder to write to than bloggers.
I guess an idea that blew my mind is
publishers would have competitions
and offer cash prizes and then after they rejected you
they would send out emails about
how they need your money. I never got that.
People asking for donations after they rejected your work,
as if the words you wrote lacked the luster
and the importance of the words of others.
I suppose certain grant writers get more money
for certain words, certain editors need salaries,
and certain ideas hit closer to home.
I mean, I am a father, a husband; I am white and male
(but none of that matters; but identity is chic now);
I have tried hard as any to get to where I am.
I would say I am a poet but by most accounts
and the emails I get, that means I am a failed poet.
I don’t make rent or pay bills off of my work,
it pays in smiles and a sort of pride
that only you and I would understand.
What I do is safe as a handrail on icy stairs.
What I do is very, very, very easy
because doing something you love shouldn’t be hard.
What I do isn’t exactly defined, thankfully;
in a scene you have to either be or not
or just keep going until someone notices you
and either says “shit” or “genius” or “you are that poet”
and that really depends on the time of year
and who you are close friends with,
and what kind of poem you read at the open mic, and how.
So, I have noticed, when you sit down and write a poem
it usually happens, and you can do it,
though I would say most are worried about perfection,
how other people feel about their ideas,
and would hide their art because
it might lack meaning, identity, or a soapbox purpose,
absolutely defined by others in a social vaccuum.
But we will never know. And that is why I wrote this poem
precisely for you. I find it a huge success.
Writing mostly happens, or I guess it doesn’t.
Easy as mom’s Facebook post or Trump’s tweets.
Easy as pressing keys and not marketing.

April 5, 2016

We Are (some time)

We are. In this between warm bellies
and harsh alarms, a shower cat

and parked cars, possible rain and clear stars.
We are. But we had to leave it to find the latter.

We are. Each morning jazz and traffic alerts,
running until our back hurts. We are.

There were charged phones and computer
screens, lights showing the props between.

We are. Just another day in all of its many ways.
We are. I wonder if they could even notice?

We are. The wind through trees blowing.
We are. See the time steadfastly going.

We are.
We are.

February 26, 2016

For-Profit Poets (What Bugs Me)

i wonder if the gnat in the shower mist
understands that money changes art.
the very idea of creating something for
pay transforms the something you create.

as if you aren’t going at it for self,
but now going at it for millions. this comedian
bug in our bathtub garden had the sense of
humor to remind me the importance of not

knowing, of not assuming, of not trying to be
the best in any situation, because there is only
self happiness inspired by the true muse.
and nothing more. and those words changed

for the pennies they paid, and some poets
would rather fill their bank accounts than self
actualize. and especially not talk about it.
notice it in similar words and formulas and

themes around these twin towns. i’ve seen
art on the green line, art on the transit, art
at the office desk top in non-profit form that
gave more to the world, so much more.

and i’ve begged and asked of some time to
merely experience, and some think they
have a chance at competition that proves
nothing more than some of us like just this.

January 3, 2016

(being lazy) all through the city

being lazy is my favorite thing to do.
i bike to West Photo to get 35mm film.
i drop money at the bank to pay rent.
i go on Nicollet to get fitted for a suit.
being lazy is great, as it pervades me.
i sit at The Local in downtown and talk.
i notice the bartender and server going.
i tell a joke & move thru tore up streets.
being lazy is my favorite thing to do.
i think i am doing this task so well.
i walk to magazine boxes placing art.
i write poems and prose and no one cares.
i think of how Monday there is change.
i think of how tonight is really tomorrow.
i meet local celebrities and have a chat.
i forget names and don’t mention it.
i get a discount for being a smartass.
i try not to find excuses for being me.
i try not to hear excuses for being you.
being lazy is my favorite thing to do.
i drink water instead of vodka bloodies.
i walk out on the ice and drink a beer.
i take photos of a sunset over trees.
i love the blue sky which lights me pale.
being lazy is my favorite thing to do.
being this lazy takes up so much time.

September 28, 2015

Red Wing on Sunday

We cut south as rain ran
off a battered roof in a gale,
marked with hard luck’s feel
we chose to quick vacate
the close crowded city.
Along cornfields & heavy trucks,
we drove into Red Wing proper–
dining at the St. James Hotel.
That what was left behind
was not as important
as what was brought with me.

August 28, 2015

I love coming early

Good morning Midwest,

there is joy to be found in objectively
taking the peeking sunrise,
even behind overcast clouds.

It happens so early in fact
that you can taste the shine
of the drinking fountains
lining the walls,

and last night’s perfume
carried still
in vacant halls.

That place is so early; an empty room—
soon to be filled up,

is a peaceful quiet serene,
in all feeling at present,
for a brief moment.

I stand noting the close function
to create this occasion:

I am at least 15 of 60 before any shift
worth getting paid for—

at least;

making the punctual look lazy
and the lazy look dead.

No apology here,
I can’t fix apathy, or ignorance.

I say become besties with the alarm clock,
buy stronger coffee,
cook leaner eggs.

I make my day on time
because I am running out of it,

and you didn’t even notice
while punching in.

Here’s how it’s done:

At night,
in twilight slumbers,
I dream of coming early

on most days
ending in “Y”.

August 25, 2015

Amenities

Life out of Stanley
Life out of truck
Life out of city
Life with sandwich lunch

Life out of control
Life stuck inside
Life without aversions
Life between lines

And then,
Life out of time.

June 22, 2015

St. Anthony Waste

Sour leather bands synched
in a veiled humidity,
swam this Midwestern oven,
doggy paddle for fluid strokes.
Rolled windows on St. Anthony
caught a trash truck soup
of faintly fanned aroma sweet
under parted clouds;
cloy cutting, putrid, pungent,
unforgettably at the tip of your tongue,
in the holes of your nose.
Fumes came from plastic bags ripped
and cardboard boxes smashed
telling of domestic unimagineables,
making way to the forefront,
aggressively introduced,
and not leaving soon.
Remnants pressing,
pushing through the city;
parts of me, parts of you—
the powers of summer heat sparked
a sickening knotted perfume,
lingering in the air,
in these communities tight knit.

June 10, 2015

Unmoving

Ears of creation
Heard close on actions promised,
But what of the hands?