Posts tagged ‘groups’

February 14, 2017

this poets plight

there are 10,000,000
of the same exact
trying
to do
what you want
to do… the same exact.
so, how do
you prove
what you have to
prove, the you
and what you do?
write about
social justice,
write about your
city, write
about oppression,
write about love,
or if you don’t feel it
fantasize about it;
society gives you truth.
(where is the lens?)
for me,
it’s different:
minimum parental leave,
as a dad,
diapers and breast milk,
little to no money,
full-time work with college debt,
no covered movement,
cis pale male,
no publisher,
i tell people what i think–
no groups,
no promotion to climb a ladder,
just words.
and i make myself happy.
yet still for a poet
like me
my plight isn’t
trendy…
there are bigger memes.
more advertisement to be had.
so forget it.
now, it doesn’t matter.

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December 16, 2015

doing to one an-other

individuals in groups
treating
individuals like
groups.

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.

July 8, 2015

Minneapolis Offers A Melting Pot Literary Scene

Sure, they tell you to
join their literary groups
in order to get your words read,
in order to get your art noticed,
in order to make an impression on
the blossoming local scene.

Well, it’s just that: local,
and it still is, that’s it.

And a person can become
an organization alone.

Few think about a broad world
where 9 billion people might enjoy
everything or nothing that the creative
text you wrote has to offer…

Yeah, I think, gatherings are good for some—
those who need crutches for strong legs,
or those who need stitches for band aids.

Those who need editors
to change their ideas
so they will sell
and morph into comfortable writers.

I need approval
from institutions to feel good
about myself,
imagine that.

That would have to be
my anti-motto, something I truly avoid.

Ha! Such jokes…

Years back no one would read
new cognitive prose,
my free work, no one would talk
about it,
zero recognition—I certainly wasn’t overseas then,
and I still am as called before
a “failed writer”.

Everyone was doing their own thing;
others were not as important,
it was about self—well, selfishness,
but on the side there was
a feigned pack mentality.

The only change they wanted
was the change they made.

Now poets go around
and pretend as though
everyone in the Cities
should get involved,
because what they were doing
back then, individually didn’t work,
so lets band together.

It didn’t pan out for them.
Their dreams came only at REM.

So, now they organize cliques,
they establish large groups into
bad plays on high society hierarchy,
the kind of thing that real
artists have vehemently loathed.

They set their own rules, now,
and their own guidelines—
if you can’t beat them join them—
yeah, good idea.

What a theory,
such lack of heart.

I think in this case
to become a part of it,
to get to the epicenter,
to get to the whole,
to be welcomed into this special circle,
the imaginary self-actualized poet,
non-starving artist,
famous, you-know-me sort of thing,

you would have to admit defeat,
you would have to admit you lost,
and that your initial passions
were complete shit.

You would probably have to change your ways,
attempt to be more like them—
assimilate, like the rest,
figure hip dress, obscure verse,
employ ten-dollar words,
cloned topics—of course gendered,
racial, anthropological, progressive,
and leftist political,
try for universal acceptance, right here.

***

Yawn, I say,
describe a situation,
an actual event:

CC was on 4th street SE at the bus stop,
she had forgotten my name,
her lips were red,
she said she had a new job.

I rode away on a bike
while passing out flyers.

***

I mean, you might as well kill progress,
just so your road is less rocky.
Leave change by the wayside,
never go against the grain.

A conformist mentality
will help you fit in better,
don’t ya know?

Your personality, your ideology discussed
only in past-tense phraseology and terms,
it all must go.

More of the same than Minnesota lakes.

But then you think about
how you were once a unique person,
an artist, that no one read,
no one cared about,
and how it was fun doing what you loved.

People read, they were baffled, confused,
or were turned off—or became aroused.

Now you do it to please others,
while not pleasing yourself,
while pandering to their ways.

They stare, they clap, they record,
they namedrop, to charm the masses, for a club,
to be accepted, to be loved for being
something that they are entirely not.

No way.

See, I imagine that.
I fancy fickle easy artists,
they travel in bands
with big words and little action.

One would have to sell off
their creative soul
to even try to get involved.

I imagine fellatio costs less,
either way they get ahead.

Am I in Hollywood?
It’s so confusing.

May 27, 2015

New Danger: Water Balloons and Squirt Guns

Nowadays water balloons and squirt guns
are considered dangerous weapons.

Oddities which can get you tackled to the ground, cuffed,
and thrown into the back of a police cruiser.

It’s kind of funny.

I remember being younger, maybe 8 or so,
and having all-out wars with other kids
at Wildcat Landing near Brownsville, MN.

No one won, there were no casualties.

We would be throwing water balloons
and squirting each other with Super Soakers,
these dangerous weapons.

Their biggest offense was they wasted water.

To get it in the eye would sometimes start tears,
someone would inevitably run to Ma.

The midday sun was usually high,
the smell of sand and the chopping Mississippi
would be in the unbroken air.

Adults drank domestic beers and listened to classic rock.

We were just kids back then, with colorful toys.

Later on as a child, I remember my dad once shot his rifle
in the sky above a plainclothes officer
in our driveway at 1045 Bush Valley Rd.

The agent told us to get all of our guns/weapons.

I went inside and found my squirt guns
and brought them out.

The officer said with surprise, “Not those, son.”
He didn’t take my guns,
back then they were harmless.

He let me go, slap on the wrist.

Nowadays you can get arrested for that kind of stuff.

The shit we got away with,
man we were bad.

April 19, 2015

A Unique Poetry Slam,

where difference is proclaiming your hardships
in the same way as everyone else.

February 23, 2015

bandwagon

I once met this “poet”,
He hadn’t written a single word—
It’s been years since then,
He bears the same rank and title.