Posts tagged ‘Literature’

January 3, 2017

free as i freeze (habit and time)

wake up to routine,
OK Google, play morning jazz.
watch people kiss at the
drop off spot.
it’s cold, there is ice–messages, go outside…
tie shoes and salt the walk.
change diapees of all sorts.
my son makes more art
than the lot in the books
than the lot on the poster
than the lot at the press
than me, and yes, i wrote that
and it’s exclusive to your publication
and i won’t send it
to anyone else, i promise.
no more surprises.
she asks me why i don’t wear
a jacket in 9 degree weather
to fill up the gas tank
so the fuel line doesn’t freeze overnight,
i don’t want to be restricted.
i want to not be cramped.
i just want to make ends meet
even if they have no interest
in meeting and becoming friends
and they just try to avoid
that moment, which i have set out so boldly
to make a reality, on my account.
wake up to routine,
OK Google, bring me a beer.
and deconstruct structure–
wood, screws, metal, shelves, etc.
they tell me i look nice in a blazer.
into packs cramped.
trying to be more free as i freeze
if you would just let me,
it only takes habit and a moment.

January 2, 2017

rupi kaur and everyone else can do it too

i guess it’s really just regular prose
and words and pictures scrawled from pen,
something so familiar anyone can do it;
an email a doodle on a notepad and then
put on white paper easy font some poetry
use your smartphone to capture the art
put it out to the world as if a superstar composed it
as if they were the best ever, sure they probably
know some publishers, probably slick in the biz,
that is the wonderful and talented rupi kaur too
but far more she creates and creates and creates,
words and ideas that come close to home
so familiar to those scrolling, tweeting
and sharing social media professionals,
because it was geared towards them,
it is designed for them like cat food is for cats
because there is market for inspiration:
to change the most of days and our acute minds.
my words involve coffee and hard sentences
chocolate–very dark, if i get very lucky,
and prose that no one knows, literary landscapes–
as if a hydrogen bomb went off on some shakespeare,
blew away the good art, took away the drawing,
and the respected namesake and time,
left a placeholder we did not understand
asking for donations to create breast milk
vonnegut, harrison, bukowski, niebeling, melville
and diapers, because that is how trendy one is
and lower case and lack of punctuation and.
everyone else can do it too, we can relate.

December 26, 2016

tree removal, i wonder what they pay

a tree removal company rolled up in two trucks in front of my mother’s house. one with a hydraulic lift to scale the tree, the other with a chipper to change its form. they both sat on ice; my mother talked of salting the drive. we watched from the window, Bella the doodle most concerned. earlier i had noted morning light orange of the highest limbs of trees and a bluff black and white back drop before anyone could be called awake, no stirring. and men jumped from their trucks–muffled steps resounded, figured the positioning, lifted, tied ropes, ran trailers into the snowy ground and began to saw, saw, saw. the owner, anal about his law, came out to discuss the future of each blade and which way trees fall in the city. and then it happened. the fall. no “timber” for timber. silence as a shock wave, through the centre, through the top of the tree sending it swaying in a sickening bow back and then forth. i imagined a whole life ruined for a moment; i imagined the rings of a tree and its age are only revealed after death. nextly. chips and dust and exhaust and noise and cutting and chopping and tossing happened in enough cool to make each exhale seen, almost tangible. some authoritative hollers. aside from that, i wonder, how they do it. i could cut down trees too. i wonder what they pay.

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.

December 20, 2016

bean sandwich

when it is
lunchtime
and you literally
eat
a bean sandwich,
just black beans
between sandwich bread
and that’s all.
and then you
eat it slow
with no seasoning,
and stale water,
and then its paste falls
out in chunks onto
a folded paper towel
on some dirty table,
and the blue sky
beyond the old window
is blotted out by
purple drapes, and then
you think fuck,
i wonder how dusty
it is in this room?
and you look around suspciously.
and think no one please
talk to me right now,
i need a wash, thanks.

December 13, 2016

i guess i am afraid too…

i think of our fast time
when and where the fear
holds us tight, when
we tell everyone
how afraid we
are about everything
and anything, everywhere,
so vocally, so knowingly,
and how our ways only
will most likely change that fear.
then i think
about a class that
i took a few weeks back,
one of self-defense, surely,
when and where the
instructor told us all
to not be afraid
of the dark, or not
defend ourselves if we are
and we find ourselves in it.
i mean, it seems so easy,
but the basement can
be really scary, the dark alley
can be truly terrifying,
the misunderstood politician
can seem as the devil incarnate.
and then i remember
looking to outside St Paul,
out on the cold streets,
crusted in white hard snow,
alight with daybreak,
that cold that is out there
in the sun is more
dangerous to us–30 minutes and
you are dead, and that
the summer clothes hanging
in my gloomy basement are
only as scary as i make
them myself, they blow in the wind,
they touch me like shadows,
they do what i tell them
to do in my head. this is what i fear:
the irrational fear of others.
so, i guess i am afraid too…

December 10, 2016

cold as cold as cold and cspan

it is 6 degrees in frogtown, mn,
i am inside sick watching cspan

and a baby sleep in his rock
& play, wife in the kitchen watching

a cracked screen. my face is full
of snot, head full of congestion, watching

talking heads tell me about “fake news”
and debates and their influences.

(easy, i could take their words for it
they probably don’t care about mine.)

someone wears a bandaid on his cheek;
the president wants a deep dive

investigation; and the red hot chili
peppers had a forgotten album in 2004, says reddit.

i wonder about where i was at that time,
i don’t know how that all factors

into everything, but mostly i care
about what is right here, around me.

wooden floors and naked feet–pallid,
lemon sinks to the bottom of my mug

as a blue whale in the south pacific,
muddy water coffee waits on a tablecloth,

plastic snug on the windows, electrical heaters
and baby toys. a coat hangs slack

like yesterday. i know how hillary
felt when she fell into that van,

now i’m with her. now i am sick.
now i am achy as a lab skeleton cold.

November 22, 2016

easily defined

in the shower
this morning
i realized
there is a whole
world out there
ready to
define you.

thinking further,
if i remember
correct, a
person is what
they eat.

in that case,
i am weekend left-
overs, dead meat,
some fruit, and
cold cows milk.

easy as that, no-
thing more, i have
saved the lot
a lot of work.
they have one less
job to do now.

November 6, 2016

making it ok

perhaps, in a country where we have made it
commonplace acceptable
to meticulously disrupt and replace
those in far-off scapes

at the push of cold button–now, also
we find it ok to explain which might
or could happen so dire to us
while something right in front

of our very eyes happens.  Imagine that,
we the people see the foreshadowed future
as more imposing, more real than our present
which stalks about us, which tells us

to be concerned for. think of that day
that hasn’t happened yet, and be worried.

October 28, 2016

loving the art

i am no grant writer,
i keep a simple blog;
as an unsolicited writer,
carte blanche & song.

*

i think you should write too.