Posts tagged ‘Literature’

March 9, 2018

north woods and north shore

i’d like to escape
north woods, northshore
past Duluth, past the ships,
the mini sea
comes into view, comes to mind.
all past-life in the rearview.
empty agendas found blank,
just wake lapping at the shores
where red rocks are shone.
through arched tunnels, further,
Two Harbors, Castle Danger.
a million years in a minute gone by.
how did it happen?
i’d like to escape like lava from crust
to create this Superior lake,
this setting. read it in books as a kid.
the Edmund Fitzgerald and 28.5 barometric pressure.
time’s i can’t take city’s measure.
but these thoughts save me mostly.
nothing but canary lines on the highway: open road.
would go to Lutsen, dad would, drink Hot 100 in a Jacuzzi.
he’s gone too. long gone.
would show the earth’s curve to
flat-earthers to prove them,
as we ate Betty’s pies, or famous pizza,
all the way to Grand Marais.
i don’t know. maybe go
along the snaking Gunflint Trail
to where the road ends, way up there, and
think about finding that square rock
which came into view like some ancient monster on
Lake Sag, i don’t know. Ghosts bobbing in white caps.
still looms in my head when i think
about catching bass or time to put my feet up,
or about my father and what he
would be doing now. i’d escape.
i’d find it. and why not?

March 1, 2018

nightmare surveillance

never understanding the full extent
we are going for a moment noticed–a millisecond
to live and die in that very instant happy

January 20, 2018

some new problems came up on the 16 bus, so did you think the snow was bad, tell me what you think about the weather and the Vikings games i need to forget everything else and pretend everything is awesome…

snow out the window sinks
tightens and stretches
like the budget that we forgot to mention.
a 16 bus floats down University avenue,
Green Line aside; all the bars i can’t visit.
man behind the wheel says peek-a-boo
and hello and hey and whistles.
“i’ll stay inside for the Superbowl,”
but it’s triple overtime i think, line the pocketbook.
guy who doesn’t pay the fare: he looks like you!
i know, i love it and smile to my self.
in a basement studio with no meaning.
in a basement studio language, meaning, lofty.
to Aldi for diapers pickles and popcorn.
no more phone, calls on Google Home.
what if god was one of us? just a sloth like one of us.
2018 tragedies carried over from last year and the 90s.
i want to be bob dylan, i want everyone to love me.
everybody wants to be cats. dance the silence…
that’s just about as funky as you can be.
still the tears pile up.
they are puddles piled as metaphors high as the sky.
some other poet could write it better probably.
one thing goes wrong, next a million.
who isn’t tired, who isn’t trying their best?
no worries though, budgeting.
never been on a better diet, 3 notches in my belt.
grow muscle, grow bitter about society, lose weight: dad diet.
friends wives call to sell health, well…
tell the ads to go to hell.
we literally can’t afford to buy anything right now, for years.
AND i thought we were friends?
new phone, sorry who is this, i lost your number again…
shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.
the snow sinks and turns to brown water.
all thoughts of fall and crisp leaves and warm sleeves.
please help me make the rent so i
can make the daycare so i can teach English
and get 7 on reviews when i need a 10
and their internet is at fault, shithole internet.
i wonder if it is mine and speed test and it’s fine.
project Fi treats me like a child.
i am blue davy dee davy da… blue.
my bank treats me like indentured servitude.
then reading memos on fact-based privilege.
tell me more about me that i don’t know about me.
the way i go, i am a pale robot, i am a terminator.
with emotions, with new days, between oceans.
the way i go i talk about the snow.

December 7, 2017

language laws (minus me)

infinite ideas with the right to say
coming with its own rite, own ways
tell me how to live right now and how
and i’ll tell you what i’ll give, and how

December 6, 2017

really not sure

change fix solve cast dream: the things that define us non-animal in the kingdom sect and put us here with a bank account vanquished and time to dwell up our fortunes and the former. change fix tragedy nightmare.

from couch sit to morgue nap. from morning to twilight dusk. making things happen since 1987. a river ran through it. i am not sure where… time stood still. buildings came down for novel firmaments, questionable tenements where coffee shops once resided, mused, and inspired.

seen oceans drained in travel, bluffs grew in 10 minutes during a hike, a lifetime of praise ended by a verb on some capitalistic network citing neo-Marx. rather make change than complaint in the subzero sunlight. here for now, gone some time then. really not sure. i guess i guess.

and the really not sure bit, that’s true.

December 2, 2017

focused concerns of perspective



because not many people
give me a peanut butter
sandwich for lunch nowadays
but the writer of this poem.


never knowing one self
never knowing others how
they feel inside
can’t know me— leaves
a subjective flaw
of understanding
but some get it,
i guess–if that is possible.
Perhaps. You get you maybe.
so tell me what i think.


dislike of ideals
yet write only in the language.

calling from a stance of calling
allowed as it is, allowed,


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November 26, 2017

list of life and lists

a work                                                     of art in progress
such                              a sort of sorts
too much                                  of some things, nothings
a few       more beers, more cheers at the rail
of mice                           and men–books
a river                                    runs thr            ough it–fictions
lighting            the lights Riverside Park
dogs                  killing rabbits   in the backyard
in the                           morning                as
coffee          drips down, down, down, yum…
here the elevation                                     of the bluffs
is high                    as the heavens  call it home, come back,  call it home
a whole city below aglow,  November cold, no snow
sacred, blessed, meaningful flag waving above
bald eagles soaring on pause, floating: not sure what it sees
shining, driftless center like me
movement, more movement between
a city with its shit together
(they collect the leaves and
they have nice streets and it shows)
running in circles, no pot holes
talking the same, politics and pain
narratives of truthful ideas
narratives of appeal (so real)
exhausted we climb on
exhausted we climb on Eagle Bluff Trail
crumpled leaves and sweet sap
and a tree dying on top of an Impreza, I think
cafe jazzing my way through it all

November 18, 2017

ghosts cannot kill

life after life
life after this coffee is gone, slipped out of its cup
computer screens bleeping, drama queens screaming
after a walk in the woods, after silence
thoughts of my father
pop up like mushrooms in spring,
me as a father now especially
as that one spire, strident, fixture in my life
once was, as afraid of the dark
as bumps in the night, he stands there
dead eyes, calming, voided, silhouette doorway
telling me the same thing he told me to make me feel safe:
a ghost has never killed anyone in the history of time,
no one has died from seeing a ghost,
and if i were going to die i would have done it by now
he told me that without exaggeration
i wonder are they real
or are they just gone when they are

November 12, 2017

sunday apex

Beautiful Sunday morning
dark AM morphing from
empty pews’ attrited time
to quiet hymns breathing sigh

October 7, 2017

saturday morning with my grandpa (how i became me)

saturday mornings could smell
like burnt eggs
and old cigars stamped out years ago,
bacon grease splatting, hiss,
dogs wet fur from the rain coming down,
a damp dusty basement clouded,
unbrushed teeth speaking true words
to loved ones about what will be done
what we might get to,
grandma and grandpa and dad and cats in La Crescent
sitting in a wallpapered kitchen, rented out now,
pantry full, cooking bean soup on the stove,
waiting for NASCAR on sunday, those tomorrows,
and god, or the lord or heavens knows, who cares?
got to get better at it, all of it,
that smell reminds me of nothing now
and the dead and chopping wood in the forest,
and how he would show up with donuts
and his dog, in leather boots, early,
before most “hard workers” today even think about
getting up because he drove semi trucks
to where i live now, just south of us,
until in his mid-seventies,
when he first met me, 70 times my age,
and i can still smell that stuff upstairs.