Posts tagged ‘Making’

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.

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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.

May 15, 2016

craft (where to start)

i’ve seen
a million people
craft
a million excuses

only to find
themselves

where
they started
in the first place

this craftwork
is for others

unfortunately

i am bad
at lying
to myself

and staying put

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 27, 2016

…to dust again

it’s really just
time: fast
swift and long

it is.

ask the river,
ask the sun in the sky,
ask human minds.

there is nothing
more than
the ticking clock

and the
haste of its
meaning.

never does
Gregorian become
gregarian.

and then
there is not.

there is a stone
and a box.

there is some
writing
on thinning
pages.

i wonder how
these rocks
gathered.

found their way
under my feet.

do they know
i stand fading
into sand
also, too?

and to dust again

time on
time,
on you.

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.

February 18, 2016

Ms.

a true
genius
puts
dead
bananas
in
the
fridge
and
doesn’t
make a
fuss
to tell
the
entire
world.

no words
of
the
bard
necessary,
no
care
at
the
ready
local
opinion.

she
does
so well
as
she is,
she
does
so
well
as she
does
at
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.

November 14, 2015

Three Colors with One (of Paris)

There is solidarity abroad
while a nation is divided.
There is difference assigned,
as senseless tragedies occur.

There are three colors shown
with pictures of broken glass.
There are groups crossing lines
with lists & scores outdated.

There is talk of how and why
and who and what, unknown.
There is confusion on screens
and some parts of the whole.

And we really wonder about us.
And we really wonder who that is.

October 26, 2015

where to go?

wondering as an adult
the meaning
of money of property
of pomp of present
predicament
why we try so hard
wasting our time
in-doors at desks
to be put into
a box within the earth
as if we hardly noticed
the outside
air and how it was sweet
how eyes hurt at the sun
unnatural
if only to be there
and take it rather
than away and not,
to be what a part you were
of something
anything
the kettle bubbles
the radio barks
the morning begins
where to go?