this would make me empassioned, or
impassioned. i am passionate about this something…
that’s how i get
who’ve never left the states
try to fix
other people’s problems
their English language exclusively.
the irony of westernization; fixed only by itself. YOU SEE?
and that is what they call backwards and selfish.
tho, there will be no stories of this on the news.
because just get out there and disrupt because.
and they should
call those who
think locally “nationalists” too.
a bunch of loud fools.
you know, somethings don’t translate.
you know, people might have different opinions.
this is how language works.
so when they/you designate
their/your ideas, ideations, and ideologies
as such, i just smh in realtime.
so silly, so stupid, so same.
that is why i am a where-ever-i-am-at-ist,
because i am right there,
i can attempt to understand
what i see and experience around me,
for me, for truth, for better.
maybe even for you…
but honestly, not for you (i don’t care)
or the tv (forget tv), i won’t facebook livestream it
or create a clever sign that
gets thrown away next day in some ironic carbon footprint
(that you too should actually hate)
after the post and the filter and the likes–fretter fakes.
and that is what i am passionate about,
or empassioned about, or impassioned about,
all that is around me
because i can touch it tangible,
as they said, i can feel the real,
i can set the clock next to the bed.
and there is something about language and labels.
from an Ikea brand couch
scrolling my social media feed,
i ponder how many trees it takes
to make a modern revolution’s
professionally made protest sign
that says “me” and evokes “you” to react;
here, i give you honest truth–
as i sip my latte, the $10 one from Starbucks,
it tastes okay, but could be better;
to presuppose a certain movement
or ideology is more imperatively just,
i do wager that for all–i know,
which one is better and more necessary
than the rest, for the rest, obviously.
here subtle meanings are left to expire
on my re-purposed dumpster rug,
which really ties the room together;
passed by at its open casket wake,
where later these signs may litter hard pavement,
a place where my American made boots
and skinny black jeans may not go,
only in mind…
and we talk and like and demonstrate.
we are so importantly important,
this is what democracy looks like.
…and really, who bought these signs?
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.
last night i picked up a Bukowski again and
read something from his THE CONTINUAL CONDITION
then i thought in the parking lot
after the lady behind me bought my lottery tickets
and dark coffee because
the guy behind the counter
in the unwashed and untucked shirts
didn’t know if they accepted credit cards
or not and the line grew,
and no more money came from my pants,
what is art?
rat is art
tar is art
tra is art
i guess anyway you look
at it, those letters are art.
and the lady in line said: take it, no just take it.
and threw $2 on the counter.
she had a gallon of 2% milk and was serious.
like any-thing is any-thing
perhaps decomposition of a loved one
since the year 2014 is art,
like pumping milk from a cow is art.
or maybe since the year 4201 is art.
i don’t know.
don’t i know.
i watched from the car
as breastfeeding went down in the lot
i didn’t want to be followed,
what a major calamity of sorts.
the gas station lights could
sense my growing shame and
how my patience was lost
in staring at walls or looking
for a cd that wasn’t scratched,
hoping for B.I.G..
crystalline frost formed on the vehicles
near the front lawn.
and i am happy they were there.
we rolled up late, an hour of stationary
before we got back on the road
and i tried to dodge deer
where brown and red smears said they died.
like the leaves piled and decomposing
they are tra, or rat, or tar
whatever you call it it is that.
like those bleeding hearts couldn’t take a loss.
like losing the lottery in america.
like driving at night with desert eyes.
like coming in late without an excuse.
like not needing one, but you do.
like knowing before others and pretending to not.
like apologizing for everyone like you for guilt, your guilt.
like feeling sorry that you don’t.
like telling people to move on in your shoes.
maybe that’s why we all drink coffee
and tell our friends what we think.
and one day the sun won’t spin,
so bring a few extra layers,
everyone will be there.
Shades of the trees toward western skies rest a cool shadow
on a once brilliant face,
where the lacquer for paint
Smack of fuzzed tennis balls hurled in the wind,
zipping with bugs in
a St. Paul end-summer August warm.
Reflections and shadows hung on until it was time
to go back home—
just after supper and just before
candlelight vigils and auto headlamps scans rushed
into closed windows and about vacant streets.
the world come to close another day,
morning would be the same except reverse
on those tired night dweller’s eyes.
A can was crushed and we biked back
to SE through mosquitoes.
If adjectives were people
would we misuse them so freely?
Would we tarnish or compromise
their meaning, because we feel it so fit?
A day seldom goes by without hearing “amazing”
or “awesome” or some other elaborate word
that no one truly understands,
because we want to sound smart,
because impressive is good.
I imagine a day when adjectives are personified, incarnate,
they will come back irate,
pissed off at us for our word choices,
and they will take what is theirs.
Without pause or hesitation
they will call us all illiterates and fools,
imbeciles and morons,
they will promptly walk away,
with all ways to accurately describe.
We will then think on how we had it so well,
with no way to say exactly what we have to tell…
And then, inevitably, someone will say, “incredible”.
A pair of eyes stare at the “problem”.
A single mind labels, calculates, and retains.
A pair of hands do nothing for meaningful progress.
Another group of “activists” yell: change!, change!, change!