our thick syrup is maple leaf
the greasey sausages of pork
new light cuts through pale smoke
of warm sun on the open porch
our thick syrup is maple leaf
on Saturdays i can usually
drink a whole pot of coffee, not just half
so it sits until the next day and maybe
goes into a growler in the fridge.
my stepfather says it’s a waste to make less
than a full pot of coffee, so today i feel
accomplished and un-wasteful. on the way
to write this i played with the stinky cat
with a painful foot that possesses an ingrown
toenail on the big toe and has athletes
foot unrestricted. i turned on the kitchen
light and opened the shades and perused
the backlot as i filled the pot with tap water.
my wife changed a dirty diaper and prepared
for work. i cleared my mind for getting my
ID updated and a new credit card;
i would have to change accounts. i poured what
was left of the old coffee from yesterday
into a tall glass, added creamer and drank.
thought about how i won’t buy beer this weekend
and how our podcast went so well. it’s things like these
that matter, keep the full pot full, positive.
my stepdad was right, and then she walked in
to ask what i was doing in here, listening
to funky soul on Google Home and writing.
waiting for the full pot of coffee to be done.
one truly concerned for the truly concerned,
one acutely offended by the acutely offended–
about as Midwesterner as you can get;
avoiding one’s opinion, no need to mention.
one time yesterday between taxes and a phone conversation with my wife about ear infections and successful weekends i witnessed a state sponsored group hanging signs against state sponsored things, i thought Soros and let me take a picture of the palisades and pillars which they circumvent, let me rest easy in their pulped trees and how the stapler to this meaningful act makes its clack, let me, let me, let me think about external costs and how no one reads beyond what they think is their oh-so good intention. thankfully i had a crystal signal and positive thoughts; heard more about it when my colleague picked up that neon green trash and let them have it again too. i am glad for relation, and humor. it was good. they were three, they were shortsighted, they were talking very big about something they read the headline to but forgot the paragraphs after, i was better for viewing and thinking and sauntering in circles on the mall. ideologies and group think and fliers and signs and sponsors behind them, waiting between the lines, but their audience has no idea, just do, do, react.
an empty glass
with coins. $52.something.
turned into food.
the capital hanging
its pale dome
on the dim shoulders’
of University Ave
in the fore.
there, loving couples
at a cross-
and am now.
the statue of liberty
played by a man,
holding this bright sign:
we pay cash inside,
how american, on this corner.
i sit in a turn
pulling to the side,
brown bags and
local ipas in the trunk,
mouthing an old song
in Drive–mechanic’s glove hands,
tight grip on
the supple wheel.
all before 11 am
crossing Lexington Parkway
and light rail tracks
in St Paul, going, hungry, mad.
and then, thinking of
a hotel in Belfast
conversing continental divides
and the divided conversation,
and the painted murals,
people took photos
on their phones
inside of a bus because we couldn’t safely get out.
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.
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.