Posts tagged ‘Read More Words’

April 5, 2015

Grain Belt Sign

Looking over the tanned Hennepin Avenue Bridge
where a shaded Grain Belt sign still won’t shine.

Here too, Nicollet Island looms in an aromatic Spring night,
shadowed by new and ancient high-rises, boxes of floors,

holes of light, standing against the straightening northern winds.
These apartments of the departed—mills and factories and dreams,

ghosts left for better times and warmer climes.
They no more see the Guthrie above a scintillating river’s distance,

no more spiraling down Gold Medal Park pathways
through thick buggy twilights, in tow bags full of books and beer

slung over shoulders, no more here; new eyes peer.
No more boats or barges pass through the upper lock and dam

loaded with local commodities, as pedestrians stroll along St. Anthony Main
catching a movie, drinking and spending, as tangled trees

build up and obstruct the Mississippi flow below Central, sounding wetness,
sounding to south. For this sign there is no more light.

Right here, remembering this unlit hallmark as headlamps
of cars buzz flashing by, on dotted pot-holed streets,

we on feet, bumble through dialogue of what we read and where we’ve been.
This sign now is painted black as it watches over downtown in the fore,

were it shining off of the muddy waters, were it catching in cigarette smoke
exhaled, were it meeting pupils and blazing that scene on some

grey matter fold in a viewer’s mind, it would still be lit up there,
hanging above a tanned bridge, in its gold, black, white, and red.

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March 21, 2015

Out of Dodge, 52 South to La Crescent

There are pieces to account for
while getting out of Dodge,
on a Friday eve, away from the city—
on the mind of those,

sat in an aged black truck on edgy burnt-out energy;
a person can purchase a mass of pink-violet
spectacle taking over western skies,

glorious sunset in tired eyes,
painting cloaked-clouds,
heavy dark, invoking peering pupils.

That giant burning orb,
light-years away,
is sinking into a foreland field,

browned is a Minnesota plain’s silhouette to come,
spotted with tail-lights
and oncoming forgotten brights;

before cars snaked out of the city
on veined webs of pavement,
onto highway 35,

which roller-coastered up and down,
thru and around,

wheels traversed crude potholes
and bad drivers—ones inciting rage,
to 52 South, to less ego.

And in the cockpit:
a cracked window,
a rear-view gaze,
changing bootlegged CDs,
and easy conversation.

The journey goes:
follow the lines to-,
follow the lights to-,
follow the signs to-,

each less visible moment passing,
each shadowed monument dusted;
stop here, stop there, no stops at all…
Make time.
Make tracks.
Make it back.

under shrouded moon above,
each sparsely laden gas station,
each pre-ghost town affixed—

to Rochester, by Rushford,
past Winona and Houston,
fast 73mph, thru Nodine—

establishments wax a dimly lit yellow,
down a long hill stretch to 14 61,

along hulks of vibrant-by-day bluffs,
past looming Lock and Dam No 7,

along the sounding Mississippi,
waters show streetlamps caught in the flow, luminescent,

and we go into town,
La Crescent, past the Hub
to Apple Village Liquors,
then to home.

There,
a warm room,
my smiling family,
and hugs await.

Pieces of what’s become
getting out of Dodge.

***

A good aspect of the city
can be getting out of it.

March 15, 2015

A Sleepy Sunday in Thunder Bay

Snow fortresses wall vacant early Spring streets,
under a shadowed loom of port buildings and storefronts,
near silt, stone, and trash;

a bay city industry,
north in a blanket of cold, under veiled clouds,
welcoming those coming through,
as Lake Superior holds puzzle-pieced ice in the fore,
central view a downhill road.

And on culture, are you Finnish yet?

Exchange rates and customs await;
crossing lines, affecting time;
to transcend this border
is to travel into the future.

On one side you are 5pm on the other you are 6.
Bonjour!

Coordinates do not matter,
to warmer unfamiliar dwellings after a night under stars,
in conifer and winter’s accumulation.

Now, here waitresses speak of our home,
and her visit—of the Twin Cities,
mentioning the food,
the night life,
the scene,
and how here is better in the next season.

We are visiting Thunder Bay,
with cats and coffee,
at an evident reader and traveler’s house on a sleepy Sunday.

March 13, 2015

Prelude to Spring Break 2015

As early March had come in biting and the best were kept inside,
a span of two weeks had passed slowly and sleep had become elusive.

Professors watched second hands tick and gave out faux tests;
these symbolic life quizzes—it’s who makes it who matters.

Desks became confines as concentration went out open windows,
to welcome hands of mild weathered-breeze and new-season sun.

People—tired students, red-eyed lecturers, they didn’t exist;
regular situations became stimuli for a stagnant comatose: why?

No answers formed, except that three days later a person could be a week away,
anywhere—abroad, nothing to do, only to read titles and books which please.

Yet we all sat watching that clock, it moved slower despite us;
now, it would have to stay indoors and assess classrooms of empty chairs.

Scholars and administration would hopefully be in Spring air, taking it in,
with a cold beer in hand and tender sunrays on their back;

minds would exist as empty—blank slates, to pen a tale—an experience,
with no thoughts of what was left sitting behind, with not a hint of rigor.

March 7, 2015

dream life

Coming to with a pin-prick realization
at waking moment’s light,

out of a dream more like real-life than itself,
a concept: that our perspectives are the only reality we see;

we were only dreaming then, we are
only dreaming now, we are but dreamers—

as fast beams of light we flash in dark skies,
and in the still night everything is fine.

August 3, 2014

Morning Read

First thoughts of morning,
poor vision blues in a book.

Hung on each dark word as the guilty-
grabbing tired mind as it takes me inside.
Scanning each sentence, detecting its mention;
importance of just this, and just that,

-at that,
I put my head back
on a pillow,

Thoughts of last night stir as my belly aches.
Reading inspired relaxation as I ready the day.

July 13, 2014

Sociopolitical

Sociopolitical,
as lipstick and licorice;
kiss with the tongue,
hard feelings then diminish.

We won’t mention that again.

She said she’s always fine,
the next week she died.

I have the text to prove it.

-Found her along a country roadside
with holes and blood and mud.
The Sunday newspaper said it as
a matter of fact- Just. Like. That.

We had this one class together…
-Fremdsprachen, Deutsch.

Who writes that shit anyway?
It can’t be real-

Those papers…

A life that lacks is labeled as that.
A life on track is labeled as that.

Hands tied, for gosh sakes!
Bright white lines,
Coldest milk shake,
I was on Valium so I don’t remember that day- anyway.

Then the poetry reading was over…
So was everything else-

No apprehension
No hesitation.

What’s tension?
We mention:

Now-a-days,
A lifetime away,
Full of choices
Did you hear them voices?

And you thought for a walk.
And you thought for a talk.
And you made art with chalk
that did not last so long.

-Some cloudy milk transparency.

But that was all you did,
then you slept-

after the sun had left.

***

Also, danke schön Pakistan.
Story: A patron puts one hundred-dollar bills inside of the books he returns only to promote reading.

May 27, 2014

How to Label an Artist/Author

The Art we delegate
From our own perspectives
Shapes our lives by our objectives

Down along the river
Or near a country farm
Intersecting thoughts which gather alarm

One sees it as this
One sees it as that
But who took the time to create the abstract?

Drunk on a bent
Metallic mouth of pills
Constructing a piece of horror for simple thrills

Other way around
Small city, big town
We have nothing to be ashamed of; these entities which confound

Orthodox rigid
Purely stuck in her ways
Running and ruining the lot, dictating thorough days

She stood so tall
Fat shiny red virago
‘Nothing new under the sun’, she said- let that swine waddle

Pictures in mind
Drawings in chalk
Some people are artists, while others are just talk

Strolling through woods
Park groves we stalk
The sights and sounds accumulate here on this walk

Figure a fitting label
Sit at sparse dinner table
The wind blows in performing a fable

Absolute absolves
We can make it, one and all
That of which we announce as “Art”, -exclusively they call

Most things are Art, and some things are not
To be an artist you must show what you’ve got.

May 2, 2014

How to: Career Planning

Gold ring found had been nearly drown
Old times from past, histories step to advance
Trees walk among the least, from Sauron they flee
The brave stand their ground as the weak bow down. -OTS

How to Make (Do)

Here I sit at the bar
Not contemplating life
Not outlining my day
Not drinking away my night

Here I sit at the bar
Long faces gather round
Supping dry liquors
Some clear and some brown

Drawing on politics
How the world spins round
Group caste of another knit
Supply far distance around town

Before the sun has long gone
Or merchant door fast locked
They show a gaze forlorn
Of the have and have-nots

The old they say:
Go not to school
But make hay
Education is for indebted and feckless fools, they claim

I’ve polished the boot
I’ve washed piled dishes
I’ve stacked up dirty loot
Backroom illegitimate kitchens

I’ve been told what to do
What to think and how to move
I’ve gone full circle to prove
The importance in abandonment of marionette rule

One surprised at how life takes place
Scholarly alterations of changing ways
They say make haste- time is not to waste
Lest become pastiche of those with taste

People, they talk and they chat
Reacting as they can to this and that
Doing little for much complaint
Devising no real plan of attack

Again, at the bar I sit
Reflection on past
I drink to the good life
To others I say, “Relax, only just act.”

They are merely talking when they say they are making plans
Lips move grand ideas but what movement do they place in their hands?

***

The loudest people with the best ideas
Have nothing to do, and so much to fear.

Excerpt:

Only to enhance our frowns
Taken care of by indebted future lot
It comes with major threats and frets
Stuck in made plans, yet to disband they have not.

April 30, 2014

The whole world in 105 lines (amongst peers)

The whole world in 105 lines (amongst peers):

Here’s a start:
We all have Minds
We all have Hearts

We all have Eyes
Contemplation of kinds
Time;
Histories and Pasts,
That we forget

Movements

Moments we haven’t
Spent

That of what
Of which
We can reflect:

Before, Now, Happenstance,
And Present Tense–

There,
I said it in less.

Let’s not digress
There’s more to life
Than what’s defined
Even in 105 lines

Even if you were to try,

However, at least you did

I promise-

The whole world is like this.

(End)

The only person stopping you from doing anything is yourself.

September 1, 1939, By W. H. Auden.