Posts tagged ‘thoughts’

February 18, 2017

this morning here is what i did…

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.

February 11, 2017

skill

these poets have got skill
they ought to make gods
out of straw men
with fists up to disrupt
in groups large enough
not to miss
but for a singular idea;
for the entirety
individuality has left the building
like they say Elvis once did
and
they prefer and
persuade yours’ gone too, verily–
auf wiedersehen, jetzt;
tho irony poses a problem
when
you think about that purpose
without thinking about that principle,
a group think showing
others to not think
for themselves: so don’t; ironically,
for some everything
can be a problem, depending on the message,
similarly with the critic
at a convention of their beat–they just have to;
still there is nothing new under the sun.
but as arms of automated
recycling trucks
reaching out with care
at soon to be new old shit
these poets
could fall like building 7
16 years ago September, to grey dust
by one true statement,
fall like a beggar’s budget
at two buck chuck,
and then break
their wrists patting their own backs
as if they made
that poignant prose
so much their own,
accordingly their every breathe
is arrogance.
let’s call it “skill” anyway.

February 8, 2017

eggshells

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.

January 28, 2017

adulting in st paul on a saturday, and then belfast

here for
an empty glass
growler
once filled
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-
walk, smiled;
where i’d
been before,
and am now.

the statue of liberty
played by a man,
nausea teal,
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
while feigning
Ryan Gosling
in Drive–mechanic’s glove hands,
tight grip on
the supple wheel.

all before 11 am
some intersection
crossing Lexington Parkway
and light rail tracks
in St Paul, going, hungry, mad.

*

and then, thinking of
a hotel in Belfast
conversing continental divides
over continental
breakfast,

and the divided conversation,
and the painted murals,
and how
people took photos
on their phones
inside of a bus because we couldn’t safely get out.

January 7, 2017

special offer

god, i am not a religious man,
sort of, but i use that terminology

oft to express the feelings of being
in negative cold to retrieve recycling bins

…thought were misplaced because
of horrible vision, getting

the “non-transferable” envelopes hopes,
the kind that are big and feign of checks

to you–the kind you need. the fucking trip
to the door was worth it, i noticed

a missing gutter and my hands froze
on blue plastic and the pumpkin eaten out

from last fall was dead. but god,
getting these letters, offers of credit cards

and debt paid… you want to do it?!,
just do it; hit the donate button:

it’s that easy. these companies. i wonder
who folds the envelope, mails it,

i wonder who licks the seal,
i wonder who cuts the trees

that get torn and thrown into my trash,
too angry and lazy for the recycling.

tell me about an offer on a nice home
because my rent is crushing me,

tell me about free college
because it’s about time for our kids.

and think of those fucking trees!
you won’t… i guess just keep sending

the special offers, to no response,
they inspire, i guess. god. god. god.

January 2, 2017

rupi kaur and everyone else can do it too

i guess it’s really just regular prose
and words and pictures scrawled from pen,
something so familiar anyone can do it;
an email a doodle on a notepad and then
put on white paper easy font some poetry
use your smartphone to capture the art
put it out to the world as if a superstar composed it
as if they were the best ever, sure they probably
know some publishers, probably slick in the biz,
that is the wonderful and talented rupi kaur too
but far more she creates and creates and creates,
words and ideas that come close to home
so familiar to those scrolling, tweeting
and sharing social media professionals,
because it was geared towards them,
it is designed for them like cat food is for cats
because there is market for inspiration:
to change the most of days and our acute minds.
my words involve coffee and hard sentences
chocolate–very dark, if i get very lucky,
and prose that no one knows, literary landscapes–
as if a hydrogen bomb went off on some shakespeare,
blew away the good art, took away the drawing,
and the respected namesake and time,
left a placeholder we did not understand
asking for donations to create breast milk
vonnegut, harrison, bukowski, niebeling, melville
and diapers, because that is how trendy one is
and lower case and lack of punctuation and.
everyone else can do it too, we can relate.

December 26, 2016

tree removal, i wonder what they pay

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.

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.

December 15, 2016

a few days of cold

perhaps heavy layers
might block
the -20whatever
weather,
perhaps
truth is what
you believe;
perhaps shovels
and salt will
kill the snow.
perhaps tylenol
cold & flu relieve.

December 13, 2016

i guess i am afraid too…

i think of our fast time
when and where the fear
holds us tight, when
we tell everyone
how afraid we
are about everything
and anything, everywhere,
so vocally, so knowingly,
and how our ways only
will most likely change that fear.
then i think
about a class that
i took a few weeks back,
one of self-defense, surely,
when and where the
instructor told us all
to not be afraid
of the dark, or not
defend ourselves if we are
and we find ourselves in it.
i mean, it seems so easy,
but the basement can
be really scary, the dark alley
can be truly terrifying,
the misunderstood politician
can seem as the devil incarnate.
and then i remember
looking to outside St Paul,
out on the cold streets,
crusted in white hard snow,
alight with daybreak,
that cold that is out there
in the sun is more
dangerous to us–30 minutes and
you are dead, and that
the summer clothes hanging
in my gloomy basement are
only as scary as i make
them myself, they blow in the wind,
they touch me like shadows,
they do what i tell them
to do in my head. this is what i fear:
the irrational fear of others.
so, i guess i am afraid too…