Posts tagged ‘usa’

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 14, 2017

this poets plight

there are 10,000,000
of the same exact
trying
to do
what you want
to do… the same exact.
so, how do
you prove
what you have to
prove, the you
and what you do?
write about
social justice,
write about your
city, write
about oppression,
write about love,
or if you don’t feel it
fantasize about it;
society gives you truth.
(where is the lens?)
for me,
it’s different:
minimum parental leave,
as a dad,
diapers and breast milk,
little to no money,
full-time work with college debt,
no covered movement,
cis pale male,
no publisher,
i tell people what i think–
no groups,
no promotion to climb a ladder,
just words.
and i make myself happy.
yet still for a poet
like me
my plight isn’t
trendy…
there are bigger memes.
more advertisement to be had.
so forget it.
now, it doesn’t matter.

February 11, 2017

#Resist : the Sierra Club to Planned Parenthood

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?

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.

February 1, 2017

uniquely flawed machine

as any uniquely flawed machine
i am toilet seat left up,
i am words that sour like trash,
i am defined by my malfunctions.
every day another anything to make.
and it’s still my greasy buttons
and bent wires that cross wrongly
which make those things happen
the way how they so exactly do…
uniquely flawed machine am i,
that does not a good human being make,
but one that only does and tells.
but one that i am sure you can relate.

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 20, 2017

reflection: january 20th, 2017

when Facebook is stealing our faces
and phones are stealing our minds
we can find ourselves together in protest
or we can ask for help, and stand in line

December 30, 2016

english majors are the smartest people in the world

i love it when a colleague
tells me that English majors
are the smartest people
in the world. to me, it makes sense,
everyone, everywhere has to eventually
read and write and on and on–
i aver any language major is smart,
but especially if you want to
be a writer and write about your
life, it is wise. tho i suppose if you
want to make money and eat
you had better study finance,
because even dilettantes
can write Moby-Dicks, and even
heartbroken bums can write supreme poems,
and even the most crossed-jaded can
write an eloquent essay of purpose sometimes.
so if you want to stay full and paid and happy
and moderately sound safe sane,
you had better study some finance.
there is smart English logic for you.

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 16, 2016

proud to be an american

i very much suppose that
i am proud to be an american,
the individual kind especially,
the kind that isn’t
like the group-think kind
that group-thinks
about big things nationally,
and maybe seldom locally,
unless it’s an opportune time,
like election season or media season,
not askew sharply by
what you think i should “know” and do,
and that others don’t,
even if our freedom of speech
can be very costly and
the weather is more potent
than the law or protesters, and
people want to change
the rules after the buzzer blows
and i can’t think
of anywhere else i would
rather be, maybe–besides
green ireland, with my wife and son,
because, i am very proud
to be an american for
we always get back up together
and we always have some sort of hope.