sunday, august 30

people with poems
are like missionaries
like transients on the corner
with the guitars they never learned how to play
like jesus freaks and pamphleteers
they never quite get the part
but the audition is never
going to stop
there's always another piece
of the heart they're forever rending
and they'll always want to give you something:
it's the only way they know
to take something from you.

monday, august 24

— busted watches, bookstores, anodyne
credit cards and crumpled ATM receipts
bad paintings in the cafes everywhere
sometimes it's hard to know
what motions you're going through.

sunday, august 23

near the trailhead on the way back from jasper lake,
we encounter some people with their several dogs
and a white goat
i'm unable to decide
if the goat is there for the benefit of the dogs
or vice versa

Saturday, August 22

If anybody needs me, I'll be somewhere west of Boulder getting really tired.

friday, august 21

— wind in the streets outside the watering hole
broken glass on the 10th street overpass
plato's laughter in the coffee house
french roast refills a quarter, cigarettes and pipe tobacco
rain on the pavement outside some $5 folk rock show
frisbee in the heavy air of an oncoming season
9th street basements, halloween dresses,
yellow line drift, bluegrass, johnny cash
that empty airplane sound, the omaha airport carpet
eggs over easy and the oblivion of sleep
the back stairs at some house party
j r dot with a bag of psilocybin mushrooms,
cheap wine overnight at the bakery
kitchen card tables and gas burner onions
guitars i still don't play
dead leaves on highway 2, bank signs in the bitter cold
bags of books, boxes of poems, bad sketches
academic manuscripts and yellow post-it notes
a burning car in the street on election night
a 3am university cop knocking on my passenger-side window
going across the ocean and giving up
mistakes i won't make again
lies i still tell —

thursday, august 20

— jealousy and theft,
gratitude and resignation
the materials at hand
the stories that aren't yours any more
all the pictures on her wall and the
mixtapes meant for other people,
letters it's years too late to send
everything you want
is nothing you can say.

wednesday, august 19

83/93

— rust-colored metal, too hot in the sun to touch
insects flashing in the falling wheat, the truckbed rattle
combine chaff, the dust after sundown,
gravel roads dead still air and iced tea in dirty jugs
case IH john deere dodge and chevy,
vise-grip doorhandles, WD-40 duct tape and denim
the house where my grandmother was a little girl
the saturday evening post half a century under the floor
traintracks, elevators, the smell of drought
the sound of small towns unasleep in the heat,
box fans and ice melting in a glass
apple orchard refuse, bonfire smoke and cornstalk shatter
fireflies, fireworks, flooded fields, wedding ceremony sweat —

monday, august 17

river water, broken sidewalks, stolen lines
folksong, the personality in art, the ones it seems like no one wrote
insects flashing in the falling wheat, some truckbed rattle
the dust after sundown, instant tea in sweating plastic jugs
fireflies, fireworks, flooded fields
the saturday evening post half a century under the floor
street corner cardboard signs, concert fliers in the gutter
credit cards, crumpled ATM receipts
bad paintings in the cafes everywhere
going across the ocean and giving up
(a manifesto? jesus, i can't even write a postcard)
bad sex, good sex you shouldn't have
jealousy and theft, gratitude and resignation
mistakes i'll never make again, lies i don't stop telling
nothing gets you high like it used to
yellow line drift, bluegrass, johnny cash
apple orchard refuse, sweet smoke and cornstalk shatter
wind in the streets outside the watering hole
broken glass on the 10th street overpass
plato's laughter in the coffee house
french roast refills a quarter, cigarettes and pipe tobacco
the back stairs at some house party
kitchen card tables and gas burner onions
piano key cacophony, guitars i still don't play
busted watches, bookstores, anodyne
condoms in the clothesdrier
channels in the rock, red dirt on my shoes
traintracks, dead elevators, leaves on highway 2
blue eyes crying in the rain
the materials at hand
the stories that aren't yours, any more
mixtapes meant for other people
making out in the car, making conversation over beers
making much of little enough
nothing you can say, everything you want

Saturday, August 1

Saturday afternoon. My roommates are still asleep, which makes sense. I could hear them talking until some time around 5am.

Along with thin walls, this house comes with a back yard and a clothesline, so I went to McGuckin Hardware to find clothespins. McGuckin differs quite a bit from my childhood memories of the independent hardware store, and it's not exactly cheap, but it's an amazing place. Sort of a monument to the sheer material and technological wealth of our culture, rendered as a working commercial enterprise. Every time I go, I succumb to the kind of technofetishism that I imagine drives people to write things like Cool Tools.

I made it out with two kinds of wooden clothespins (the two-piece + spring kind and the one-piece pegs) and a bag of shop rags, but I probably spent an hour looking at stuff. I almost bought:

  • A washboard
  • A metric hex driver bit set
  • A bamboo brush

  • A $10 mechanical pencil
  • A length of brass tubing
  • A box cutter
  • A yellow, spiral-bound field notebook
  • Work gloves
  • Ceramic kitchen utensil holders
  • Several small glass jars with different colored metal lids (for spices)
  • A salt shaker
  • A bike rack

I also spent a long time looking at the clocks, although I didn't have any intentions of getting one.