Posts Tagged Kansas

Breaking Me Breaking News Breaking Me – A Collage

man charged with beating,
suffocating sisters‏ Platte County authorities

to discuss missing woman’s case 4 vehicles
collide on highway 9 near highway

169 construction workers hurt in possible
lightning strike‏ police: woman found dead in car

near 39th, Kensington‏ report Penn State leaders
didn’t protect kids‏ crashes snarl

morning commute in Johnson County
where can I go? firefighters battle large

landfill fire, fire breaks out at Blue
Springs motel‏ Zimmerman makes

bond, released from jail‏ KCPD investigates office
building break-in on Ward

Parkway‏ jobless rate remains at
8.2%‏ missing Atchison teen found

in Hiawatha‏ bank robbery suspect in
custody after Sugar Creek standoff‏ bank

who are my neighbors? robbery suspect in
standoff with police in Independence‏ Lawrence firefighters

battle large grass fire near neighborhood‏ Zimmerman’s
bond set at $1M‏ Leavenworth authorities seek missing 1

6-year-old‏ crews respond to Blue Springs apartment
fire 2 siblings electrocuted at Lake of the Ozarks‏ person

killed in fall at Westin Crown Center Hotel‏ toddler
found wandering near 39th, Prospect‏ pedestrian

why do I do this? struck by suspect vehicle
during police chase KC police sergeant

accused of stealing from mother‏ man found
dead in home with no working AC or fans‏.


P.S. Pardon my temporary dive into the avant garde. This is the rearranged and deranged text message racket I’ve recently received from a local news station as “Breaking News.” These collage pieces don’t work well for most people, but they are fun for tinkering. Some of you may recognize the last line and a half as inspiration for another piece. Really, all of these little ditties could be the start of tragic, perhaps glorious, short stories if one were diligent and crafty enough.

, , , , , , , ,


“Our” Holiday

Streets are empty,
so I feel strong
in my isolation,
but I should be with family.

How does one celebrate a resurrection?
Merely another birthday party?
It should be more,
or different.

Some may not feel comfortable
looking to be in the wrong century,
driving the right car that is so wrong.

I mow the lawn and the terrible dust
ruins the sheen on the Toyota
driven by the man with Parkinson’s
who would have rather stayed home,
it is clear, and I wonder
why they let him drive

and feel compelled to be grateful
through my muddy fog, not
understanding resurrection.
I know it won’t happen
to me, but I’ll have some ham.

, , , , , ,


The Permanent Duty of the Kansas Grass

At once, there is a single straw.
Maybe a clump, powerfully brittle,
pale-yellow grass, tall and massacred
by wind. It survives, loneliness palpable,
most alone while the sun slaughters
mercilessly, and the haggard grass stands,
as if forever, never to get help,
never to give solace, only to stand,
so miserably
by itself
through endless seasons,
as terse lesson,
the emptiness
our world,

, , , ,


Unique Terminal King Sick

Yesterday, a man from Western Kansas
at our gathering, wanting to show how kingly he is.
I welcome him, sure, but I don’t want a king who ignores serfs.

We were serfs in a circle, longing to tell our stories,
but the king shook his head, pushed back his hairline,
stared at his shoes. The king was proud,
having something evil in front of him, something dying
by the king’s throttle, something making the king shine.

In nasty blunders, some told him he was miraculous
with such a brilliant uniqueness. It went around sick like this,
and the king continued to regret his presence at our gathering,
dismissing us and the boredom we brought to him.
Perhaps karma soaked him with hatred of our souls
because the hatred seemed to poison his own soul.

, , , , , , , , ,


Dancing While Weeding

It’s what grown-ups do,
I tell myself,
but I’m no grown-up.
Yanking at weeds, shaving the lawn,
buzzing the bushes,
so everything is boxy.
It’s what grown-ups do
while sticking their chest out.

But I am a kid,
bouncing like a clown.
The Prodigy,
a blip from my war chest
of 8 Gig’s of MP3’s,
impetuous, silly
dance music,
blasts, erupts my brain,
and nothing else encroaches.
Surely causing old-age deafness,
but the price is so worthwhile.
Dancing, what kids dance to,
but I’m not slick.
I am in the mud
and lost in the suburbs.
As my body moves, I’m cognizant
of its intelligence, far more
vast than that in my skull,

I laugh at my grayness
as I contemplate where
I would be,
not wanting to be nagged:
Alone in a dark spot, being a child,
reading that day’s favorite book,
imagining having a life
as one of the beautiful
or even as one of the ugly,
but imagining having a life.

Berating myself,
prompting spiritual knowledge:
You don’t have a life;
you are life.
I am no life.
When a child, I am,
I am life as a child,
but when a grown-up,
faking grown-up might it be,
I have a life, more like have an
existence, a death,
but why do I resist
these things of grown-ups, why can’t I
accept my existence as an American
in 2011? Perhaps it’s those brilliant books

that poison me, that show me how foolish
it is to be grown up in a post-modern melee
of a shitfest, as my neighbor, Harold, assists:
he’s riding his fucking lawnmower,
his pale red, Sears Craftsman riding mower,
up and down the street.
No shit, up and down the street,
like he’s in the parade,
wearing his Safari hat, waving me over
to gossip, but my music’s too loud,
and I can’t interrupt my work,
and he fucked me over
about a tree, two years ago,
but I feel bad about my
anti-social sheen.

And a man, surely off-course
because he’s in a new, maroon Audi
nearly hits Harold,
but Harold waves,
like Hi there, Farmer John-
I push my cheapo mower
hopping donkey on my feet,
unusually not giving a shit
if the neighbors feel I’m cracked,
but feeling grown up,
feeling dead to life
like carbon fiber,
I’m proud of my boxy yard.

, , , , , , , , ,


All of the Flitting about After Work

He looked up – I thought to the sky,
but he was watching traffic signals,
and then he was watching right to left,
up the street and then turning around,
was he trying to cheat something, then
the car horn and it wasn’t at him, dissipating
as the UPS driver was in the back of his truck,
bending at the waist, and he cranked his
neck and looked up: he wasn’t scared;
he was pissed, the UPS driver was, and
I wondered how she could peddle that
stationary bicycle so heavily in the empty
fish bowl, while people went by, I can’t
imagine not being enchanted with her
fierce depth of beauty, peddling, peddling,
and I felt as though I have never not
peddled, always toward empty sewer
pipes that swallow me and remind me
that I don’t know where I am or where
I’ve been, but I suppose I am a fish, and
the UPS driver is a fish, but no pipe will
swallow him and the man in the crosswalk
got clobbered by the Toyota and the deep
lady in the fishbowl was peddling and
will never, ever stop.

, , , , , , , , , , , ,


Stuck Bad

Section 5 of Freddy Is Sick is big
and I’m stuck, so I’m writing a piece
about the stick. Not writer’s block,
that will never happen. No, there is
a man inside of me who is stopping
me. He isn’t killing Freddy but he’s
killing Freddy’s story. I was crossing
the bridge and the clock was laughing
loudly in fits of red, moving at six o
two, and I stopped and watched the
crow on the metal fire escape
stairs. I wanted to see where he
went when he left his perch near
the twenty-third floor. Both he and
I stood still for fourteen and a half
hours – I was holding my brief case
and my empty lunch pail, and he
was staring at me, daring me to
kill the man inside of me. Now I
am on my way to live where Freddy
lives, and his story won’t ever be told.

, , , , , , , , ,


Purple on White

White pants, blazing, screaming
at a far field
where insects roam.
Granules of sidewalk reach out and tug
at a grotesque purple blouse.

, , , , , ,


Telephone Pottery

Dingy fur creeps along my arms.
Hay bails are so tight, so perfect.
Mathematical promises melt me.
Creator, where did you go, where?

, , , , , , , , , , ,


Dark on Kansas

Today, the weeds are causing terrible,
disturbing shadows,
fucking with the morning sun.
I am oblivious, minding my soul.

The old strip club is now the Antique Mall.
Is that reflection
of a non-changing staff
or of a changing Kansas?

Everything is an antique mall
or a Korean massage parlor
(some very bad – parlors, not malls).
I’ve never been to one of the massage parlors,
nor any of the antique malls.

I’m antique enough in an antique land.
The darkness in the light is perverse.
The people are turning mean.
I’m minding my soul, the dark emptiness,
looking slightly up, alone.

, , , , , , , , , , ,


%d bloggers like this: