Archive for September, 2003

September 30th, 2003

» a curse poem

We had to write curse poems for creative writing, and though yesterday and this morning I was feeling milk-mild and gentle and loving of everybody, now I’m all self-righteous and angry again. It’s going on two years this February, and I still hate him. A lot.

Om Mani Padme Hum

“Nonviolence,” you claimed.
Well, I’ll give you nonviolence.
You stand there with your
needle mouth up-curled,
and with your sleepy Buddha eyes
like you’re looking out beyond
all of us, your platoon of trick sheep,
out over the whole world
and you’re knowing e v e r y t h i n g .
Bet you’ve even guessed this,
the fire in my twisting stomach and
all the things I’d really like to say to you,
all these words drooping a little at the edges,
my lowing scorn,
but remember: a flower can stand against
the barrel of a gun.

So next time you say
The midterm is important
You will fail the midterm
I don’t give tests early
I do not want to hear it
don’t give us a “fun day”.
Don’t chuckle at half of St. Louis
when I’m stumbling into Minneapolis at
2 a.m.
my car shivering with frost
and the night like pitch
and the street lights out
and the radio faltering
and my mind swimming back to
7:30 a.m. wake-up time
’cause if I ditch now what it means is
upside down in a snow bank.

I am more than this body
filling another seat in your classroom
three days a week without fail
five minutes early and
ten minutes late
(because we do not need to eat
and those markers on the clock,
those numbers,
those are just suggestions, right?
and we are not shifting in our seats
we are not watching that clock’s
spinning arms
and thinking 5:20 on a Friday night
5:22 . . .
5:25 . . .
5:27 . . . )

We’re all finally free of you
and your “lovingkindness”.
But don’t mistake me:
I have learned something.
Now these thoughts are bullets
these thoughts are nails and
my mind a hammer and you
splintered wood.

September 19th, 2003

» mmm marlon brando

So last week I saw Guys & Dolls in my Film Musicals class. My basic summation of said movie: mmm Marlon Brando. He’s like sex incarnate. I dunno, go see the movie.

While looking for pretty pictures to show you, I found out some amusing things. 1. Marlon Brando became a teenage icon because he died young. And 2. Bono is an object of ridicule now because he’s no longer sexy. Now, both of these things are blatantly untrue. Our lovely Mr. Brando was an icon because he was dead sexy, true, but he’s still alive. No longer Mr. Sex Pot, but we have the old movies and pictures, so who cares? And Bono. Come on, have you seen/heard the guy?

I rest my case.

September 1st, 2003

» Farewell to Minnesota Poem

For creative writing tomorrow we’ve all been charged to plagiarize a poem from our book (Thus Spake the Corpse) — to steal the form and/or idea and make it our own. So, I did.


(in the tradition of Ronnie Burk)

Bye now!
abominable marshmallow coat
factory, Mall of America
ringing w/ wedding bells
& screaming roller coasters,
Dakota bone-sewn bedrock,
old plump Norwegian housewife
ancestors miles belowground,
radio humming Garrison Keillor,
I love you too! Showy Lady Slipper
blinking pink beneath tall
black ever-greens,
moon hanging huge & orange &
unseen above raging white
blizzard, tiny Halloween
witch-girls anticipating candy corn,
cars full of waving friends-not-
yet-met, Northern Lights
white picket fencing stars all the way
to Canada. Big red cherry balancing
on big silver spoon at The Walker
biggest ball of twine in Darwin
Snoopy snooping around downtown
Lucy offering advice near the Mississippi
riverbank where I, for old time’s
sake, pose with F. Scott Fitzgerald
have a shot at the Pig’s Eye
w/ ghosts of Al Capone,
John Dillinger, Babyface Nelson
see ya later friends, relatives, sprawling
family tree grown up around
potlucks w/ hotdish & bars &
lefsa & lutefisk around ten thousand
lakes, a hundred thousand boats
barnacled w/ sly Eurasian milfoil
motoring around heron, herring,
mosquitoes, loons, monarchs,
fishers reeling in sleek trout shivering
w/ mercury, teach me
to sing! robin in red-breasted
fall maples over Summit Ave.
copper dome roof of the
Basilica of St. Mary turning
slowly green in late Indian
(Minnehaha Mahtomedi Wayzata)
summer may your blessings
spread over this coming winterland,
quicken cold hearts & old hates
into the sudden spring rapture of every
fresh start…