poetrysummer

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August 28

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scant inspiration in line at the IKEA deli
these families with young children scarfing meatballs
when I think of Sweden it’s a potpourri of blond bikini clad sexpots
and stoic men with strong jawlines
whose Nordic ancestors pillaged medieval Europe
they’ve traded their horned helmets and battle axes
for Volvos and nationalized health care

Written by DJ PJ

August 28, 2011 at 3:53 am

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August 27

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once in Montana
after nearly a month of solid gigs
we arrived for our first night off in weeks
ate cheeseburgers and soaked in the hot springs in the mountains
and hit the beds, asleep by 7:30
I slept until late the next morning
splurged money I barely had on an all you could eat breakfast
and with the day and afternoon free set out along a dirt road
into the foothills to the south toward Yellowstone park
I walked a long way
the fence posts were splintered and gray
stuck at odd angles
the barbed wire rusted
I liked the immense silence pouring down off the mountains
it made it easy to think
I liked the horse trails
where the dirt wove between dry clods of grass
and small bushes
a bird perched on a fence post
I thought it was an oriole
it had orange along its wings
I stood still and watched it a long time
towards dusk I climbed a hill
which gave me an unobstructed view
across the floor of a valley to a line of mountains opposite
the sun was crawling down between them and the sky softening orange and red
I took a picture and went back to the hotel

Written by DJ PJ

August 27, 2011 at 7:49 pm

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August 26

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all the broken words
couldn’t possibly spell
all the things left unsaid
the beast of language
still beating time
hollering down through mute centuries
once you’ve gone tilt
once you’ve surrendered the crusade
then you’re through the mirror
now you’re solid purpose
now it’s only time

Written by DJ PJ

August 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm

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August 25

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the world is over once again
a thousand unfinished songs
a voice in the wilderness
yelling in slow motion
we’ve heard about castles in the sand
but even the reinforced concrete citadels are fucked
isn’t gravity still pulling down the mountains?
aren’t the rivers still emptying the fields?
what could possibly exist
that wouldn’t fail in time?

Written by DJ PJ

August 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm

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August 24

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Ultimate

when I threw to Kate the disc wobbled
it caught a side wind
it was intercepted, it dropped
but when I threw to Elise the disc soared in long, elegant arcs
it left my arm with new inspiration, riding the air gracefully and effortlessly

wherever the disc went, Elise was already there

always on the car rides home with Kate
back to our fridge and yard and vacation photos
it was tense
she hunched her shoulders and huffed
“Your passes to Elise always connect.”

Written by DJ PJ

August 24, 2011 at 4:40 am

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August 23

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you had a softness for aphorisms
and truisms
and you like to make bold proclamations
about the WAY THINGS ARE
but that’s gone now

now you’re looking at a few items on a shelf
a replica antique map of the Lewis and Clark expedition
a piece of driftwood and a chuck of petrified wood
a small Buddhist temple bell, chintzy, purchased in a Hawaiian gift shop
and a pocket watch that belonged to your grandfather
before he died of spinal meningitis in 1940

that’s enough right there, to think about
for the rest of your life

Written by DJ PJ

August 23, 2011 at 7:53 am

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August 22

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you have a wonderful house
for an hour and a half
we sat on the couch and caught up
then I had to leave and fly home
there is never enough time
and through my head courses
five years of un-had conversations
and I feel the less for it

Written by DJ PJ

August 22, 2011 at 2:33 am

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August 21

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there’s all the things to know
and all the things to feel
and all the things to be

and when I look at the strands of your hair
backlit by the bedside lamp
I think of the formation of the universe
the unfathomable depths of time
the desolate wastes of space
matter brought into being
atoms formed, electrons and protons
and now those atoms are your hair
and maybe they could have, instead
been a star light years distant

when I look at a baby I see death
when I see an old woman I think birth
when that ragged man in the floppy hat
begging for change in front of Bartell’s
I imagine him playing with a yellow tonka truck
on a living room floor while it rains outside

when I think about the lines of soldiers falling at Gettysburg
I think of lonely wives in cotton dresses
in sod houses on the prairie
dying in childbirth
or I think of Baffin Island
massive snowbound crags of rock
where no one has ever set foot
and no one ever will
I think of a Roman slave
fed to the lions in the colosseum
or a young woman sacrificed
on an Aztec altar
and Olympus Mons
greeting the sun every 24.6 hours
the vista of red stone and dust
unchanged for a stretch of time
that contains the history of our species tenfold

there is a translucent crab
scuttling the bottom of the Marianas Trench
it does not ponder evil
in the Canadian rockies a grizzly bear
paws salmon from a freshwater stream
it does not lie awake at night worrying about its job
the minutes tick away in an office somewhere
the fluorescent lights make the room dimmer somehow
the windows at the end of the room cascading with midday sunlight
and the people sit and wonder where their life went
in an eastern European forest
there’s a buried trench filled with skeletons
that once were bodies
inside the skulls were atoms and molecules
transmitting electrical pulses
giving rise to consciousness
and their final thoughts
“I don’t want to die.  Please God.  Please don’t let me die.”

their nutrients leeched into the soil
the plants the grow from the soil
the animals that graze the plants
the people that eat the animals
the people that grow and give birth and fear death and die
the planets coursing their stolid orbits
the stars in heaven
the stories told about the stars and heaven
the things people want
the things people are
the things people know
everything going back through all time
to the very beginning
everything going forward to the end
that’s about it, I guess
that’s all we have to work with

Written by DJ PJ

August 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm

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August 20

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after the prom
we crashed in Jenny’s basement
all of us changed into sweatpants and t-shirts
sleeping bags spread on the cement floor
like undergrowth in drywall forest
couples spooning, the lights off,
the shadows rife with possibility
at two in the morning I was the only one awake
the TV was flickering like a halo, the sound low
Wayne Gretzky was on a podium receiving an award
he played his last game that night, spring of 1999
I’ve never been a fan of hockey
but I felt like he had a secret message for me that night
I can’t remember what it was

Written by DJ PJ

August 20, 2011 at 6:11 am

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August 19

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Garth Brooks has a song called ‘The River’
goes something like this – – –
you know a dream is like a river
every changing as it goes
and the dreamer’s just a vessel
that must follow where it goes…

anyway, I was into country around seventh grade
and the first CD I ever purchased
was Garth Brooks, the Hits
which I bought from Wal-Mart or McDonald’s or something
someone wrote a letter to the editor
of the Wausau Daily Herald
complaining that so many lyrics,
especially with rap music,
were negative and hurtful
but here’s a song by Garth Brooks
that brings hope and comfort to millions
like Jesus
and the paper printed the songs’ lyrics
in its entirety

my mom clipped out the letter and the lyrics
and I had them on my bedroom wall for a while
till the sun faded the clip to yellow
and a couple years later I was more into Nirvana and R.E.M.

Written by DJ PJ

August 19, 2011 at 6:10 am

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