Which Door?

It’s not what you want to hear. It really isn’t. Groups are created of dissimilar individuals called same. And that what you hear all the time probably is just a guess.

Though, that guess is treated as fact, as religion.

Still we are all unique.

People move and march on belief and theologies, armies are conceived at the thought, even without video footage. A whole world is shaken in its wake.

And another door is opened as a door somewheres else is shut.

A man sees a door which is in the middle of a busy street. It’s ordinary, it’s plain, it’s uncannily placed.

He walks up to this door and enters.

Before he turns the knob he notes the traffic coming–completely normal, feels the breeze; the sun warms him at noon in front of strollers and dogs and pedestrians making way, and he knows.

He pulls the knob and steps through the threshold.

What we hear and what we see may not be as certain as the newspapers and broadcast headlines read, MPR News maybe switching articles for ads. It may be the focus that is askew; angled by who points the lens and who fills their pockets.

Sure, some things are apparent, yet other things are covered.

Humans commit violence towards humans; males commit violence towards males, females commit violence towards females; James “Jim” Harrison outlined this some years ago in “Wolf”, a semi-autobiographical novel of the author’s early life and chasing a glimpse of some wolf, yet we forget.

Hitchens wrote about how being “Politically Correct” kills the language, makes a euphemism out of real talk, in For The Sake Of Argument in 1991. No one cares.

Always we are soft, our flesh.

Gasps and screams, a man lie in the street. Motionless. He gestures before being struck by a car. Thrown in the air, twisted meat.

He is a new chalk outline about to happen, leaking. Indiscriminate however. People die. Unfortunate, save for we hope he wanted this, sort of, oddly. Couldn’t live the way it was.

Someone’s perspective changes. Self Spectacle. A man opening a door becoming the ground below, and then ash; theatre to others.

It’s not what you want to hear. Someone is no longer there. Someone is gone. Though does it matter what they were?

Maybe he was this and that; maybe he died of natural causes “in relation to [their/his] line of work” -Cormac McCarthy. “Everything happens for a reason.”-Mom. Certain things matter more than most. Other certain things don’t matter to the person in question, and what do you think? Don’t you see it differently too?

A man opens a door and moves on, goes somewheres else. And ambulance sirens blare. Women hold hands up to their faces. God. Onlookers reach into their pockets and grab their smartphones, dumbly.

The new Spectacle. How many pictures can you take; how long will it be to upload that video to YouTube? What kind of story will grace City Pages cover the next week? Goals, dreams?

He’s probably somewheres else, somewheres where it doesn’t matter.

He thought, which door?

Posted in american, american dream, Art, Artist, Creative Non-Fiction, literature, Midwest, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Objective, Poetry, post structuralism, Post-Modern, Post-Structuralism, Satire, Thoughts, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

some days

A foot-long Subway sandwich. Of the cold cut variety. Touching the fine buns in the shadow of some academic building in the heart of West Bank, Minneapolis. The Mississippi flushes by moving south. Garnishes had fallen on the ground before me. The broken concrete as a catcher’s mitt. I sat on a grey block people-watching, watching people, watching trees turn in wind semi-cool, watching the sun slip where it passes from point high to point gone. Each bite was something to take in, something like energy. And folly, I had forgotten my water on a hot day.

These trees though, they stood different, silently drinking deep with their roots. People walked scholarly ways between. Probably unnoticed. Probably apathy. An easy moment free. Verdant green leaves, cut-out cardboard scraps, twisted giving a dry paper sound rubbed out together in reciprocal fashion, disposable bag’s fleet—something Halloween, orange and happy in decorative ideal of waning fall. Here today mid-summer they stood again, taking the lost. My sandwich had unusually robust bread, the kind they show in commercials to dampen your mouth, the kind that makes me question its creation.

A few eyes caught me eating as well, with the day, the sun, the shade, next thing on the agenda. Others hidden behind frames did nothing to heed my pupil’s calling. Glass reflecting the ground. Reflecting motion. Pencil skirts and the walking dead. Each person to their time. A wave from across the mall, ah, a familiar face. The cement cooled my assed jeans. My eyes watched leaves cut the light from dim to bright to green to warm to the blue passing and sandstone tan bricks of a hall I had never entered.

The cold cut combo. Something of a sandwich. I think, or maybe it was the black forest ham. I am sure this would be German. I am sure. I am guessing it was not because of the variety of meat; some American sandwich in my hand as I read about Miyamoto on my phone and Nintendo stock and think about dirty hands just washed and how work just works. People go by working to, working on them. A crane lifts pallets with materials over sand and over a river. Washington bridge spans. Something about the city. Eating. Regimen of social and sustenance. Riots, violence, and sun.


I also found irony in that a musician friend of mine, and former professor, voted for Britain to stay in the EU from the United States.

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Individual Accountability

Individual accountability.  Where we are judged by our own actions, not by the groups we associate from.  Not by our words.  Not by which is interpreted by others in other groups, but by what we mean when we are saying what we mean and in our actions.

Too often we are judged by a system, by a process, which is fast to don labels, one run by those at the charge in the media; coming up with new memes and talking points to prove their necessity, and to divide kindred hearts.

I imagine we live in a place by where we do something and at that moment we are known for doing that something, not by what we say we will do in the future or have done in the past.  I imagine we live in our America.  Thought of just for a second as that person who did.  And then in the next created a new.

Individual accountability.  Where we are called by what we do, not by what we wish to do.  Because we all have a million good ideas, and the road to hell is paved by good intentions.  And what you say just might be that: only what you say.  Same for what you think and your interpretation.

That is why you are individual.  That is why you are accountable.  That is why nothing else really matters aside from your actions and the positive efforts you put into seeing those actions into fruition.  Less talk about, go out and achieve.

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Some Truly Made-Up Stories about Learning and Inquiry


“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”  -John F. Kennedy

“I don’t want people to think I’m a hypocrite.”  -GG Allin


Yeah, sure. Probably a million times a day I hear it. I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I can’t… because of other people doing other things making it so I can’t do something. Sure, if you think it is so then it is so. Interpretation. Yes, the formula to formulate your day by, and so much more. The way you are and the way you perceive others is all very closely related to your brain and how it works, or doesn’t. Sure, it is piss poor, it is regret, it is the end, this life—and we are all going. But it’s not so bad. I helped a man in a bathroom stall last night because he had it worse than you and me… That’s my excuse. But then again regret means new life; past-tense is the most important part of life, aside from birth. And last night a woman was saved in front of me and my wife and my child, in front of my camera, and then again on YouTube where those who so accurately interpret called it some sort of “glorification of suicide” that I was broadcasting from Project Fi, but ah… then again, they pointed it out. Their interpretation. And you have to get your mind out of the gutter; to upward and onward.  Positive. Perhaps this was just projecting, as Freud wrote in letters, it was showing through again unto her yesterday, clearly. Say it like those people in church, unto her. Say it like pass the plate and donate your money and smile. We are all hungry.


Questions. Inquiry. Like, what is privilege (in respect to language, not recent social invention; the exact meaning of the word; not what you believe it means (it’s a divisive word tho!), but it’s given definition)? Here is Google’s definition: “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.” Now, what is advantage, and what does that have to do with your interpretation of everyday things and scientific method? Probably the latter, nothing. Probably the former, something. Though, it doesn’t matter. While asking the above question in a half-full general electives class all of the students almost broke their necks to my mid-morning quizzing; it was sonic boom of vertebrae popping. Apparently the coffee was not strong enough for everyone, or the donut-holes the teacher had gifted us wasn’t enough to make up for her lack of instruction and this(!), especially at that price. Verily, my inquiry was. Yes, I asked, and then after the presentation two young women told me I was too smart to ask such a question (TOO SMART!), they told me they “knew” I was playing devil’s advocate—even though he doesn’t exist, and that is a fact–and that it wasn’t right of me to ask them that question. Sure, I told them, I read books; I knew about Douglass and hooks. Conversing, we stopped at a crosswalk, and they again stated that I couldn’t ask that question. I pointed at my face in a circular motion with my pointer finger and asked, “…because I look like this?” And then both of the women shook their heads in agreement. I shook their hands and told them it was a pleasure to have had this encounter.


Next day I was fidgety near an early lamppost asking for a pair of scissors from my bewildered classmates in order to cut someone’s bike lock because their faulty security measures had left me stranded. Shit-job. A kind which locked their property unawares to my property. I mean, if I had brought my Leatherman it wouldn’t have been an issue. Pliers got cutters down the throat of their metal beak. The fodder on the ground was a false red, the heavy flowers in full-bloom bobbed wetly horny, and my peers watched me almost weep because my bike was doubly safe and sound and I would be late for work for the second time in my life. And I care. It would be unfortunate. I thought this as others rode by in the late dawn sun on ill-pumped tires in short-sleeve shirts, careless. I was thinking of how this one TA was poorly grading my paper, written in English, and her excuse was that English wasn’t her thing, so it wasn’t her fault that she didn’t grade my paper properly; and my anchored bike situation was somehow related. So, C+. I knew the essay was a B- and told her that if we couldn’t change the grade to a B- here I would call the above numbers on the above list, all high up, and give them a hint. I slid the scrap paper across the table with my palm down and my eyes locked on her dead-giveaway face. After that little hand of poker her cultural studies cronies invited me to leave without an upgrade. Next day again, without a word came the B- I had asked for. Just a click on the internet revealed so. See what knowing things does for you? Ask questions.  Just know: 1, 2, 3. I learned all that in kindergarten.


Further.  It was a privilege (:grant a privilege or privileges to.) to understand that she had received the same email that my professor had received the day before at the same time directly, and in all honesty I had to tell her the sheer fact; it was five paragraphs long, and in less than 12 hours it would be worth precisely a B-.  Yes. Indeed.

Posted in american, Art, Creative Non-Fiction, Language, literature, Midwest, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Motivation, MPLS, post modern, post structuralism, Post-Modern, Post-Structuralism, Prose, Realism, Satire, Twin Cities, Uncategorized, USA, Words, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Been Fun (He Was).



Being a paid writer has killed me.

Probably dirty terry (dt) is dead.  He died a while back.  I know this blog gets the most hits out of all my blogs, but the writer has been jeopardized.  There is no more dirty terry, the idea that he was has vanished as a fart in the wind, as the sun in winter.  Probably absorbed into something more poignant like black soil.

Who dt was, was a thought.  An image, a joke—someone similar to Dirty Harry (of course the play on the name), and still the opposite in an street silly urbane fashion.  He was clearly not real, and what he said was questionable.  The thought that dt encompassed no longer exists, and should be dealt with as such.

When this author had wrote as the aforementioned person, he had relations with various sordid specimens, no time to think, process, make, create, or be, he had little confidence, and he possessed a reality that was based upon exploiting the unknown—and that idea was scary, instead of worthwhile.  Now, except for the latter uncertainty the author’s life is the antithesis of what it was, and not.

dt no longer exists here in the flesh, or in the mind of flesh—in tips of the fingers, but, perhaps, only in a dusty spirit stuck between webpages and nowhere.  Where dt once gave himself away for nothing, he now rests in peace in a box of other blogs on the internets, and in obscurities.  There is nothing left in the moniker, except for the unknown and oblivion.

In life we all see changes.  The person we are now is not the person we once were.  People die.  We grow.  And the world keeps spinning around whether we wish it to or not.  The author understands and realizes the insignificance of this informal eulogy, and the significance.  This site will still stay up, but not in the same capacity it once was, not in the same fashion.  That spirit is dead.

You see, when dt died so did the young child hoping for a chance at shocking the world outward with what existed within.  There is nothing more to do, nothing crazy enough to surmount—this chapter had come to a close like a bank vault on Friday night.  That is just how it is.  One comes to a fork in the road and they must choose.  Go forward, left or right, or walk back…  One must go forward in any new direction.

As I said earlier this week in another fleeting medium on social media, the moniker does not make the artist, the voice does.  So when dt passed so did his voice in a way—this is directly inspired by Stephen King’s explanation of Richard Bachman in the foreword to The Running Man.  The capricious free-wheeling all-concerned with appearance and reputation artist had become too caught up, essentially bored, with what that idea had to offer.  Had become something not planned by someone who doesn’t plan.

All in all—I hate that easily thrown out phraseology—dt has reincarnated himself into a modern animal more closely succinct, more driven – in a way that is impactful rather than merely shocking or feigning misguided or esoterically elusive.  Nothing was said, but nothing was understood.  And in that, confusion caused more confusion and lack of attention to important concepts and words, and blah blah blah—I read different.

Yes, some things that have happened were great.  They were wonderful.  But there is a time when the book must stand back in the library, when the candle must burn out, when reality must become actuality and a person must step away from the molt they have shed.  This blog is my molt.  I shed it now, but with love, and still will.

In the next few months—or never, you will see new flesh shine.  You will see something fresh, pink, wet; you will see something important to the person who writes it, or nothing.  You will see nothing other than passion.  This passion will be obvious in a way that simple words will cause you strong feeling, and that strong feeling will be the objective proof (if there is such a thing in the written language).

And with that, may dt rest in peace, and may his words and dialogue continue to inspire you each day as he has for me.  Once and always, I hope you think about any and everything that happens to fall in front of you, even if it is this.  –The Author

Posted in Advice, american, Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota, MPLS, Objective, Photography, Post-Modern, Post-Structuralism, Prose, thought, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Fear! (Good Opinion!)


Free Solo Climb at Stoney Point, La Crescent, MN.

The New Year 2016, whatever, it didn’t matter. Time doesn’t matter. When it’s New Years Eve in New York, it’s the past in Australia. It’s not real, but we do it anyway.  When someone tells me that something is true, if I don’t see it I really don’t believe it.  So, probably show me, let the ball drop.

The idea of time does not make sense. We will eventually all die and that moment when the ball dropped ten years ago, or yesterday, will be forgotten. I understand this concept because I have been reading a lot about the death of John Lennon, and I know that it could have went a million other ways, but it didn’t.  He said, “I’m shot!  I’m shot!”

Someone did something, and that is what happened. Blood spread on the floor of the entrance to the Dakota at about 10:50 PM, and a football announcer told the world of its loss.  Yoko Ono banged her head on the hospital floor in hysterics and Mr. Geffen consoled her on the way home.  Some people came together, while others parted. We have the Beatles and we have some guy in prison who killed a acetic genius musician for psychotic reasons.

So, what mattered in the time that these years and people converged were the changes which happened within them, and how you did (things). Everything is connected and purposeful, like when I don’t write on a blog for months and it get’s numerous hits, but when I do no one cares and then zero. It’s as if not trying is the art, so as Bukowski says: don’t.

Today, the first day of the year, most people are probably nursing a massive hangover, as Jess said, and thinking about doing better in the coming months. But it is really only another day. Another day to do. A moment in something to make something new.

Recently, I had to do the same, I had to leave a job that I loved and I had to leave a school that I didn’t understand. I left the job on good terms, fuck, I would go back if they asked. I left the school with a degree–now I want more. I want to be a doctor for the sake of being unfairly advantaged in every argument simply by letters and grades.

In this event with two very jarring outcomes came opportunities. I would say things like, “Every challenge is an opportunity…” at interviews when I had not yet faced anything challenging, apparently.

I ponder on how I get degrees solely because of what I look like, because of “privilege” and appearance and not because of my actual efforts. Or, so people say…  I mean this is a belief I am discussing.  I am not picking a side, I am just posing an inquiry.  I am not sure if this is true–if I believe it one way or another, but it is a thought!

Now, this sort of talk was one thing that came with the reality of school, not at all with work, and this ideology really saturated what people thought–their beliefs, how they looked at themselves by imagining themselves through other’s perspective.  Life is a play, I think Shakespeare said that.

It was an impossible feat to attempt to understand how unique individuals viewed the world. Nothing good came of this quality. I had to get away from people I did not understand because they claimed to “know” or “understand” all things–especially of me, and that is just not possible.

I learned of these impossibilities through Fred Rogers.  For Christmas , I received a book of Mr. Rogers quotes. Since opening it and reading, I have noticed a few things. The idea of leaving those you love, the idea of separating from negative things, all that separating and dividing is good. Our cells do that so we can grow and exist as beings. It’s a most basic process, and it continues to do.

This year was the first full year I did not have my dad in my life. We divided.  I reflect on his absence, and the positive he brought into dire situations–even if unnoticed at first. I think about how I don’t want to be around negative pessimistic people. My father seemed always positive, at times eccentric and aggressive, but always looking to make things better.

This reflection makes me feel diverse and alive, it makes me happy to say goodbye.  It makes me happy to know that I can do something because it is what I want to do, not because it is something that others want me to do for the sake of their mentality, or what they deem as “right”.

Daily, I think about how I want to be around people who believe in themselves and those around them, particularly if I am around them. I don’t want to be around sanctimonious prudes or self-righteous talkers. The more positive the merrier, good things in number.  Happiness is like a virus waiting to be spread, I want to hear lovely people sneezing with its passionate mucus.

My father pretty much believed he could do anything if he put his mind and his hands to it. He was a true jack-of-all-trades.  I have this same belief. Put my mind to it, my hands to it, and something happens.  It did not matter what people thought of him, or his past, it just was what he did: he did things because he believed he could.

At school, through the administration and groups of peers, I noticed many times, because of the media, or fear of retaliation from allotted cliques, that people tried to be something they weren’t. They tried to embody an idea of social purity, of pristine perfection–something humanly impossible.

(See, no one is perfect, but those who don’t try to view situations differently are jaded in a way that leaves them progressively static. They are unchanged.)

I noticed that people who thought they were infallible judged others with a measure that they wouldn’t dare judge themselves. Groups protested cops and cops got paid to monitor these protests of cops–how the fuck does that make sense? People told me to think differently, I ask them to think like me and they couldn’t.  How weird.  No one thinks…

For what I learned in college, through experience, I could not have learned wholly from books or by lectures or via someone expressing their obvious theory is “fact”, so believe.  (The above is worrisome, because I have seen that sort of lesson come to fruition in school or conversation and through mob mentality.) But, I learned by my own observation, that objectivity.

I had to meet people with different opinions, different biases on the same media and the same world just through a different ideological lens captured by a different cameraperson–always being framed, and even if they weren’t effected by it they were. Some were out there, impossible. Some were close and well kept.  All were well in meaning, but perhaps I am misguided.

The idea is that you can do whatever you want to in the New Year, it doesn’t matter. Have some political idea, join a club, claim you are a victim, claim you are a god, drink the fucking kool-aid.  Still keep doing, still don’t stop. The world needs idiots and geniuses alike, and it needs them to be present, not in the background.  Targets are only useful if they are visible.

I see a bunch of people with signs in cold weather protesting the recently deceased, momentarily (but god or whoever knows that the weather will win out and the void they fill will again go unnoticed).  I feel for them because people I know have also died unexpectedly…

My dad died on a motorcycle on some track in the state of Minnesota, I believe.  He just rode off the edge and broke his neck.  He was hooked up to tubes at the hospital.  I couldn’t cry or do anything but wait.  Today, I want to buy a motorcycle and ride it through the city. You won’t see me protesting these vehicles at factories.  And people think I don’t care, or haven’t been challenged.  Imagine.

I see people at desks doing things, or walking around the office multiple times (too many to count), to the bathroom, or to get coffee, or just to walk because they have to for movement sake. I am one of those. Doing. Both situations are doing, happening, and real.  It’s trying to do.

More to the point: do.

I see people afraid to do things, people just stuck in their comfort zone or newly coined “safe space”. I was/am like this. I used to enjoy working in a grocery store, for a second. I used to enjoy washing dishes for paychecks that might not come. I enjoy doing things I am comfortable with. I didn’t want to start a new job, or graduate from college, and leave the people I had become familiar with, but in retrospect it was the best thing that could have happened to me.

Maybe losing the things that bind you makes you more free to explore the person you actually are. When corn is grown in a monoculture it becomes more prone to disease; accordingly, when minds are continuously of the same priori or assumption or ideology or belief (without question) there is high chance of mental disease. I am no doctor, but that is my unlicensed opinion. Your’s is probably good too. But, it still feels comfortable, having the same. I like it.

Now, on my hour long breaks I walk into the snow-covered dale of the corporate campus and watch wild animals go. These animals, they don’t say much to me, they just watch and fly over. I thank them for this. They don’t judge me, or try to change me, or create some sort of false pretense that is impossible, on everything–out of the sake of their own reflective fantasy. These birds fly over attacking each other; they dive and go; they squawk and call.

I follow tracks below near a barbed-wire fence through bare trees, brown fodder, and dead weed growth. I don’t feel so bad about being trapped, being watched as I roam, or being monitored by my cellular phone. I am a spectacle as everyone else, as everyone that is doing something rather than talking about it–discussing how they will. (I get excited every time someone fails at their New Year’s resolution.  Failure is good.)

So, here in a field, that is where I feel I am part of a failing humanity. I feel we breathe the same air. We are together. And that is why I go outside, that is why I take risks and do what I want, that is why I smile and laugh and joke and bullshit at the risk of offending other people, that is why I write bad poetry that get’s rejected constantly by numerous local publications, and that is why I say things that may make people feel uncomfortable, because if I don’t and I die tomorrow I wouldn’t have done what I wanted to.

In 2015 I existed in three (3) countries; I made old friends, I lost new friends; I spoiled a Star Wars movie (by a chance guess) for many people on social media, I understood what people’s priorities were; I found love in books; I started to get paid for my writing; I saw for the last time a wooden star lit up on a hillside in my hometown of La Crescent, MN; I went to church and didn’t believe; I drove a truck to work; I started to not care what people actually thought (because opinions are bullshit, not chiseled in stone); and I scrolled Facebook all morning on the first day of the New Year 2016. Then I took a shit.  And no one cares.

I give a fuck, but sort of not really, because a lot of people don’t think, and that assertion kills me. Alas, I have faith, because they do do. They make it happen.  They break my heart. They make enemies and friends and followers and trends, but it doesn’t matter. Like two years becoming one, becoming the rest of your life controlled by time, and then not. I still love it, and you, and I hope you do to.  Thank you for graciously reading.

Posted in American Plight, American Religion, Art, Artist, Being, Believing, College, comedy, Creative Non-Fiction, education, english, Facebook, Fiction, Free, God, history, Jesus, La Crescent, La Crosse, Language, Language Arts, Life, Lifestyle, literature, Midwest, Minneapolis, Minnesota, MN, Moby-Dick, Motivation, Non-Fiction, Pastiche, post modern, post structuralism, Post-Modern, Post-Structuralism, Prose, Rationale, Religion, Terry Scott Niebeling, thought, tragedy, Twin Cities, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What it means to “grow up”

Perhaps, to grow up means literally to grow from a child, up, into an adult. When I was a boy I wanted to be a grownup so I could reach things on the countertop without a stepping stool. I knew I was a grownup one day when after buying groceries on my maxed-out credit card—I couldn’t afford them with cash, even though I worked a day job, because that money went to my overpriced rent— I realized, damn, I can reach my beer on the countertop without a stepping stool, I am a grownup.

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