Be Thankful

SONY DSCToday is Thanksgiving day.  This means that I am thankful for everything.  And I am incredibly thankful for that.  Also, mainly, I am especially thankful for my new family, and our baby son.  Tho… Yesterday, I wasn’t so thankful for leaving them for work.  But then I thought again, tomorrow would be Thanksgiving, I am thankful for everything.  What a wonderful time of year.  What a holiday, America.  I am nothing but thankful.  I got out the door.

Today, I will most likely eat way to0 much and try to say too little.  I am thankful for that.  This year we all can’t say much without saying too much about malarkey like politics, proper language, and particularly easy labels, which are everywhere–thrown around like baseballs (America), without offending everyone.  You got to watch that and make sure to not be too thankful for your freedom of speech, because, as I am told it only protects you from the government, not idiots, because of offensiveness.

Today is a day to reflect yesterday, America.  Yesterday, Target was a zoo, lines longer than the mind could handle.  Yesterday, Walmart was fucked for their photo developing station is a box on the ground which magically develops your film in about 2 weeks, left marginally open.  I’ll pass.  But all the staff was mostly friendly, smiling.  Everyone looked wide-eyed concerned about tomorrow, bittersweet happiness.  It wasn’t so bad.  I love the culture and people trying to do what they have to do.  Trying to be their best.  I was doing the same, thankfully.  I dropped my receipt and picked it up on the wet ground in dim light.

I am thankful for everyone on the train yesterday listening to music on speakers attached to their bodies or phones, not in earphones.  They provided the party.  I would provide my family with Broccoli.  It was almost like the Westside Story of Metro Transit.  I am thankful nothing happened.  The two most concerning DJs spoke about locations as their tunes drown out all communication those coordinates.  It was nice to get off the train at the next stop.  I am thankful for the cold walk in fresh snow, even with holes in my favorite shoes.

There is nothing better, or more American than Thanksgiving.  And you can probably bet that president-elect Donald Trump won’t change that, because of pilgrims.  He won’t change most of the world, anyway, but use your grand imaginations.  I know, life is boring for many.  That’s life again.  I am thankful for winning some and losing some and finding out from this election season that if you disagree with people then they will find you a “bad” person with labels, generously provided by the media, that their educations couldn’t handle.  (No thoughts.)  Because they don’t understand language or themselves, so they try to define others in such mainstream and cheap ways.  I thought I had artist friends; now I find my only artist friends in the mirror.

No big deal.  Still I am thankful.  I am thankful for cutting much of the negative out of my life.  And replacing it with positivity, honest critique, and smiles.  I am thankful for getting away from what has been coined “progressive privilege” by some guy in St Paul, because labels tell us nothing.  (But this made me think.)  I can agree with this theory, because others have agreed with the far less believable and told others to agree with them.  I told my wife yesterday that it was the best Letter to the Editor I have ever read, cut it out and posted it on the fridge.  I am thankful for that.  This was after a shot of Windsor, two Downtown Browns, and shoveling and salting the sidewalks like a good citizen.  Really, it was amazing.

Outside last night while making the neighborhood paths safe again, just before our big holiday, I watched silhouettes of thin naked trees scrape at purple evening overcast and thought of old friends, and my late father, of which I haven’t spoken to in some time.  I thought of how proud I am to have such diversity in my life.  Thought of what my dad would say–anything.  Thought of how we would shovel drives and walks in and around La Crosse, WI each year when I was a little boy.  (And now I have one.)  Because that was how he paid the bills and kept us warm.  I am thankful for that, and my family present that was over last weekend.  Because that is life, not what people tell you call it.  It is what you do  and what others don’t that make you more special, and better, because you are.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, there is nothing not to be thankful for.  To those prancing in safe bubbles and those stomping without restraint, I am thankful for you.  You act as props in the theatre around me, you define me as apathetic no more.  I am happy today for the conversations I am able to have and the ideas that I am still able to share without filter or judgement.  I am incredibly thankful, and you should be too!  You are alive!  And problems are pluses too because they offer you the chance to solve them.  Happy Thanksgiving!


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invest in a dictionary

SONY DSCi can’t help it when i have to say the things i have to say.  i tell the people i “know” what i think.  i am like a child just thinking and saying my thoughts, not some group think experiment.  what i “know”.  what i understand.  nothing.  i don’t see it set in stone, only behind my eyes.  i see it like that and have to say.  probably post-modernly… as in experience is god or vise versa.

now, if you like euphemisms you might not understand, might feel it harsh, might think it sharp, or argumentative.  like say the media.  might feel like those words might be interpreted as such!  i ask you to interpret them as what they are: naked with no history.  maybe we can’t do that tho; language and history, inseparable.  but then again, that might just be you, and you are great, until i say, or you think i say and you appreciate what i say, or not.

some time we should talk and i’ll tell you about it.  i will use words that don’t have history. or i will make them clean.  i will say privilege or pride or affirmative or et al., with no affiliation, and mean them as they are defined by Webster.  if you can imagine, not entirely loaded. sometimes i can’t help what i have to say.  i would cite freedom of speech, but that same concept died a long time ago, got killed by sentimentality.  that left with the toughest, hardest, most genuine americans, who used language, they died in history books with misinformed words by aloof authors and so on.

there is nothing better than stewing in what you should have said when you said it.  the momentous pause of  oh fuck.  telling someone that embarrassing story.  that anecdote will jeopardize more than a laugh.  what you thought of something from your objective subjective direct.  the interstitial between words.  the fear between moments.  will we speak again?  i don’t know, i hope.  truth is tough.  i am not sure, but i just spoke.  perhaps you think i am inadvertently being a dick.  perhaps get a dictionary.

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Limited Options: What We Learned From The First 2016 Presidential Debate

What we learned from the first 2016 presidential debate, a lot…  Trump is inconsistent, among other things, perhaps.  Hillary is a liar, among other things, perhaps.  I thought my parents were fighting in the living room last night, turns out it was just the first 2016 presidential debate.

What I have learned from the first 2016 presidential debate: these are the truly best representatives for the United States of America.  Fuck, today everyone else looks really great.  God bless America, and those not running for office.  Our nation has limited options.  To our melancholy, this election is not Netflix.

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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?

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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.

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