A Toast

Well raise another round boys and have another glass
be thankful for today knowing it will never last
still let’s leave the world laughing when our eulogies are read
may we all get to heaven before the devil knows we’re dead.

– Turnpike Troubadours, “Before the Devil Knows We’re Dead”


Y’all: if I have to watch the world burn, I want to watch it burn from New Orleans.

RE: Your Bumper Stickers

Yes, I was smiling as I walked by, because I was looking at all those bumper stickers on your truck, and, for a second, I felt like I knew you–or at least who you wanted to be known as, though honestly even that manicured intention seemed stretched here, glossed over …

Something About Life

You are awake. It is still dark. You’re in bed. In…Golden Meadow…no…Poplar Bluff? Um…Mexico City? Alkmaar? Hah, no, it’s New Orleans and then you notice that your head is pounding and that a sleeping cat has completely cut off the circulation in your outstretched left arm. Good morning.

I’ve seen it all…

Well, it’s Ninth and Hennepin

All the doughnuts have names that sound like prostitutes

And the moon’s teeth marks are on the sky

Like a tarp thrown all over this

And the broken umbrellas like dead birds

And the steam comes out of the grill like the whole goddamn town’s ready to blow

And the bricks are all scarred with jailhouse tattoos

And everyone is behaving like dogs

And the horses are coming down Violin Road and Dutch is dead on his feet

And all the rooms they smell like diesel

And you take on the dreams of the ones who have slept here

And I’m lost in the window, and I hide in the stairway

And I hang in the curtain, and I sleep in your hat

And no one brings anything small into a bar around here

They all started out with bad directions

And the girl behind the counter has a tattooed tear

One for every year he’s away, she said

Such a crumbling beauty

Ah, there’s nothing wrong with her that a hundred dollars won’t fix

She has that razor sadness that only gets worse

With the clang and the thunder of the Southern Pacific going by

And the clock ticks out like a dripping faucet

Till you’re full of rag water and bitters and blue ruin

And you spill out over the side to anyone who will listen

And I’ve seen it all

I’ve seen it all through the yellow windows of the evening train

– Tom Waits, “9th & Hennepin,” one of my favorite poems, which came to mind today when I crossed 9th Street, while driving down Hennepin, in downtown Minneapolis.

Against Argument

Because there’s no shortage of writing about politics (if thats still what we’re calling it these days), I’m especially refreshed when I read a new and well-considered viewpoint on what is, obviously enough to me and a few other people, more than an issue of ideology or personality. Our world is shaped by our decisions and behaviors, often in unexpected ways. Adam Thirlwell of the Paris Review does a great job here of relating ourselves to this world we’ve inadvertently created.