Scott Wannberg

the schools we teach ourselves pain in

the streets actually are not a given
and this is what makes them sing
beneath the tired bones of trying to
do the best thing, the right thing,
the thing thing,
the struggle we wearily sign our
blood's name up against
on the day to day shuffleboard of
the swaying pain of being human
is a lasting song
on many jukeboxes of the heart
you will know the variant rhythm
the fleeting hours of the skin
searching for a home, a name, a
shelter against the unknown;
men and women come together
they exchange their hearts and minds
their pasts, together they attempt to
walk through futures that may or may not be
kind to them
some men and women pass one another finally
in the long ongoing hallway
they pass their best intentions as a duet
this does not make them any less valuable
for the soloist's soul is a long term
breath unit
tonight in the large arteries of this city
men and women pass each other in silence
and their hearts are maddened and made
human by longing
men and women share names and have
and instruments are making noise
in their tissue
tonight finally love gets up from a tiny
table and lights a cigarette
it is lonely perhaps or perhaps full of
perhaps it is crooked or wide and even
in the perplexed study of all lighting
we are thin shadows of ongoing color
hear the blood going slow and soft
through the tension of the hours
and yet we all keep dreaming forward
into the late night early morning
long ongoing seconds of

The Craft of Writing

I got a long playing hole in the side of my head
and I'm trying to figure out whether the side
its on is important enough or not to
seek professional help
All sorts of noise goes on inside this
hole in the side of my head
and I can't tell you what is making
all of this noise
its in a language I haven't had the
time to learn yet
you know how busy it is around here
getting ready for the final apocalypse
as opposed to all those so called
final apocalypses that have been
hobbling through here only to
have turned out to be not so much
apocalypse but bragged hot air
I really feel I should go and consult
with a professional about this hole in
the side of my head with all this
unexplained noise in it
but I'm kind of low in funds in my account
and office visits are pretty damned expensive
these days
I need someone who can make a house call
I need someone who can translate me
here in this howling wilderness that
passes for civilization
I place a hand over this hole in the side of my head
and when I pull it down a flag is sticking in the
middle of it and the flag belongs to a country or
world not yet born
A semi-blind street urchin on a skateboard
almost knocks me down on the corner and
screams at me
about the Craft of Writing
and I assume he needs such a craft because
the waters are rising and you need some kind of
craft that will keep you afloat when
those nasty waters keep rising
Oh, the Craft of Writing is kind of
hard to figure, I yell back at him
as he disappears into the incoming fog
Some people go sailing in it and never come home
Some people actually make it across the sea
and learn a new language
The hole in the side of my head is growing trees
and I hear there is a rumor of a corporation
intending to develop a miniature golf course
there somehow and that just might be a good thing
when was the last time
you saw a miniature golf course?
It brings back my youthful memory
I stand there stupid on the corner
The wind begins to kick me
The wind licks my face