Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
David Leger  Apr 2015
Nebraska
David Leger Apr 2015
I've never lived in Nebraska.
     God knows why anyone would ever want to.
One or two days without Alaska
     and I'm already about to lose my ****.



I wish she would visit soon, Alaska,
     It's been a couple months now.
But the more I think about it
     She'll never see Nebraska;
Where violets and lilacs are trampled
     And hold no more value to me;
Where technicolor has no place,
     And is a broken concept;
Where people merely exist,
     And nothing more.



I was here for a three years
     And now I'm leaving Nebraska.
With little to show for it
     And I have not a memory left of Alaska.
I never lived in Nebraska.
     I probably could have tried.
John Stevens Jul 2010
When Mom died in June of 1991 Dad was rather lost,
like the rest of us. I started writing little letters in
big print so he could read them. He would not talk on
the phone so this was the only way to make contact.
I found out later that he carried them around in his
bib overall pocket and pulled them out from time to time.
Occasionally they would get washed and when Sharon
let me know I would run off another copy and mail it.
It became a means for me to remember the past and help
Dad at the same time. My kids loved to hear stories of
when I was a kid so I would recycle the stories between
the kids and Dad. Now as I read them it is a reminder of
things that have become a little fuzzy over the years,
also a reminder that I need to fill in the gaps of the stories
and leave them for my kids before it is too late. So here it is,
such as it is, if you are interested.

=======================================

    Letter­s to Dad

    Nov. 14, 1991

    Dear Dad,
    Your grandkiddies, as you call them,
    send you a big hug from Idaho. Sara is
    five and in Kindergarten this year and
    doing very well. Kristen is in the forth
    grade and made the Honor Roll list the
    first quarter of the year. We are very
    proud of both of our girls.

    Do you remember when toward late
    afternoon you and I would get in the car
    and “Drive around the block” as you
    always said? We would go up to Cliff’s
    and go east for a mile then down past
    Cleo Mae house and on back home. I
    remember you would stop at the junk
    piles and I would find neat stuff, like
    wheels from old toys, that I could make
    into my toys. I think of those times often.
    It was very enjoyable.

    I will be writing to you in the BIG PRINT
    so you can read it easier.

    It is snowing lightly here today. Supposed
    to be nasty weather for a while.

    Bye for now.

    John

    ——————————————————–

    Dec. 3, 1991

    Dear Dad,

    Just a note to say we love you. I miss very
    much talking to Mom on the phone and
    having you play Red Wing on your harmonica.

    I remember quite often when I was very
    young, 4 or 5, and we would go out to the
    field to change the water or something.
    The sand burrs would be so thick and you
    would pick me up on your back. I would
    put my feet into your back pockets and
    away we would go.

    These are the things childhood memories
    are supposed to be made of. Kristen and
    Sara love to hear the stories about when I
    was a kid and what you and I did
    together. I try with them to build the
    memories that they can tell their kids.
    Thanks Dad for a good childhood.

    Bye for now.
    Kristen and Sara send you a kiss and a
    hug.

    Your son, John

    —————————————————–

    Jan. 12, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    We went to Oregon for Christmas and
    had very good traveling weather. Do you
    remember when you and Mom went with
    us once to Oregon at Christmas and
    there were apples still hanging on the
    tree by the Williams house? We made
    apple pie from the apples that you
    picked. Turned out to be pretty good pie.
    There weren’t any apple on the tree this
    year. I thought of you picking the apples
    and bringing them into the kitchen in
    your hat if I remember right.

    We have had some pretty good times
    together. I was thinking the other day
    about a picture that I took of you about
    12 years ago. It captured you as I will
    always remember you. If I can locate it in
    all the stuff, I would like to get it blown
    up and submit it to the art section at the
    Twin Falls County Fair this year.

    I hope this finds you feeling well. I love
    you Dad. Kristen and Sara send you a
    kiss and a hug.

    Oh yes, I would like for you and Tracy to
    sit down sometime and talk about when
    you were a kid and record it on tape. I
    would like to put your remembrances
    down on paper.

    Bye for now.

    Your son, John

    ———————————————————

    Feb. 11, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    Happy Valentine’s Day!!

    Spring is on the way and soon you will be
    85. Just a spring chicken, right? I hope I
    can get around as well as you do by the
    time I am 85.

    Thanks for the letter. I will keep it for a
    very long time. It is the first letter I have
    received from my Father in 48 years.

    Talked to Ed the other day. He said he
    talked to you on the phone and that you
    were wearing your hearing aids and
    glasses. Great! Mom would be proud of
    you.

    Talked to a guy last week who is
    president of the John Deer tractor group
    here. He invited me to bring my “M”
    John Deer to the County Fair and
    participate in the tractor pull contest.
    Might just do that.

    Well the page is filling up using these big
    letters but if it makes it easier to read it is
    worth it.

    Bye for now Dad, I love you. Pennye,
    Kristen and Sara send their love too.

    Your son, John
    —————————————————-
    April 13, 1992

    Dad

    Though the years have past and you are now
    85, you are still the same as when I was a
    child. The memories of going with you to the
    field, when you were “riding the ditch”,
    surveying in a lateral, loading up the turkeys
    in the old Ford truck and taking them to the
    “Hoppers” - is just as if it were yesterday. I
    think of you playing Red Wing on the harp. I
    remember when during the looong cold
    winters we would play checkers. You would
    always beat me. I learned to play a good game.

    Not much has changed except we are both
    much older now. The values you did not speak
    but lived out in front of me has helped make
    me what I am today. I pray that I will be a
    good example before my children to help them
    on their way through life.

    On your 85th birthday, I want to wish you a
    Happy Birthday and thank you for being my
    Father.

    Love
    John

    April 13, 1992

    ————————————————–

    June 10, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    I hope this finds you well. The Stevens
    family in Twin Falls Idaho is having a
    busy summer. Kristen just finished the
    fourth grade and was on the Honor Roll
    for the entire year. Sara will now be a
    big First Grader next year.

    The other day we went out to eat and
    Kristen had chicken and noodles. She
    said, “This tastes just like Grandma
    Nellie’s noodles.” I hope they can keep
    these memories fresh and remember all
    the good times we had back in Nebraska.
    It is difficult to accept that things have
    changed and will never be the same again.
    We miss the weekly phone calls to Nebraska.

    It is clouding up and we might get rain
    this week. It is very dry around here.
    Some of the canals will be cut off in July.

    Bye for now.

    Your Son John

    Love you Dad. I think of you often.

    —————————————————-

    June 22, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    Hope you had a good “HAPPY PAPPY”
    day. This note is to wish you a late
    “HAPPY PAPPY” day.

    I was thinking the other day about the
    times you would take me roller skating
    out at the fair ground on Sunday
    afternoons. I really enjoyed those times. I
    remember how you could give a little hop
    and skate backwards. For me staying on
    my feet was a challenge.

    Sara will be 6 years old June 29. Seems
    like yesterday when she was born. Time
    has a way of passing very quickly.

    Love you lots Dad. The family sends their
    love too.

    Bye for now.
    John

    —————————————————

    Aug. 11, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    Just a note to let you know that your
    Idaho family love you. It was good to talk
    to you for a minute or two the other day.
    I miss the harmonica playing you would
    do over the phone.

    We are all well even though the place
    was covered with smoke from all the
    forest fires last week. It got a little hard
    on the lungs at times but the smoke has
    moved on now. Probably went over
    Nebraska.

    Talked to brother Ed the other day. He
    had just returned from from Nebraska.
    Ed said you looked good for 85.

    Bye for now.

    John

    —————————————————–

    Sept. 10, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    I am sending a copy of what Mom sent
    me a few years ago of what she
    remembered about growing up. I wish I
    had more. How about sitting down with
    Tracy and Sharon and telling them some
    of the things you remember about
    growing up? They can record it and I will
    put it on paper. I would really like that.

    We are ok here in Idaho. Summer had
    disappeared and it is school time again.
    Kristen is in the 5th grade and Sara is in
    the 1st grade. The family went to the
    County Fair today for the second time.
    One day is enough for me.

    I think of you often and love you Dad.
    Thinking of the good times we had
    together while I was growing up always
    makes me happy. You and Mom raised
    four pretty good kids.
    God Bless you Dad. We love you from
    Idaho.

    Bye for now.

    John

    —————————————————–

    Oct. 11, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    We are fine out in Idaho. We are having
    beautiful fall weather. It has not frozen
    enough to get our tomato plants yet.

    Kristen and Sara are doing very well in
    school. They brought home their mid
    term report cards and are getting A’s
    and a B or two.

    Remember when we would go out in the
    corn field and pick the corn by hand? I
    would drive the tractor and you and Ed
    and Wayne picked the corn and threw it
    in the trailer. You guys kept warm from
    the work and I was freezing on the
    tractor. Before that we used the horses
    named Brownie and - was it Blackie?
    The one that kept getting out up north by
    the ditch was Brownie. He figured out
    how to open the gate.

    I remember the times that you were
    hauling cane or sorghum from the field
    east of Mercers and I would ride behind
    the wagon on my sled.

    I had a very good childhood really.
    Thanks for being my Dad.

    God Bless you Dad. We love you from
    Idaho.

    Bye for now.

    John

    ——————————————————-

    Nov. 10, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    It is snowy here and cold. I have a hole in
    the back of the house I must get sealed up
    to keep the cold out. We are redoing this
    part for the kitchen.

    Kristen and Sara made the Honor Roll
    this quarter in school. Kristen’s teacher
    said he wished he had a whole room full
    of Kristens to teach.

    Sorry the phone connection was so bad
    when I called the other day. It was good
    to here you say “hello hello….” any way.
    Glad you are feeling better.

    Your account in the credit union is about
    $34,000 now.

    I was just thinking back when we were
    cultivating corn with that “crazy wheel
    cultivator”. The one that you drove the
    tractor and I rode on the cultivator and
    used the foot pedals to steer it down the
    rows. I remember sometimes it cleaned
    out some of the corn row. Cultivator
    blight, right? It was kind of hard to keep
    straight. Those were the days.

    I keep remembering little bits of things
    while growing up. Sometime I will put
    them all together for my kids to read
    about the “good ole days”.

    God Bless you Dad. We love you from
    Idaho.

    Bye for now.

    John

    ————————————————
    Dec. 17, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    The snow has fallen and the kids stayed
    home from school today. The wind is now
    blowing so it will begin drifting the road
    shut. Besides that the whole family is sick
    with a cold.

    We are putting together a Christmas gift
    to you but it won’t be ready for
    Christmas. It is something that you can
    watch over and over if you want. So
    Merry Christmas for now.

    Last night was the kids’ school Christmas
    program. Kristen started playing the
    flute this fall and played with a group for
    the first time this week. She did very well
    and I got it on video.

    Time to get this in the mail. Love you
    Dad.
    Bye for now.

    Kristen and Sara send you a kiss and a
    hug.
    Your son, John

    ——————————————————

    Jan. 11, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    We have a lot of snow on the ground
    now. I was telling the family about the
    winter of 49 where the snow covered the
    door and you had to scoop the snow into
    the house to dig a tunnel out then haul
    the snow out through the tunnel. That
    was a 15 foot drift wasn’t it? It sure
    looked big to this 6 year old. Then the
    plane flew over the house for a few days
    until we could get out and signal an OK.
    Those were the days! What I do not
    remember is how you took care of the
    cows and stuff during this time. I
    remember being sick and Wayne took the
    horse and rode into Broadwater to get
    oranges and something else. The big
    white dog we had went along and was hit
    by a car. Wayne had to use a fence post
    to finish him off. I remember feeling very
    sad about the old dog.
    We haven’t had this much snow in 8
    years.

    I trust you are feeling well. Our prayers
    are with you all.
    Bye for now. Love you Dad
    The family send a BIG Hi!!!!

    Your son, John

    —————————————————-

    Feb. 9, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    When the kids go to bed they say “Tell us
    a story about when you were a kid on the
    farm”. So I tell them things that I write
    to you and a LOT that I don’t write to
    you. The other day going to school we
    were talking about one of the first snow
    falls we had this year. I spun the van
    around in circles in the parking lot and
    they thought that was GREAT fun. Then
    I told them about the time that their
    Grandpa cut some circles in the Kelly
    School yard and hit a pole with the back
    fender. Do you remember that? I
    remember Mom bringing it up every now
    and then. Then there was the time you
    got a little close to the guard posts along
    the highway just west of Broadwater and
    ripped the spare tire and bracket off the
    old Jeep. Of course none of US ever did
    anything like that. HA.

    It is good to remember back and tell the
    kids about the things we did “in the old
    days”. They find it hard to believe there
    was no TV and I walked through rattle
    snake country to go to the neighbors to
    play. It WAS a good time for me and I
    had a GOOD Dad to help me grow up.
    Thanks again Dad. You and Mom did a
    very good job on us four kids. Sometimes
    we don’t show it often enough but I for
    one thank you and LOVE you.

    Soon you will have another birthday.
    Before you know it you will be 90. I
    should be so lucky.

    I trust you are feeling well. Our prayers
    are with you all. Bye for now. Love you
    Dad
    The family send a BIG Hi!!!!

    Your son, John

    —————————————————–

    Mar. 9, 1993

    Dear Dad,
    Time has a way of disappearing so
    rapidly. I was going to write you a note
    two weeks ago and now here we are.

    It looks like spring is just about to arrive.
    I am ready for it. I’ll bet you are ready to
    get out side and do something. Do you
    miss not farming? I think often about the
    farm and the things we used to do. The
    kids always ask for stories about being on
    the farm. I tell them about raising a
    garden, rattlesnakes, floods, the BIG
    ONE in 49, anything that comes to mind.

    The family went to Sun Valley about 70
    miles north of here Sat. with Kristen’s
    Girl Scout troop for a day of ice skating.
    Pennye used the VCR and played back
    their falls and no falls. It reminded me of
    the times you would get your old clamp-
    on skates on a cut a figure on the ice. I
    never was very good at it. You could hop
    up and turn around. I couldn’t stay of
    my back side and head. I still have a big
    dent in the back of my head from the last
    time I tried. Nearly killed me. So much
    for that.

    Next month you will have another
    birthday. 86 years! Before you know it
    you will be 90.

    I paid your insurance for another year
    I trust you are feeling well. Our prayers
    are w
In Nebraska, they are murdering transexuals
those with necks red as blood and lipstick
     This recording is the last of the words which are me
     -Play on the air for all to hear
or smash them between these two bricks
these two red bricks of earth and stone
     In Nebraska, they are murdering transexuals
which you may think is funny
when their lipstick gets smeared ridiculously
across the macadam
until you see their blood the same as yours
until they come for you
those "good old boys" with fists like bricks
and necks engorged with hate and spit
warm beer, **** and vinegar
sun beating down on their angry, little brains
 
     This is the final transcript
of all that I am
embellished with sequins and such
scrawled in *****
     These words are my lover's breaths
floating in darkness above cold ears
lost in cartoon-balloon blurbs
a drama of gasps
a flurry of snow and chipped nails
upon the pavement
across the prairie
in Nebraska
I wrote this when much younger and so I hope that it is not too dated, for those in the know. It was in response to some tragic news story of the time. This poem was previously published in my book"A Deep, Blue Dreaming (Magick Boy's Lost Episodes)", by Shivastan Publishing.
We had wanted to leave our homes before six in the morning
but left late and lazy at ten or ten-thirty with hurried smirks
and heads turned to the road, West
driving out against the noonward horizon
and visions before us of the great up-and-over

and tired we were already of stiff-armed driving neurotics in Montreal
and monstrous foreheaded yellow bus drivers
ugly children with long middle fingers
and tired we were of breaking and being yelled at by beardless bums
but thought about the beards at home we loved
and gave a smile and a wave nonetheless

Who were sick and tired of driving by nine
but then had four more hours still
with half a tank
then a third of a tank
then a quarter of a tank
then no tank at all
except for the great artillery halt and discovery
of our tyre having only three quarters of its bolts

Saved by the local sobriety
and the mystic conscious kindness of the wise and the elderly
and the strangers: Autoshop Gale with her discount familiar kindness;
Hilda making ready supper and Ray like I’ve known you for years
that offered me tools whose functions I’ve never known
and a handshake goodbye

     and "yes we will say hello to your son in Alberta"
     and "yes we will continue safely"
     and "no you won’t see us in tomorrow’s paper"
     and tired I was of hearing about us in tomorrow’s paper

Who ended up on a road laughing deliverance
in Ralphton, a small town hunting lodge
full of flapjacks and a choir of chainsaws
with cheap tomato juice and eggs
but the four of us ended up paying for eight anyway

and these wooden alley cats were nothing but hounds
and the backwoods is where you’d find a cheap child's banjo
and cheap leather shoes and bear traps and rat traps
and the kinds of things you’d fall into face first

Who sauntered into a cafe in Massey
that just opened up two weeks previous
where the food was warm and made from home
and the owner who swore to high heaven
and piled her Sci-Fi collection to the ceiling
in forms of books and VHS

but Massey herself was drowned in a small town
where there was little history and heavy mist
and the museum was closed for renovations
and the stores were run by diplomats
or sleezebag no-cats
and there was one man who wouldn’t show us a room
because his baby sitter hadn’t come yet
but the babysitter showed up through the backdoor within seconds
though I hadn't seen another face

        and the room was a landfill
        and smelled of stale cat **** anyhow
        and the lobby stacked to the ceiling with empty beer box cans bottles
        and the taps ran cold yellow and hot black through spigots

but we would be staying down the street
at the inn of an East-Indian couple

who’s eyes were not dilated 
and the room smelled
lemon-scented

and kept on driving lovingly without a care in the world
but only one of us had his arms around a girl
and how lonely I felt driving with Jacob
in the fog of the Agawa pass;

following twin red eyes down a steep void mass
where the birch trees have no heads
and the marshes pool under the jagged foothills
that climb from the water above their necks

that form great behemoths
with great voices bellowing and faces chiselled hard looking down
and my own face turned upward toward the rain

Wheels turning on a black asphalt river running uphill around great Superior
that is the ocean that isn’t the ocean but is as big as the sea
and the cloud banks dig deep and terrible walls

and the sky ends five times before night truly falls
and the sun sets slower here than anywhere
but the sky was only two miles high and ten long anyway

The empty train tracks that seldom run
and some rails have been lifted out
with a handful of spikes that now lay dormant

and the hill sides start to resemble *******
or faces or the slow curving back of some great whale

-and those, who were finally stranded at four pumps
with none but the professional Jacob reading great biblical instructions at the nozzle
nowhere at midnight in a town surrounded

by moose roads
                             moose lanes
                                                     moose rivers
and everything mooses

ending up sleeping in the maw of a great white wolf inn
run by Julf or Wolf or John but was German nonetheless

and woke up with radios armed
and arms full
and coffee up to the teeth
with teeth chattering
and I swear to God I saw snowy peaks
but those came to me in waking dream:

"Mountains dressed in white canvas
gowns and me who placed
my hands upon their *******
that filled the sky"

Passing through a buffet of inns and motels
and spending our time unpacking and repacking
and talking about drinking and cheap sandwiches
but me not having a drink in eight days

and in one professional inn we received a professional scamming
and no we would not be staying here again
and what would a trip across the country be like
if there wasn’t one final royal scamming to be had

and dreams start to return to me from years of dreamless sleep:

and I dream of hers back home
and ribbons in a raven black lattice of hair
and Cassadaic exploits with soft but honest words

and being on time with the trains across the plains  
and the moon with a shower of prairie blonde
and one of my father with kind words
and my mother on a bicycle reassuring my every decision

Passing eventually through great plains of vast nothingness
but was disappointed in seeing that I could see
and that the rumours were false
and that nothingness really had a population
and that the great flat land has bumps and curves and etchings and textures too

beautiful bright golden yellow like sprawling fingers
white knuckled ablaze reaching up toward the sun
that in this world had only one sky that lasted a thousand years

and prairie driving lasts no more than a mountain peak
and points of ember that softly sigh with the one breath
of our cars windows that rushes by with gratitude for your smile

And who was caught up with the madness in the air
with big foaming cigarettes in mouths
who dragged and stuffed down those rolling fumes endlessly
while St. Jacob sang at the way stations and billboards and the radio
which was turned off

and me myself and I running our mouth like the coughing engine
chasing a highway babe known as the Lady Valkyrie out from Winnipeg
all the way to Saskatoon driving all day without ever slowing down
and eating up all our gas like pez and finally catching her;

      Valkyrie who taught me to drive fast
      and hovering 175 in slipstreams
      and flowing behind her like a great ghost Cassady ******* in dreamland Nebraska
      only 10 highway crossings counted from home.

Lady Valkyrie who took me West.
Lady Valkyrie who burst my wings into flame as I drew a close with the sun.
Lady Valkyrie who had me howl at slender moon;

     who formed as a snowflake
     in the light on the street
     and was gone by morning
     before I asked her name

and how are we?
and how many?

Even with old Tom devil singing stereo
and riding shotgun the entire trip from day one
singing about his pony, and his own personal flophouse circus,
and what was he building in there?

There is a fair amount of us here in these cars.
Finally at light’s end finding acquiescence in all things
and meeting with her eye one last time; flashed her a wink and there I was, gone.
Down the final highway crossing blowing wind and fancy and mouth puttering off
roaring laughter into the distance like some tremendous Phoenix.

Goodnight Lady Valkyrie.

The evening descends and turns into a sandwich hysteria
as we find ourselves riding between cities of transports
and that one mad man that passed us speeding crazy
and almost hit head-on with Him flowing East

and passed more and more until he was head of the line
but me driving mad lunacy followed his tail to the bumper
passing fifteen trucks total to find our other car
and felt the great turbine pull of acceleration that was not mine

mad-stacked behind two great beasts
and everyone thought us moon-crazy; Biblical Jake
and Mad Hair Me driving a thousand
eschewing great gusts of wind speed flying

Smashing into the great ephedrine sunset haze of Saskatoon
and hungry for food stuffed with the thoughts of bedsheets
off the highway immediately into the rotting liver of dark downtown
but was greeted by an open Hertz garage
with a five-piece fanfare brass barrage
William Tell and a Debussy Reverie
and found our way to bedsheets most comfortably

Driving out of Saskatoon feeling distance behind me.
Finding nothing but the dead and hollow corpses of roadside ventures;

more carcasses than cars
and one as big as a moose
and one as big as a bear
and no hairier

and driving out of sunshine plain reading comic book strip billboards
and trees start to build up momentum
and remembering our secret fungi in the glove compartment
that we drove three thousand kilometres without remembering

and we had a "Jesus Jacob, put it away brother"
and went screaming blinded by smoke and paranoia
and three swerves got us right
and we hugged the holy white line until twilight

And driving until the night again takes me foremast
and knows my secret fear in her *****
as the road turns into a lucid *** black and makes me dizzy
and every shadow is a moose and a wildcat and a billy goat
and some other car

and I find myself driving faster up this great slanderous waterfall until I meet eye
with another at a thousand feet horizontal

then two eyes

then a thousand wide-eyed peaks stretching faces upturned to the celestial black
with clouds laid flat as if some angel were sleeping ******* on a smokestack
and the mountains make themselves clear to me after waiting a lifetime for a glimpse
then they shy away behind some old lamppost and I don’t see them until tomorrow

and even tomorrow brings a greater distance with the sunlight dividing stone like 'The Ancient of Days'
and moving forward puts all into perspective

while false cabins give way
and the gas stations give way
and the last lamppost gives way
and its only distance now that will make you true
and make your peaks come alive

Like a bullrush, great grey slopes leap forth as if branded by fire
then the first peaks take me by surprise
and I’m told that these are nothing but children to their parents
and the roads curve into a gentle valley
and we’re in the feeding zone

behind the gates of some great geological zoo
watching these lumbering beasts
finishing up some great tribal *******
because tomorrow they will be shrunk
and tomorrow ever-after smaller

Nonetheless, breathless in turn I became
it began snowing and the pines took on a different shape
and the mountains became covered white
and great glaciers could be seen creeping
and tourists seen gawking at waterfalls and waterfowls
and fowl play between two stones a thousand miles high

climbing these Jasper slopes flying against wind and stone
and every creak lets out its gentle tone and soft moans
as these tyres rub flat against your back
your ancient skin your rock-hard bones

and this peak is that peak and it’s this one too
and that’s Temple, and that’s Whistler
and that’s Glasgow and that’s Whistler again
and those are the Three Sisters with ******* ablaze

and soft glowing haze your sun sets again among your peaks
and we wonder how all these caves formed
and marvelled at what the flood brought to your feet
as roads lay wasted by the roadside

in the epiphany of 3:00am realizing
that great Alta's straights and highway crossings
are formed in torturous mess from mines of 'Mt. Bleed'
and broken ribs and liver of crushed mountain passes
and the grey stones taxidermied and peeled off
and laid flat painted black and yellow;
the highways built from the insides
of the mountain shells

Who gave a “What now. New-Brunswick?”

and a “What now, Quebec, and Ontario, and Manitoba, and Saskatchewan";
**** fools clumsily dancing in the valleys; then the rolling hills; then the sea that was a lake
then the prairies and not yet the mountains;

running naked in formation with me at the lead
and running naked giving the finger to the moon
and the contrails, and every passing blur on the highway
dodging rocks, and sandbars
and the watchful eye of Mr. and Mrs. Law
and holes dug-up by prairie dogs
and watching with no music
as the family caravans drove on by

but drove off laughing every time until two got anxious for bed and slowed behind
while the rambling Jacob and I had to wait in the half-moon spectacle
of a black-tongue asphalt side-road hacking darts and watching for grizzlies
for the other two to finish up with their birthday *** exploits
though it was nobodies birthday

and then a timezone was between us
 and they were in the distant future
and nobodies birthday was in an hour from now

then everything was good
and everyone was satiated
then everything was a different time again
and I was running on no sleep or a lot of it
leaping backward in time every so often
like gaining a new day but losing space on the surface of your eye

but I stared up through curtains of starlight to mother moon
and wondered if you also stared
and was dumbfounded by the majesty of it all

and only one Caribou was seen the entire trip
and only one live animal, and some forsaken deer
and only a snake or a lonesome caterpillar could be seen crossing such highway straights
but the water more refreshing and brighter than steel
and glittered as if it were hiding some celestial gem
and great ravines and valleys flowed between everything
and I saw in my own eye prehistoric beasts roaming catastrophe upon these plains
but the peaks grew ever higher and I left the ground behind
Jack Kerouac  Oct 2010
Nebraska
April doesnt hurt here
Like it does in New England
The ground
Vast and brown
Surrounds dry towns
Located in the dust
Of the coming locust
Live for survival, not for 'kicks'
Be a bangtail describer,
like of shrouded traveler
in Textile tenement & the birds fighting in yr ears-like Burroughs exact to describe & gettin $
The Angry Hunger
(hunger is anger)
who fears the
hungry feareth
the angry)
And so I came home
To Golden far away
Twas on the horizon
Every blessed day
As we rolled And we rolled
From Donner tragic Pass
Thru April in Nevada And out Salt City Way Into the dry Nebraskas And sad Wyomings Where young girls And pretty lover boys
With Mickey Mantle eyes
Wander under moons
Sawing in lost cradle
And Judge O Fasterc
Passes whiggling by To ask of young love: ,,Was it the same wind Of April Plains eve that ruffled the dress
Of my lost love
Louanna
In the Western
Far off night
Lost as the whistle
Of the passing Train
Everywhere West
Roams moaning
The deep basso
- Vom! Vom!
- Was it the same love
Notified my bones As mortify yrs now
Children of the soft
Wyoming April night?
Couldna been!
But was! But was!'
And on the prairie
The wildflower blows
In the night For bees & birds And sleeping hidden Animals of life.
The Chicago
Spitters in the spotty street
Cheap beans, loop, Girls made eyes at me And I had 35 Cents in my jeans -
Then Toledo
Springtime starry
Lover night Of hot rod boys And cool girls A wandering
A wandering
In search of April pain A plash of rain
Will not dispel This fumigatin hell Of lover lane This park of roses Blue as bees
In former airy poses
In aerial O Way hoses
No tamarand And figancine Can the musterand Be less kind
Sol -
Sol -
Bring forth yr Ah Sunflower - Ah me Montana
Phosphorescent Rose
And bridge in
fairly land
I'd understand it all -
AJ  Feb 2014
the good life
AJ Feb 2014
I pretend that I hate nebraska
because that's what teenagers do
we b i t c h
and we w h i n e
c o m p l a i n
about our home towns
our home states
our home countries
we justify our desire to be
g o n e
a w a y
o u t of this place
with made up facts
about our ****** up hometowns
we never stop
to think
there must be a reason my parents chose to live
h e r e
honestly I have nothing against nebraska
my resentment comes from the desire to be
f r e e
which is just one letter away from
h e r e
so freedom can't be too far in the distance
the truth is nebraska can be pretty great sometimes
there's an honesty
an energy
an optimism that could only be found
in a state where even the city kids
know about the country life
and even though summers bring
90 degree weather
and humid humid h u m i d air
while winters bring
subzero temperatures
and
1
2
3
4
5
6
inches of snow
we don't complain too much about the weather
and a "nice day" could be
30 degrees and snow
50 degrees and rain
80 degrees and heat
we take what we can get
because nebraskans are not
g r e e d y
we made this state our own
but still we get lumped together with
iowakansasmissouricoloradoohioillinois
but we are not k a n s a s
we are not m i s s o u r i
we are not o h i o
and we are not
i o w a
don't even suggest that
we are
N e b r a s k a
and nothing else
we take pride in our state
though there's not much to be proud of
but we are p r o u d anyways
and I think that's beautiful
other places are about
c o m p e t i t i o n
biggerbetterbiggerbetter
but in nebraska we are all each other's neighbors
friends
caregivers
nebraskans stick together
no matter what
and that's why
when your car is barreling across that bridge that links
nebraska and iowa
across that **** river
you will see a rusted green sign
welcoming you to this state that always has nice days
takes pride in every moment
and sticks together
you will see words painted in white spelling out
"the good life"
because sure no matter where you go
life *****
but at least here the people are
g o o d
and some times that's enough
this is not the good life
this is the extraordinary life
Before I went my way
I was unsure if my car tire popping
constituted omen or bad luck.
That is the frame of mind I was in
leaving Lincoln.

Now I realize most of this is temporary
distraction, soon Nebraska passes and
Missouri remains, as it always has.
One year later I will change my college major,
theatre to sociology.

Lincoln taught me lessons, not
all of them important. I found true solace
in watching others, why they walk like that,
what their hair says about their politics,
microbes erupting into civilization.

Leaving Lincoln behind was so remarkably
necessary in its devices. I will always
make time for my thoughts, my seasons,
thanks to the dull, blinding cold of

Lincoln, Nebraska.
david badgerow Jun 2013
when we were just kids living in Nebraska
running through cornstalks holding hands
where the sun died crazy deaths over the mountains
you were my neighbor
and the bank took our land

i would've never imagined
you living in a whiskey barrel
offering ******* and squawking squirts
giving them away for free
to hideous former cowboys
substituting laughter for anger

intead,
a moment like this:
finding you alone on the banks
of a dull river
shivering,
swinging from a branch
Tyler Nicholas Oct 2011
I'm outside
and the Nebraska sunset is more than welcoming.
Orange and warm,
the birds begin to weep.

From my hand
I drop my werewolves.
All just for one more sight -
From my eyes
the Nebraska sunset glistened.

I danced.
Dorothy A Jan 2016
Rob's father came up to him on his eighteenth birthday, and tossed a *** of cash at him. "Time to be a man", he said in his usual gruff manner, "Get yourself a hot one".  His grinning face seemed more like a sneer, but Rob wasn't all that surprised. Throughout his adult life, he was thankful and glad that his mother kept him fairly grounded, did the best that she could, molded him into the man that he was, and he marveled at how she put up with such an *******.

Her name was Kat, but there were no introductions, not while he was soliciting her for ***. She was a few years older than he, but Rob never asked for any details.  He just wanted to get on with it, for he felt not only awkwardly nervous and ill-prepared, but halfhearted in his approach to buy some time, to hook up with a stranger in the shadows of the street lamps.  

Sure, if his old man wanted to give him some money—free cash—why the hell not? Instead of finding a "hot one", Rob was face-to-face with a burned-out and vulnerable, young woman who tried to hide behind her ****, seductive exterior. She was equally as halfhearted as he was about getting it on, for business-as usual seemed to weigh her down like a heavy chain wrapped about her ankles

So Rob opted out of this whole thing. He asked if he could buy her a cup of coffee. Why not? It was a chilly night, and they wanted to warm up—in  a legitimate way.

They found a small, late-night diner. It wasn't long before Kat admitted she made a huge mistake, and would do anything to get another start. Her regret was leaving Nebraska, leaving her hometown—her mom, her little sister and brother left behind. Her father was the dearest man she ever knew, but he died when she was eleven-years-old. If only he could see her now. She would be so ashamed to face him, and glad he wasn't around to witness this sordid path she regretfully chose.

Once, Nebraska seemed like an insignificant blot on the map of the world, but now it was inviting to her. She longed to make amends to her family and to get back to the basics.  She wasn't sure what she would do with her life, but what she had right now wasn't what dreams were all about. It was a world of unscrupulous pimps and men who lurked around, wanting their fill, their lusts exposed discretely, yet so ****** upon her to be met.

She had enough. Rob was the first guy that came along in a long time that really cared to listen to her, though he seemed more a boy than a man. Yet she's been with his kind before. She has seen all kinds—white and blue collar, old and young, married and single, the well-experienced and the sexually inept, the *** addicts and first-timers, the boring, the daring, the *****—yet safe ones—as well the creepy kind that a street-smart lady needed to have eyes in the back of her head for.  

When they went to the bus station, together, Rob admitted, "I got to tell you, straight. I'm still thinking you could be scamming me for drug money...and I'm maybe a complete *****... but I want to take this chance." Kat smiled, a tender sort of a smile, and gave him a soft peck on the cheek, along with a big bear hug. "You're an angel", she declared. She really was beautiful, with big, lovely eyes surrounded by big, fake lashes.  Seen through eyes of his inexperience—his innocence—she really felt beautiful, something she hasn't felt in a long while.

Kat wanted to pay Rob back for giving her the needed, extra money to buy her ticket. She offered to do that in the best way she knew how and made him an offer. Having a night of free *** wasn't what Rob ever wanted. No, there were no strings attached. So she jotted down her mother's address in Nebraska, and told him to be in touch. "I want to prove to you that I'm turning my life around. I'm going to do it, too. I promise", she said, sincerely. She had no trouble looking him in the eye, tears beginning to well up, and she began to choke up while saying, ”I just can't thank you enough".

Whether he did the right thing or not, Rob would wonder. He would never forget her—even if he wanted to forget. Only a brief couple of hours with her, but she made an impact in his mind, like a branding iron that would sear the hell out of his brain. Later, he lied to his dad, and pretended to be thrilled that he got the chance to have such an awesome night—just rocking! It was the best birthday present so far!  For a moment, he thought of telling him the truth, but he pictured his dad saying, "You *****! You wasted your chance and my money!"

Rob decided that he wasn't going to write her. He just didn't want to know, instead wanting to assume she made it out okay. He decided to keep the paper with her address, anyway. It took him several months, after mulling it over in his mind, to actually write her a brief note to ask how she was managing. Did she really go back home? Was she doing alright? Did she put her ****** life behind her?

It was only a week when he received a letter back from Nebraska. Rob kept that letter to himself, never telling a soul about Kat. She was back with an old boyfriend from high school, staying with her mom and working part-time as a cashier in a supermarket. She was so eager to write him back, thrilled that he finally contacted her, and wondered why on earth it took him so long.  Rob believed her, like he first did about her story, and it was a relief to hear from her.  He was glad he took the chance. It seemed to pay off.

He heard nothing back from her until over a year later. This time she sent a picture in her letter. Kat and her boyfriend broke up, for the second time, but she was now married to her good friend's cousin, Nolan. She was glad it didn't work out with the first guy, because now she was pretty happy and couldn't imagine her life any other way. Rob smiled as he saw the picture of the couple, and she was holding her little girl in her arms. He name was Willow, a cute, little girl with strawberry blonde hair.

Thanks, again, Rob! It is all because of you! You’re a sweetheart. My hero!!!

He didn't want to take the credit. He was no hero. It was bound to happen, with or without him.  Rob was quite sure now that he would not write her another letter, but did pick up a card to congratulate her, to acknowledge he got the good news and was glad for her.

He still had that picture of her, and the last news he found out about Kat is that she moved to Colorado with her husband, and now had a son, Nolan Rob. Her husband got a better paying job, and she felt at home near the mountains. A picture of the kids came with it, and her two smiling children conveyed the innocence that she once had and cherished.

Wanted you to see my boy. His middle name, Rob, is after you! I figured you'd know this, but I want to tell you, anyway! :D Much love from us to you, Robbie!

Time has passed, and during that back-and-forth.  Rob's parents split up, sold the house, and he had graduated from college and was on his own. Contact with Kat waned down to nothing at all, and it probably was just as well. Were things still going good in her life? Rob still wondered and hoped so.

Now he was married, with a nice house and boy and girl of his own, thinking of Kat, now and then. He envisioned her doing well, a far cry from the young woman in a scene that replayed in his head, a night when he helped an unhappy and desperate lady get a chance to find her life, again. If ever his day ******, such thoughts could pick him back up.

He'd never cease to wonder about her, but what he did for Kat belonged in the past.  If it wasn't happily-ever-after for her, he'd rather not know.  He did his part, was glad that he had enough maturity and integrity to do the right thing, but no way was he a knight in shining armor.  Still, he was a hero in her eyes, a reluctant hero of sorts. He could live with that.
Hearts sparse in this carpark,
the wind feeling rowdy, biting like a
small rabid animal with no collar
wandering the city alone at night.

The car is making me claustrophobic,
I've spent far too much time with the heat,
too many minutes burning cigarettes and
my hands near-numb from the caffeine.

Poems are less like action movies and
more like action paintings exploding
in suspended motion. I'm sure we all
remember when art felt new. I can't
recall when it didn't feel so lived-in.

(And of course this poem is merely
a memory of feelings, which is not much
of anything to me or you because the past
is dry and done and does not intrude.
)

Lincoln, Nebraska is a livelier city
than one expects. It is like going to an
art exhibit expecting Rothko and getting
Basquiat, bombast and immediacy.

My favorite poet is Craig Morgan Teicher
because he and I may ramble but he is not
afraid to sacrifice accessibility for
feeling. He could find the beauty in the
image of Lincoln, Nebraska in January.

I will soon need to devise another way
to keep myself entertained so let us
say this CD spins one more time and
maybe I can go for a walk, clear my head.

I do not intend this to be wrought with
sentiment, but there are times I am not
as cold as this city. There are times
the mind must scream
so the heart stays safe.
I spent a week in Lincoln, Nebraska in January of this year.
E May 2012
There is nothing so constant as
a dirt road in Nebraska,
beyond where the pavement ends.

This timeline beneath my feet
Crunches on and on,
Further than even I know.

This methodical sound of time passing,
Echoes off the fields of an ancient prairie
so superior to its cousin, the **** carpet

of my grandma’s house where
I would hide all my coal-colored jellybeans,
Pretending they were herds of cattle, grazing

Along dirt roads, such as this—
My venerable trail of rock,
Stretching out as far as time perfected.

A trail of ceaseless rock
Worn down by the years of
feet stomping to the memories

of the house, and the jellybeans, and the grandma,
all outlived by a dirt road that reminds me
*for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

— The End —